Daydream Nation 30 Years Later — My Latest for Splice Today

I first listened to Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation twenty years ago when I was 15, and my first reaction was, “What the fuck is?” I knew that Sonic Youth was supposed to be these incredible alternative rock pioneers that toured with Nirvana shortly before Nevermind came out, and Kim Gordon had a brief cameo in an episode of The Simpsons, but didn’t know anything else about them.

The hip alternative DC radio station at the time, WHFS, wasn’t hip enough to play Sonic Youth, and Spotify didn’t exist, so I had to go to Sam Goody and buy Daydream Nation to see what the big deal was. I hated it. It was noisy, it was repetitive, and the lyrics didn’t make a bit of sense.

As time passed, the album grew on me. I now get why Daydream Nation—which is 30 years old today—matters so much. It’s a work of modern art that should featured at the Hirshorn Museum, and a bridge between the underground 1980s alternative music scene and the early—90s alternative rock explosion.

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Bacchae Keeps DC Punk Alive — My Latest for Splice Today

The DC punk scene may have died down after Fugazi’s 2003 breakup, but the nation’s capital is currently seeing a new generation of bands picking up where Ian MacKaye left off. One such band is Bacchae, who gives the #MeToo movement the riot grrrl soundtrack it needs. With their punchy guitars, catchy synth melodies, and Katie McD’s high-pitched vocals, Bacchae’s sound is more B-52s than Bad Brains. Under the music’s playful nature, however, lays a giant middle finger to the patriarchy.

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Learning to Love Tommy — My Latest for Splice Today

I was 10 when I first discovered The Who’s Tommy. I rented the cassette tape of the 1975 movie soundtrack, and fell in love with the story of the deaf, dumb, and blind boy who could play a mean pinball. Four years later I watched the movie, and hated it. It was over-the-top and confusing. Luckily I bought the original 1969 Who album shortly after, which washed the awful taste of the movie out of my mouth. It’s still one of my all-time favorite albums.

Now almost 35, I’ve grown to appreciate director Ken Russell’s cinematic interpretation of Tommy. Not only did he bring Pete Townshend’s vision to life, but also added his own interpretation to the story. Tommy tells the story of a boy who becomes psychosomatically deaf, mute, and blind after watching his father kill his mother’s lover. He experiences the outside world through vibrations, and his parents subject him to the abuse of his Cousin Kevin, Uncle Ernie, and the Acid Queen. Despite his disability, Tommy becomes a pinball champion, and when he finally regains his senses he’s hailed as the new messiah. Unfortunately, he abuses his power, his followers disown him, and the story ends with Tommy realizing true enlightenment comes from within.

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My Top Five Favorite Bowie Albums — My Latest for Splice Today

David Bowie gave all the Jean Genies of the world permission to let themselves go and be their true kooky selves. For the two-year anniversary of his passing, here are my top five favorite albums of his.

5). Earthling (1997)

Electronic dance music (EDM) was inescapable in 1997, so Bowie took the opportunity to reinvent himself once again for a new audience. The result is his most underrated album. From the drum-and-bass rhythm of “Little Wonder” to the industrial rock paranoia of “I’m Afraid of Americans,” Bowie proved he could survive pop cultural natural selection by adapting to the evolving musical landscape.

4). Station to Station (1976)

By the mid-1970s, Bowie removed the make-up and dresses for good, and introduced the world to a brand new persona: the Thin White Duke, a “very Aryan, fascist type; a would-be romantic with absolutely no emotion at all but who spouted a lot of neo-romance.” This character was less sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, and more cocaine, Hitler, and the occult. But even out of this chaos, Bowie was able to create the dancing star known as Station to Station, a synthesis of the American soul music of Young Americans and his follow-up Berlin trilogy. Highlights on this album include the funky “Golden Years,” the soft “Word on a Wing,” and the haunting epic title track.

Read the rest here.

This will probably be my only ST article for this week because I’m working on two articles for Ravishly, two interviews for the Bi Any Means Podcast, next week’s episode of the Biskeptical Podcast, and my portion of the workshop I’m co-leading at this month’s Creating Change conference.

The Spin Off #1: In the Court of the Crimson King

Well, friends, it’s finally here: my new side-project podcast, The Spin Off! It’s a monthly podcast where Jeremiah Traeger from The SJW Circle Jerk, Chris Watson from The Podunk Polymath, and I review our favorite prog rock albums. In our first official episode, we review King Crimson’s 1969 debut “In the Court of the Crimson King,” arguably the first prog rock album.


Listen to “The Spin Off #1: In the Court of the Crimson King” on Spreaker.


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