Friday, August 12, 2011

Sonic Youth -- "Wildflower Soul" (1998)


Wildflowers 
For you today 

My oldest son (he was not quite 15 at the time) and I saw Sonic Youth perform at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC in the spring of 1998.  They were touring to promote A Thousand Leaves, their 10th studio album.  "Wildflower Soul" is from that album, which had a very odd cover:


A Thousand Leaves grew on me slowly.  It is quieter and more subtle than Sonic Youth's earlier music -- it's Sonic Youth for grownups.   (Thurston Moore was about 40 when it was released, and Kim Gordon was 45.)   

The band takes its time on most of the tracks, including "Wildflower Soul," which is over 9 minutes long.  There's another 9-minute-plus song on the album, plus an 11-minute-long track.

I'm not much of a gardener and I'm not much of a photographer, but when I'm on a hike or a bike ride, I take a lot of pictures of flowers -- especially wildflowers.  June is peak wildflower season in Colorado, and I came back from a recent trip to Denver and environs with a lot of pictures on my Blackberry.

Here's a blanket flower -- possibly the Gaillardia aristata, or common blanket flower:


I think this flower is a Gaillardia suavis --also called perfumeball, or pincushion daisy --  a related variety with small flower rays but a large, fragrant seedhead:


Here's an orange Indian paintbrush (genus Castilleja).  I saw quite a few of these:


Here's a wild rose -- perhaps a Rosa woodsii (Wood's rose) or Rosa arkansana (wild prairie rose):


Here's another wild rose:


This bright yellow flower is the sulfur flower (Eriogonum umbellatum):


This is a plume thistle (genus Cirsium):


Here's a shot of this thistle from above:


This is the musk thistle (Carduus nutans), also known as the bristle thistle or nodding plumeless thistle:


Here's a yarrow (Achillea millefolium), also known as "nosebleed plant" and "soldier's woundwort" because of its astringent qualities:


I think these are dwarf golden asters (Hetertheca pumila), but I could be wrong.  Asters, daisies, and sunflowers are members of the Asteraceae family, which has more than 22,750 accepted species -- so cut me a little slack if I'm not sure:


Here's a harebell, Parry's bellflower, or something from the Campanula genus:


Here's the invasive Dalmatian toadflax flower (Linaria genistifolia, subspecies dalmatica), which is an escaped ornamental plant that is native to Dalmatia (a historical region on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea that is now part of Croatia.)


Here's a closeup of the Dalmatian toadflax's flowers:


This is a Mariposa lily (Calochortus gunnisonii):


Last but not least, here's what I believe is a scarlet globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea):


I like flowers of all kinds, but I have a soft spot for wildflowers.  You can never have too many wildflowers on a hike or mountain bike ride.  They're scarce enough to seem special, and you have to admire their self-sufficiency.

Here's "Wildflower Soul":





Here's a link you can use to buy the song from Amazon:


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