We interrupt your regularly scheduled Bonnaroo programming …

10 06 2009

Yeah yeah, we promised Bonnaroo updates leading up to the Big Day on Thursday, but we couldn’t help but take a break from all that exhaustive festival planning/packing to catch Sonic Youth play a tiny gig at New York’s SoHo Apple Store tonight . The event was held in conjunction with the release of the group’s 15th (wow! and Thurston Moore hasn’t aged a day!) studio album, “The Eternal,” and was performed for supposedly a limited number of free ticket holders and other guests, but it seemed as though any random passersby could have walked right in.

Anyway, point being, it didn’t look like this, which was what happened when Jonas Brothers Mania invaded the small space. Rather, it was a small enough crowd that the set felt intimate, yet in true Sonic Youth form, the seminal rockers still tore, wound and shred loudly through choice new cuts like the “la-la-la”-lilted “Leaky Lifeboat,” the Lee Ranaldo-sung “What We Know” and the most-excellent “Anti-Orgasm,” which angrily spiraled to its guitar-fueled climax before releasing its pent-up energy to wind back down.

While the 30-minute preview of new tunes (and encore of “Daydream Nation’s” “Hey Joni”) was only a small sampling, it’s clear by spending time with the rest of the songs on the new album that Sonic Youth, now back to a five-piece with the addition of former Pavement bassist Mark Ibold, is back with a diversity and fierceness that was noticeably lacking on 2006’s so-so “Rather Ripped.” Check the album if you haven’t already, and be sure to find them on the road this summer.

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