Sonic Youth Releasing ’00s Rarities On New Album In/Out/In

Sonic Youth Releasing ’00s Rarities On New Album In/Out/In

Sonic Youth were still cranking out incredible music upon their dissolution in the early 2010s, and now we get to hear quite a bit more of it. Two months from today the band will release In/Out/In, a collection of rare and unreleased recordings from their final decade together — from the Jim O’Rourke era to the Mark Ibold era, if you will. Culled from sessions ranging from 2000-2010, the five-song collection is said to showcase Sonic Youth in their “especially zoned/exploratory regions,” with an emphasis on their instrumentals.

Our first preview “In & Out” bears out that description. One of the final Sonic Youth recordings, it was tracked at the band’s Echo Canyon studio space in Manhattan in 2010, with portions excerpted from a soundcheck in Pomona, CA, and included on Three Lobed Recordings’ Not The Spaces You Know… box set, with no official digital release prior to today. The song is a seven-minute sprawl that uses Kim Gordon’s mostly indiscernible vocals as one more ingredient in a creeping, searching adventure. In a new Rolling Stone interview, Lee Ranaldo reflects, “We were in a golden period.” Citing the new Beatles documentary Get Back, he continues, “It’s like what the Beatles had when started working at their own place. It didn’t last long for them, but for us, it lasted 10 years. After that, people were getting a bit more scattered and had a lot more outside interests going on. Things were more in flux.”

In the same interview, Ranaldo says Sonic Youth have no current plans to reunite despite multiple “blank check offers” from festivals over the years. “We’re all living and breathing, so you never know what the future will bring,” Ranaldo says. “But we have not entertained it at this point. It’s something that hangs out there and people are always asking about.” He says Gordon and Thurston Moore’s divorce is not the only factor inhibiting a reunion: “I’ve maintained my friendship with everyone in the band to speak to everyone with some degree of regularity, but learning all those old songs doesn’t appeal to me that much. The Sonic Youth way [for a reunion] would be to write new material, which would give us a reason to do anything — a whole set of new music as opposed to being a jukebox. And festivals aren’t the most rewarding thing to do except for your pocketbook.”

Ranaldo adds, “I don’t know where we would be if we hadn’t stopped. I go and see Wilco and they’re still on the road with all this gear. We were in that position at some point. But I guess my head is in a different space. I can’t imagine doing it that exact same way.” So I guess for we’ll have to settle for archival material like the deluxe reissues of Washing Machine and Sister that are in the works.

Listen to “In & Out” below.

01 “Basement Contender”
02 “In & Out”
03 “Machine”
04 “Social Static”
05 “Out & In”

In/Out/In is out 3/18 on Three Lobed. Pre-order it here.


more from New Music