Nøgne Ø with Sonic Youth

SAISON [6.5%] by NØGNE Ø

paired with

DAYDREAM NATION by SONIC YOUTH

THURSTØN MØØRE

Sonic Youth are the perfect pairing for Saison: subtly revolutionary, frequently astounding but occasionally a tad too self-indulgent.

– Mark Landells, Twitter, 27 July 2012

* * *

Nøgne Ø Saison pours like a good Saison should pour: nice and vibrant and little bit murky (like the Canyons Of Your  Mind). As a famous psychiatrist once told me: if you can clearly see your mother when you look through your glass of Saison, something’s gone wrong.

The nose is subtle but there is pleasurable sour aroma, which is reminiscent of the solitary Bakewell Tart that didn’t get scoffed by the ravenous hordes at a child’s birthday party but got prodded and licked by all who saw it. There’s also the merest suggestion of semi-exotic spices… a slither of star anise, a dusting of red peppercorns and perhaps a miniscule pinch of cinnamon.

The taste is a lively little wake-up call for jaded taste buds. Every time I drink Nøgne Ø Saison I can’t help thinking of Gary Snyder‘s words from Praise For Sick Women: ‘mouth is awash with little creeks’ – it really does make your mouth happy to be alive and fully functioning. The main hit of flavour is crunchy fresh fruit – unripe kiwi, star fruit, Chinese pear and they’re all perfectly complimented by the sour bite of the Belgian Ale yeast. The sour fruit compote is backed-up by the sweet cloy of wheat & malt short crust pastry and the whole parcel is nicely rounded-off with a pepper infused earthiness that no doubt comes from the good old-fashioned potato patch UK hops. The finish is strong and dry and leaves a gentle fizz upon the tongue like you’ve just sprinkled it with Space Dust. Delightful!

Overall Nøgne Ø Saison is a great beer – it’s not the finest Saison you can get hold of but only the hippest of dilettante beer geeks would be foolish enough to dismiss it.

* * *

Daydream Nation

Sonic Youth‘s Daydream Nation changed the world of guitar music – whether that is for better or worse is entirely open to personal interpretation.

The album opener, Teen Age Riot, is still everyone’s favourite Sonic Youth song – it’s still the one that produces the loudest cheers and the most insane jumping around at gigs. It’s not my favourite Sonic Youth track but I’m way too pseudo-cool to admit it even if it was. But I must confess that I can’t think of any other song that so perfectly transforms me back to my teenage years – those years of infinite fun and endless paths and possibilities that ultimately all lead to dead ends and misery. Those years of underage drinking and drug experimentation, those years of projecting the image that I was the coolest cunt on the planet but really all I was doing was hiding my idiosyncracies and insecurities behind a haze of marijuana smoke, a stack of empty beer bottles and a shit-hot record collection. Whenever I hear Teen Age Riot I can’t help feeling 17 again and although it shouldn’t feel so it does feel goooooood!

After a few years of trying to find their own sound this is the album where they truly managed to break free of Punk and Glenn Branca – oh, those influences are still there but they are subtle nods and suggestions, not guiding lights and rule makers as they had been before.  The speed of the album is fundamentally full-throttle with only the ethereal soundscape of Providence offering any true respite for those who prefer their music to have a more sedate and pedestrian pace. The song writing is top-notch and the quality of the music is at times breathtakingly beautiful but at other moments it is dissonant as fuck – perhaps the true worth of Sonic Youth is how effortlessly the meld those two contrasting sounds and feelings together. The album truly deserves to be held aloft as a blueprint for what guitar music could  (and would) give us in the 1990s and beyond.

Daydream Nation sees a band at the peak of their creative powers (a peak that would admittedly ebb and flow for another 2 decades or so). Steve Shelley, arguably my generation’s finest percussionist, is, as always, understated but experimental and powerful and beautiful. Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore are duelling guitarists extraordinaire but they ain’t duelling with each other, they’re duelling with any fucker who tries to mess with them and their band. And, of course, Kim Gordon is the finest and coolest and sexiest bassist outside of Japan. Together the combine to form one of the true great bands of the twentieth century and Daydream Nation sees (and hears) them combining perfectly.

Overall Daydream Nation is a great album – it’s not the finest Sonic Youth album you can get hold of but only the hippest of dilettante indie kids would be foolish enough to dismiss it.

* * *

Drunk as part of #SupSaison

Follow @Filrd – the main instigator of #SupSaison

Follow @NogneO

Follow @thesonicyouth

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~ by landells on September 15, 2012.

One Response to “Nøgne Ø with Sonic Youth”

  1. Everybody’s taking bout the stormy weather….

    Stunning.

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