A brief history of Sonic Youke
Based in Syracuse, N.Y., Sonic Youke started as an experiment and was formed in late 2017. Two of the founding members were also members of Fugulele (a serious all-ukulele Fugazi tribute band also based in Syracuse, N.Y.). Fugulele primariliy played all electric-acoustic with full drums, and worked to reproduce the Fugazi songs as closely as possible (eventually recording a full 14 song studio album). After their final show, some of the members of Fugulele went different directions in their lives and the band eventually stopped playing together.
The remaining members Ken and Tyler were both major Sonic Youth fans, and thought it might be interesting to try playing a few SY songs on ukulele in a similar format to that of Fugulele. We invited some musician friends to join us and started learning “Sugar Kane” and “Teenage Riot”. The new band quickly realized that playing Sonic Youth songs presented a whole new set of challenges. There would be much more experimentation, and it was exciting to start working with much more textural sounds.
Sonic Youth started improving on the known songs and learning new ones. They added “Kool Thing”, and “Jams Runs Free”, and a couple others. Once they built up several songs, a benefit show was planned with their friends The Malvinas at the NuHQ venue. Over the course of the next year Sonic Youke continued to expand their song list and played several more shows. The band has had the opportunity to play many shows supporting local people in need, while exploring a unique sound and experimental creative space.
With the current set list maturing to over 90 minutes of songs, Sonic Youke has recently been moving into open experimentation and playing their own arrangements for several songs. There will more upcoming shows this year.