Monday, May 12, 2014

Ciccone Youth - Sonic Youth Takin' the Piss

Posted by on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 7:03 AM

As I was cruising teh internets "blog-o-sphere" over the weekend I happened upon a Dangerous Minds post reflecting on the time Sonic Youth masqueraded as Ciccone Youth.

In 1986, Sonic Youth teamed up with Minutemen/fIREHOSE bass player Mike Watt for a Madonna covers 7”. Having temporarily re-dubbed the band “Ciccone Youth” in a nod to Madonna’s disused surname, they recorded ridiculous travesties of the pop icon’s hits “Burnin’ Up” and “Into The Groove” (renamed “Into the Groovy”), with the latter introduced by way of “Tuff Titty Rap,” which gave Thurston Moore a fine forum in which to be a complete fucking goofball for 40 seconds.

Hmmmm. I can't help thinking the author kinda missed the point when he says Ciccone Youth is "some funny, funny shit." UH, Sure, it was a "funny" novelty side project, but in the '80s undergrounds bands often took the piss by bastardizing pop, and rock*; it wasn't '00s ironic, it was punk kids wanting to stick needles through the self-conscious anointed pop SUPERSTARS. By mocking pop and canonized rock songs/groups, these bands tossed a HUGE "Fuck you, jerks!" in the face of the squares. Oh well, I guess now as EVERYTHING is fucking inclusive and is automatically given merit, it makes sense for someone to recast Ciccione Youth as simply "funny," rather than noting it as a pointed piss up.

Anyway, tho' NO ONE I KNOW liked the CY single, about half the tracks on The Whitey Album, are really good. When it's serious The Whitey Album is atmospheric, weird, AND creepy, like early Chrome!!! Oh, um, "Addicted To Love," WAS recorded in a karaoke booth at a mall.

This album, before it was issued, had long been rumored to be a remake of the Beatles' Beatles album, AKA the White Album, thus its name.

* Other underground mockeries of note: the Butthole Surfers' cheeky Black Sabbath nod "Sweat Loaf" and their "offensive" album titled Hairway To Steven, Killdozer's amazingly brutal stab at Janet Jackson's "Nasty," Dinosaur Jr. blowing chunks all over Peter Frampton's "Show Me The Way," and Pussy Galore's glorious and fucked-up remake of the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main St..


Comments (5) RSS

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Estey 1
Great post, Mike! And these works are brilliantly subversive and caustically inspiring, artistically far beyond the sugary, fast-paced covers of Top 40 and commercial rock songs pop punk bands would make a boring trend of through the 90s. A whole world of difference.
Posted by Estey on May 12, 2014 at 7:31 AM · Report this
I love that album, and I love the Madonna covers (Into the Groovy is fab). Mike Watt had always tossed some tongue in cheek love to mainstream dance music in his work with the Minutemen, so I don't think the project was a 100% fuck you to the establishment, actually. I saw it more as "we can't stand Madonna or what she stands for but dammit some of her tunes are m.f. catchy".
Posted by genevieve on May 12, 2014 at 7:50 AM · Report this
How did this fall through the SLOG drain trap?

The Song Apple Chose For Their Latest Commercial Is All About A Big, Black… Thing

"The new iPhone commercial, entitled “Powerful” features a bunch of people using their phones and iPads to play music. One girl uses it as a keyboard, another as a guitar tuner. As the commercial continues, all the people are using their technology to play the same song, “Gigantic” by The Pixies.

The song seems euphoric as the actors sing out, “Gigantic! Gigantic! Gigantic!/A big, big love.” What they don’t say is that “Gigantic” is all about a large black penis."
Posted by K-JET AM Fan on May 12, 2014 at 8:08 AM · Report this
dangerousgift 4
Say “piss” more times. It’s really working for me.
Posted by dangerousgift on May 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM · Report this
I just picked up a vinyl copy of this last week. Love this album.

Posted by jnonymous on May 12, 2014 at 4:15 PM · Report this

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