Well, THIS rules. The wonderful music blog Aquarium Drunkard has shared a set of MP3s documenting a 1992 Sonic Youth performance at Brixton Academy. That show was legendary and has fortuitously been preserved in really high quality—the bill that night also included Pavement, whose set was recorded for broadcast by the BBC. That Pavement set became the essential bootleg Stray Slack, which DM’s Martin Schneider mentioned in a post just under a year ago. The Beeb kept the recording going for Sonic Youth, and their set was the subject of the bootleg Splitting the Atom, though I’m unclear on whether that boot was indeed the actual BBC tapes, or an audience recording. A shaky-cam video exists of the set as well, but the sound frankly blows.
This was around the time when Sonic Youth had begun encroaching on the mainstream, and were accordingly upping their rock-out levels for the album Dirty, from whence half of this set is drawn. There isn’t much deep catalog here, they were clearly in promotions mode: EVOL is represented by “Tom Violence,” and a spirited take on Sister‘s opener “Schizophrenia” is present, and a couple of tunes hail from Goo—amazingly, there’s not even a single track from their untouchable landmark Daydream Nation. It does, however, include the awesome Lee-song “Genetic,” a live staple at the time that, amazingly, never made it to an album. It lived on the b-side of the “100%” single.
You can download the set here. The songs aren’t indexed, so they may appear in your player in alphabetical order. Aquarium Drunkard has the correct order listed, if you’re a stickler.
Since extant video of the set is basically trash, here’s an appearance from around the same time on Later with Jools Holland, featuring “Drunken Butterfly,” “Sugar Kane,” and “JC.”
Many thanks to Geoff Grant for finding this find.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Stray Slack: Incredible full Pavement concert, Germany 1994
Sonic Youth and Mike Watt vs Madonna