Goodbye 20th Century
A Biography of Sonic Youth
By David Browne
Sonic Youth's distinctive, uncompromising sounds have provided a map for innumerable musicians who followed, from '90s groundbreakers like Nirvana and Pavement to current faves like the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. More than perhaps any other act, Sonic Youth has brought fringe” art to the mainstream, helping spawn an alternative arts scene that prospers to this day: a world of punk rock, underground films and comics, experimental music, conceptual art, contemporary classical compositions, and even fashion. In Goodbye 20th Century, David Browne tells the full glorious story of the Velvet Underground of their generation,” an account based on extensive research, fresh interviews with the band and those who have worked with them (from Glenn Branca and Lydia Lunch to Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze), and unprecedented access to unreleased recordings and documents. This is a richly detailed portrait of an iconic band and the times they helped create.
“Browne does a fabulous job of detailing the setting, technical details and artistic temperament in the group’s creative process without hyperbole. The book can’t help but feel nostalgic for a cozy time before punk broke.”—Time Out Chicago four star review
“David Browne expertly guides the reader through a minefield of recent rock history…Goodbye 20th Century succeeds in bringing us a little closer to an act that has managed to stay cool and aloof for three decades while taking us along for the ride. And, most importantly, it reminds us that art can still change the world.”—Under the Radar