Sonic Star ♥ Lucky Youth by Leica



A couple of years back, Sonic Youth singer-bassist Kim Gordon interviewed L.L. Cool J for Spin magazine in an attempt to get a feminist/hard-core perspective on rap’s estimable MC. Early in the interview, it became obvious that the two shared little common ground. Their clashes were sometimes comic, as when Gordon tried to turn L.L. on to the Stooges, while all L.L. could talk about was his love of Bon Jovi. At other points–like when the rapper asserted, “The guy has to have control over his woman“–you could tell Gordon would have loved to deck him with her notepad.

This head-butting interview served as the inspiration for Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing,” the star single of the band’s major-label debut Goo. Gordon says her Cool J encounter proved that New York’s hard-core and rap scenes might as well exist on different planets.

It was totally ridiculous for me to assume that we had anything in common,” she admits in a telephone interview from a tour stop in New Orleans, Louisiana. “That’s why I tried to make the article show how elite and small the downtown scene that I come out of is. I was trying to make fun of myself. I don’t know if that came across.

Actually Gordon makes a stronger statement with “Kool Thing” than she did with the Spin piece. She injects irony into the pair’s culture clash, at one point even making fun of her politics by asking Cool J stand-in Chuck D, Are you going to liberate us girls from the male, white corporate oppression?
Boosted by mainstream radio play and medium rotation on MTV, “Kool Thing” has become the band’s most successful single to date. Of course, there have been some compromises. Gordon originally wanted to wear a beret and carry an Uzi in the “Kool Thing” video, part of a “poseur-leftist girl lusting after Black Panthers” concept. Her bosses at Geffen Records quickly vetoed that.

Staying Kool Sonic Youth Survives a Major Label, Phoenix New Times, John Blanco, Mar 20 1991



Goo, Sonic Youth sixth studio album, was released on June 26, 1990. The cover is a Raymond Pettibon illustration based on a paparazzi photo of Maureen Hindley and her first husband David Smith, witnesses in the case of the Moors murders serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, driving to the trial in 1966.


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