Daydream Nation and the Speculative Music of Sonic Youth

In October of 1988, Sonic Youth released Daydream Nation, an album littered with references to the speculative cyberpunk fiction of William Gibson. While I have never read Gibson’s work (though I have seen the god-awful film adaptation Johnny Mnemonic), it is my understanding that his writing predicted many of the technological and cultural developments we now take for granted, including the ubiquitous influence of computers and the Internet on our daily lives. Just as Gibson’s writings predicted these developments in technology, so too did Daydream Nation predict developments in rock music; if there is such a thing as “speculative music,” then surely Sonic Youth’s sprawling masterpiece (and really their early career as a whole) falls squarely into this category.

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Kane Roberts Attacks!

The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper.  After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.

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See All You Were: Beyond the First Four Danzig Albums

For many metalheads, Danzig’s discography ends with either III: How the Gods Kill or 4p. I on the other hand, celebrate Danzig’s entire catalog. While there’s no doubt that many of his latter-day works signaled a shift away from the bluesy, metallic hard rock that the Evil Elvis made his name on, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad albums, it just means they’re different.  So without further ado, let’s dig beyond the first four Danzig albums; deep, down you go…

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White Spot – Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears (self-released, 2015)

a0749226604_10Those of you that read IG on the regular or follow me on social media know that I’m always up for some good noise rock.  As such, White Spot’s Father Songs proved to be one of 2015’s most pleasant surprises so far, a noise rock album that showcased mainman/madman Marcus Lemoine’s knack for concise yet devastating songwriting and an attention to craftsmanship not often seen within the genre.

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-(16)- / Brainoil / Kowloon Walled City / Church @ Starlite Lounge, Sacramento, CA 04/25/16

039If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Sacramento in the ten months I’ve lived here, it’s that this city loves its doom and sludge.  I’m sure as hell not complaining, especially when we get shows of this caliber; long-running LA sludge godfathers -(16)- descending upon the Starlite Lounge along with Oakland sludge/punk legends Brainoil, SF noise rockers Kowloon Walled City and hometown doom-lords-in-the-making Church was indeed a dream show for fans of all things slow ‘n’ low.

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THKD’s Top 100 Metal Albums #12: Corrosion of Conformity – Wiseblood (Columbia, 1996)

wiseblood-51db93f64707eI often find that the seasons dictate my listening habits.  For instance, fall is all about the Misfits, Samhain and Type O Negative, while winter is a feast of frigid black metal (yes, even in California, ridiculous as that may seem).  Summer brings with it an obsession with Pepper Keenan-era Corrosion of Conformity and more specifically with Wiseblood.  Even though summer hasn’t officially hit yet, I already find myself blasting this album in the car with the windows rolled down as the days start to get warmer and the desire to spend them chained to a cubicle hits rock bottom.

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