On the Sonic Youth Preview of The Eternal, In Which Kim Gordon Says the Word “Orgasm”


First, let me restate the utter confusion experienced this morning when the official Sonic Youth Twitter, a hilarious thing in and of itself, alerted the world to a new “audio sample” of the band’s upcoming Matador release The Eternal at (Quick request: SY’s ghost Twit–short url next time, please?) Naïveté perhaps, all things considered, to be surprised that a Newsweek blogger would be the one to land an “exclusive” preview, but good on Vox Pop for having the forethought to ask.

So now we have a two-and-a-half-minute band-made micro-mix, an album trailer of sorts, and it’s absolutely excellent. The streaming “mélange” functions as a toy kaleidoscope of Sonic Youth’s essential qualities: dark noise squalls, wobbly electro-saw wafts, thunder-punch segues. Kim’s all over the place on The Eternal, it seems, her gutter-junkie aggro-wail interspersed with her best breathy-succubus sigh singing; we also have words from Lee Ranaldo. Admittedly, there are a couple of clunky metaphorical jabs here that perhaps suffer from lack of context: “Leaky lifeboat/Called to shore” is ho-hum, if I’m hearing it correctly; and Mary Timony should be only non-cartoon allowed to deliver a line like, “Who shot the poison arrow?” But let’s be clear, any criticism is born out of caution–the preview sounds tremendous. Especially the three call-and-response seconds of “Anti-Orgasm”? Take that “Moist Vagina.”

Sonic Youth montage of The Eternal (MP3)

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