Posted in music | pictures on May 21, 2009

photos by Lori Baily, words by Andrew Frisicano

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth ended the second night of 2009's No Fun Fest with a seated set of distorted guitar noise and drums. Instead of Lee Ranaldo (who was busy at Cannes?), guitarist Bill Nace performed with the band. (No Mark Ibold either.) The noise shifted from heavy chords, made by drum stick on guitar, to strangely tender sustained feedback and sample-and-hold-esque, skittish riffs. Like a standard SY set, Steve Shelley's tom-heavy drums weighted the action and marked changes in movements. His pummels echoed the intro to "Wipe Out" as the three others on stage took to twisting SY's sonic palette into a No Fun appropriate adventure. After one 20-minute-or-so sustained set, the musicians left the stage. A brief encore continued in the same vein. Kim Gordon intoned into the microphone ("I don't want to leave you behind," I think), causing not a few crowd-members to peak up with hopes of some classic or The Eternal material. No such luck. After four more minutes of music, the band left for good.

Radio23.org, who streamed the SY set and other parts of the fest live, tweeted, "I think we can excuse the Youth as no one else has delved into short-form improv so far... We liked the 3min30sec encore :)" Other bands on the night's bill included Blank Dogs, Mattin, C Spencer Yeh, and Pedestrian Deposit. Hearts Arena wrote...

Pedestrian Deposit: Most thrilling set of the fest so far. Even the dillweeds in the audience were quieted by the end of this. Pedestrian Deposit explores and exploits the frayed edges of sound and texture, wherever they find them on the spectrum. Moving with aplomb from penetrating high ends to heaving silences pulled back from the edge of explosive noise and percussion and then off to the final gorgeous tones of the cello. Soft landing. Everybody in that room knew that something special had just happened. Me, ecstatic.
TripWire said....
Yellow Tears was the unexpected surprise of the night, winning over everyone in the room with their meticulosuly warped sample manipulations and sounds. Out of all the bands, here's one that took the twenty minute time slot and really found inspiration, breaking into sweat and taking off their shirts, and getting genuinely into it. The stage was illuminated by a single bright red light bulb. The best part of the set was the member who kept striking a large scrap of metal and sending it through various effects processors, throwing it onto the ground and making a spectacle yet wrenching some pretty freaking insane and wicked sounds from it. Their energy was welcome and the crowd response was thunderously approving from the sold-out crowd. A dude on the L train was raving about them on the way back, displaying the record he bought of theirs; I have a feeling he's not the only one.
Bardo Pond played a set right before Sonic Youth, and a few others played the second night too. Who was your favorite? Review and pictures from Night One, HERE. More pictures and videos from Night Two, below...

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Mattin

Mattin

Mattin

Mattin

Yellow Tears

Yellow Tears

Yellow Tears

Yellow Tears

Yellow Tears

Yellow Tears

Blank Dogs

Blank Dogs

Blank Dogs

Blank Dogs

Pedestrian Deposit

Pedestrian Deposit

Pedestrian Deposit

Pedestrian Deposit

Sons of God

Sons of God

Sons of God

Sons of God

Sons of God

Sons of God

Sons of God

Sons of God

Rafael Toral with C. Spencer Yeh

Rafael Toral with C. Spencer

Spencer

Spencer

Spencer

Spencer

Spencer

Spencer

Bardo Pond

Bardo Pond

Bardo Pond

Bardo Pond

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth

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Night one HERE.

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Comments (32)

terrible

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 10:51 AM

Yellow Tears destroyed.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:01 AM

looks painful

but if you wanted a normal SY set you should not have gone to this - obviously

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:04 AM

it was to be expected...i think its lame that they had this advertised as a sonic youth gig though if lee and even mark werent playing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:05 AM

mark is not a member of sonic youth. he is a crutch because they finally realized kim gordon does nothing on guitar or bass.

bardo pond played one song and then some noisy long jam, which was good. sonic youth was awful. but hey, it was no fun fest, did you expect it to be fun? this was not wolf eyes at the hook, i'll tell you that.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:13 AM

one of the worst nights of music that i have ever been to. with the exception of those old guys seizuring in sons of god

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:14 AM

Thuston Moore: "We're going to compose something distinct for No Fun -- it will be fucking insane..."

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2009/04/thurston_santos.html

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:17 AM

"one of the worst nights of music that i have ever been to"

Hahaha classic. Good one.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:25 AM

Mattin with that guy heckling him from the balcony, that was a set up, right? I mean that was fake, I think. What do you think?

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 11:30 AM

no the heckler was real. he had right to say his piece as he paid for his tkt. i thought Mattin, the german was a total douche, and a boring one at that. he flung several objects into the audience incl a pair of metal glasses that could have damaged someone's eye. keep it up and MHoW is in for a big lawsuit with that kind of shit.

Sons of God was idiotic, contrived and silly beyond words.

yes, i thought Yellow Tears was the only interesting band on the bill and gave an excellent performance blending equal measures of noise, music and inspired live show.

Posted by Hammer | May 21, 2009 11:46 AM

Looks like No Fun Fest lived up to it's name.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 12:43 PM

i went to the first no fun fest...i think it was 2003...it was horrible then as well.

the only act i liked was the dream aktion group with jim o'rourke and chris corsano...corsano actually is one of the very few talented people in that scene...he is an unbelievable drummer and a super nice guy...i think he moved to london.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 1:06 PM

Sonic MEHth

Posted by Tina | May 21, 2009 1:11 PM

Mattin was hilarious. I want to touch his monkey.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 1:20 PM

MEHtin

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 1:25 PM

Noise "music" is the most fucking vapid sham of all time.

Posted by Sacred Absolute Hipster Cow | May 21, 2009 1:26 PM

Noise music is the only thing worth listening to. All of these bands were fucking amazing.

(with exception of Blank Dogs, who fucking suck and apparently missed the memo that this was an experimental music fest not the place to play their fucking garage rock, you want to do that play the pop fest, happening same weekend...)

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 1:38 PM

for those geniuses who figured out that lee wasn't with SY, did you also realize that Conrad Schnitzler was actually keith whitman?

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 2:14 PM

^^^
oh snap, we got a smarty pants in the house-
how odd.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 2:19 PM

The second and third nights were far better than the first, which was at its absolute peak just serviceable. I'm glad my 40th time seeing Sonic Youth wasn't the standard "album songs" set. It was refreshing, to me anyway.

Mattin is Basque, not German. So much of the heckling was pointless.

Lori Baily rules. Stefano Giovannini, not so much.

Posted by Jenn | May 21, 2009 2:23 PM

Pointless heckling is the most fun.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 2:31 PM

1. Hi, are you Keith Fullerton Whitman?
2. Who?
1. Keith Fullerton Whitman.
2. No.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 2:37 PM

Keith Fullerton Whitmehn

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 4:00 PM

C. Spencer Meh

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 4:08 PM

Smehgma

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 4:29 PM

sonic youth were a total waste, but i really enjoyed bardo pond.

Posted by scooper | May 21, 2009 5:13 PM

yep, sonic youth was rather lame and so we've all been rather gipped

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 5:22 PM

Yellow Tears - RULED

Stefano Giovanni - douchebag, totally tried to make a random girl in the audience hold his detachable flash for him the whole show after he pushed to the front for no good reason. Thanks douche.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2009 6:00 PM

haha Stafano Giovanni dont fuck with the noise fans! This guy has been disrupting shows as long as I can remember with his douchebag ways and yet this is the first time I remember he is getting called out on it.

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 1:32 AM

Sick LlaMEH

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 2:31 AM

MEHrzbow

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 11:41 AM

great pics Lori! and very great you just so happened to use Jenn's (from above) vids, they made me wish i could have attended

but yeah on Stefano, i know he is close with the band and all, but he did the same thing at the Hoboken SY shows in 05, pushing his way up front and doing that shit, and just being rude, I am glad to hear people have stood up to him for it

Posted by Patrick | May 22, 2009 4:26 PM

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