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Coming June 9 : Sonic Youth’s ‘The Eternal’

February 12th, 2009 at 9:00 am by The Management

(album artwork features a painting by John Fahey)

Sonic Youth‘s 16th album, ‘The Eternal’, will be released on double vinyl, compact disc, and digital album by Matador Records on June 9.   Produced by John Agnello and the band, ‘The Eternal’ not only marks Sonic Youth’s return to the independent label sphere (titles on their own SYR label excepted) after a long association with Geffen, but more importantly, ranks as one of their more inspired efforts in a 28 year career.


(photograph by Andrew Kesin)

Recorded through November and December of last year at the band’s Echo Canyon West studio in Hoboken, NJ, ‘The Eternal’ features many firsts for a Sonic Youth album, including a number of shared vocals between Kim, Thurston, and Lee, and the studio debut of former Pavement/Dustdevils bassist Mark Ibold, a member of Sonic Youth’s touring band for the past few years.

The band’s current extracurricular activities are as always, quite varied.  The Kunsthalle in Dusseldorf, Germany is now hosting the touring museum exhibition SONIC YOUTH ETC.:  SENSATIONAL FIX, which focuses on the band’s multidisciplinary work since the band’s formation in 1981, including their collaborations with visual artists, filmmakers, designers and musicians. Kim Gordon launches a clothing line, Mirror/Dash, at Urban Outfitters on February 16, and is showing at The Armory Show in NYC March 5-8.   Lee Ranaldo, with co-conspirator Leah Singer, just opened installations at the Konsthall in Stockholm and the CNEAI in Paris, and he has a piece in the  travelling exhibition “Bad Moon Rising 3″, currently at Boots Contemporary Art Space in St. Louis.   A Beck/Sonic Youth split 7″ is being released by Matador on April 18 for Record Store Day.  And the band recently collaborated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (along with former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and mixed-media sound composer Takehisa Kosugi) on a work celebrating, and being performed for, Cunningham’s 90th birthday on April 16 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Upcoming SY shows include April gigs in Austria and Germany (including the closing of SENSATIONAL FIX in Dusseldorf) and May 16 at the No Fun Festival in Brooklyn.  They will be touring throughout the summer in support of ‘The Eternal’.

More information on these and the many, many other activities since the 2006 release of their last album, ‘Rather Ripped’, can be found here.

Of ‘The Eternal’, Matador’s Gerard Cosloy says, “We’ve not had a record in our recent history that’s been the subject of nearly as much speculation and anticipation.  Suffice to say we’re pretty amazed at the way the band delivered something this neoteric while still sounding like, well, themselves.  Less of a reinvention and perhaps more to do with a particularly awesome dozen songs.”

Matador will shortly announce a Buy Early Get Now scheme for the album with some very interesting bonus material.

Sonic Youth are:
Steve Shelley
Lee Ranaldo
Kim Gordon
Thurston Moore
Mark Ibold

Track listing:

1. Sacred Trickster
2. Anti-Orgasm
3. Leaky Lifeboat (for Gregory Corso)
4. Antenna
5. What We Know
6. Calming The Snake
7. Poison Arrow
8. Malibu Gas Station
9. Thunderclap For Bobby Pyn
10. No Way
11. Walkin Blue
12. Massage The History
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12 Responses to “Coming June 9 : Sonic Youth’s ‘The Eternal’”

  1. Professor Griff Says:

    “Neoteric”?

    Not a criticism, rather a pause … to run to the dictionary.

    Great to see the Fahey cover– that is definitely inspired, and I’m hopeful about the shared vocals, which in theory is a terrific way of breaking up familiar patterns of declamation.

  2. Gerard Says:

    I threw that in there fully anticipating someone would want to punch me in the head for it. What can I say, within every aging independent record industry vet there’s a frustrated PF contributor dying to bust out.

    OK, not really. But it’s a funny idea. Either way, I think people are gonna be pretty amazed when they hear this.

  3. Salman Says:

    Cool cover art. Can’t wait for this to come out.

  4. ben Says:

    exciting! i guess this means we get more than 2 lee songs for once? fingers crossed.

  5. Jo Says:

    “…features many firsts for a Sonic Youth album, including a number of shared vocals between Kim, Thurston, and Lee”
    Shared vocals a first? What’s ‘Cotton Crown’ then, to name just one?

  6. karen Says:

    hey sr. neoteric: “The{Y} will be touring throughout the summer in support of ‘The Eternal’” not “The”

  7. Pokokoketo Says:

    I love you golden blue!!!

  8. Gerard Says:

    “what’s ‘Cotton Crown’ then, to name just one?”

    a great song where I struggle to hear Lee?

    Nils metioned “Cotton Crown” straight away. He would’ve submitted a correction, but if he publicly contradicts me more than a dozen times any calendar month, he’s fined.

  9. Jo Says:

    D’oh, talk about reading too fast for my brain to assimilate! Thurston AND Kim AND Lee!! Sorry guys… And bring on the Buy Early news asap!!!!

  10. Malkmus Says:

    When did Mark join SY?

  11. Poor Guy Says:

    Hey, can I drop by your guys’ offices and hear this thing soon? I’m afraid I have a mysterious illness which will leave me dead before June 9.

  12. wheels Says:

    i thought that was pumkin head