Sonic Youth changed the landscape of guitar music through their experimentation with free-form noise, off-kilter rock/pop songs and dissonant alternative guitar tunings. The core members of the band (Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo) formed in 1981. On episode 35 of Philosophy of the World we revisit the output of this essential indie rock band from their early years to the end of the 1980’s. We start with their debut EP highlighting Sonic Youth’s no-wave roots, journey through EVOL and Sister which established them as powerful underground artists and finish off the show with instant classic Daydream Nation launching them into the pantheon of legend.


1. “I Don’t Want to Push It” from Sonic Youth EP

2. “Shaking Hell” from Confusion Is Sex

3. “Death Valley ’69” from Bad Moon Rising

4. “Brave Men Run (In My Family)” from Bad Moon Rising

5. “Tom Violence” from EVOL

6. “Shadow of a Doubt” from EVOL

7. “Schizophrenia” from Sister

8. “Pacific Coast Highway” from Sister

9. “Into the Groovey” from The Whitey Album

10. “Making the Nature Scene” from The Whitey Album

11. “Kissability” from Daydream Nation

12. “Teen Age Riot” from Daydream Nation


Companion Material
Goodbye 20th Century by David Browne
Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Kim Gordon
Confusion is Next: The Sonic Youth Story by Alec Foege
The Year Punk Broke
Sonic Youth Concert Chronology

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Breaking free and seeking a new, transcendent language for music, spiritual jazz arose under the umbrella of free jazz amidst the civil rights era of the 1960s. Lead by incredible players like John & Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith and many others. This music created melodies incorporating elements from Indian classical music and the Far East, mysticism, and more textured arrangements with uncommon instrumentation such as tablas, tambura and harps. Philosophy of the World presents a primer on this unique brand of jazz that sought the sacred.


1. John Coltrane – “Welcome” from Kulu Se Mama

2. Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes – “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord” from Astral Traveling

3. Alice Coltrane – “Journey in Satchidananda” from Journey in Satchidananda

4. Pharoah Sanders – “Astral Traveling” from Thembi

5. Bennie Maupin – “Ensenada” from The Jewel in the Lotus

6. Leon Thomas – “The Creator Has a Master Plan” from Spirits Known and Unknown

7. Michael White – “The Blessing Song” from Pneuma

8. Don Cherry – “Love Train” from Eternal Now

9. Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane – “Water” from The Elements

10. Sonny Sharrock – “Black Woman” from Black Woman


Companion Material
The House that Trane Built by Ashley Kahn
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
NTS Radio Black Classical: History of Spiritual Jazz Parts 1-4
Pitchfork’s Spiritual Jazz Primer

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The legendary MF DOOM’s (Daniel Dumile) work can be found under a plethora of monikers but his style is unmistakable. Through his unique blend of hip-hop and nerd culture, husky flow, and indelible, off-kilter rhymes DOOM has built an enduring, broadly loved and influential legacy. On episode 33 we take a deep dive into the super villain’s catalog, starting with early KMD years as Zev Love X. After being abandoned by the music industry, he returned to the scene with revenge on the mind, dawning a metal mask and spitting with a new ferocity. The result was a string of several classic albums culminating in a gold standard of underground hip-hop in Madvillainy. Since then, MF DOOM’s output has become more sporadic, but while he may not do exactly what we want, he’s the super villain we deserve.


1. 3rd Bass – “The Gas Face” from The Cactus Album

2. KMD – “Who Me?” from Mr. Hood

3. KMD – “Black Bastards!” from Black Bastards

4. MF DOOM – “?” (feat. Kurious) from Operation: Doomsday

5. King Geedorah – “Anti-Matter” (feat. Mr. Fantastik) from Take Me to Your Leader

6. Viktor Vaughn – “Let Me Watch” (feat. Apani B) from Vaudeville Villain

7. Viktor Vaughn – “Fall Back-Titty Fat” from Venomous Villain

8. MF DOOM – “Hoe Cakes” from MM.. FOOD

9. Madvillain – “Accordion” from Madvillainy

10. Madvillain – “ALL CAPS” from Madvillainy

11. Danger Doom – “Sofa King” from The Mouse & the Mask

12. DOOM – “That’s That” from Born Like This

13. JJ DOOM – “Gov’nor” from Key to the Kuffs

14. DOOMSTARKS – “Victory Laps” (Madvillainz Remix) from Victory Laps EP

15. DOOM – “Notebook 3” from The Missing Notebook Rhymes

16. Czarface & MF DOOM – “Nautical Depth” from Czarface Meets Metal Face


Companion Material
3rd Base – “The Gas Face” Music Video with Zev Love X
The Story of Little Black Sambo
Special Herbs Guide
Real MF DOOM Replaces Imposter

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Philosophy of the World episode 32 is all about the early years of post-punk. It’s such a diverse and important movement we couldn’t fit it all in so we focused on its formative years of 1978 and 1979. From the ashes of UK punk, the appropriately dubbed post-punk emerged carrying the raw DIY ethos of punk but embracing new sounds and experimentation. A disparate group of artists coalesced under the expansive umbrella of post-punk in major hubs of London and Manchester in the UK and New York and San Francisco in the US. Dig in to this rich movement with us and enjoy the angular funkiness of Gang of Four, the dub-infused rhythms of The Slits, the early synth experimentations of Tuxedomoon, and the textured, cold dissonance of Public Image Ltd.


1. Public Image Ltd. – “Public Image” from First Issue

2. Magazine – “Definitive Gaze” from Real Life

3. Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Hong Kong Garden” from The Scream

4. Gang of Four – “Damaged Goods” from Entertainment!

5. Wire – “Practice Makes Perfect” from Chairs Missing

6. Tuxedomoon – “No Tears” from Tuxedomoon EP

7. A Certain Ratio – “Do the Du” from The Graveyard & the Ballroom

8. The Pop Group – “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” from Y

9. The Slits – “FM” from Cut

10. Public Image Ltd. – “Careering” from Second Edition/Metal Box

11. Pere Ubu – “Navvy” from Dub Housing

12. The Fall – “It’s the New Thing” from Live at the Witch Trials

13. The Raincoats – “Adventures Close to Home” from The Raincoats

14. Joy Division – “Disorder” from Unknown Pleasures


Companion Material
PiL on The Tom Snyder Show
Siouxsie & the Banshees’ Lords Prayer
Blaine Reininger (of Tuxedomoon) Documentary
Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds
Early Show by The Slits
BBC Four Punk Britannia (Part 3 of 3)

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Episode 31 of Philosophy of the World is closing out 2017 with our best albums of the year. Reflecting back, it’s easy to see how diverse and multifaceted the music world has become. There are endless pockets of micro-communities doing their own thing. With the rise of internet music journalism we naively thought it would result in an increased democratization of music consumption with the underground weirdos pushing aural boundaries gaining newfound prominence. Underground culture still remains underground, but that’s not to say it’s not still going strong. We want to embrace, celebrate and invest in the weird, the underground, the do-it-yourselfers, and the outsiders. So, celebrate the phenomenal music of 2017 with us as we listen to a wide array of sounds ranging from a perfect blend of new age and spiritual jazz from Carlos Nino & Friends, to the abstract and tripped-out hip-hop of Milo, to the meditative bliss of Deradoorian, and to the hyper-modern sound design of Visible Cloaks. Let’s dig into the best of 2017.


10. Rose Elinor Dougall – “Colour of Water” from Stellular

9. King Krule – “Dum Surfer” from The OOZ

8. Deradoorian – “Nia in the Dark” from Eternal Recurrence

7. Circuit des Yeux – “Paper Bag” from Reaching for Indigo

6. Visible Cloaks – “Bloodstream” from Reassemblage

5. Julie Byrne – “Natural Blue” from Not Even Happiness

4. Milo – “Magician (Suture)” from Who Told You to Think??!!?!?!?!

3. Carlos Nino & Friends – “Light-Codes” from Going Home

2. The Necks – “Rise” excerpt from Unfold

1. Bitchin Bajas – “Circles on Circles” from Bajas Fresh


Honorable Mentions

Ariel Pink – Dedicated to Bobby Jameson


Children of Alice – Children of Alice

Chino Amobi – PARADISO

Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex

Ex Eye – Ex Eye

Greg Fox – The Gradual Progression

Hand Habits – Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void)

Chuck Johnson – Balsams

Kiefer – Kickinit Alone

Man Forever – Play What They Want

Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me

Kelly Lee Owens – Kelly Lee Owens

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – Find Me Finding You

X.Y.R. – Labyrinth


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Ariel Pink (Ariel Rosenberg) is the focus of episode 30 of Philosophy of the World. We explore two decades of his outsider pop ranging from the early, blasted and lo-fi home recordings, to the Haunted Graffiti records that earned him a cult following, and up to present day with his slicker, widely renowned records. We begin with the compiled early recording experiments from Thrash & Burn and the early albums under the moniker Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti that partially inspired hypnogogic pop and chillwave in underground music. Some of these records were eventually reissued on Paw Tracks thanks to Animal Collective, vaulting Ariel Pink into newfound prominence and accolades. Since that time he’s released a consistent string of excellent LPs on 4AD and, earlier this year, on Mexican Summer with Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. Tune in to enjoy decades of music from this controversial weirdo outsider.


1. “I Disguise You” from Thrash & Burn

2. “Tractor Man” from Underground

3. “For Kate I Wait” from The Doldrums

4. “Are You Gonna Look After My Boys” from Scared Famous/FF>>

5. “Interesting Results” from House Arrest

6. “Credit” from Lover Boy

7. “Jules Lost His Jewels” from Worn Copy

8. “Round and Round” from Before Today

9. “Menopause Man” from Before Today

10. “Dutch Me” from Ku Klux Glam

11. “Driftwood” from Mature Themes

12. “Put Your Number in my Phone” from Pom Pom

13. “Jell-o” from Pom Pom

14. “Tears on Fire” from Myths 002 EP

15. “Bubblegum Dreams” from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson

16. “Feels Like Heaven” from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson


Companion Material
Ariel Pink’s Coachella Meltdown
Ariel Pink at Red Bull Music Academy
Ariel Pink’s Lost Media
Ariel’s Rumored, Unreleased Werewolf Movie

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This month on Philosophy of the World, episode 29 is all about the “scene that celebrates itself.” Shoegazing was a relatively short-lived subgenre emerging from the confluence of punk, post-punk, space rock and dream pop in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in the UK. We start by listening to some “proto-shoegaze” including the noise pop of The Jesus and Mary Chain, the wall-of-guitars space rock of Loop and ethereal dream pop of Cocteau Twins. We then focus on the initial wave of shoegaze bands up to about 1993. Not only do we listen to the “big three” including My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Slowdive, but we also spin some of the lesser appreciated groups such as the harder-edged Catherine Wheel, industrial gothisms of Curve, and the hypnotic pop of Pale Saints. Enjoy this primer on a subgenre that, while brief, continues to influence underground music today.


1. The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Taste of Cindy” from Psychocandy

2. Loop – “Too Real to Feel” from Heaven’s End

3. Cocteau Twins – “Carolyn’s Fingers” from Blue Bell Knoll

4. My Bloody Valentine – “Lose My Breath” from Isn’t Anything

5. Ride – “Vapour Trail” from Nowhere

6. Pale Saints – “Sea of Sound” from The Comforts of Madness

7. Lush – “Sweetness and Light” from Gala

8. Chapterhouse – “Pearl” from Whirlpool

9. My Bloody Valentine – “Sometimes” from Loveless

10. Curve – “Coast Is Clear” from Pubic Fruit

11. The Boo Radleys – “Skyscraper” from Everything’s Alright Forever

12. Catherine Wheel – “I Want to Touch You” from Ferment

13. Slowdive – “Machine Gun” from Souvlaki

14. The Verve – “Star Sail” from A Storm in Heaven


Companion Material
Beautiful Noise Documentary
Upside Down: The Creation Records Story
Pitchfork Classic: Slowdive – Souvlaki
How Soon Is Now? by Richard King

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Philosophy of the World is back by not-so-popular demand with episode 28! We’re mixing up the format of the show and keeping things themed, but still weird. For our return episode, we’re focusing on the discography of a favorite band of ours, Liars! We cover their music from their early days as a NYC-based dance punk quartet, through their excellent high concept albums, and into their foray incorporating electronics into their sound. In the end we share two new songs off of the newly released TFCF, which is now essentially a solo album by the front man Angus Andrew. Join us and see exactly why Liars is a timeless project of weirdos creating unique sounds.


1. “Mr. Your on Fire Mr.” from They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top

2. “Broken Witch” from They Were Wrong, So We Drowned

3. “It Fit When I Was a Kid” from Drum’s Not Dead

4. “The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack” from Drum’s Not Dead

5. “Plaster Casts of Everything” from Liars

6. “Sailing to Byzantium” from Liars

7. “Scissor” from Sisterworld

8. “Proud Evolution: from Sisterworld

9. “The Exact Colour of Doubt” from WIXIW

10. “Flood to Flood” from WIXIW

11. “Mess on a Mission” from Mess

12. “No Tree No Branch” from TFCF

13. “The Grand Delusional” from TFCF


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