The Eternal, complete with its “heavy ass weirdo hooks,” is Sonic Youth’s 16th album, but the band (now with Mark Ibold) come off as energized as ever in this clip of them performing the Lee Ranaldo track “What We Know” on Jools Holland. Lee’s songs nail a sort of blustery darkness that makes me think of a NYC pulse that doesn’t actually exist in NYC: Just wait for the middle breezy noise section. The folks at Matador have this to say about the track:

Charging forth with a riff in reference to Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, Lee sings a triptych to identity and unity.

Of course. Pay attention to Jools’s intro. He seems drunk.

If you want some more, here’s another listen to “Sacred Trickster,” which finds Kim referencing Yves Klein and Noise Nomads, a band Mr. Moore recently brought to NYC from MA to play his Santos Session. It’s all circular.

The Eternal is out 6/9 on Matador.

UPDATE: “Sacred Trickster” / “Antenna”

Comments (14)
  1. Wait, what year was that first SY broadcast, Jools?

  2. Bender Bending Rodriguez  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    Not drunk, just Jools being Jools, not wanting to remind us how long he’s been hosting. And any criticism of the man who wrote “Wrong Side of the Moon” is just not appreciated round these parts. Now good day to you, sir!

  3. Sal  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    It was 1992, I remember it well because I’m old. I was at school at the time and they performed Drunken Butterfly and Sugar Kane, we all talked about it the next day it was that good. But that performance from Monday night’s show was simply awesome. I can’t wait for the new album.

  4. alex  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    it’s crazy/awesome to think that most of the members are 50+ years of age.

  5. Drake Tungsten  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    this was great!

  6. Ben  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    Nope, Jools ain’t drunk…he’ just slurred the year for comic effect.

  7. brian  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    hey guys, guess what leaked?

  8. Evol Love?  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2009 0

    Does Sonic Youth refer to the Kim Gordon’s vagina which keeps Thurston forever young?

  9. matthew  |   Posted on May 1st, 2009 0

    sorry people, but that song is not good. the noisy bit in the middle is kind of interesting, but that chord progression and those terrible lyrics would be blasted if played by anyone other than rock royalty like SY…dont get me wrong. they’re a great band. but this isn’t up to par.

    • Mant  |   Posted on May 1st, 2009 0

      Yes, it’s not quite as poetic as “And the boys say ‘Hey Goo, what’s new?’ My friend Goo just goes ‘Hey you!’”

  10. Antenna is the kinda song I can imagine sonic youth, if not someone else, doing a great acoustic version of.

  11. Dick Bowser  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 0

    man.. I’m sorry, but these guys are way past over. grinding out the same schtick since daydream. and now the kiddies love them as their token old timers. feh.

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