On Second Thought
Sonic Youth - NYC Ghosts & Flowers

By: Dan Weiss

Posted 09/10/2007 - 07:26:25 AM by raskolnikov:
 Nice job sticking up for a critical whipping post of a record...while not my fave record of theirs it's still way better than people think. Live this material was amazing, it far surpassed what they got down on tape. I saw 'em at the Hammersmith Ballroom in NYC w/the Ken Vandermark Tentet opening and it was a beautiful show.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 11:46:56 AM by DanWeiss:
 Thanks. It's not my favorite, but I'd place it above more of their records than most SY fans would find acceptable
Posted 09/10/2007 - 12:42:58 PM by threehead:
 this was my introduction to sonic youth (cause it was free), and 13 year old me wrote them off (until I heard murray street). I guess I'll have to go back to this one. nice work.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 01:18:02 PM by grandbanks:
 Man, the tour for this record really was amazing. The layered-video shtick really working for some of these songs (closed the show with a really intense version of the title track). It can't be overstated just how panned this record was, pretty much called a waste of time by anyone who reviewed it (that I read, at least, The Wire I guess being forever exempted towards SY). Pretty great that a band almost twenty years into it's existence could piss off so many people by making a perfectly good record. Sounds really really good on vinyl to boot.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 01:29:44 PM by Utica5:
 you say sonic youth fans are pussies, but perhaps the more appropriate statement would be "indie critics are pussies". from my experience, fans liked this one just fine. aside from this one quip, good article.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 01:53:21 PM by cwperry:
 I named this Album of the Year in 2000, and never understood the wide hatred of it.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 01:54:16 PM by cwperry:
 grandbanks: Yeah, the tour was very cool, the most elegant SY performance I've seen (I've seen them 6 times).
Posted 09/10/2007 - 03:48:48 PM by grandbanks:
 Not that this can go well, but here it is: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/21889-nyc-ghosts-flowers. Different times then, but a good time-capsule, and contrast. People love/d this guy, too. Makes me a shmuck for giving it the time of day, but is still interesting considering that this is a music review web-site.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 04:27:55 PM by DanWeiss:
 Believe me, I had that review in mind, grandbanks. I never minded their actual opinion of the record per se, just the bizarre gap between the 0.0 and the wild rating they gave to SYR 4: Goodbye 20th Century, I think 8.5 or something. I know, I know, different reviewers. But you'd think someone would've stepped in and been like, come on, you don't like it but is it really without a single fraction of merit? They dole out zeroes sometimes just for the theatrics of it (cough, cough, Liz Phair and Travistan and I think the desire to tear down a big figure for a reviewer can overwhelm their sense of judgment, or at least, honesty.
Posted 09/10/2007 - 04:37:14 PM by raskolnikov:
 Fuck the tyranny of the 'Fork.....
Posted 09/10/2007 - 05:05:31 PM by prohibitedart:
 Good choice for "On Second Thought." This album is massively underrated.
Posted 09/11/2007 - 01:03:38 AM by Takomora:
 I hate pitchfork. I have not heard this album and not much sonic youth...but the idea soungs interesting, I'll have to check it out.
Posted 09/11/2007 - 08:17:43 AM by raskolnikov:
 You guys scooped Dusted on the 'Fork 0.0 complaint, they've got a nice piece on Travis Morrison today. I don't like his music, but damn did the fucks at the 'Fork do a buildup and slapdown number on him.....
Posted 09/11/2007 - 09:26:09 AM by DanWeiss:
 Thanks for the tip, raskolnikov, I enjoyed that piece a lot.
Posted 09/11/2007 - 10:27:45 AM by boilingboy:
 I certainly understand the unfairness of praising Goodbye 2oth century, while trashing NYC Ghosts and Flowers. Iowever, I disliked both of them, and A Thousand Leaves too for that matter. These albums were not terrible, just boring, lazy and self-indulgent. It may be sacriledge for some, but I think that(except for the fine Murray Street)Rather Ripped is possibly the only good album they've done since Washing Machine.
Posted 09/11/2007 - 10:59:42 AM by badhaircut:
 grandbanks wrote: "It can't be overstated just how panned this record was, pretty much called a waste of time by anyone who reviewed it." I'm looking at the Metacritc page for this album and really, there are only 2 reviews that pan it, and one is from some magazine called "Select," whatever that is. Anyway, we all know why this album has been called the worst they ever made, probably time to listen to it again and decide for ourselves. And yeah, it did sound great live, even "Side2side," which I'll never forget.
Posted 09/11/2007 - 12:55:27 PM by cwperry:
 In defense of Grandbanks, Metacritic wasn't the force it was today when this album came out. I remember everyone I talked to in 2000 and everything I read about the album in 2000 being negative and saying this was a nadir for the band. Now, why no one saved that for the dud that is Sonic Nurse, I'll never understand . . .
Posted 09/11/2007 - 02:51:33 PM by grandbanks:
 Yeah, things were way different in 2000, believe me. I read a lot of reviews, because I am as interested in why people dislike things as like them, and you just couldn't find a very kind word for this record. Oddly enough I think Christgau liked it, The Wire (which might be a contractual obligation), and not much else. Definitely read the Dusted piece on Morrison, it is really thoughtful and expresses pretty well the fairly complex, bizarre effect one review can have in this day and age. Also, I don't look at metacritic for general info on albums. Much rather read one person's opinion (or many individual opinions), just fits my style more. Not to harp either, but I really couldn't see why this album was called the worst they ever made.
Posted 09/13/2007 - 06:42:28 PM by sonicben:
 I'll never understand how someone could think NYCG&F; was boring and then proceed to say they liked Murray Street! I liked Murray Street, but apart from several awesome anomalies it could have been friggin Wilco. NYC is the perfect album for "On Second Thought" and not just because of that Pitchfork review; it is still referred to negatively in glowing reviews of the newer albums. It's heartening to see the comments - I loved it then and now. I remember thinking it was the first album I'd heard that sounded like "2000".