Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Joker, Heathers, Sebastian Leger for Electric Picnic

New names announced today for the Electric Picnic line-up. A couple of these had already self-confirmed, with grime/dubstep figurehead Joker being the most pleasant surprise.

Wolf Parade
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
Brendan Perry
Black Mountain
Sebastien Leger
Japanese Popstars (live)
Kormac’s Big Band
Joker & Nomad
The Subs
Sneaky Soundsystem (DJ set).

Caribou for Crawdaddy show

U:Mack have announced that Caribou - aka Canadian electronic musician Daniel Victor Snaith - will be playing a show in Crawdaddy on December 9th. His latest album Swim is out now and is typically brilliant stuff. Caribou is also playing Electric Picnic in September.

Swim by Caribouband

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nouveaunoise album launch

The much-anticipated debut LP from electronic duo Nouveaunoise , Paraphrase Accolade, is available now, and already the subject of some rave reviews. The album launch party will take place this Friday in Dublin's Academy 2 (not Andrew's Lane, the venue has now changed). Support is from Bill Munro and Subway Mike.

Nouveaunoise - Panaka by Nialler9

<a href="">Goni by Nouveaunoise</a>

Gaslight Anthem play Olympia in November

Heart-on-sleeve rockers The Gaslight Anthem will return to Ireland for shows in the Olympia (November 21st) and Belfast's Mandela Hall (22nd). The New Jersey-based four-piece lived the dream last year when they were joined onstage by their hero Bruce Springsteen at Glastonbury. They've just released their third album, American Slang, which seems to be getting somewhat mixed reviews, although it got a five-star write-up in Uncut. 'The '59 Sound' remains one of the best songs of recent years: poignant, cathartic, defiant...the stuff of great, timeless rock music.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Logikparty interview on AU

Over at, Naomi of the excellent blog interviews Logikparty, the fast-rising Dublin noiseniks who I posted enthusiastically about the other day. It's a great interview and well worth a read.

<a href="">Good Hood by Logikparty</a>

Sample Flying Lotus live set at Sonar

Via Mary Anne Hobbs' radio show, a sample of Flying Lotus' live set at Sonar festival in Barcelona.

Flying Lotus - A Taste Of Sonar 2010 by Hypetrak

New album Cosmogramma is out now.

Best of the Year So Far: Recommended Albums

The Redneck Manifesto - Friendship (Richter Collective)

<a href="">Black Apple by The Redneck Manifesto</a>

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (EMI)

Jogging - Minutes (Richter Collective)

<a href="">Threadbare by Jogging</a>

Owen Pallett - Heartland (Domino)

Owen Pallett - Heartland by DominoRecordCo

Sleigh Bells - Treats (Mom + Pop/N.E.E.T.)

Sleigh Bells - Crown On The Ground by musicmule

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast (Kanine)

Worrier - Source Error Spells (Richter Collective)

<a href="">Let Down Your Hair by Worrier</a>

Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here (XL)

Gil Scott-Heron - Where Did The Night Go by FollyOfYouth

Liars - Sisterworld (Mute)

Errors - Come Down With Me (Rock Action)

Caribou - Swim (City Slang)

Swim by Caribouband

The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt (Dead Oceans)

Four Tet - There Is Love In You (Domino)

Guido - Anidea (Punch Drunk)

Guido 'Mad Sax' by Punch Drunk Records

Here We Go Magic - Pigeons (Secretly Canadian)

Here We Go Magic 'Collector' by createspark

Enemies - We've Been Talking (Richter Collective)

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today (4AD)

Toro Y Moi - Causers of This (Car Park)

Blessa- Toro Y Moi by musicnerds

Sunday, June 27, 2010

High Places

There's an interesting interview with Mary Pearson of High Places over at

Pearson and co-conspirator Rob Barber originally formed High Places in New York in 2006. Since then, they've released a number of beguiling early 7"s (collected on 03/07-09/07) and two albums, their self-titled debut LP and this year's High Places VS Mankind. Their sound is unique and striking: a hard-to-categorise mix of electronic and folk influences, it can feature aquatic, woozy rythms and textures, household percussion, hypnotic child-like vocals, treated samples, bongos, kalimba...their music can range from the dub-tinged, pulsing 'The Longest Shadow' to the tropicalia-flavoured, almost-primitive simplicity of 'Head Spins'. At times there's a tribalistic, spiritual vibe emanating from their music, with its back-to-nature aesthetic and folky, field-recording ambience. They're genuinely one of my favourite discoveries of recent years, and they reached a mind-blowing peak with 'From Stardust to Sentience': it's utterly transcendent, one of those tunes that sounds like it was beamed down from the ether, with the musicians not so much creating it as channeling it.

High Places VS Mankind saw them in something of a transitionary phase, with Pearson's vocals pushed up in the mix, a more pronounced electronic influence and a more direct approach, but they're still a fascinating prospect. Their show upstairs in Whelan's earlier in the year was magical, and the duo have often expressed an interest in playing art galleries and mixing art forms as well as more conventional rock gigs.

High Places - High Places vs. Mankind by Speaker Snacks

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The BBC are a bunch of dicks

So you can't watch Glastonbury highlights on the BBC website because it's 'not available in your region'. And no doubt, like last year, they'll go about removing any video recorded from their footage from YouTube. How does a person get their fix? At this rate I'll just have to go to the festival.

Here's some classics from the past

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tunes of the week

Wildbirds & Peacedrums - 'The Well'

Wildbirds & Peacedrums - The Well by statemagazine

Wild Nothing - 'Drifter'

Logikparty - 'Good Hood'

<a href="">Good Hood by Logikparty</a>

Lucky Dragons - 'Mirror Friends'

Gorillaz - 'Superfast Jellyfish'

Wavves - 'Post-Acid'

Wavves- "Post-Acid" by Marco Collins

Dum Dum Girls - 'Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout'

Kode9 - 'You Don't Wash' (Dub)

Kode9- You Don't Wash (Dub) by !K7 Records

SALEM - 'King Night'

Salem - King Night by Nialler9

Oneohtrix Point Never - 'Ouroboros'

Cold Cave - 'Life Magazine' (Delorean remix)

Cold Cave - Life Magazine (Delorean Remix) by Nialler9

Emeralds - 'Cycle of Abuse'

Iggy Pop

Possibly the greatest interview in rock history?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Logikparty - Good Hood / Iodine

Dublin-based band Logikparty only played their first gig in January of this year, but they're building up quite a head of steam already. I saw them play support to Cap Pas Cap a couple of weeks back in Roisin Dubh and was pretty much blown away by their set.

The four-piece take their cue from the late 70's/early 80's No Wave scene (Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, DNA, James Chance & The Contortions), putting copious amounts of blood in the music: the guitars are caustic and abrasive, the rhythms pummelling and insistent; while frontwoman Benni's vocals match the music for white-hot intensity, with a shriek that recalls vintage Siouxie and the Banshees.

Their debut 7", 'Good Hood/Iodine' is available for streaming on now. It can also be purchased from the same site for a mere 2 quid.

True to their influences, they've also shown a desire to incorporate performance art into their M.O. - they'll be collaborating with New York-based stop motion animator and artist Martha Colburn at next month's Trans Festival in Belfast. Logikparty will be playing a set accompanied by two live 16mm film projections from the filmmaker, with some of the set consisting of once-off improvisation. It all goes down on July 22nd.

Also, you can download this mix they did for Skinny Wolves:

LOGIKPARTY - Sex is full of voodoo mix // January 2010  by SkinnyWolves


intro: LINK WRAY 'the shadow knows'
MARS '3e'
ROSA VERTOV 'rosa yemen'
DNA 'lionel'
UT 'sham shack'
WIRE 'i should have know better'
THE POP GROUP 'we are all prostitutes'
BAUHAUS 'of lillies and remains'
CHARLES DE GOAL 'exposition'
TUXEDOMOON 'no tears'
CHROME 'electric chair'
outro: SUN RA 'i'll wait for you' (edit)

Logikparty play with Children Under Hoof and Fringilla Montifringilla upstairs in Whelan's on July 2nd. They then play a show with the excellent Jogging in Castlebar on 17th July.

Whelan's date for Liars

The excellent LA-based Liars will be making their way to Whelan's on August 11th, U:Mack Productions have announced. Since their formation in 2000, the unpredictable trio have consistently wrong-footed expectations, veering from needly dance-punk to experimental noise-rock to tribalistic drum-based concept albums. More recently, they've employed more conventional song structures, but as on this year's Sisterworld, it's an unsettling, tense, intermittently explosive sound that they create. This should be a good one.

Liars - Proud Evolution by guesslist

Eels - Looking Up

The new eels album, Tomorrow Morning, will be released on August 24th. It's the third part of a rapid-fire trilogy that includes last year's Hombre Lobo and this year's End Times. If we're brutally honest, both those albums were fairly average and at times ('Little Bird' springs to mind) abysmal. Tomorrow Morning sounds interesting though. According to the official eels website:

TOMORROW MORNING is a new musical landscape: electronic keyboards, drum machines, tape loops and found sounds. "It's a very electronic album -- sounds normally associated with a kind of 'colder' music," says Everett, "but I wanted to make a warm album that was a celebration using electronic instruments to reflect joy in the times I live in."

Talk of the album being thematically about "A new beginning and another chance. The blooming of all new possibilities. The hope that was always there coming to fruition." is all very reminiscent of Daisies of the Galaxy, still my favourite eels album, but from the musical description this almost sounds Beautiful Freak-esque, which could be a great thing: in E's more bland moments I've often wished he'd be a bit more playful and rediscover his inner child, as it were. 'Looking Up' is available as a free sample of the album, in exchange for your e-mail address.

Staying on the subject of E, he was mistaken for a terrorist recently in London - according to,

E from Eels was questioned by police in London's Hyde Park after they mistook him for a suspected terrorist. The singer, real name Mark Oliver Everett was taking a break from a day of interviews when police approached him thinking he fitted the description of a suspicious person they were looking for. After being let go once they realised he was innocent, the frontman said: "Not every guy with short hair and a long beard is a terrorist. Some of us just want to rock."

Indeed. Just as well he wasn't rocking the Souljacker look -

eels play Electric Picnic later this year.

Popical Island compilation streaming on Bandcamp

Popical Island is a record label/collective of Irish acts who share a certain lo-fi/ramshackle charm. A 15-track compilation is now available for download and free streaming on, and is well worth checking out. It features the much-touted likes of Feed The Bears (who have just sadly split), Yeh Deadlies, Squarehead and So Cow.

Road Records have called the compilation "Irelands very own 2010 version of the legendary C86 cassette." Yikes, high praise!

Squarehead - Fake Blood by popical_island

Solar Bears - Bear Mountain

Via, a new track from Dublin/Wicklow-based duo Solar Bears, which should feature on a split EP with FUR later this year. The track is meatier and more guitar-based than their previous electronic experiments, but still builds atmosphere impressively. Solar Bears previously remixed FUR's 'Clears Throat'.

Clears Throat (Solar Bears Remix) by statemagazine

Solar Bears' upcoming EP - Inner Sunshine - and album - She Was Coloured In - can be pre-ordered from

21 - Solar Bears - Crystaline Be Again by statemagazine

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Video: Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout

Great song, cool video. Debut album I Will Be is out now.

Video: Villagers - Ship of Promises

Bit cheesy.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor for Tripod show

The influential Canadian post-rockers will be playing Tripod on December 10th. They're also curating All Tomorrow's Parties in December.

Telepathe to play Whelan's

Very exciting news. Brooklyn-based Telepathe will be playing a show in Whelan's on August 14th, courtesy of Skinny Wolves (who've previously released a split 7" featuring Telepathe and Effi Briest reworking eachother's tracks). The duo - Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudis - released the excellent Dance Mother last year, a record of sublime minimal avant-pop that was produced by TV on the Radio's David Sitek.

Telepathe - So Fine by The Recommender

Video: Interpol - 'Lights'

Directed by Charlie White.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Holy Roman Army - Daylight Savings Mixtape

Folllowing up their covers EP Desecrations, the Carlow electronica duo have made a mixtape, called Daylight Savings, available through Soundcloud. Featuring Caribou, James Blake and Jose Gonzalez among others. Desecrations is still available for free download at well as covers of Pixies and Pavement, it features a wondrous version of Rollerskate Skinny's 'Speed to my Side' - shivers down the spine, people, I'm not messing.

Daylight Savings Mixtape by theholyromanarmy

Small Black - Small Black EP (re-issued)

Article originally written for

Long Island duo Small Black have frequently been associated with the chillwave/glo-fi scene, and it’s not hard to see why: Washed Out, arguably the archetypal artist of the genre, is currently touring with Small Black as support, and also released a glorious remix of their ‘Despicable Dogs’; while the duo’s music has the same hazy, out-of-focus quality and nostalgic tone that distinguishes most of the acts grouped under the chillwave banner. However, whereas most of their supposed brethren (Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi, Memory Tapes etc.) deal in fuzzy electronica, Small Black owe more to guitar music, and in particular shoegaze. Submerged, wistful vocals interact with blurry guitar lines and drum-machine loops to create an atmospheric sound that’s alternately dreamy and jarring.

This re-issue of last year’s self-titled EP includes two new tracks, but the main attractions here remain the same. The original ‘Despicable Dogs’ is only slightly less sublime than its remixed version, a melancholic, bittersweet tune whose misty production only adds to its curious emotional power, while ‘Lady In The Wires’ and ‘Bad Lover’ soar understatedly. In many ways this is the beauty of Small Black’s aesthetic: the anthemic qualities of their songs are downplayed in favour of a more impressionistic approach, and they sound all the better for it. The twilit wash of ‘Pleasant Experience’ is atmospheric and evocative even in this distinguished company, while new addition ‘Kings of Animals’ (originally included on the ‘Despicable Dogs’ 7”) interrupts the mood somewhat, being as it is the punkiest number in their repertoire.

Recent reports indicate that Small Black have been fleshing out their sound (and increasing their line-up) ahead of their first full-length, and you can’t blame them for wanting to avoid the inevitable chillwave backlash (what do you mean it’s already started?!). Still, they could do a whole lot worse than further exploring the beguiling sound they’ve created on this release – genre tags blur into irrelevance when it comes to music this good.

Small Black - Despicable Dogs by musicmule

Small Black: Bad Lover from Nick Bentgen on Vimeo.

Live Review: Jogging / Nouveaunoise, Roisin Dubh, Galway

Article originally written for

Richter Collective post-hardcore trio Jogging and electronic duo Nouveaunoise: they’re not exactly peas in a pod, but they’re joining forces on this balmy summer’s night at Galway’s Roisin Dubh for a free gig courtesy of Strange Brew. On the evidence of tonight’s show, they can be considered two of the leading lights on the domestic scene.

The good weather that’s in it means the crowd is sparser than usual for a Thursday night, but Nouveaunoise’s support set is received warmly – the duo deal in mellow, layered electronica, with two of their tunes in particular standing out: the atmospheric, hazy ‘Giron’, and ‘Cinnte’, a hypnotic, subtly propulsive tune that Four Tet would be proud to call his own. The atmosphere in the venue is pretty casual, with the duo asking how many songs they have time for (“seven!”) and if Jogging want to play (“at some stage”).

When Jogging take to the stage they launch into an electrifying ‘Bruises Like Bow-Ties’, yet as terrific an opener as it is, they only seem to get better as the gig goes on: considering their status as a relatively new band who’ve just released their (excellent) debut album, the three-piece are insanely good tonight, the relentless, furious pace and momentum never dropping for a second. Jogging’s sound owes much to the Dischord Records stable (Fugazi, Rites of Spring, etc.), but you can also draw comparisons with Future of the Left or the recently departed Giveamanakick. There’s some killer riffs at the heart of almost all their tunes, but what really seals the deal are the unexpected flourishes, such as the thrilling about-turn halfway through ‘Threadbare’, or the breathless, ecstatic climax of ‘Shattered Knees’. It’s tough to pick a highlight (no, it really is) but the immense ‘Not Simple’, with its wonderfully spiteful chorus, is the one I can’t get out of my head all next day. Amazing musicians with irrepressible energy, and credit must go to the soundman also: the sound is punishingly loud yet still crystal-clear tonight – no mean feat.

It’s no exaggeration to say there’s serious potential for an international breakthrough here, especially when you consider how accomplished this band sound in their relative infancy. We all know those dubstep/dance-favouring music fans who say they’ve lost faith in guitar bands, disillusioned by their blandness and lack of inspiration. Take them to see Jogging.

Video - Crystal Castles - Celestica

Via Pitchfork, the video for 'Celestica', from the duo's second self-titled album, out now. Also worth checking out is the Thurston Moore remix of the same tune:

Crystal Castles - Celestica (Thurston Moore Remix) by gergbot

Crystal Castles and HEALTH play a double-bill at Dublin's Academy on October 9th, while the former will also be making their second appearance at Electric Picnic.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Magnetic Island - Subterfuge

Over at, you can hear the brand new track from Brooklyn-based Magnetic Island, formerly known as RENMINBI. Sounds great. Make sure to also pick up their cover of Lou Reed and John Cale's 'A Dream' while you're over there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

HEALTH - Die Slow (Nite Jewel remix)

LA-based Ramona Gonzalez, who's already remixed Caribou's 'Odessa' to stunning effect, goes to work on HEALTH's 'Die Slow'.

Health - Die Slow (Nite Jewel Remix) by Hypetrak

Saturday, June 19, 2010

'And as things fell apart, nobody payed much attention'

The BP oil slick disaster gets more and more depressing by the day. This really is going to get worse before it gets better, and who knows if it will get better? BP don't. It's truly end-of-days stuff.

I'm no longer the idealist, hardline environmentalist i was at the age of 16 or whatever, but one thing that i felt back then and that's still blindingly obvious now is that society's ridiculous consumption demands are completely unsustainable in the long-term - right now, it's looking like the long-term mightn't be so long at all.

Anyway, if it's not a bit suspect to use such a disaster as an angle for a music post, it did get me thinking about bands/artists who've dealt with environmental concerns in their music. And there's not that many, which makes it all the more notable when it does happen.

Talking Heads - 'Nothing But Flowers'

Devastatingly clever lyric from David Byrne, set in a post-peak-oil society and narrated by an increasingly desperate soul who can't adapt to the new, simplified lifestyle necessary to survive - "If this is paradise/I wish I had a lawnmower"...


Not only did R.E.M. write some pretty eloquent songs dealing with environmental issues, they also walked the walk, donating money to home-state Georgia's conservation funds, promoting Greenpeace on their tours and generally being prominent environmental activists. They even named one of their albums Green. 'Cuyahoga' dealt with the pollution of the titular Cleveland river, which was so badly polluted at one stage that it caught on fire. "Let's put our heads together / And start a new country up" sings Stipe, but it sounds like a doubtful scenario. 'Fall On Me', meanwhile, is commonly interpreted as being about acid rain, although Stipe denies this. Don't heed him.

Neil Young

'Mother Earth' is one of Young's more divisive songs- many of his fans despise it, i quite like it. Young insists on playing it regularly, and there's something quite subversive about a rock star singing a plea for environmental awareness mid-set. 'After The Goldrush' referred to "Mother Nature on the run in the 1970's" - it rings truer than ever today. His most recent album, meanwhile, was a 'concept' album about his Lincoln Continental, which had been retooled to run on alternative energy sources.


The frankly terrifying 'Idioteque' conveyed growing dread and impending doom - "Ice Age coming, Ice Age coming ... We're not scaremongering / This is really happening..". Lead singer Thom Yorke insists on playing venues well-served by public transport, and the band turned down Glastonbury for this very reason. “One of the conditions of the band carrying on touring is that we do everything we can to minimise our impact on the environment. That has included buying two lots of equipment and keeping one in Europe and one in America so we never have to fly our kit around the world again.” Bono, take some notes.


Latest album Plastic Beach refers, both in title and theme, to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a symbolic monument to human waste: The BP oil leak makes it sound tame.

Stars for Electric Picnic

I think I've fallen back in love with this festival. The line-up for this year grows more and more awesome. So long as there's no more mystery cancellations, they really need to cut that shit out already.

Latest additions: Stars, the Canadians who released the truly excellent Set Yourself on Fire in 2005. They've got a new album, The Five Ghosts, being released next week, and it's already been preceded by the very impressive 'Fixed' - listen below.

Stars – Fixed by Hypetrak

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Houses - Endless Spring

Gorgeous, mellow, blissed-out tune from Chicago-based Houses. Get it over on the Forkcast.

Villagers album now streaming on Soundcloud

Still in two minds over Ireland's new great white hype? Well you can sample Villagers' debut album Becoming a Jackal right now on Soundcloud. Having finally got around to purchasing it myself, i have to say I really like it. Although much like The Immediate before them, there's that sneaking feeling that they're not quite that good.

Villagers - Becoming A Jackal by DominoRecordCo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Richter Collective sampler

Also courtesy of State Magazine, a sampler from the excellent Richter Collective label, who've given us some of the best music released so far this year (Redneck Manifesto, Jogging, Worrier...).

Richter Collective - Label Sampler by richtercollective

Stream: Enemies - We've Been Talking

Courtesy of State Magazine, a stream of the brand new album from Wicklow's Enemies, the latest release on the Richter Collective label. It's one I've really been looking forward to since catching them live a few weeks back.

We've Been Talking by enemiesmusic

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cold Cave - Life Magazine (Delorean remix)

There's a whole bunch of 'Life Magazine' remixes circling around the internet, but Delorean's may well be the best yet. They take the original and infuse it with their unmistakeable brand of Balearic bliss-out. Delorean's current album Subiza is getting rave notices from all over the shop, and if you haven't yet picked up a copy of Cold Cave's Love Comes Close album from last year, you really should.

Cold Cave - Life Magazine (Delorean Remix) by Hypetrak

The Radio Dept. - Heaven's On Fire

This song's been out a couple of months now, but it hasn't been posted here yet and it's such a perfect summer tune, so here it is. Prefaced by a Thurston Moore quote from The Year Punk Broke, this is infectious, joyous stuff. The album, Clinging to a Scheme, is out now.

The Radio Dept. - Heaven's on Fire by Surfing on Steam

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mudhoney to play Dublin and Galway

One of the most important and seminal bands in the grunge scene of the late eighties/early nineties that saw Nirvana exploding into the mainstream, Mudhoney are now reformed and have recently being playing the classic Superfuzz Bigmuff in its entirety. They'll be playing some Irish dates later on in the year - Dublin's Button factory on the 1st October, Galway's Roisin Dubh on the 2nd.

Dinosaur Jr, Built To Spill, money's on the Meat Puppets next. Let's make it happen.

Taken By Trees - Anna (CFCF Remix)

Montreal native Michael Silver aka CFCF produced one of the remixes of last year with his gorgeous take on HEALTH's 'Before Tigers'. He's worked his magic again on this reworking of Taken By Trees' (the solo project of ex-Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman) 'Anna'. 'Anna' also features the unmistakeable vocals of Animal Collective's Noah 'Panda Bear' Lennox.

Taken By Trees – Anna (CFCF Remix) by Hypetrak

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Top 10: Sonic Youth

For me, the Youth are simply the greatest band that has ever existed, a manifestation of perfection. It's not just the music, but on its own that would probably be enough: developing from their abrasive, no-wave-influenced early material and gradually reconciling their atonal noise assaults with a more conventional rock approach, they hit upon arguably their richest vein of form on the outstanding Daydream Nation (1988). After that, they flirted with the mainstream with sometimes compromised but always interesting results, and last decade, just when many had written them off as a spent force, the arrival of Jim O'Rourke galvanised them into creating some of the most amazing material of their career.

Aside from that, there's their vast, wide-ranging influence on the alternative scene; their use of underground artists' work on their album sleeves; their use of underground film-makers for their music videos; their voracious appetite for fanzine culture and their relentless promotion of pioneering new music; the awesome symmetry of their live performances (veering between freeform noise and thrilling, propulsive rock; Ranaldo and Moore taking off on separate tangents before locking back in; Shelley keeping everything in check)...I could go on but I'm trying to keep this concise.

#1 - 'Rain on Tin' (Murray Street, 2002)

Murray Street was a late-career album that carried a special resonance: for one, it was regarded as a return to form after the critically-savaged NYC Ghosts and Flowers. As well as that, it was named after the Manhattan studio, just a few blocks from the Twin Towers, where the band had been recording at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Jim O'Rourke was in the studio the day of the attacks, while an engine from one of the planes was later found on the roof). 'Rain on Tin' sounds appropriately elegiac. The moment around the 3-minute mark where the guitarists start stretching out is amazing, as are the melodic, interlinking lines that follow.

#2 - 'Unmade Bed' (Sonic Nurse, 2004)

Haunting, twilit late-period classic that echoes their earlier epic 'Diamond Sea', with a lyric that hints at an abusive relationship. The increasingly violent squall of guitars halfway through takes an already great song to another level.

#3 - 'Washing Machine' (Washing Machine, 1995)

Two and a half minutes of bratty sneering from Kim is the precursor to an absolutely irresistible groove that turns the tune on it's head. The band nail it and ride it for the next seven minutes, adding lashings of feedback and squall as they go.

#4 - 'JC' (Dirty, 1992)

A haunting, gut-wrenching tribute to Joe Cole, Henry Rollins' partner-in-crime and a good friend of the band who appeared with Kim in the video to 'My Friend Goo'. The Youth have a knack of writing tributes/laments that avoid schmaltz or sentimentality (see also 'Tunic (Song for Karen)' or '100%'). See also the Henry Rollins videos below for a spine-chilling account of the tragedy that claimed Cole's life.

#5 - 'I Love Her All the Time' (Bad Moon Rising, 1985)

The live version from brilliant documentary/tour-film The Year Punk Broke is the definitive one, Ranaldo and Moore injecting bursts of freeform noise and guitar improvisation into the slow, tense march of the song. Compelling viewing, actually probably the coolest live performance I've seen on film.

#6 - 'Schizophrenia' (Sister, 1987)

I'm robbing this from a YouTube user comment: "the open chords almost make you have an epiphany of clarity for the 5 seconds they transpire where everything in your life makes sense" - I think he meant opening chords, but otherwise, YES.

#7 - 'Stones' (Sonic Nurse, 2004)

Another example of why I think the Youth are at their best when they stretch out, and why O'Rourke was such a vital cog in their noughties incarnation. Blissful guitar lines on this one.

#8 - 'Teenage Riot' (Daydream Nation, 1988)

Still undeniable, still pretty much the signature Sonic Youth tune ('Kool Thing'? Fuck right off). Also known as 'J Mascis for President', or something to that effect. If you don't thrill to that moment at 1.25 where the sublime central riff
kicks in and Shelley counts in the song proper, there's no hope for you.

#9 - 'Sunday' (A Thousand Leaves, 1998)

I remember hearing this when I was a lot younger, digging it, then later in life getting into Sonic Youth and being delighted to realise it was one of theirs. Menacing, grungy, and featuring a fantastic noise eruption. And the video! Macauley Culkin resembling a young Thurston! God, what a band.

#10 - 'Candle' (Daydream Nation, 1988)

I've always loved the video to this one, the band playing in some dingy basement, surrounded by graffiti'd walls, swirling camera-work reflecting the thrilling music, Thurston singing "Wind is whipping through my stupid mop"... It's a video that seems to represent a golden era gone by, where alternative bands retained an air of mystery and effortless cool, where a late-night viewing on MTV opened you up to a world of underground culture, but where you had to make the effort to discover it.