Sonic Youth to play First Avenue in July


Brainiacs of noise-- Sonic Youth will headline First Avenue in July.

Check your calendars, sew a Jet Set patch on your black jean jacket, and start listening to Dirty on constant repeat. Sonic Youth, the long-standing pioneers of post-punk, noise-rock, and a slew of other sub-genres that will only deplete our supply of hyphens are coming to the First Avenue Main Room on July 21st for their first local headlining spot since 2002 (if our creaky, moth eaten documents prove accurate).

As if swine flu and the bad economy don't already make us feel old and infirm, take this little nugget and let it roll around in your cranium-- Sonic Youth, the band of the diamond edge, the band of eternal vibrancy, the band so vital they have "Youth" right in their name, has been doing this for 28 years. That means they were drinking whiskey from a flask at the junior prom when Helmet was still on training wheels, and were throwing rocks off the overpass when Nirvana was still in pull-up pants and Osh Kosh overalls.

If a Crystal Castles song ever made you grind your teeth while you were dancing through your third beer, if AIDS Wolf ever dared you to find form in their frothing sonic chaos, you can thank Sonic Youth. If they weren't the most astonishing success story of the American underground, you could rightfully call them the pioneers that got scalped. The door that Sonic Youth flung open was a leaden cumbersome thing, built especially to keep the noisy and the dischord out of the rock narrative. They might have stood on Velvet Underground's shoulders to reach the deadbolt, but theirs was as great and sudden a breach of musical as can be conceived in the small but teeming swamp of American rock.

If you've never spent quality time with Sonic Youth, you've got two months to do your homework. And with digital downloading being that loathsome tempstress it is, you really have no excuse not to, by hook or by crook, put a copy of Goo in your hands.

Sure, they show no signs of letting up or turning their amps down from 11. But with rockers this storied and accomplished (that's how polite bloggers say "old and hoary"), you never know what lurks in the twilight. But you can be certain that you don't want to be the guy or gal who passed up a chance to see Sonic Youth.

18+. 7:00 P.M. $30.00. First Avenue Main Room, 701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis; 612.338.7388.