Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kool Thing

The 4th song on the LP Goo is called "Kool Thing."

This song is a radio song. Plain and simple. If there ever was a break out song for Sonic Youth, this is the one.

"Mary Christ" ends with the Kool Thing riff coming in, but the track ends and repeats the same riff. Many were puzzled for years about this until the Goo Demos surfaced only to show that both songs go into each other and the ending of Mary Christ is from the demo.

Chuck D makes a special appearance on this track. He doesn't rap but talks. Apparently it took him one take!

This song is about being cool. Seems to be a hot topic with the band during this time. Sonic Youth could have felt indifferent about their new major label home. They could have also felt indifferent about the possibility of being "mainstream" cool rather than underground hipster cool. Either way, the label rejecting the first version of Goo could have been the reason why this song turned out a little different from the demo. It's strategically placed as the 4th track, around the other "radio friendly"  tracks.

Maybe I read too much into things, but he Sonic's themselves are very careful about what they do. By this time, They KNOW how to write a pop song, they just didn't choose to until now. To quote the Sandlot, "she knows what she's doing, she knows EXACTLY what she's doing!"

Another song in F#F#F#F#ee. Many more to come! This will prove to be Sonic Youth's most marketable tuning. Thurston has a tendency to write a whole record using one tuning.

"Kool Thing" was played nightly during the 1990-91 tour. It got some play during the 100% Dirty Tour in 1992, but disappeared from the set completely until the 2000 NYC Ghost and Flowers Tour. Yes, we were shocked to see it come back! In 2001, Kim sat on the stage, looked at me, and did the "hey kool thing! come here! sit down beside me" part while looking and motioning to me!! 

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