Friday, 16 February 2007

Songs for Girls... #2 ... "Little Trouble Girl" by Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth
"Little Trouble Girl"

And I've always loved slice-of-American-life grunge too. Being British, it's a bit of an imaginary place, and never more so when dressed up in the retro-feel of what I take to be a neverland of diners, drive-ins, Cold War comforts and paranoia, Space Race spookiness, conservative smiles and stripey tops, beanies and pigtails, lollipop girls and wholesome guys. And so on. "Little Trouble Girl" has gorgeous singing from the gorgeous Kim Deal and Kim Gordon, and it's dreamy; a beautiful ode to mother-and-daughter love, but tainted darkly by both feminine jealousy and maternal disappointment, and the moment when the daughter claims her own womanhood at the expense of her bond with her mom. "I'm sorry mother, I'd rather fight than have to lie", she says. That's truthful, painful and full of love.

From that lovely, slightly de-tuning guitar which opens the song, step into the dreamy corners of girls becoming women. Sonic Youth have always had romance songs with sexual identity-with-politics and Fifies-Sixties pop to the fore, filtered through feedback soundscapes, and the album "Little Trouble Girl" is from - "Washing Machine" - is also full of similar gems. If guitar rock has been dominated and bludgeoned by masculinity, the femininity of Sonic Youth only goes to show what rock is missing out on. Shalalala. 
Lovely Mark Romanek video for this too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well written article.