Jesse Jarnow

“agnes b musique” – sonic youth

“Agnes B Musique” – Sonic Youth (download) (buy)
from SYR7: J’Accuse Ted Hughes (2008)

(file expires April 30th)

One testament to the productivity of Sonic Youth is the insane and amazing bootleg site Kill Yr Idols, which posts at least one album/cassette/7-inch by Sonic Youth or its members pretty much every day. Totally illegal, fersure, but an exception should be made for the nobility of the cause. (“Downloading keeps the links alive: please link this site on blogs, forums,” they proudly proclaim.) The territories keep growing. The newest ephemera, an entry in the venerable and psychedelic SYR series, and released on vinyl only earlier this week, isn’t up yet, but it surely will be soon.

In some ways, both jams on SYR7 — “J’Accuse Ted Hughes” (from All Tomorrow’s Parties in April 2001) (2000, according to KYI) and “Agnes B Musique” (from the band’s Murray Street studio in 2001) — could be drawn from almost anywhere in the musicians’ vast collective/solo/side-project output. In theory. In practice, it’s the Jim O’Rourke-era lineup, demonstrating why they’re Sonic Youth. On “Agnes B Musique,” Steve Shelley hangs quietly behind an improv begins genially, the sheets of glittering noise coming later, drones within pulses within drones. Good with the lights off and the headphones on.