A Delirious Masterpiece

Photo: Michael Schmelling

Tomorrow is National Sonic Youth Day. (I just made that up.) The band will be performing songs from their new album, The Eternal, at the grand old United Palace Theater up in Washington Heights on 175th and Broadway. For some enticing photos of the venue, visit their gallery. It was born as a Loew's Wonder Theater, one of just five flagship movie palaces known for their lavish beauty and built to mark the chain's dominance of the metropolitan movie-going community. The 175th Street Theater was opened in 1930, while the other four palaces threw wide their glittering doors one year earlier. All but one, the Loew's King Theater in Brooklyn, have been brought back to a state approaching their original glory and are now operating as churches and/or music venues.

I've attended shows at the Loew's Jersey Theater in Jersey City's resurgent Journal Square. The place is indeed wonderful. Every single inch of it is spectacular: blindingly, stupefyingly gorgeous. I expect the United Palace Theater to be even more stunning. In his 2001 New York Times piece, "Xanadus Rise to a Higher Calling," David W. Dunlap referred to it as "a delirious masterpiece."

I sort of feel the same way about Sonic Youth's new album. So I figure the United Palace Theater will be the perfect venue for the performance. I'm expecting a night to remember. I will be there along with three good friends: popular essayist, Michael Lavorgna; Monkeyhaus Keeper, John DeVore; and excitable uncle, Omar. Also in attendance will be Stereophile music editor, Robert Baird, and freelance contributor, John Swenson.

See you then.

Doug Bowker's picture

Man, sometimes I really wish I could be down in that mayhem called NYC... Can't wait to hear about the show Stephen!

Dick Gentry's picture

After their show last night here in Dallas I felt revitalized as if I'd spent a week in the mountains. I've seen Sonic Youth several times and they've never seemed so relaxed and dynamic at the same time.