Sonic Youth Honor Punk's Leading Ladies in "Sacred Trickster" Video

June 16, 2009 2:51 PM ET

Sonic Youth have unveiled the video for "Sacred Trickster," the opening track off their 16th album and latest masterpiece The Eternal. With only two minutes of Kim Gordon angst to work with, director Tom Surgal quickly tells the story of three lady anarchists who pack paint bombs in their pocketbooks and detonate them at some party where mimes serve as cocktail waiters. The band only appears in passing, as Thurston Moore digs through milk crates of records on the street, Lee Ranaldo busks and new bassist Mark Ibold reads what looks like a Korean newspaper as our three protagonists walk by.

The video makes many references to Patti Smith and other prominent women of punk's past, but anyone who's seen Jean-Luc Godard's curio-'60s films like Made In U.S.A. and Alphaville will recognize the filmmaker as the chief influence, as the video's style mirrors the director's jump-cut style and political pranks, while the three actresses don wigs similar to that of Godard muse and ex-wife Anna Karina. (In fact, the girl in the sleeveless dress is nearly a doppelganger of the actress Karina.) Even the first shot of Kim Gordon hanging up a punk concert flier pays homage to Godard's penchant for creative opening credits, and here Gordon gives credit to some of the artists that have inspired her.

Also in the world of SY, according to Pitchfork, guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo will get their own line of Fender Jazzmasters, which in the past has served as the guitarists' ax of choice. Both signature guitars go on sale July 1st. For more info, check out the Fender site.

Related Stories:

&#&8226; Sonic Youth Rock New York Apple Store With "Eternal" Gems
Sonic Youth, John Paul Jones Give Merce Cunningham's Dance Show a Fierce Soundtrack
New Music Report: Sonic Youth

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »