Okay, I’ll take a break for a couple of posts, it being Serge Gainsbourg next, a man who it seems sacrilegious to write about in an office. (That’s not really the reason). Pitchfork reviews SYR5, the latest in Sonic Youth’s experimental series and a Kim Gordon solo project. Kristin Sage Rockermann’s first two paragraphs are sentimental but touching and her remaining several are Pitchfork-y but OK, but the basic problem is that her argument (SYR5 = rubbish) rests on quoting Kim Gordon’s spoken-word poetry-lyrics stuff from the record.

Which is indeed awful, of course it is, because it’s Kim Gordon spoken word stuff. The one great absolute weakness of Sonic Youth, any Sonic Youth (though as far as I know Steve Shelley has been too sensible to try it) is the spoken-word beat poet element. When they write rock lyrics, great. When they write poetry, ungreat. (Kim Gordon’s probably better than Lee Ranaldo, though on the other hand LR has a kind of endearing Springsteenesque naivety on some stuff). Anyway, where Rockermann comes a cropper is in quoting the opening bit of “Teenage Riot”, all the “You’re it / Say it, don’t spray it stuff”, which looks in cold type every little bit as crappy as the SYR5 excerpts. Why does she think they phased it all so much on the record? And yet, on the record, that stuff works. So your reader is left thinking, how come SYR5 doesn’t work, too? (Clue: it’s got ‘illbient’ bits).