Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “Sonic Youth”

Real quick pop culture round-up

New Bob Mould album, bio.

Jon Stewart wipes the floor with Jim Cramer.

“Do not ever DJ before calling!” should go in Twitter Hall of Fame.

Well, f*** me gently with a chain saw.

Boring Neko Case interview.

Longish New Yorker review of new Neko Case album.

Go veg, save the planet (again! How many times do we have to say it?)

Jack White + Alison Mosshart? Yes, please.

Sonic Youth + John Paul Jones = weird Merce Cunningham dance piece? Sign me up.

Kim Gordon interview in ‘SF Guardian’

The San Francisco Guardian‘s ‘Noise’ blog has an interview with Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.

Kim talks about her new art projects, what she likes on TV, and the different energy you get when working with other women, which she will be doing in her improv band with avant garde composer/harpist Zeena Parkins:

SFBG: What draws you to working with women?

KG: I think of the women I play with foremost by their personality. You immediately have a different role as well. Bass is usually more of a…supportive instrument, even though it may be the most important! [Laughs] But I’ll probably be playing guitar. I usually play guitar and do vocals when I do improv things. That immediately has a different kind of energy to it.

Kim lives with hubby Thurston Moore and their daughter Coco in Northampton, Ma., right near where I grew up. I’m going for a quick visit next month and the town is really small. Cross your fingers for me that I can casually bump into her and become best friends and start our own free noise band. I’ve been a fan of Kim’s for two decades.

True story: when I was a teenager I wrote a song about Kim and the band called “Sonic Thing or Two.”

Time for a list! 29 songs about actors and actresses

We haven’t done in a list in a while and life seems empty.

How about “29 Songs About Famous Actors and Actresses”? I’ll start:

Elton John, Candle In the Wind (Marilyn Monroe)
10cc, Somewhere In Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe)
Elton John, Roy Rogers
Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood
Nirvana, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle
Madness, Michael Caine
Serge Gainsbourg, Intitals B.B. (Brigitte Bardot)
Russell Crowe‘s band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, Other Ways of Speaking (Jodie Foster)
James, Fred Astaire
Bertie Higgins, Key Largo (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman)
Roxy Music, 2H.B. (Humphrey Bogart)
Lou Reed, City Lights, (Charlie Chaplin)
Lenny Kravitz, It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, etc (Lisa Bonet)
Bree Sharp, David Duchovny
Woody Guthrie, Ingrid Bergman
The Eagles, James Dean
Sonic Youth, Madonna, Sean and Me (Madonna and Sean Penn)
R.E.M., Man on the Moon (Andy Kauffman)
Toto, Rosanna (Rosanna Arquette)
Bauhaus, Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Bananarama, Robert DeNiro’s Waiting
The Clash, The Right Profile (Montgomery Clift)
Nine Inch Nails, Starfuckers, Inc (Rose McGowan)
Matthew Sweet, Winona (Winona Ryder)
R.E.M., River (River Phoenix)
Natalie Merchant, River (River Phoenix)
Peter Murphy, Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Poem
Kim Carnes, Bette Davis Eyes
Alanis Morissette, You Oughtta Know (Dave Coulier)

Now it’s your turn. Add more! Why stay at 29?

My favorite New York styles

I’m still scratching my head over the squeaky clean and boring Us Weekly list of 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers. Where are today’s trendsetters?

Let’s remember some great Manhattan looks from years past, before the city was a wasteland of trust fund kids and fake tans. Shall we?


The Velvet Underground with Andy Warhol:

Bob Dylan:


New York Dolls:

Woody Allen & Diane Keaton:

Halston, Bianca & Liza:

Richard Hell:

The Ramones:

Patti Smith:

Debbie Harry:


Pat Benatar:

Grace Jones:


Jean-Michel Basquiat:


Cyndi Lauper:

I’m cutting my list off there because thinking of hip New York fashions from the 1990s is difficult. Things started switching to the Pacific Northwest around then and everyone grew their hair long and wore flannel. Thanks, Kurt Cobain. And Eddie Vedder. Well, actually, NYC’s Beastie Boys also kind of ruled in the 1990s and reminded everyone how cool hoodies (and matching one-piece jumpsuits) were.

In the 2000s, they Yeah Yeah Yeahs restored my faith in New York cool, but then lead singer Karen O. moved to -gasp! – Los Angeles – the most loathsome city on earth.

Is there anybody left in New York who looks edgy and cool? Tell me if there it is, it will make me happy.

Richard Prince’s ‘Nurses’ at the Goog

I just found out that Richard Prince‘s Nurse Paintings series has been at the Guggeinheim in New York for the last year. Damn. I’ve been to New York several times in the last few months and I have a friend who does installations at the Guggenheim and yet I didn’t know about this until five minutes ago.

Living outside of New York is just uncivilized.

If you’ve looked at the cover of Sonic Youth‘s Sonic Nurse album, you’ve seen at least one of Prince’s nurses:

The series was inspired by 59-year-old Prince’s vast collection of 1950’s and ’60s pulp fiction books about naughty nurses.
Here are a few more from the series:

I’ve been interested in Prince since discovering his bizarre Jokes (1986) series in which he painted texts of comedians’ bad jokes from stand-up routines. An example:

Have any of you seen these or any of Prince’s works in person? Are you a fan?

Indie break-up songs

The Recycled Love Songs site lists Top 25 Indie Break-Up Songs.

I’ll add 21 more (and then you add some, too):

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps
“They don’t love you like I love you.”

2. Sonic Youth, Wish Fulfillment
“It’s such a mess now anyway…”

3. The entire Foolish album by Superchunk
Mac and Laura’s intra-band break-up inspires their best album.

3. Sleater-Kinney, One More Hour
“Oh you’ve got the darkest eyes….”

4. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
The chorus kills.

5. Belle & Sebastian, I’m Waking Up to Us
Why not mix humor with your heartbreak?

6. Dinosaur Jr., Puke + Cry
“There’s things I’d like to show you, but you don’t even know you.”

7. Galaxie 500, When Will You Come Home?
Watching TV all alone is sad.

8. Husker Du, Sorry Somehow
Grant Hart wrote the band’s best break-up tunes.

9. The Who, So Sad About Us
– and the covers by The Jam and The Breeders.

10. Johnny Thunders, Hurt Me
Johnny was ballsy enough to address dysfunction in a love song.

11. Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart
A band so gloomy they wrote break-up songs ahead of time.

12. Leslie Gore, You Don’t Own me
– and the covers by Juliana Hatfield and Klaus Nomi.

13. Leonard Cohen, So Long, Marianne
Though it’s hard to pick just one song by him.

14. Liz Phair, Divorce Song
Yes, the Exile in Guyville album lives up to all the hype.

15. Sebadoh, The Freed Pig
Lou Barlow knows band break-ups are just as hard.

16. The Ain’t Love Grand album by X
The only good thing about the break-up of Exene and John.

17. Violent Femmes, Gone Daddy Gone
Who would have known you can have xylophone on a break-up song?

18. Velvet Underground, I Can’t Stand It
This guy’s life is a mess, but if Shelly would just come back….

19. Unrequited Loves, Chewing Gum
“Remember standing on my front lawn? Sudden delightfulness but not for long.”

20. The Smiths, Back to the Old House
“And you never knew how much I really liked you…”

21. Pearl Jam, Black
“I know some day you’ll have a beautiful life…”

Richard Kern’s ‘You Killed Me First’

Anyone who owns a copy of Sonic Youth‘s Evol has seen a bit of Richard Kern‘s art. You might even recognize the chick in the video below. She’s Elizabeth Carr, who goes by the name Lung Leg and she’s the girl, uh, freaking out on the cover of Evol in a frame from Kern’s legendary camp fest You Killed Me First. (For a whole post on album covers featuring famous artists’ work, go here.)

Below you’ll find the first 8 and half minutes of You Killed Me First (1985). It has a very John Waters-esque feel. Art buffs, L.E.S. artistes and New York know-it-alls might recognize performance artist Karen Finley as the mother and the late artist/writer David Wojnarowicz as the father. Photographer Jessica Craig-Martin plays the normal daughter and Lung Leg of course, plays the hellbent daughter. (Warning: contains sex, violence and profanity. NSFW at all).

I’ll try to find the last two and a half minutes so you know how this crazy story ends. Enjoy!

Raymond Pettibon in the studio

We mentioned artist Raymond Pettibon in an earlier post because he’s the fella who drew the album cover art for Sonic Youth‘s Goo.

Here’s Pettibon in his Los Angelese studio discussing baseball as one of the many inspirations for his art. The clip is courtesy of the series Art:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century.


The magic that was ‘Sassy’

While we’re discussing the merits of the sadly long gone Sassy magazine (see previous post), let’s reminisce with a few more covers from its heyday.
Robert Downey Jr., the first male person on the cover:

A 14-year-old Natalie Portman, (long before Queen Amidala):

Johnny Depp in 1990:

The indie rock darling of the 1990s Juliana Hatfield:

Blossom‘s Mayim Bialik (and the B-52s):

Check out the articles on vegetarianism and foster homes, plus a Sonic Youth giveaway:

The issue demanding to know “Can Anyone on 90120 act?”:

Takashi and Kanye: a list of artist and musican collaborations

I just found out that famed Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami has created animation for his first music video. Naturally it’s for a song (“Good Morning”) by Kanye West. Murakami has already designed album art for Kanye and the two are developing a clothing line together.

This isn’t the first time a visual artist and a musician have worked together.

Indie rock superstars Sonic Youth famously dedicated cover space on each of their album covers to a burgeoning artist, dating back to 1986’s Evol, which featured a still from a film by New York artist Richard Kern.

Later Sonic Youth albums featured recognizable work by Raymond Pettibon (Goo), Gerard Richter (Daydream Nation), Mike Kelly (Dirty) and Richard Prince (Sonic Nurse).

Other examples: Andy Warhol designed the cover for several albums including the Velvet Underground’s first album with Nico, the Rolling Stones’s Sticky Fingers and jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell’s Blue Lights.

Blur used work by British artist Banksy for its Think Tank album. Metallica used work by controversial artist Andres Serrano for cover art on Load and ReLoad. (Serrano is the man who earned infamy over a piece depicting a crucifix floating in urine called Piss Christ).

Fashion designer Gianni Versace created Elton John’s ornate cover for The One. Queen’s News of the World cover was painted by award-winning sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas.

Did you know famed photographer Helmut Newton shot the classic cover of The Scorpions’ Love at First Sting?

Newton also took the pic of Dale Bozzio that graces the cover of Missing Persons‘ Rhyme & Reason album. The band’s video for “Surrender Your Heart” used imagery by pop artist Peter Max. Max also designed album cover art for Alice Coltrane and Badfinger.

Robert Mapplethorpe took the iconic shot of Patti Smith for the cover of her debut album Horses.

How weird is this? Classic American painter Norman Rockwell was the artist behind the cover art for The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.

Cartoonist Robert Crumb designed the album art for Big Brother and the Holding Company‘s Cheap Thrills.

Pin-up artist Alberto Vargas came out of semi-retirement to create the cover art for The Cars’ Candy-O album.

How’s this for cool? I actually own art by this artist: Kathie Olivas painted the cover for Girl In A Coma‘s Both Before I’m Gone.

Isn’t this fun? Help me think of more.

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