Sonic Youth releases Hits Are For Squares on Starbucks's label

Sonic Youth - Will play for latte
Sonic Youth - Will play for latte

Iconic art-rockers Sonic Youth have just released a compilation album, Hits Are For Squares, on Starbucks's HearMusic label. The CD will be sold exclusively in Starbucks stores in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC., as well as online.

The 14-track album features a brand-new Sonic Youth recording, Slow Revolution, as well as classic SY tracks as handpicked by celebrity curators such as Radiohead, Beck, actress Chloe Sevigny, novelist Dave Eggers, Eddie Vedder, Flea, actor David Cross and and screenwriter Diablo Cody, among others. Participants have also written about their selections for the liner notes.

"I guess, for some, Sonic Youth represents something that they don't really equate with Starbucks," guitarist Thurston Moore told Billboard last year. "But I kind of like the absurdity of it. Sonic Youth has always, in a way, made itself available to the super mainstream.

"In a way, Sonic Youth has a branded name," he continued. "People know the name, but not necessarily our music, which might be a little too outsider for some. And when they do hear a little something, it doesn't tell the whole story. I thought it would be interesting to have a CD available in a store like Starbucks where the casual consumer can sort of have access to [our music] more readily."

In his liner notes, Eddie Vedder writes, "From my experience nothing gets you going like putting on Teenage Riot at full volume ... 0 to 60, standing still. Play it twice and you will have cleaned the house and shoveled the walk. In a car you'll find yourself doing 95 and getting pulled over before the first chorus."

The full track list is as follows:
Sugar Kane, selected by Beck
100%, selected by Mike D
Kool Thing, selected by Radiohead
Disappearer, selected by Portia De Rossi
Superstar, selected by Diablo Cody
Stones, selected by Allison Anders
Tuff Gnarl, selected by Dave Eggers and Mike Watt
Teenage Riot, selected by Eddie Vedder
Shadow Of A Doubt, selected by Michelle Williams
Rain On Tin, selected by Flea
Tom Violence, selected by Gus Van Zant
Mary-Christ, selected by David Cross
World Looks Red, selected by Chloe Sevigny
Expressway To Yr Skull, selected by Flaming Lips
Slow Revolution, exclusive new Sonic Youth recording

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.