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Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

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New York Noise makers: Either/Or

Sonic Youth
65
58%
Swans
48
42%
 
Total votes : 113

Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby ImDADA on Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:02 am

Senile.
Last edited by ImDADA on Fri May 07, 2010 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Fri May 07, 2010 12:38 am

Schwantz.

Some interesting parallels in their development. Both began w/decent but developmental EPs, then hit their stride for a few years.

Early Swans rolls over SY in terms of sheer physicality and purity of vision. Of course, they became truly awful during their sappy, goth-y phase (1988-1992, though even then, they were a fine live band), but then got it together again around the time of The Great Annihilator, Soundtracks for the Blind, and Swans Are Dead, just before breaking up. Those albums nicely reconcile the "heavy" Swans sound and the "pretty" Swans sound.

SY made a string of untouchable albums in the '80s but then just kind of blanded out after Daydream Nation while still acting like some kind of zeitgeist. Their attempts to woo grunge kids, B-team celebrities, free jazzers, indie rockers, and Starbucks seemed a little crass and disingenuous. See the "Dirty Boots" video or listen to their improv side projects for proof. Musically, the band itself has been treading water for two decades. Whereas Gira still seems like an edgy, intense old coot who's still pushing himself and searching for something, even when he plays acoustically or has written a subpar song.

Swans changed it up, took more risks, were way more intense. They were not afraid to fall flat on their faces. Jarboe and some horribly pretentious tendencies notwithstanding, they were clearly the more interesting of the two groups. Plus, how many bands make a bunch of excellent records, alter their sound completely, make a few terrible records, then pull themselves up out of the muck again for their last few albums? Superior drummers and way more engaging gigs are the icing on the cake. We'll see how the reunion fares. I have high hopes.

I have tremendous respect for SY, but they haven't excited me since W's father was president. Gira? He still keeps me guessing.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Control Z on Fri May 07, 2010 1:24 am

Sonic Youth have basically kind of ruled my life in a way since like 1986 despite all their latter-day ho-hum-ness, so them. Sorry, Swans!
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby sawtooth on Fri May 07, 2010 8:34 am

i have never heard really shitty swans but i know it exists. i have heard shitty sonic youth and it truly sucks shit.

both bands at their peak, though... that would be cop/young god vs confusion is sex/bad moon rising... savage and hallucinatory back alley beating in a strange and satanic part of the city vs nightmare journey through a dark woods behind an industrial zone. i can't pick.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Auntie Ovipositor on Fri May 07, 2010 11:23 am

AnthonyVillalobos wrote:Sonic Youth.

Edit: Swans rule, but jarboe joined. Sonic Youth wins.


Sonic Youth has put out far more crappy albums than good because they didn't have the sense to quit. Normally I'd stack good records up against each other and decide based on that, but it's hard to do here.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Sam on Fri May 07, 2010 11:39 am

Swans were great before they went new age. Cop is one of the most punishing recordings. I love Sonic Youth up to and including EVOL, Daydream Nation is good, but not as good as EVOL. the only release after that i dig on super hard is Silver Sessions (for jason knuth)

I'm going to go with Swans though, because they are just really dingdang heavy.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Fri May 07, 2010 12:07 pm

This album seems worth bringing up at this time:

http://www.thesocialregistry.com/index2.html

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13909-interference/

The 1982 studio session by Interference, a band including Anne DeMarinis after she left the early, stillborn version of SY. A bunch of Branca and Chatham alumni were also in this group, incl. David Linton, who was in a few early projects w/Lee and turned down the SY drumstool after Richard Edson left. Sue Hanel, who was the second person to play guitar in Swans, also guests on a few tracks.

The track "Number Four" ranks w/any SY or Swans dissonant-guitar jam from this era. The rest is a bit more percussive, clanking, slightly funky in spots (but not in a stupid way). Less focused on vocals and songs than the other bands from the era, more into rhythm. The material is damn good. Even the remix disc is surprisingly palatable, if you can handle that sort of thing.

Anne was one fetching filly, as well.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Nina on Wed May 12, 2010 6:45 pm

Swans, no question.

Fuck SY.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby gjp on Wed May 12, 2010 6:46 pm

EDIT
Last edited by gjp on Wed May 12, 2010 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Marsupialized on Wed May 12, 2010 6:47 pm

Swans have the 'reunion' tour dates on their website. Bottom Lounge in October.
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Re:

Postby tocharian on Wed May 12, 2010 7:09 pm

robert thefamilyghost wrote:easy: Sonic Youth...Swans were good ... but their best doesn't come close to Sonic Youth's best

+1

Sorry Nina :(
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Re: Re:

Postby Nina on Wed May 12, 2010 7:11 pm

tocharian wrote:
robert thefamilyghost wrote:easy: Sonic Youth...Swans were good ... but their best doesn't come close to Sonic Youth's best


+1

Sorry Nina :(



Don't apologize to me, you're the one who likes SY!


:wink:
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Re: Re:

Postby Ernest on Wed May 12, 2010 7:14 pm

Nina wrote:Don't apologize to me, you're the one who likes SY!



Damn.



I like SY*




*'82-'88
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Nina on Wed May 12, 2010 7:19 pm

Sadly, I will never be able to erase the memory of seeing Kim Gordon crawling around on stage like an idiot.

I really wish I had never seen that.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Ernest on Wed May 12, 2010 7:21 pm

Nina wrote:Sadly, I will never be able to erase the memory of seeing Kim Gordon crawling around on stage like an idiot.

I really wish I had never seen that.


Was it in the time period she looked like Courtney Love's mom?
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Nina on Wed May 12, 2010 7:22 pm

Ernest wrote:
Nina wrote:Sadly, I will never be able to erase the memory of seeing Kim Gordon crawling around on stage like an idiot.

I really wish I had never seen that.


Was it in the time period she looked like Courtney Love's mom?


Oh shit!

Hahaa!
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby tocharian on Wed May 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Nina wrote:Sadly, I will never be able to erase the memory of seeing Kim Gordon crawling around on stage like an idiot.

I really wish I had never seen that.


I’ve only ever seen SY live once, so I’m paying $$$ to see them in the fall. If she does that, I’ve got a hat I can probably chew if I boil it.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Nina on Wed May 12, 2010 7:35 pm

tocharian wrote:
Nina wrote:Sadly, I will never be able to erase the memory of seeing Kim Gordon crawling around on stage like an idiot.

I really wish I had never seen that.


I’ve only ever seen SY live once, so I’m paying $$$ to see them in the fall. If she does that, I’ve got a hat I can probably chew if I boil it.


Just give me the cash and I will do a reenactment.

Kim has no need to be on her knees anymore, especially since selling the bands soul to Satan/ Starbucks.
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby tocharian on Wed May 12, 2010 7:53 pm

Nina wrote:
tocharian wrote:
Nina wrote:Sadly, I will never be able to erase the memory of seeing Kim Gordon crawling around on stage like an idiot.

I really wish I had never seen that.


I’ve only ever seen SY live once, so I’m paying $$$ to see them in the fall. If she does that, I’ve got a hat I can probably chew if I boil it.


Just give me the cash and I will do a reenactment.

Kim has no need to be on her knees anymore, especially since selling the bands soul to Satan/ Starbucks.


No. NO. No one on their knees! It's bad enough I'm paying the chump tax (i.e. ticket price) for dallying so long to see them. Now you must remind me of the Starbucks thing!

What next? Cigarrettes are bad for me?
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Re: Either/Or: Sonic Youth vs. Swans

Postby Nina on Wed May 12, 2010 7:59 pm

tocharian wrote: Now you must remind me of the Starbucks thing!


Image


Image

Sure thing.


tocharian wrote:What next? Cigarrettes are bad for me?


My oncologist told me they cause cancer and stuff.

I don't believe her.
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