Sonic Youth Covers John Cage, Yoko Ono For Double LP

After making its latest stab at crossover (i.e. commercial) success with last year's "A Thousand Leaves," the avant garde noisemakers of Sonic Youth will return to its experimental roots with a new double CD, "SY4: Goodbye 20th Century," due out on November 8.

Sonic Youth will issue "Goodbye" on its own SYR label, through which the band has already issued three instrumental recordings, "SY1" in June 1997, "SY2" in September 1997, and "SY3," a collaborative effort between the band and Jim O'Rourke, in February 1998.

The 13 tracks for "Goodbye" were recorded between March and August of this year and features one original song, entitled "Six For New Time For Sonic Youth," as well as covers of experimental pieces from the likes of John Cage, Yoko Ono, and James Tenney.

The dual LP was co-produced by Mr. Bungle percussionist William Winant, who plays with Sonic Youth on ten "Goodbye" cuts. O'Rourke and violinist Takehisa Kosugi also pitch in for several songs on both discs.

The track listing and (original composers) for "SY4: Goodbye 20th Century:"

Disc 1:

  • "Edges" (Christian Wolff)
  • "Six" (John Cage)
  • "Six For New Time For Sonic Youth" (Pauline Oliveros)
  • "+ -" (Takehisa Kosugi)
  • "Voice Piece For Soprano" (Yoko Ono)
  • "Pendulum Music" (Steve Reich)
Disc 2:

  • "Having Never Written A Note For Percussion" (James Tenney)
  • "Six [4th Take]" (John Cage)
  • "Burdocks" (Christian Wolff)
  • "Four6" (John Cage)
  • "Piano Piece #13 [Carpenter's Piece] For Nam June Paik" (George Maciunas)
  • "Piece Enfantine" (Nicolas Slonimsky)
  • "Treatise [page 183]" (Cornelius Cardew)

-- David Basham