metal talk
twitter facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk

FEATURES
  SONIC YOUTH
'Hits Are For Squares' plus '1991: The Year Punk Broke' DVD
(Universal Music)

Phil Kane

phil kane

Pin It
Share |


'Hits Are For Squares' was originally released in 2008 on the Starbucks label. It is a compilation of sixteen tracks, the first fifteen being chosen by celebrities commissioned by Sonic Youth for the project. These tracks vary widely from the spiky Americana of 'Stones' through the punky buzz of 'Mary-Christ' to the avant-garde industrial clang of 'Tuff Gnarl'. The last track, 'Slow Revolution' was specially written for the album by the band. The best track on the album is the comparatively smooth and lush interpretation of 'Superstar'; ironically a cover of the Carpenters song (itself being a cover of a Delaney and Bonnie original).

cirithungolcover

Despite the album having a deep vein of experimental industrial punk Metal running through it, the music generally remains undemanding. Although the tracks have been chosen by a disparate bunch of people, there is a groove to the album that perfectly illustrates how Sonic Youth's joyous brand of eclectic rock has become established Americana rather than the shoe gazing racket that passes for indie these days.

Over all, apart from the specially recorded drone of 'Slow Revolution', 'Hits Are For Squares' holds nothing new for the hardcore Sonic fan but as a painless and unchallenging introduction to the richly eclectic back catalogue of this iconic American band, it is pretty damn good.

Article continues below...

 
 


Available on DVD for the first time, '1991: The Year Punk Broke' is billed as a pivotal film centred on life on the road during Sonic Youth's 1991 European tour. This may well prove more interesting to Nirvana fans because it shows the band performing some of the Nevermind album a few months before its release and their sudden meteoric ascension to the heady heights of superstardom.

The live tracks are separated by short monologues or vaguely choreographed skits filmed on a camcorder as they do the sights between gigs that offer none of the insights the blurb promises. It all just seems to be an excuse to be 'whacky' and far too clever for their own shirts whilst uttering mundane profundities in front of a camera.

Even the title of the DVD is ambiguous; does '1991: The Year Punk Broke' refer to punk becoming main stream or becoming FUBB? Like I said before, far too clever for their own good.

Sonic Youth's performances alternate with those of The Ramones, Nirvana, Babes In Toyland, Dinosaur Jr. and Gumball, all filmed as they ranged across Europe from one festival to another. The overall sound quality, despite being fully restored, re-synced and re-mastered in uncompressed PCM stereo is at best good bootleg quality but the performances themselves are fascinating and Sonic Youth's patronage and influence on bands that will soon pass them by is quite touching.

The edgy fly-on-the-wall camera work, skilful editing and production style betrays the DVD's yearning to have been at Woodstock, giving it a washed out, grainy sixties feel. There is over an hours worth of bonus material that includes the previously unreleased featurette '(This Is Known As) The Blues Scale' plus extra live Sonic footage and a rare performance of 'In Bloom' by Nirvana.

Maybe there is some sort of joke or message that this reviewer has missed but there is a scene on the DVD where Sonic's Thurston Moore takes the piss out of two little German girls as he interviews them. They cannot understand a word he is saying and I think that pretty much sums up this DVD in particular and Sonic Youth in general.

With this package Sonic Youth seem to not only go out of their way to take pot shots at those who have bought, or will buy this album (with its unflattering title), they also seem to contradict themselves. The band involving celebrity, the album being released on Universal Music and the original collaboration with Starbucks all seem to jar with their apparent anti corporate stand.

Fortunately for the band, the joke is so obscure that like the two little girls, no one will have the slightest idea what the band are babbling on about and so will nod their ersatz comprehension, smile and buy the album and/or DVD to use as coffee table bling anyway.

Job done then!

05.12.11


Pin It
Share |



Sign up here for your free MetalTalk Newsletter...

Yes, please send me the MetalTalk Newsletter
Please remove me from the list

Enter your e-mail address:

Please confirm your e-mail address:




HOW TO MAKE A DONATION TO THE RONNIE JAMES DIO STAND UP AND SHOUT CANCER FUND



 
sabctuary SANCTUARY POSTS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'EXITIUM (ANTHEM OF THE LIVING)'
Sanctuary continue that legacy that they started decades ago, delivering yet another fresh take on "classic-sounding" Metal...

electric mary ELECTRIC MARY ANNOUNCE MINI ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Australian five piece Electric Mary are back to spread Rock n' Roll's genuine flavour to Europe...

accept ACCEPT REVEAL LIVE CLIP OF 'PANDEMIC' FILMED IN FRONT OF 750,000 PEOPLE AT WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL 2014
UK fans can catch the band live at The Forum in London on the 27th November 2014...

hornet HORNET ANNOUNCE NEW EP AND SINGLE
"We really wanted to just expand the sound we already had by incorporating more of our influences to make our sound more modern and diverse..."

jimmy barnes JIMMY BARNES ANNOUNCES NEW 30th ANNIVERSARY ALBUM 'HINDSIGHT'
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Barnes' debut as Scottish born Australian rock singer-songwriter...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE SUPPORTS ANNOUNCED FOR FORTHCOMING TOUR
London based hard rockers Neonfly will support in the UK mainland, with Northern Irish Metalheads Conjuring Fate doing the honours at the Belfast and Dublin shows...

within temptation WITHIN TEMPTATION TO HEADLINE BLOODSTOCK 2015
Within Temptation appear as a UK exclusive. Prog Metal titans Opeth will also appear on the bill...

emigrate EMIGRATE CONFIRM NEW ALBUM FOR UK RELEASE VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
'Silent So Long' is the second album from the band formed by Rammstein's Richard Kruspe...

highway to hell WINNERS OF HIGHWAY TO HELL 5 ANNOUNCED
Texas Flood are the overall winners from an outstanding field, winning a contract and an appearance at Hard Rock Hell...

grim reaper THE LEGENDARY GRIM REAPER RETURN TO LONDON
Get down to the Boston Music Room on 27th September for Grim Reaper with Amulet and Dark Forest...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR NOVEMBER 2014
The 30th anniversary celebrations continue with a world tour including a trip to North America and a nine date UK leg...

eric martin MR. BIG SINGER ANNOUNCES UK SOLO ACOUSTIC TOUR
Eric Martin will play nine unplugged dates in December 2014 with a mix of solo and Mr Big material...

absolva ABSOLVA ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST
British classic Metallers Absolva are delighted to announce the appointment of new bassist Karl Schramm...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PLANS AND UPDATED TOURING SCHEDULE
Manowar will headline Loud Park Festival in Tokyo on October 18th 2014 and will then resume the 'Kings Of Metal MMXIV' World Tour...

skyscraper SKYSCRAPER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'MONDAY MORNING'
This dynamic band has been taking critics by storm with their inimitable brand of melodic hard rock...

the more i see THE MORE I SEE ANNOUNCE OCT/NOV TOUR WITH SAVAGE MESSIAH AND BULL RIFF STAMPEDE
Featuring world renowned guitarist Gizz Butt, the band always deliver incredible live shows that combine passion, energy and breathtaking musicianship...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND REVEALS Zē DETAILS AND ANNOUNCES SPECIAL ROYAL ALBERT HALL PERFORMANCE
Devin Townsend is extremely pleased to announce the release of long-awaited new double-album...

blastfest AT THE GATES, DARK FUNERAL, ROTTING CHRIST AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR BLASTFEST 2015
Bergen, Norway, former home of the legendary Hole In The Sky Festival and considered thee black metal capital of the world...

exodus EXODUS REVEAL SPECIAL GUESTS ON NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT'
Bay Area thrash Metal provocateurs Exodus proudly announce the special guests appearing on their latest showcase of unrefined rage...

panzer PANZER STREAMING LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'THE LAST MAN ON EARTH'
Brazilian thrash/stoner act Panzer have just released a new lyric video on for the second track of the album 'Honor'...

bush BUSH ANNOUNCE OCTOBER 20th RELEASE FOR 'MAN ON THE RUN'
Multi-platinum alt-rock band Bush have announced an October 20th release date for their highly anticipated new album...

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'LIVE FOR THE FIGHT'
The video features Luke Appleton (Iced Earth) who is playing bass for the band on the forthcoming European Tour...

giants of rock GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL: FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED
The reformed Family and pomp rockers Magnum will headline the event...

weapon uk ESTRELLA TO SUPPORT GILBY CLARKE ON TOUR AND ANNOUNCE A NEW SINGLE
The band are currently gearing up for a thirteen date trek with Clarke that includes dates in Wakefield, London and Edinburgh...

weapon uk WEAPON UK ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER
Weapon UK have tour dates confirmed in support of their critically acclaimed album 'Rising From The Ashes'...

amulet AMULET DEBUT ALBUM 'THE FIRST' RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER: FIRST TRACK NOW ONLINE
The album track 'Mark Of Evil' has just been uploaded to Soundcloud. Raise your fists and bang your heads on this one...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER'S GUITARS STOLEN FROM GERMAN RECORDING STUDIO
German police are examining evidence and the studio for fingerprints and DNA evidence to help catch the criminals...

jimi jamison JIMI JAMISON OF SURVIVOR PASSES AWAY AGED 63
Jimi Jamison, lead singer of Survivor, very sadly passed away on Sunday night...

distorted harmony DISTORTED HARMONY UNLEASH FOOTAGE FROM 'CHAIN REACTION LIVE!'
The Tel Aviv quintet are looking forward to bringing their show to Europe this November...

ensiferum ENSIFERUM TO BEGIN RECORDING SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM NEXT MONTH
"We are convinced that this will be a ground breaking album for us and the whole genre. Modesty? What's that?"...

les-fest wildfire LES-FEST WILDFIRE ANNOUNCES FURTHER ACTS FOR SUMMER 2015
Max Raptor, Anihilated and more join the stellar array of main stage bands...

mystery deeexpus THE HOUSE OF PROGRESSION & THE MERCH DESK PROUDLY PRESENT MYSTERY & DeeEXPUS LIVE
It's a night of Prog at The Borderline on Tuesday 9th September, one of three chances to see this unique pairing...

butcher babies BUTCHER BABIES ANNOUNCE DETAILS FOR UPCOMING 'UNCOVERED' EP
The breakthrough Metal act have chosen five of their favourite tracks to get a makeover...

avenged sevenfold AVENGED SEVENFOLD RELEASE NEVER BEFORE SEEN ORIGINAL VIDEO FOR 'UNHOLY CONFESSIONS'
Take a fresh look at the 2004 track taken from the essential 'Waking The Fallen: Resurrected'...

reckless ambition RECKLESS AMBITION AND DIRTY LIONS TO PLAY THE ROCK PATCH THIS SATURDAY
Anyone who hasn't seen Reckless Ambition, then you are in for a real treat...

meshuggah MESHUGGAH ANNOUNCE 25TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS IN EUROPE
Celebrate 25 years of musical deviance on this tour which includes a date a London's Roundhouse...

mr big MR. BIG CHANGE RELEASE DATE FOR NEW ALBUM "...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL"
The original line-up are back with some of their most powerful material to date and their signature hard rock sound...

well eavy 'WELL 'EAVY - VOL. 1' COMPILATION TO BE RELEASED BY HANGMAN - AMULET'S OWN LABEL
Get down to the free entry release party in Camden on 29th August...

slipknot DEF LEPPARD TO PERFORM NFL PRE-GAME SHOW AT FIRST LONDON NFL GAME OF 2014
Joe Elliott: "I know what the atmosphere in the ground is like for 'our' football so I'm really looking forward to performing there before the NFL game..."

slipknot SLIPKNOT REVEAL NEW ALBUM AND TOUR INFORMATION
'.5: The Gray Chapter' will be released on October 21 followed by US dates with Korn...

hard rock hell HARD ROCK HELL 8 ANNOUNCES MORE ACTS
The Vintage Caravan, Blue Pills, Horisont, Spiders and Santa Cruz have been added to the line up for November...

black star riders BLACK STAR RIDERS ANNOUNCE NEW PRODUCER FOR SECOND STUDIO ALBUM
Nick Raskulinecz replaces Joe Elliott at the desk for the 2015 release. "His resume is staggering, his reputation is stellar and his enthusiasm for our band and our songs is incredibly exciting..."

suzi quatro SUZI QUATRO TO RELEASE 'THE GIRL FROM DETROIT CITY' - A CAREER SPANNING 4 CD BOX SET
No sign of slowing down for Suzi as she also embarks on a massive live tour with plenty more to come...

paul rodgers HAMMERFALL REVEAL FOURTH ALBUM TRAILER FOR FORTHCOMING ALBUM '(r)EVOLUTION'
In the latest installment the guys discuss being back after a two year break...

paul rodgers PAUL RODGERS BRINGS 'THE ROYAL SESSIONS LIVE' TO THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL ON 3rd NOVEMBER 2014
Paul's soulful and exceptional voice teams up with some of Memphis's finest...

flying colors FLYING COLORS RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'MASK MACHINE'
The track is the first from the upcoming album 'Second Nature'. Members of the virtuoso band include Steve Morse and Mike Portnoy...

von hertzen brothers VON HERTZEN BROTHERS SET TO WORK ON ALBUM NUMBER SIX WITH "TOP-OF-THE-LINE" TEAM
The band are working with Grammy-nominated Canadian producer Garth Richardson and Juno Awards-winner mixer Randy Staub...

iced earth ICED EARTH'S JON SCHAFFER POSTS UPDATE FOLLOWING RECENT OPERATION
"We are forging the attack as I am recovering from surgery. The boys and I are ready to get back out there ASAP to lay down the Metal..."

coheed and cambria COHEED AND CAMBRIA ANNOUNCE LONG AWAITED VINYL REISSUE OF 'IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3'
This classic album fuses elements of hardcore punk, indie, pop, Metal and prog in a distinctive sonic universe...

blackberry smoke BLACKBERRY SMOKE 'LEAVE A SCAR: LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA' OUT NOW IN EUROPE
The outstanding live performance of Blackberry Smoke is now available for repeated listening...

babymetal BABYMETAL BRING THEIR WORLD TOUR 2014 TO THE UK
The Japanese phenomenon return to the UK in November to finish off a year of touring...

hawkwind HAWKWIND RELEASE 'SONIC ATTACK' SINGLE FEAT. BRIAN BLESSED ON SEPTEMBER 1
It's the musical collaboration we never knew we needed, until now...

magnum MAGNUM'S DECEMBER UK TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
The legendary British melodic rockers take acclaimed album 'Escape From The Shadow Garden' back on the road...

nashville pussy NASHVILLE PUSSY ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR OCTOBER
Southern US Hard Rockers will tour in the wake of rave reviews of their 'Up The Dosage' new studio album...

les fest wildfire WILDFIRE FESTIVAL LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
The festival with a track record of successful events is offering festival goers a unique opportunity be part of making Wildfire even bigger and better...

wovenwar DEBUT WOVENWAR ALBUM LANDS ON NUMBER 36 ON THE BILLBOARD TOP 200
See Wovenwar live at their debut UK appearances on the current European tour...

evile EVILE ANNOUNCE NEW GUITARIST - EX- FALLEN FATE GUITARIST PIERS DONNO FULLER
After months of auditions and rehearsals the band are confident that they have found the perfect man for the job...

darkest era DARKEST ERA ANNOUNCE HEADLINE SHOWS IN BELFAST AND DUBLIN
These two dates are in addition to the already announced seven date UK tour in support of their latest album, 'Severance'...

buckcherry BUCKCHERRY SAY FUCK IT AND RELEASE THEIR NEW EP ON AUGUST 18TH
The EP is simply titled 'FUCK' - six songs that unapologetically rattle the speakers as much as they will the censors..."

orphaned land ORPHANED LAND LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'LET THE TRUCE BE KNOWN'
"The tragedies we see in the Middle East are down to the fact that no negotiations, nor peace conventions, will ever help us achieve peace as long as hate, revenge, and self-victimisation are used as excuses for war..."

demonic resurrection PRO-FILMED FOOTAGE OF DEMONIC RESURRECTION AT WACKEN IS REVEALED
The band can be seen performing three numbers: 'The Demon King', 'Trail Of Devastation', and 'The Unrelenting Surge Of Vengeance'...

lacuna coil LACUNA COIL ANNOUNCE UK CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
"A melting pot of darkness, adrenaline, sick rock Metal and goth atmosphere is going to embrace you all soon..."

blackwolf tour PLANET ROCK PRESENTS BLACKWOLF, THE BREW & FIRE RED EMPRESS UK TOUR
Catch this sparkling line up on five dates this coming September...

mr big MR. BIG CONFIRM DETAILS OF NEW ALBUM "...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL"
The original line-up are back with some of their most powerful material to date and their signature hard rock sound...

neal morse NEAL MORSE LAUNCHES VIDEO FOR 'HEAVEN SMILED'
The opener from 'Songs From November' sees Morse in classic singer/songwriter mode...

hrh prog HRH PROG 3 ANNOUNCES RICK WAKEMAN TO HEADLINE NEXT SPRING'S EVENT
The Prog icon heads up an exceptional bill, with more to come...

billy idol BILLY IDOL ANNOUNCES UK LIVE DATES IN NOVEMBER
As well as the live dates, a new album and an autobiography will also be released this autumn...

mike portnoy MIKE PORTNOY TO JOIN BIGELF FOR UK/EUROPE TOUR
Portnoy has also contributed his drum work and arrangement skills to the band's latest album, 'Into The Maelstrom'....

martin barre MARTIN BARRE ANNOUNCES STUDIO ALBUM FEATURING TULL CLASSICS
'Order Of Play' is the studio version of the acclaimed show performing Tull classics with his talented live band...

accept ACCEPT REVEAL THIRD TRAILER DOCUMENTING NEW ALBUM 'BLIND RAGE'
Wolf Hoffmann talks about the ingredients needed to write a great song, as well as mentioning the guitarists who have influenced his playing...

avenged sevenfold AVENGED SEVENFOLD UNVEIL NEW TEASER FOR 'WAKING THE FALLEN: RESURRECTED'
"We have left no stone unturned in our quest to bring you the archived footage, rare and early recording and demos and live performances of the madness which set the pace for the Avenged Sevenfold we are today..."

hammerfall HAMMERFALL REVEAL THIRD ALBUM TRAILER FOR FORTHCOMING ALBUM '(r)EVOLUTION'
Watch for a sneak preview of the band's upcoming video for the track 'Hector's Hymn'...

tryptikon TRIPTYKON UNVEIL NEW VIDEO CLIP
The clip is an ominous visualisation of 'Aurorae', one of the most poignant and personal songs on 'Melana Chasmata'...

absolva BREAKING NEWS: DAN BATE LEAVES ABSOLVA; FURY UK LINE-UP REUNITED FOR EUROPEAN TOUR
"Although we're more than a little shocked at this turn of events, the situation has been entirely amicable and we have nothing but good to say about Dan..."

california breed CALIFORNIA BREED LINE-UP IS RE-ASSEMBLED
Bonham Out, Joey Castillo In - Bonham: "I wasn't going to be bullied into touring"...

wacken 2015 SAVATAGE TO REUNITE FOR WACKEN 2015 WHICH ALSO FEATURES TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA AND RUNNING WILD
The Savatage reunion gig will mark the band's first live performance in over a decade...

gus g GUS G. LAUNCHES NEW VIDEO FOR 'BLAME IT ON ME'
There are also videos of guitar tutorials and a recap of the recent European tour...

hammerfest HAMMERFEST ANNOUNCES HRH DOOM
It's an afternoon of Doom on Friday 13th March with a specialist stage...

persian risk PERSIAN RISK TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'WHO AM I'
The NWOBHM band, who reformed in 2012, are back with their third album...

the agonist THE AGONIST SET TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'EYE OF PROVIDENCE' IN NOVEMBER
The follow up to 'Prisoners' sees the debut of vocalist Vicky Psarakis...

sixx am MÖTLEY CRÜE'S NIKKI SIXX RELEASES NEW SIXX:A.M. ALBUM
Sixx:A.M announces long-awaited third album, 'Modern Vintage', with the first single available on August 4th ...

wolf cover WOLF PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SHARK ATTACK'
The video is taken from the album 'Devil Seed'. "No story, no acting, no bullshit - just full throttle velocity of in-your-face Heavy Metal..."

hammerfest 2015 HAMMERFEST ANNOUNCE MORE ACTS FOR MARCH 2015
Candlemass, Devilment, Raging Speedhorn, Hell, Hirax & many more join the event in Wales...

les fest wildfire LES-FEST ANNOUNCES FIRST DOZEN BANDS FOR 2015 AND A NEW NAME
Les-Fest-Wildfire is back in June 15 with Tygers of Pan Tang revealed as the first headliner...

striker STRIKER RELEASE PREVIEW TRACK FROM UPCOMING 'CITY OF GOLD' ALBUM
"It's about Heavy Metal and a good time. If you're having a party at your house, then put our CD into the player and drink some beer..."

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND REVEALS 2ND 'CASUALTIES OF COOL' VIDEO
The haunting video for 'Flight' is available to watch now. The long awaited stock of physical CDs of 'Casualties of Cool' have also arrived...
metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2014, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery