Sunday, 24 October 2010


A Sonic Youth fan confounded his friends yesterday by claiming to enjoy the latest Thurston Moore solo seven-inch. ‘Amplifier’s Lament’, on the Not Very Important independent label, features two sides of nothing but squealing feedback and a looped sample of metal drum stands being scraped across a blackboard, to the non-rhythmical backing track of a home recording of Kim Gordon assembling a flatpack Ikea double wardrobe without the aid of tools save for an amputated piano leg. The sleeve to the record features imitation abstract art and boasts “Dedicated to Stockhausen and Kerouac” in attempt to ascribe the indulgent mess an element of gravitas.

Upon receiving the seven-inch in the post, which had been mail-ordered from online record store (“for music more outside than Captain Oates”), the fan slipped the record out of its sub-Joan Miró sleeve, placed it daintily upon his gramophone, lowered the needle carefully, sat down, folded his legs, gazed upwards towards the ceiling, and arrogantly proceeded to nod along to a rhythm that didn’t exist whilst stroking his bearded chin as if appreciating the unholy racket being shat into his ears on a level quite unattainable to normal people. When pressed by his friends on what exactly they were missing, the fan mumbled his meaningless stock phrases of “avant minimalism”, “post-noise experimentation”, “Steve Reich-isms”, and “taking rock to its logical conclusion”. The friends remained unconvinced, leaving him to enjoy the cacophony alone as they departed to attend a Fleet Foxes concert with some girls.

After they had gone, the fan gave the record a couple more spins before logging onto the internet to see if the latest proper Sonic Youth LP was available for preorder yet from the Matador website, secretly anticipating the prospect of listening to something with comprehensible lyrics, conventional rhythms, pop sensibilities, vocal melodies, and some actual bloody music on it.