SOUNDTRACK: SONIC YOUTH-Sonic Death: Early Sonic 1981-1983 (1984).
This document shows just how scary a Sonic Youth show could have been back in their early days. Well, not scary so much as noisy! They mention that they’ve been touring with the Swans, so you can imagine how intense these shows must have been.
This record is kind of a mess. There’s no track listing (only 1 track on my copy of the disc). In fact, it’s mostly just snippets of songs and lots of distortion. The Wikipedia Page shows the approximate breakdown of where the snippets are (and it gives you something of a track listing). If you’re a fan of Sonic Youth circa Daydream Nation, and you haven’t heard their earlier stuff, don’t even bother with this. If you like Confusion is Sex and you want to hear what they sounded like live back then, pick this up.
Under all of the noise, it shows the band being silly, with snippets of conversations and tape manipulation…exactly the kind of homemade tape that you might expect from Thurston Moore’s own record label (and one of the first releases on the label). It seems like the kind of thing that nowadays would be included as bonus footage on a DVD, but heck, they didn’t do that back then. So this feel more a home recording.
So, before you go hunting down this out of print title, be aware of just what you’re going to get!
[READ: July 18, 2009] “A Fine Display of Capuchins”
When I was a philosophy major I read only a small amount of Sartre. I always wanted to read more, but never had call for it. I especially wanted to read his fiction, which seemed like it would be interesting, or at the very least, some of his not too demanding essay work.
And lo, here is a piece that had been untranslated until now.
This is a fascinating piece. Sartre goes into a crypt underneath a church in Rome. In the crypt he finds that it contains the bones of thousand of friars which were exhumed and transferred there in 1631. What is fascinating about the bones is that they are being used as decorations and even as furniture. Some of the bones have been turned into a bed, some have been turned into angels, and there are other displays available.
Sartre describes the scene in pretty rich detail. And he’s fascinated by the other people who are looking at the site with him. Two women are intrigued, while two others are utterly horrified; they find it a desecration and put their handkerchiefs to their mouths..
And Sartre’s observation sides with the horror. He can’t imagine why there is a sign that says “Do Not Write on Skulls” as if any scribbling could be a further desecration. He chides, “they exhume them with great pomp to turn them into building materials… the way the guards at Buchenwald made lampshades from human skin.”
Not a terribly uplifting piece, but what did you expect from Sartre anyhow? It is very evocatively written though.