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Sonic Youth [rank: 62]

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Sonic Youth

"Sonic Youth is a rock group formed in New York City in 1981. As of 2006, the group is comprised of Thurston Moore (guitars and vocals) Lee Ranaldo (guitars, vocals and organ) Kim Gordon (bass guitar, guitar, and vocals) and Steve Shelley (drums). In their early career, Sonic Youth were associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City, but have outlasted most associated bands. Part of the first wave of American post-punk groups, Sonic Youth carried out their interpretation of the punk rock ethos throughout the evolving American indie underground (as the title of their documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke demonstrates) that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound. They have found moderate mainstream success, and are generally seen as one of the leading alternative rock groups of their time.

Initially inspired by the experimentation of Glenn Branca (with whom most of the band have performed); as well as the heavy protopunk of The Stooges and The Velvet Underground, they were known for using a variety of unorthodox guitar tunings, and for applying screwdrivers or other preparations to guitars to alter the instruments' timbre. Members of the band have released books of poetry and prose (a beatnik influence is evident in both their writing and lyrics), produced films, staged shows of visual art and more. There is also an abundance of musical material recorded and/or performed with other artists and side-projects."

[reproduced or excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Sonic Youth" and its use is thus licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License]

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