Latest Break-Up In Music Allows Possibility Of Artist Reinvention
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Things have been rough lately. Losing R.E.M. and almost losing rapper Rick Ross to a seizure has been truly hard on the music lover's psyche, but the news of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore announcing their split is the final straw. Gordon and Moore, the power couple of 27 years that makes up two-fifths of Sonic Youth has announced their break up and, in turn, an uncertainty about the future of the band. This is a sad day for alternative music lovers everywhere.
If Kim and Thurston can't keep it together, what hope is there for the rest of us? You would think that a daughter named Coco, a house in Northampton, Mass. and 16 studio albums could keep a couple together like glue, but apparently the times are changing and that just doesn't cut it anymore. After all I have been reading on the subject, I still have no understanding as to why the couple actually broke up – no reasons are given. The five shows that the band already has scheduled for their fall tour from Nov. 5 through Nov. 14 in South America will continue, but Sonic Youth itself is still up in the air. Although Kim and Thurston have been married since 1984, Sonic Youth has been making experimental, alternative, and raw music since 1981. Alternative rock fans should keep their fingers crossed, but still be prepared to mourn Sonic Youth after the South American tour comes to a close in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sonic Youth is one of those bands that has such a rich history filled with great music that it's hard to pinpoint a climax in their career. Although Kim and Thurston eventually moved to New England to settle down as the picturesque punk rock family, their roots are in New York City. There is no way to properly discuss each of Sonic Youth's 16 amazing and individually unique albums, but Daydream Nation (1988) and Rather Ripped (2006) stand out. I can't properly envision my middle school years without hearing "Teenage Riot," probably the most famous song off the album Daydream Nation, playing in the background-a song which is one of the best, inspiring creative brain children of Kim and Thurston. Daydream Nation is one of the only rock albums that is preserved in the Library of Congress Recording Registry, further emphasizing its importance to rock ‘n' roll and its validation as a true masterpiece, by far one of the best albums of the 1980s. On Rather Ripped, a later album, one only has to listen to the track "What a Waste" to hear the band's perfect mixture of angry punk rock influences with experimental guitars and psychedelic sounds. On the track "Turquoise Boy," Kim's vocals are eerily reminiscent of the Velvet Underground's infamous and enigmatic German singer Nico, with her harmonious, androgynous whisper. Their cover of "Superstar" is chilling.
Clearly music fans all over the world are hoping that the band will remain intact despite this devastating news about the end of a romance, and truly the end of an era. However, if Sonic Youth did stay together, would the magic be gone now that the two most important components of the band have lost their spark for one another? Kim and Thurston constantly fed off of each other for ideas and share most of the bands vocals. Do we really want Sonic Youth without the Sonic Youth romance?
I say yes. At least one more album, just so Sonic Youth fans everywhere can have the chance to hear and to reject, or absolutely adore, a new album instead of longing for more after an abrupt end to a legendary band. Although dating and marrying someone in your band is always a risky thing, sometimes, great things happen. Case and point: Fleetwood Mac's Rumors. That album can be seen as a reflection of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's constantly tumultuous relationship, and it also happens to be one of the best rock albums ever. The tension between Nicks and Buckingham resonates through the entire album, and listeners everywhere love every minute of it. However, we're so used to Kim and Thurston being in love; they're famous for being the most relaxed and happiest rock ‘n' roll couple. This is not only a sad day for music, but also a sad day for romance.