Live: Sonic Youth at the Soho Apple Store, Which Isn’t That Weird, Actually


Sonic Youth
Soho Apple Store
Tuesday, June 9

“It’s so quiet,” says Kim Gordon, and it instantly gets even quieter, everyone instinctively inhaling with anticipation, because Kim’s not one for banter unless she’s thought of something profound.

“One would think it’s a temple to technology.”

And as the tittering laughter subsides, we’re off to “Anti-Orgasm,” in all its full-blown, full-volume electric mayhem. I am sitting +/- seven feet from Thurston Moore’s amp, a thrilling and transcendent experience that will hopefully grant me some sort of psychic power to compensate for my hearing loss. The vast majority of us are seated, in fact, in what is indeed a temple to technology, in a space more commonly given over to Mac OS X Leopard Workshops. Our opening act: “I’m a Mac”/”I’m a PC” commercials. We’re past the point, I think, of sassing Sonic Youth over shit like this. Not that they ever cared.

We get 45 minutes of possibly-too-them new record The Eternal, which is them all right, i.e. punishingly loud and exuberantly surly, particularly “No One,” Thurston howling “I ain’t talkin’ to you no more” before joining Lee Ranaldo and Kim on yet another violently beautiful guitar freakout, newish-guy bassist Mark Ibold mirroring both Steve Shelley’s cheery demeanor and blunt, workmanlike approximation of what in this band passes for “funky.” A roadie darts in after every song to swap out large-font lyric sheets; no such luxury is necessary for our encore, “Hey Joni,” as desperate and devastating as ever, goofy setting aside. They’re truly the best Genius Bar band in America.

In 140 characters or less: “Hi, I’m a Mac.” “And I’m a P-[BRARWRRWARRRRARWRRWARRRR].”