Ribbon Around A Bomb

Femme Avant-core

Noisegasm: Ciccone Youth

Like most good bands, Ciccone Youth was a short-lived (albeit brilliant) project that dissolved before it had a chance to start sucking. The group was formed by the members of Sonic Youth, along with bass-boss Mike Watt in 1986 out of a sort of shared obsession (real or ironic, I’m still not sure) with the pop grooves of (wait for it) Madonna. Her given last name is Ciccone, by the way.

Ciccone Youth never actually played a gig, and honestly, I’m extremely surprised that they managed to release a full-length album. The whole thing easily could have remained an obscure musical joke like MinuteFlag, Watt’s little-known experimental collaboration with the members of Black Flag in the mid ‘80s.

Ciccone Youth’s “Addicted to Love:”

The Whitey Album is a fantastic model of experimental music that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The standout tracks are:

“Addicted to Love” -doesn’t Kim look dope in that vid?
“Macbeth” -the song I’m most likely to play while just hanging out at home. They ditch-the-kitsch for primitive, noisy experimental rock.
Into the Groovey” -something cool about this track is that it sounds extremely slowed down, but in fact, the tempo is exactly the same as the original “Into the Groove.”
“Burnin’ Up” -my personal favorite. Watt recorded it on a four-track tape in his bedroom.

[Watt with photo of Kim Gordon- 1987]

[Watt with Madonna bass- 1988]

[Madonna looking particularly “rock’n’roll” in 1986.]

Something really sweet too is what Watt has to say about the significance of Ciccone Youth in his personal life and career: “This band was critical for me because it was right after d. boon’s death and the project really motivated me to get back into music.” So you know, if not for Ciccone Youth, we might not have fIREHOSE, the Missingmen, Dos, and other Watt goodness. Listen and dig:

Burnin’ Up:


Oh, also someone in Youtubeland made a video of “Macbeth” to intense Twin Peaks scenes, which makes no sense whatsoever but might also be the GREATEST creative product of our time.

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