—Immediately, And Immediately

Speaking of vinyl, Sonic Youth has announced the vinyl-only release of SYR 7, the seventh installment of their self-released improvisations. These long pieces are often entirely instrumental, and they are lovely, moving, and beautifully-recorded. The hypnotic artwork is by artist and filmmaker, Chris Habib. In the past, the CD packaging for each release has mimicked a gatefold LP, with the CD simply sliding into an inner sleeve.

SYR 7 will be available on April 22. Add it to my list of 2008's Most Wanted Releases. I feel at once stoked and ripped-off. Why vinyl-only? Why can't I have the CD and the vinyl?

They came suddenly, and they came in a hurry. They came because Sonic Youth had the time and the space to indulge. In their newly-completed Manhattan studio, the band could now create more freely, releasing raw and fiery material that may not have been appropriate for Geffen. They would release it themselves.

I've collected every one of these burning masterpieces—on CD—going back to those college nights with Todd and Michelle, racing down River Road to catch the 168 or the 175 and finding our way to the Cooler on 14th, or Tonic on Norfolk, and later even watching thrilled and perplexed as Sonic Youth took the stage to make noise at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Michelle and I rose from the subway just in time to see Lee Ranaldo, gray sweater and corduroys and Vans, hurrying along Columbus Circle. We tried to follow, but couldn't keep up. It was as though he knew we were chasing after him and had ducked into some secret entrance for musicians only. Inside, we were greeted by wine glasses, black suits, and flowing gowns and we didn't know what to do. Sitting made no sense, standing wasn't allowed. We danced in our seats for as long as we could. Sonic Youth made their noise, which would later find its way onto the gorgeous A Thousand Leaves. By the end of the night, we could no longer take it and we abandoned our pointless seats and rushed the stage with our skinny arms waving through the well-lit hall. We felt certain that Lee recognized us. He smiled in our direction.

I will certainly purchase SYR 7, probably on the night it is released—on vinyl—and I will certainly love it. But not being able to own it on CD, and add it to the stack of six others that rest on my bookcase, will feel somehow uncomfortable, incomplete. I'm not sure that I'll be able to stand it. I'm not sure that I'll be able to wait. Like that night at Avery Fisher Hall, I'll want to rush the stage, get closer and listen—immediately, and immediately.

Why not a CD, also? It would look so pretty and perfect along with all of my others. But perhaps Sonic Youth is making some sort of a statement by releasing SYR 7 as a vinyl-only edition, paving the way for some sort of future. Add it to my list of Reasons to Get a Turntable.

If any of you LES peeps happen to bump into Lee over at Rosario's Pizza, would you ask him about this, please? Thanks.

Doug Bowker's picture

I have Sonic Youth on LP up untile the last few albums. They rock on vinyl! Try out Evol especially- wow! Great aural landscapes and song writing.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. I love deadlines.

michaelavorgna's picture

Plan B: get 'em all on vinyl. I like Plan B.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Plan B: get 'em all on vinyl.That's your answer for everything, isn't it, Michael Lavorgna?!

michaelavorgna's picture

I know. Not very original. But it is easy to remember.

mrlowry's picture

Maybe Michel Fremer would be nice enough to make a CD using his Uber-turntable. Of course you might have to sit through a sermon on all things analog but that would probably entertaining and certainly educational.

john devore's picture

Well there you go. April 22 is your deadline for getting a turntable up and running. You simply have to now.

Christian's picture

My friend and I were talking about vinyl last night at a show (Okkervil River/New Pornographers...it was brilliant!) and he mentioned that some are packaging their vinyl with a download coupon (see http://www.urpressing.com/digital/info.php as an example). This idea is brilliant; the best of both the romance and audio quality of vinyl with the convenience of an mp3! I hope that is catches on. Who knows, it may tempt me to get into vinyl.

BillB's picture

If Mikey can't digitize it for you, send it to me and I'll make you a CD-R, Stephen. It won't be from his $100K turntable but I guarantee it will sound fine from my set up.

James's picture

The download coupons are cool, but one of my favorite labels, Three Lobed, has been including a full CD version of the album when you purchase the vinyl (180 gram RTI in sturdy packaging, too). I can't say I've taken any of the CD's out of their sleeves yet, but it's nice to know that it's there.In other news, Thurston Moore's new "Sensitive/Lethal" CD on No Fun Productions is pretty great, IMO. Just listened to it yesterday..

Stephen Mejias's picture

Yes, I absolutely adore this idea of including downloads or full CD versions along with vinyl purchases. James: I will have to check out Three Lobed, as well as the new Thurston Moore album. Thanks for the tips.And, Bill, thank you so much for the very kind offer. I really appreciate it. But it won't be necessary

James's picture

Cool. I highly recommend the new Bardo Pond LP, but I think Three Lobed is down to 30 or less copies.The Thurston disc I mentioned is pretty noisy, so proceed with caution! :)

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