Sonic Youth, Erase Errata Kick Off 'Buddy Series'
Sonic Youth and Erase Errata have joined forces for the debut of New
York-based Narnack Records' "Buddy Series," a limited edition,
bi-monthly, themed, split single of colored vinyl. The first
seven-inch offering finds New York's Sonic Youth and San Francisco's
Erase Errata (who played shows with Sonic Youth last year, and will
be doing another with SY in August), each offering a song about
everyone's favorite diva, Mariah Carey.
SR's Kim Gordon wrote and sings "Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle
Hand Cream," which addresses Carey's high-profile "breakdown" of
2001; the song was recorded at the group's Echo Canyon Studio in New
York City. Erase Errata, the self-described "edgy, not angry,"
all-woman Bay Area quartet, apply their "ready-set-go" approach to
music crafting, as lead singer and trumpeter Jenny Hoysten describes
it, to their rendition of Carey's "Glitter," the title track to the
star's failed album and film of the same name.
Sonic Youth guitarist/singer Lee Ranaldo, in an email to Neumu,
implied that the song and Erase Errata's cover are tributes to Carey.
"I think for one thing the whole controversy about Mariah's being
dropped by her label and how clueless the music industry can
be at times, just throwing money at problems and then cutting loose
with huge losses really made her a very sympathetic figure."
As for Erase Errata's interest, Ranaldo wrote. "I think perhaps the
girls in EE heard we were doing this song and responded in a show of
Over the years Sonic Youth have recorded material about or by other
female pop stars. As Ciccone Youth (Madonna's full name is Madonna
Louise Ciccone), the group made a number of recordings, including
1988's The Whitey Album."Tunic (Song for Karen)" on 1990's
Goo is about Karen Carpenter. Ranaldo said he had no idea if
other stars would be the subject of future SY songs. "Hard to say if
there are more [coming], but we remain interested in pop culture and
how certain representatives of it conduct their lives in the
Ranaldo said that Sonic Youth are fans of Erase Errata. "We did a
bunch of shows with them last year and really enjoyed their energy
and proto-no-wave attitude," he wrote. "They really rock and
represent from SF!"
The new series couples an established veteran band with an
up-and-comer whom Narnack (founder Shahin Ewalt, Ryan Westerski and
Camille Sciara) is excited about. Sonic Youth, label founder Shahin
Ewalt's favorite East Coast band, was picked because "musically, they
have been the biggest influence for me, Ryan, and Camille," Ewalt
wrote in an email to Neumu.
The limited-edition Sonic Youth/Erase Errata single is a total of
4,500 seven-inch vinyls; 1,500 white with numbered discs, the
remaining 3,000 black with numbered inserts. All feature colorful
die-cast jacket artwork a line drawing of Carey over blurry
rainbow colors (Carey titled her 1999 album Rainbow) by
Narnack Records was started in May 2002. Ewalt invited his old
high-school friend Westerski and his former Knitting Factory
colleague Sciara to join him in NYC. The company chose to focus on
developing "bands we like and we believe want to create some sort of
community of musicians and artists," wrote Ewalt.
The next "Buddy Series" will pair San Francisco Bay Area bands
Deerhoof (5RC) and K.I.T. (unsigned), the theme and release
yet to be determined. Ewalt describes Deerhoof's sound as "somewhere
between melodic and fucked," and K.I.T. as a group "perfect for
smokers who want to dance, but can't sustain the epic guitar solos.
One-minute wonders nailin' the G-Spot on impact." There is also a
pairing of Young People and Friends Forever coming soon, the
preliminary theme slated to be based on U2's "Where the Streets Have
Currently, the singles are available on the Web at the Narnack site, and in a
limited quantity in some record stores.
Ewalt said future "Buddy Series" projects are in the works, but has
deliberately not chosen to stick with any particular formula for
producing them. "Narnack hasn't really confined itself to strict
parameters or a rigid belief of what types of bands we want to work
with," he wrote. "We are always talking to the bands about ideas and
themes. We like funny things." Nicole Cohen [Monday, July 21,