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Goodbye 20th Century Import

3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 18 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sonic Unyon Records
  • ASIN: B00002R0NC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
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Disc: 1
1. Edges - Sonic Youth
2. Six - Sonic Youth
3. Six For New Time - Sonic Youth
4. + - - Sonic Youth
5. Voice Piece For Soprano - Sonic Youth
6. Pendulum Music - Sonic Youth
Disc: 2
1. Having Never Written A Note For Percussion (James Tenney)
2. Six (John Cage)
3. Burdocks (Christian Wolff)
4. Four (John Cage)
5. Piano Piece #13 (George Maciunas)
6. Piece Enfantine (Nicolas Enfantine)
7. Treatise (Cornelius Cardew)

Product Description

The fourth release in Sonic Youth's series of experimental excursions, Goodbye 20th Century could be a stubborn broadside against the critics that lambasted the Youth's last proper album, A Thousand Leaves, for being too safe. No danger of that here, though; Goodbye 20th Century is a tribute to the Century's avant-garde artists, reprising tracks by the likes of John Cage, Yoko Ono and Christian Wolff. So, far-out is definitely in--tracks vary from a sprawling, thirty-minute take on Cage's eerie, hyper-minimal "Four" to a thirteen-second cover of Yoko's "Voice Piece For Soprano"--essentially, Thurston and Kim's daughter screaming three times into the microphone. The most interesting track of Goodbye 20th Century also comes as a CD ROM film--a cover of George Maciunas' "Piano Piece 13 (Carpenter's Piece)", it consists of the Youth hammering nails into the keys of their studio piano. Sadly, though, even they don't seem to be having a lot of fun. Goodbye 20th Century is not for the faint-hearted. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
why should you own this album is the question to be asked here. If you come to SY from the grunge years(goo and especially dirty) then forget it. this is a long (2cds at 70m+ each) album, and there is a lot of peices that at first glance appear meandering, theres no 'songs' on it per se, much less guitar abuse. there is however, a lot to be found if you can have patience with it.
one peice, a 30 minute rendition of john cage's four6 stands out in particular. it reminds me of how zen buddhists train zen disiples by confusing and disorienting them till they finally 'get' zen(maybe the zen practitioner cage had this in mind?). this peice confused me greatly until i put the cd on to keep me awake after a sleep less night. suddenly every slight change of direction, tonality became beautiful, whereas before its constant apparant lack of focus annoyed me.
the idea of an avant garde covers album could mean an album of concept over tunes, but here the concept of the peices and the practice of each are so well married that you rarely notice the seams (with the possible exception of christian wolff's burdocks)and for the long suffering SY fans, we have the vocal mike feedback of reichs pendulum music, and the tidal wave noise of tenneys having never written a note for percussion.
a must buy for those with open ears to ideas.
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Format: Audio CD
A very bizarre, unconvential, punkish, release from Sonic Youth which is both one of their most trippy but in a different way from previous releases...rather than combining gritty alternatvie rock, left-of-center lyrics, and extened guitar dissonace for deep cosmos psychadelic tripping..this is something all the while different, like they'd stopped midway on their trip and spent a couple lightyears landing on a planet, and a cople galaxies exploring it..what I mean is the album is a collage of various artists playing random instruments for however long they want, which can either annoy you or trance you deep into the world they are exploring...
Hard to pick certain tracks for they seem to fit in the same category of punkish ambience...I listened to this entire thing twice over while writing stream-of-conciousness passages for a novella. This is very good for that, and even if you don't want to write down whatever passes by yr. purty little head, then just see it...let the music warp you in like a good drug, it let's your mind wander thru a series of complex and complicated dreams (or nightmares)...there are some speaking parts. Kim does her own interpretation of Goldilocks & THe Three Bears in the first track, Renaldo narrates another track with scarce freeform poetry. Can't remember names, in this case why should it matter?
Anyway, you'll either love or hate this cd. If you want to expereince SY at their most popworthy get Washing Machine or Goo or Dirty... these are easily their more accessible, then get artier with Daydream Nation and anything beforehand and A THousnad Leaves and NYC Ghosts & Flowers...then this cd will be able to entertain you. If you are are already into highly experimental music such as Mr.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a brilliant tribute to some of the most important musicians of the last century, made in a way that only a successful pop outfit could manage. The most important meeting of "real" art and pop since John Lennon's brush with Fluxus.
I especially like the cheeky adaption of Reich's "Pendulum Music" - so different from Reich's own versions with soft, consonant feedback sounds, Sonic Youth embrace harsh, screeching feedback to describe the fractal harmonic rhythms and make an utterly beautiful work, full of fascinating depth of sound. Christian Wolff's "Burdocks" is reinterpreted for a new generation, giving it new life and making it as fresh as today.
Congratulations to Sonic Youth and their illustrious collaborators (ie O'Rourke and Willie Winant) for putting integrity before profit and bringing some of the most inventive minds of the last century to a wider audience.
This album will still be relevant long after their "normal" albums have slidden into mere nostalgia.
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By A Customer on Feb. 20 2000
Format: Audio CD
To the fellow who's review contained this statement: "In any event, it would seem laughable that anyone could draw any connection between Sonic Youth's interpretations and original works (in any category of music)." I would have to totally disagree with you here. Having heard the works of John Cage, Christian Wolf, James Tenney, Cornelius Cardew and Steve Reich there is a connection by SY's interpretations. Connecting these intrepretations to the original (if there is such) is not the intention here, yet you cannot disregard the ideas of the composers. Eventhough these pieces incorporate improvising, most of the works are composed and are documented as such and SY used the 'scores' as they were guidelines (i.e. Cornelius Cardew's 'Treatise' is a 193 page graphic score). There are obvious references to the composer's intentions in these interpretations, that is if you listen closely and if you've heard their works before. Yet it isn't necessary to be aquainted with them. Laughable? i think not...The original composer's intentions of these works are not entirely "serious" or "high-brow avant-gardisms", for instance John Cage did many things to break that down (i.e. his silent piece 4'33") and i think Sonic Youth here have continued in that idea.
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