No introductions required here one would hope.... 'Corporate Ghost' is a lovingly compiled - somewhat surprisingly so considering the sell-out connotations of its title - and immensely comprehensive collection of 23 videos stretching from 1990's 'Goo' album to 'Murray Street' of a couple of years ago. There's nothing from 'Sonic Nurse', but we'll forgive them since that only came out last week.
The video budgets vary (although all the 'Goo' videos were shot for the same cost, $500 each), as do their effectiveness, but for every misfiring art-school audio-visual experiment (a couple of clips look dated beyond belief) there are a half-dozen truly captivating short films, and that's what many of these clips really are: proper short films, albeit all set to a similar, white-noise-grunge-death-waltz-pop soundtrack. 'Little Trouble Girl' (featuring Kim Deal and an alien child), 'Mildred Pierce' and '100%' are just a trio of videos that really impress, although they do so in completely different ways, the low-budget 'Mildred...' looking like the work of a completely different band to the one that appear performing in someone's living room in '100%' (featuring an early appearance from Dogma actor Jason Lee).
Over the course of the DVD Sonic Youth's commitment to accurate celluloid documentation becomes evident, so much so that almost every clip comes with optional commentary from (three members of) the band, each of whom offer genuinely interesting insights. There are a plethora of decent extras too, including The Minutemen's Mike Watt recalling how Kim Gordon once managed to pop his kneecap out, only for Thurston Moore to pick up his body and sit him in front of a microphone to continue the set, and Kathleen Hanna explaining exactly why she decided to prace about in her pants for one video. She's still cute, by the way - you'd call her sexy but she'd tear your face off. Spike Jonze and a slew of other video directors offer their thoughts too; one has an excellent beard. Oh, and that freaky Macauley Culkin is here too, still licking his glossy lips through 'Sunday' whilst ballerinas twirl and Thurston looks old. Too weird...
...To summarise: this is essential to all but those who desperately hate Sonic Youth (if that's you and you've made it this far, buy it anyway). There'll be no better music DVD all year, mark my words.
9Mike Diver's Score