Sonic Youth: August 12, 2011 Williamsburg Waterfront – FLAC / MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs

August 16, 2011

[Photos courtesy of “Anonymous”]

Sonic Youth long ago reached that rare point in an artist’s career when they can do exactly whatever they want, whenever they want.  Two great  examples happened last week: a day after they released two incredible tracks on the glowingly-reviewed vinyl-only retrospective box set by the North Carolina imprint Three Lobed Recordings, the band dropped into the radically revamped Williamsburg waterfront and its row of luxury condos and played a set of older and rarely-played cuts.  Albums that have gone almost-untouched on recent tours saw the light of day: “Brave Men Run,” “Ghost Bitch” and (the more-commonly played) “Death Valley ’69” from Bad Moon Rising were on the menu.  Dirty – regarded, rightly or wrongly as the band’s most “commercial” record – wore its age well on an extended “Sugar Kane” and the infectious “Drunken Butterfly,” with Kim spinning round the stage like a madwoman twenty to thirty years her junior.  “Starfield Road,” from the relatively unappreciated Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, made the cut, alongside classics like “Kill Yr Idols” (originally from the Kill Yr Idols EP) and “Cotton Crown” (from Sister).  Late-period material similarly seemed at home; “What We Know” sounded just as vital among these gems as it has at recent shows where the band played almost exclusively new material.  And, for good measure, the band’s second encore (of three) was the title track to Thurston’s mid-90s solo effort, Psychic Hearts.  Other than their deep-as-shit discography, Sonic Youth don’t feel like a “classic” band, with energy, enthusiasm and intensity that could put most crews of 22-year-olds to shame.  They can carry a show and rule the night anywhere in this city – be it United Palace, Terminal 5, Music Hall, or an outdoor stage facing the bright lights of Manhattan.

The show wrapped with the feral noise squall of “Inhuman,” as Moore howled at the soulless towers of steel and glass and the band’s immense blasts of feedback threatened to shake the junk to its foundations.  A lot in this world feels built on a shaky foundations these days.  Some artists have the power to remind you that some things still are real, and good, and right.  Fifty years from now, those architectural monstrosities will probably be rubble.  Sonic Youth will be a monument to their era.

Johnny Fried Chicken Boy and I recorded this set with multiple mobile rigs that were mixed together after the show (thanks to page for the help with the sync).  Hours of post-processing work have gone into making this recording sound as good as possible, given the limitations of recording an outdoor show, our location in the venue, and the enthusiasm of the crowd.  It is by no means our best capture of Sonic Youth (see the links to Terminal 5 and Music Hall above for those), but it is by far the most interesting setlist we have recorded for the site.  Samples are included, and all files are tagged for easy importing into your favorite music software.  Enjoy!

Direct download of the complete show in MP3 [HERE]

Direct download of the complete show in FLAC [HERE] or [HERE]
If either of the links are no longer working, email nyctaper with a request for the download location of the files.

Stream the full set

Follow acidjack on twitter

Sonic Youth
Williamsburg Waterfront
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Recorded by Johnny Fried Chicken Boy and acidjack
Produced by acidjack

Source 1: DPA 4061>Church Audio CA9200>Sony PCM-M10 (24/44.1)
Source 2: Audix 1280c>Church Audio “active” cables>SP-SPSB-8>Edirol R-09 (24/48)
Mastering: 2x24bit WAV>Audition (resampling, EQ, effects)>Audacity (sync sources, mix down)>Audition (EQ)>Audacity (tracking, set fades, amplify and balance, smooth peaks, reduce clapping)>FLAC ( level 8 )

[Total Time 1:33:00]
01 Brave Men Run
02 Death Valley ’69
03 Cotton Crown
04 Kill Yr Idols
05 Eric’s Trip
06 Sacred Trickster
07 [banter]
08 Calming the Snake
09 [banter]
10 Starfield Road
11 I Love Her All the Time
12 Ghost Bitch
13 Tom Violence
14 [banter]
15 What We Know
16 [banter]
17 Drunken Butterfly
18 [encore break 1]
19 Flower
20 Sugar Kane
21 [encore break 2]
22 Psychic Hearts
23 [encore break 3]
24 Inhuman

PLEASE SUPPORT Sonic Youth, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from the Store at their website [here].  If you wish to buy their two latest tracks, “Out & In” and “In & Out”, check out the 4xLP box set Not the Spaces You Know, But Between Them on Three Lobed Recordings [HERE]

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28 Responses to Sonic Youth: August 12, 2011 Williamsburg Waterfront – FLAC / MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs

  1. stu
    August 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    thankyou very much, i’m very pleased that this amazing show was recorded!

  2. August 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    The best concert I’ve ever attended. Thank you so much for this!

  3. Clay
    August 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Yes! THANK YOU!!!

  4. Bruce
    August 17, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I’ve sen Sonic Youth 7 times now and this show was the best. They seem to defy age, they just keeping getting better.

  5. Keith
    August 17, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Thanks for this.

    Sonic Youth have linked to this on their facebook page.

  6. August 17, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Thanks a lot! Very inspiring!

  7. Andrew
    August 17, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Excellent Quality!!! Im so happy to hear this when I couldnt be there. Thank you so much.

  8. August 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Thank You for recoding it! This show killed.

  9. August 17, 2011 at 8:38 am


  10. WaxBrain
    August 17, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Thanks, totally rad show.

  11. Julian
    August 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks so much for taping and sharing a wonderful recording of this stunning performance!

  12. Joe
    August 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you for all that you do!

  13. Tabitha
    August 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Great sound! I really wish i’d been there with that amazing set list…thanks for the next best thing.

  14. Richard
    August 18, 2011 at 12:22 am

    thank you, thank you, thank you. i am taper myself, so seeing flac version of this gig with such a setlist of my favorite band. once again thanks for recording and sharing!!!!

  15. Sam
    August 19, 2011 at 12:01 am

    This show was amazing. The fact that they played Sugar Kane made my night.

    Thurston was right in front of me.

    Man, it was just like Pavement’s Waterfront show last year, up front right in front of my lead hero guitarists, Malk and Thurston.

    Great crowd too, too bad about the curfew but ah well. Kurt Vile ruled, Wild Flag was meh.

    Thanks for uploading this, I still love that quote right before he went into Sugar Kane (meanwhile I yelled that for god knows how many song breaks) “Alright, let’s do it”

  16. August 20, 2011 at 8:12 am

    it was my tenth SY, and easily the best. They blew my mind. I’d love if someone DVD’d this and there was an official release. We need an official live DVD from this era SY.

  17. mark_e
    August 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Thanks aj – downloading it from here not Dime!

  18. greg mcgarvey
    August 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

    thanks for your work! saw the Dime link and found ya here

  19. Steve
    August 20, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Thanks. Thought Wild Flag was great too. Did you happen to tape them. Vile was good, but more than half an hour wouldve gotten boring.

  20. Joe
    August 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    thanks very much for all your efforts. this is one of the more interesting SY shows I’ve seen in some time.

  21. acidjack
    August 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Wild Flag have asked that people not record their shows until after their album comes out, so we are respecting their wishes. Unfortunately we missed Vile. Hey Kurt, if you’re reading this, please let us know if we can post the Bowery show!!!!!

  22. Steve
    August 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Seeing Wild Flag at Maxwells. Have a feeling they won’t be playing small places for long.

  23. Donny
    August 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    This is so great of you. I can’t believe this is SY show 28 for me. One thing that never ceases to amaze me although is so consistent of them is how Kim, Thurston, Lee, and Steve [and now Mark] stand on the side of the stage and watch their opening acts. Lee taking photos of Wild Flag is typical of the support they show. I don’t recall hearing SY place a Thurston solo song before. And it seems that their sets actually have gotten longer over the years, to my delight. Sincere thanks for this, aj.

  24. tom
    August 25, 2011 at 10:15 am

    thanks acidjack & johnny fried chicken boy, another stellar recording from you guys!

  25. franckj
    September 16, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Thank you for this great recording (considering the crowd). Killing set list! One of the most intense version of DV’69 (makes me thrill)

  26. michael
    December 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Dan – great to see you at the bell for ylt & sharing your insight from the dean does g500 show at Maxwell’s. Cool stabler jersey too..
    Is it safe to safe this was the very last SY NY appearance?

  27. February 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I see Pitchfork just linked to this and I expect a lot of hits on the downloads, so we’ll have them moved to a faster mirror server in a few hours.

  28. September 19, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Gracias, Thanks.

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