Sonic Youth concert
From: Thursday, August 30 2007, 2:00 pm
to: Saturday, September 1 2007, 4:30 pm
Sonic Youth is a seminal American alternative rock group formed in New York City in 1981. As of 2007, the group comprises Thurston Moore (guitars and vocals) Lee Ranaldo (guitars, vocals and organ) Kim Gordon (bass guitar, guitar, and vocals) and Steve Shelley (drums).
In their early career, Sonic Youth were associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City, but have outlasted most associated bands. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, Sonic Youth carried out their interpretation of the punk rock ethos throughout the evolving American indie underground (as the title of their documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke demonstrates) that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound. They have found moderate mainstream success, and are generally seen as one of the leading alternative rock groups of their time.
Their inspirations were the likes of the guitar symphonies of Glenn Branca (with whom most of the band have performed), the heavy protopunk of The Stooges and The MC5 and the punk poetry of Patti Smith. Sonic Youth were often praised for "redefin[ing] what rock guitar could do" using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings, and preparing guitars with objects like screwdrivers to alter the instruments' timbre.
Members of the band have released books of poetry and prose, produced films, staged shows of visual art and more. There is also an abundance of musical material recorded and/or performed with other artists and side projects.