What I Don’t Know (That One Deaf Music Critic)

By That One Deaf Music Critic

Upon reading my five-hundred and seventy-fifth article about Sonic Youth, I realized something: I’ve never actually consciously listened to anything by them. Anything. At all.

I listen to plenty of bands that cite them as influences, I read plenty of articles about their influence on certain genres and musical movements. I read articles that are specifically about Sonic Youth, and aren’t even about their influence, just about the band itself. But I have never, ever, consciously listened to any of their music.

Now, no doubt after this revelation a coup will be staged by the music writers of The Founder, and next month there will be a new, more qualified editor for the music section, but what won’t they have listened to? I guarantee that every single music writer out there, regardless of how well-established and respected and knowledgeable they are, has at least one, if not a couple, of iconic bands that they’ve somehow never listened to. They might know facts about the band in question. They might be able to talk comfortably about them as a band and as an influence, but they’ve never listened to any of their songs. Now, I never try to pretend I’ve listened to things that I haven’t. Too much of my life was spent not listening, or being able to listen, to music for me to bother trying to pretend I heard everything. If someone had ever asked me if I had ever listened to Sonic Youth, I would have answered honestly: ‘no.’

So, of course, I had to download something by them. Maybe I’d get their complete discography. Maybe they were like all the other ‘hugely influential’ bands that only ever released one or two albums before all the members died or became members of a monastery. Maybe I could listen to their whole discography in one go and appreciate it all immediately. Nope. They released a lot of albums. And they went through phases. And there isn’t one obvious album that says everything about the band. And that’s how I found myself reading my five-hundred and seventy-sixth article about Sonic Youth, an article expressly aimed at people who, like me, didn’t know where to start. I downloaded ‘Goo’ and ‘Closer.’ Maybe I should have downloaded something else instead. Maybe I should have downloaded more. I don’t know. They’re good though. Now to listen to that Joy Division album as well… and find another publication that will allow me to edit their music section when I’m fired from this one.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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