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Sonic Youth Week – Free Kitten

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Free Kitten was 90s indie rock supergroup, which brought together members of Sonic Youth, Pavement, Pussy Galore and Boredoms. While not meant to compete with any of their primary bands, FK still stuck around long enough to record a number of albums in the 90s and a reunion album entitled “Inherit”.

The band (which initially included only Julie Cafritz and Kim Gordon), recorded a number of singles and EPs throughout the early 90s (one of their early tracks was a cover of X-Ray Spex “Oh Bondage Up Yours”). In 1993, the band added Yoshimi (Boredoms) to the line-up and a year later, Mark Ibold (Pavement) also joined the band.

Nice Ass - 1995
Nice Ass - 1995

Free Kitten’s first proper full-length was 1995 “Nice Ass”, which came out on Wiiija Records in UK and on Kill Rock Stars label in US. All Music Guide pointed out that the album’s sound resembles a cross between “the pointlessness of Ciccone Youth and the proto-punk-blues of Royal Trux.” AMG also pointed out that the album “sounds sloppy but is deceptively deliberate and not without political points to score.”

Few years down the road, the band produced 1997 “Sentimental Education” album, which, according to AMG, was one-part “Goo-era Sonic Youth”, one-part deconstructive experiments and one part pop parodies. In the end, AMG concluded that “While Sentimental Education can’t really compare to the work of any of its members’ bands, it provides enough of the thrills of each to be consistently satisfying.”

By the late 90s, the band stopped producing new material as various band members went on to work on other projects. The band returned in 2008 with a new album – “Inherit” – which came out on Ecstatic Peace! label. AMG commented that “There are interesting and compelling moments scattered throughout this album, but they never coalesce into something worth sitting all the way through.”

In 1995, Julie Cafritz teamed up with members of the band Halo Of Flies and Sonic Youth stylist Daisy Von Furth in a band called Halo of Kitten. They recorded one track called “I Hate Porn” for one of the splits in Amphetamine Reptile label compilations dedicated to porn (the track later appeared on a soundtrack to a movie “Screwed”).

Band Members:

Julie Cafritz (Pussy Galore, Halo Of Kitten)

Kim Gordon (Ciccone Youth, Harry Crews, Mirror/Dash, Sonic Youth, Thurston, Kim And Epic)

Mark Ibold (Pavement, Sonic Youth)

Yoshimi (1 + 2s, Boredoms, Brain Zero, Eastenburia, Karera Musication, Noise Ramones, OOIOO, Plastic Nuggets, Psycho Baba, UFO Or Die, Z-Rock Hawaii)

Discography:

Call Now CD / 12″ (Ecstatic Peace!, 1992 / Time Bomb, 1992)

Straight Up CD / 10″ (Pearl Necklace, 1992)

1993 Japan Tour Special E.P. 7″ (Time Bomb, 1993)

Lick! 7″ (In The Red, 1993)

Oh Bondage Up Yours! 7″ (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 1993)

Special Groupie 7″ (S.O.S., 1993)

Harvest Spoon 7″ (Wiiija, 1994)

Nice Ass CD / LP (Wiiija, 1994 / Kill Rock Stars, 1995)

Sex Boy 7″ (Radiation, 1994)

Punks Suing Punks EP 7″ (Kill Rock Stars, 1995)

Unboxed CD / LP (Wiiija, 1995)

Free Kitten With DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid / Free Kitten With We 12″ ( Wiiija, 1997 / Kill Rock Stars, 1997)

Sentimental Education CD / LP (Wiiija, 1997 / Kill Rock Stars, 1997)

Inherit CD (Ecstatic Peace!, 2008)


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