This past weekend I made a purchase that I've been meaning to for a long time. In good ol' New York City, you may know it as the BBQ capital of the world, I went to a store called Ted's Fine Clothing. Located in the Lower East Side, I love this store because it is the jackpot of band t-shirts. Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Misfits, The Clash, Rolling Stones, Notorious BIG, you name it, Ted has it. On Saturday I finally bought the Sonic Youth 'Goo' album cover t-shirt. One of my favorite albums featuring one of my favorite album covers.
I bought this shirt on Sunday. Today, Tuesday, I discover that Taylor Swift has been making money off of the legendary Indie darlings that is Sonic Youth. Look at this. It's terrible.
Now, I know this kinda stuff has been done before. Rihanna recently ripped off Nirvana's shirt, but at least most people know what the Nirvana logo look like. Lord knows the Ramones classic logo tshirt has been ripped off about a thousand times (most recent being a Seinfeld version, but at least that made me laugh).
My problem here is that Sonic Youth deserves so much better. They are influential. The perfect example of a band that helped create the bands and music that we all have come to cherish. Nirvana loved them. They influenced Beck, Pixies, R.E.M., just to name a few. In short, in the realm of real music, they matter. It shivers me timbers that Taylor Swift, someone who, let's face it, probably hasn't listened to Sonic Youth before since their style is far from music associated with rainbows and goodie goodie gumdrops.
You want a role model? Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth is a woman young aspiring female musicians should look up to. Her music talks about the real world and is meaningful. Love songs by Sonic Youth are realistic. Taylor Swift sings about how things stink right now cause her 16th boy band boyfriend left her. People who really like Taylor Swift don't know what good music is. This 1989 tour is filled with guest appearances, ranging from Phoebe from Friends to Justin Timberlake to the US Women's Soccer team, to Fetty Wap, and I swear that attracts more people to her shows than her music. She preys on the blank minds of 12 year old girls, frat girls who just love to sing along after one strawberry daiquiri too many and bros trying to be funny by going to her shows.
So where does this leave us? Taylor Swift makes money off of a lesser known, but more deserving band with a tshirt she slings for probably way too much at her shows. These people don't know who Sonic Youth are and won't bother to care if it's pointed out to them, and that is a crime. More importantly, I bought a t-shirt from my main man Ted in NYC, just to learn that Taylor Fucking Swift made a mockery of it with a cat and a mention of 'sick beats'. What a world.