View Full Version : Sonic Youth vs. Nirvana
September-5th-2004, 07:30 PM
I know we have a lot of music fans on this board and we're also made up primarily of Gen X-ers so I figured this would make for a good topic. It might flop, but whatever, just indulge me for a little while.
Which band do you prefer or do you think is better and why? I have a definite preference but I'll wait to see how the thread shakes out.
Ancalagon the Black
September-5th-2004, 07:33 PM
I am a big fan of both, but I have to go with Nirvana as more influential, more substantial, and more versatile. Sonic Youth are more fun.
September-5th-2004, 08:10 PM
Nirvana by far
The impact they had in the early 1990s was incredible. Thats why they still sell big even 10 years after Cobain's death.
Smells like Teen Spirit changed a lot of things
September-5th-2004, 08:13 PM
nirvana--"the gift that keeps on giving"...i love foo fighters ;)
September-5th-2004, 08:16 PM
I actually saw Sonic Youth a few years ago when they opened for Pearl Jam in West Palm Beach. Sixth row. Hadn't really listened to them, but I didn't particularly like their set. It was just lots of feedback and screeching. I haven't heard any of their recorded stuff just because that show turned me off.
Nirvana, on the other hand, were an amazing band. The existence of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain himself ended way too soon. One could only imagine what the music scene would have become. Maybe we wouldn't have to deal with all of the talentless pop-punk bullsh*t Blink 182 (who weren't that good in the first place) ripoffs.
As much as I love Green Day, if Nirvana lasted, they could have neutralized all of the garbage that unsuccessfully tried to copy them.
September-5th-2004, 08:35 PM
curt cobain grew up in the world of sonic youth and the melvins bands that accrued respesct not massive royalty statements. but to this day nirvana has millions of fans that he has touched in a special way! smells like teen spirit is my ultimate fav song. so i pick nirvana as my fav band still to this day!! followed by the deftones!!!!
Ancalagon the Black
September-5th-2004, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by Chopper Dave
I actually saw Sonic Youth a few years ago when they opened for Pearl Jam in West Palm Beach. Sixth row. Hadn't really listened to them, but I didn't particularly like their set. It was just lots of feedback and screeching.
Yes, they have become indulgent parodies of themselves. It was nice when they were breaking new ground; now it's mostly musical masturbation.
September-5th-2004, 09:28 PM
Wow, I'm shocked at the lack of respect for Sonic Youth. They are an amazing band and their catalogue is miles better than Nirvana's in my humble opinion. They're also a hell of a lot more influential, despite the overriding sentiment here.
I am admittedly biased. I was a 21-year-old college student when I picked up Daydream Nation in 1988. I had heard bits and pieces of SY prior to that, but I was knocked on my ass by that record. Not to mention, I was automatically the coolest cat on my dorm floor just for possessing that record. :) It's nothing short of genius and absolutely destroys Nevermind, in my humble opinion.
SY has been my favorite band outside of the Beatles ever since. After I bought DDN, I went back and explored all the fantastic '80s underground alt rockers like Husker Du, the Pixies, etc. that I had been missing.
When Doolittle by the Pixies came out in '89 I was already immersed in indie rock, but that was another one that blew me away. "Goo" by SY came out in '90 and at that time alternative was still a dirty word...you sure as hell wouldn't find a song like "Kool Thing" or "Debaser" playing on mainstream radio.
In '91 when Nevermind came out, I was pretty blase about it. It was a good record, no doubt, but they pretty much borrowed from their predecessors and melded into something more accessible. I'd heard it all before by that point.
The difference was that the mainstream hadn't. Sonic Youth was already the avatar of indie rock, but that's all they were. They weren't the band that came along at the right time and destroyed hair rock. They popularized alternative rock, but Sonic Youth pioneered it.
Not to mention, owning the entire catalogues of both SY and Nirvana, the obvious winner is SY in terms of songs, albums, and sheer breadth of career.
Yes, had Cobain not killed himself, then Nirvana may have taken their music to new heights, but he did kill himself, so we'll never know. SY has been doing it for 20 years and their music has changed, but not at all for the worse. "Sonic Nurse" is the best album of 2004 thusfar. They're more experienced and mellow, but they're still making amazing music.
Sorry for the essay, but that's my case for Sonic Youth. :)
Ancalagon the Black
September-5th-2004, 09:50 PM
After I bought DDN, I went back and explored all the fantastic '80s underground alt rockers like Husker Du, the Pixies, etc. that I had been missing.
When Doolittle by the Pixies came out in '89 I was already immersed in indie rock, but that was another one that blew me away.
I would rate the Pixies above Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü far, far below them.
September-5th-2004, 10:26 PM
I completely agree that Husker Du isn't even in the same league as those two bands...just threw them in as an example.
Another band for discussion...anybody ever listen to the Violent Femmes? Their debut record is probably the greatest angry teenager album ever made.
September-6th-2004, 09:18 AM
I think what most people don't understand is that SY was more about musical experimentation than about accessability. Yes Nirvana was probably much more influencial on the whole but I think SY opened up alot of the musical artists minds out there to the possibility of so many different sound still left to be made. Now the Violent Femmes...ah one of my personal favorites. Blister in the Sun,Kiss off, please don't go, these are the soundtrack to my early adulthood. The Violent Femmes although definately part of the alternative genre weren't really that related to the other to bands at issue. Could just be me though...
P.s. I really love "wave of mutilation" by the pixies too
September-6th-2004, 01:13 PM
I voted for Nirvana. Sonic youth just doesn't do much for me. In the 80's it was the Dead Kennedys album Plastic Surgery Disasters that meant a lot to me.
just skins baby
September-6th-2004, 01:30 PM
For me it was mainly the Stones, Zeppelin and Van Halen. I would listen to some of this "punk" or indie music but for some reason it just never appealed to me.
Off the subject a little but does anybody remember Faster Pussycat? Also, somebody on here mentioned a band called D.A.D. (Disneyland After Dark). I happened to find their album "No fuel left for the pilgrims" and have been jamming on that for about a month now.
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