Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Eliminator Jr.


  • Sonic Youth "Eliminator, Jr."

  • [right click to download]

    McCULLOUGH's MP3 OF THE WEEK 004: 03.20.2006

    Title: "Eliminator Jr."
    Artist: Sonic Youth
    Album: Daydream Nation
    Year: 1988

    Kids cruise away, pack of chickenshits
    This guy is ours, dark stains on his pants
    Enough to make a butcher out of the bone
    Take a walk in the park? Shit, yeah!
    A poor boy, a rich boy
    A poor rich boy coming right through me
    Rich boy, poor boy
    Poor rich boy coming right through me

    Those are the lyrics, sung by Kim Gordon, to Sonic Youth's "Eliminator Jr". They are an impressionable account of "preppy murderer" Robert Chambers, who strangled his girlfriend in 1988 in New York's Central Park. Sonic Youth's lyrics have always been whimsical and fancy-free, and this song is no exception. It seems like a short song, but I actually just cut it out of a much longer song, "Trilogy: The Wonder, Hyperstation, Eliminator Jr". That song in it's entirety is 14 minutes, but "Eliminator Jr" was always my favorite part of the trilogy.

    This song RAWKS. and yes, that is the correct spelling for a song that RAWKS this hard. Kim Gordon's sexy but urgent delivery carries this simple rhythm through it's 2 minutes and 34 seconds. Apparently 'Daydream Nation' is a concept album based on books by a writer named William Gibson, whose novels examine the concepts of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, multinational corporations overpowering the traditional nation-state and cyberspace. Light reading, to be sure.

    "Eliminator Jr" was named so because the band felt it sounded like a cross between something off the ZZ Top record "Eliminator" and a Dinosaur Jr track. It sounds like neither to me, but that just made me think of ZZ Top. Maybe next week's mp3 of the week will be "Step Inside My Sleeping Bag" from that very album.

    According to Alec Foege's book Confusion Is Next, the concept of a "Trilogy" that ends the album was a backhanded homage to pretentious 70s rock dinosaurs like Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes. Not that Sonic Youth could ever themselves be considered pretentious, heavens no! Says SY's Thurston Moore, " 'Trilogy' came about because those songs were all kind of in the same tuning and they could kind of bleed into each other. That's how we rehearsed them and we decided to record them as such." If you play guitar, and you've ever attempted to play a Sonic Youth song, you'll know that EVERY SINGLE SONG THEY PLAY is in a different tuning. That's why they bring like two billion guitars with them when they play a show. The guitars are all tuned differently. If they just used the same instruments there would be about 30 minutes of tuning in between every song.

    I used to put this on almost every mix tape I ever made, (back in the day when i used CASSETTES) as the third song. There is an art to making a mix tape. The first song should rock, to pull you in, the second song should rock evenly or perhaps a litlle bit harder, then the third song should RAWK, to get the listener shaking their head like "yes, yes, this rocks" or shaking their head like "no, no, NEVER STOP ROCKING!". The rest of the mix tape you can do whatever you want with, as long as it starts strong. Track four could easily be "Step Inside My Sleeping Bag" or "She's Got Legs (She Knows How To Use Them)" , and no one would notice.

  • sonicyouth.com

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ELP and Yes pretentious? Have you even listened to any of their songs?

    Oh well, you have your opinion. But I happen to be a fan of Sonic Youth and Prog.

    5:16 PM PST  

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