Sonic Youth © KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Sonic Youth

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Sonic Youth Season 36 by John Howard

Drawing equal inspiration from the experimental proto-punk of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground and the avant-garde classical music of John Cage, Henry Cowell and Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth embodies the cosmopolitan, adventurous urban spirit of its New York City base. Formed in 1981 by guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo and bassist Kim Gordon, Sonic Youth quickly established itself in the NYC noise rock underground as a rising force with radical guitar tunings, clashing dissonance and waves of feedback. In the late 80s, the band added both drummer/missing piece Steve Shelley and bolts of melody, becoming superstars in the alternative rock underground on the strength of its landmark double LP Daydream Nation.

By the early 90s, the group had signed to major label powerhouse Geffen (to whom it brought the highly successful Nirvana), recording a series of acclaimed records, headlining the Lollapolooza Music Festival, guest-starring on The Simpsons and in general becoming one of the most influential rock bands of the past quarter of a century.

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