Night Music: Sonic Youth, “Teenage Riot”

This may be my favorite Sonic Youth tune. It seems to be all about getting psyched to make music, to think big thoughts, but then also recognizing that what the kids want matters, too.

Or maybe it’s about something else. I have to say I never really thought about meaning until just now.

What I like is the way the guitars resonate and chime, interweave and resonate, and chase the rhythm section, and the way Thurston Moore’s words evoke something, specifically, yet don’t seem to be pinnable to anything but his particular story.

Seven minutes never went by so fast. That means something.

One thought on “Night Music: Sonic Youth, “Teenage Riot”

  1. So here’s the Steve Moyer Sonic Youth story you’re all dying to hear:

    I was at the Allentown Fair a few years ago with my then-family. The grandstand show was Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees and I think some other band. I don’t know much about those bands so I didn’t go.

    We were by this little odd root beer stand where they tapped the root beer out of giant barrel. There stood Thurston Moore and probably some other Sonic Youths I wouldn’t recognize, laughing and joking, drinking root beer and taking pictures in front of the giant barrel.

    I tell my wife, “Hey, that’s Thurston Moore, the singer from Sonic Youth, the grandstand headliner tonight.” She says, “Why don’t you go talk to him?” I replied, “I don’t really like Sonic Youth very much and I wouldn’t know what to say.” So, she proceeds to go over and say, “My husband knows your band and he played in a punk band years ago, blahblahblah.”

    So I was forced to go over and attempt to make awkward conversation with Thurston Moore. I think we talked about The Ramones, which was the best, still-very-lame subject I could come up with at the spur of the moment.

    This is my favorite Sonic Youth. Mostly Sonic Youth, at least:

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