Rather Legendary - Oh My Rockness

Rockness Recommends

Rather Legendary

August 2, 2006
The McCarren Park pool shows are the talk of the summer, and it's not just because of all the solid bands playing. There's been much discussion about how the Saturday shows are too expensive and have insanely long beer lines (it's like, don't drink then) while the Sunday shows are free and have dodgeball, but the slip 'n' slides don't slip enough. People praise how cool it is to be outside in an empty pool, but it's too hot and they wish the pool had water. The praises and complaints, real and imagined, seem endless, which means it's the place to be.

But let's talk about the bands. And let's talk specifically about Sonic Youth, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Blood on the Wall. Why? Because they represent this week's Rockness Recommended Show (Sonic Youth and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are also playing the next night with Awesome Color. We chose the Blood on the Wall show because we've never seen AC play and we know we really like Blood on the Wall. It's not you, Awesome Color. It's me.)

Sonic Youth certainly needs no introduction. And for those who are like "Sonic who?" we won't belittle you by saying something stupid like, "How the hell could you have never heard of Sonic Youth." We will instead say, "Uh-duh, they were that band on Gilmore Girls." Sonic Youth's latest album, Rather Ripped, may be their best since their classic, Daydream Nation. If that's too hyperbolic for you, then it's certainly the best album they've put out in this decade. Thurston, Kim (rumor has it they are an "item") and company have definitely gone back to the rock. It's all about guitars and choruses and verses, with minimal sound manipulation. And if you want to remember what true rock sounds like, start by listening to that song "Pink Steam." I love rock. This band will be remembered forever, so see them so you can say you did.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs also need little introduction, but they aren't at the point (yet) where a scoff is mandatory should you claim ignorance about their existence. They're huge, but they're not huge-huge. I've seen them a few times and every show has been absolutely enjoyable. Karen O still does her karate kick thing, guitar hero Nick Zinner still rocks the "star power" riffs, and drummer Brian Chase still... drums. But the most recent show of theirs that I attended seemed a little less aggressive than their past shows... seemingly a little more "alternative" and "modern rock radio." They still delivered the goods though, especially when they played their older songs. It's pretty impossible to be disappointed when seeing a Yeah Yeah Yeahs show, but it's slightly less of a rock revolution than it was three years ago.

Opening is Blood on the Wall. What?!? You've never heard of Blood on the Wall? Are you stupid and a moron and not cool and barely a human being and... just kidding. NYC's Blood on the Wall play swirling, schizophrenic songs that are shaky and spastic, heartfelt and warm. They are for fans of Jesus and Mary Chain and Serena Maneesh and, well, Sonic Youth. They really bring it live, too. And you can be forgiven if you don't know them, because they're just a band after all. Hell, you can be forgiven for not knowing The Beatles. As Papas Fritas once said, "It's only rock 'n' roll."

Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Blood on the Wall play McCarren Park Pool, on Friday, August 11th.


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