Hey, I'm not sure if you are aware, but Thurston and Kim actually are in new bands now. Thurston's new band Chelsea Light Moving is actually playing in Toronto in a couple weekends
Kim's new band is Body/Head but they don't seem to be playing in Toronto, at least yet. I haven't listened to either band though, yet.
Dirty actually has a couple really
good songs (Theresa's Sound World, Sugar Kane), but I agree, not their best. You're not alone in thinking NYC ghosts and flowers is horrible... Pitchfork gave it a 0.0
I don't remember if I've heard Rather Ripped or not. I think I may have heard the first two songs. Either way, public opinion indicates that I shouldn't bother.
Haven't listened to Murray Street in a while, but I remember I didn't care for the first half at all, but was pleasantly surprised by the second. Will have to re-listen soon.
I'm glad I re-initiated your interest in Sonic Youth
ALSO, Trans Am have been on my list of bands to check out for a couple months now. I've really been getting into that 'scene' recently... have you heard of Polvo or Slint?