Entries tagged with: Sonic Youth
Kim Gordon talked to Elle:
"We have all these books, records, and art and are getting it all assessed; that's what is taking so long," she says after ordering a glass of rosé. But both have moved on. Among her suitors are a restaurateur, an architect, and an actor. "It's just weird," Gordon says of navigating new romance. "I can't tell what's normal." And Moore has regularly been seen with the same woman, fueling the rumor that his affair helped doom their marriage. "We seemed to have a normal relationship inside of a crazy world," Gordon says of her marriage. "And in fact, it ended in a kind of normal way--midlife crisis, starstruck woman."Read the whole article at Elle.
Some years ago, a woman Gordon declines to name became a part of the Sonic Youth world, first as the girlfriend of an erstwhile band member and later as a partner on a literary project with Moore. Eventually, Gordon discovered a text message and confronted him about having an affair. They went to counseling, but he kept seeing the other woman. "We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do," Gordon says. "Thurston was carrying on this whole double life with her. He was really like a lost soul." Moore moved out. Gordon stayed home and listened to a lot of hip-hop. "Rap music is really good when you're traumatized," she says.
Info on upcoming Kim Gordon and related Sonic Youth appearances, HERE.
Lee Ranaldo on stage w/ Dinosaur Jr. in 2012 (more by Gretchen Robinette)
The Lee Ranaldo Band, which features Lee along with his Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley, Alan Licht, and Tim Luntzel, are about to head to Spain and Portgual for a short tour this month, and upon returning to NYC they'll play a hometown show at Union Pool on April 28. Admission for that show is $12 at the door and openers TBA. They've got some other dates coming up this year too, all of which are listed below.
Meanwhile, Lee and Steve's past Sonic Youth cohort Thurston Moore is on tour with his band, Chelsea Light Moving, and that tour hits NYC TONIGHT (4/5) at Bowery Ballroom with Prana-Bindu and Marco Fusinato. Tickets for tonight's show are still available.
Thurston also contributed to Joyful Noise's new "Cause & Effect" series, which pairs an influential solo musician with an artist they've influenced on a split 7" single. Thurston's 7" has a track by Talk Normal on the b-side. The series also includes Dinosaur Jr/Sebadoh's Lou Barlow paired with Dumb Numbers and The Jesus Lizard's David Yow paired with Child Bite. You can stream the Thurston Moore/Talk Normal 7" at Pitchfork and listen to the other two below.
Thurston Moore and ex-wife/Sonic Youth bandmate Kim Gordon (separately) are also set to play the Yoko Ono-curated Meltdown Festival in London which goes down from June 14-23 at the Southbank Centre. Other artists performing include Yoko Ono herself with the Plastic Ono Band, Patti Smith, Iggy and the Stooges, Siouxsie Sioux (her first show in five years), Reggie Watts, Deerhoof, Savages, Marianne Faithfull, Immortal Technique, Ryuichi Sakamoto with Alva Noto, Sean Lennon with Cibo Matto, Boy George and more TBA. More info at the festival's website.
Meanwhile, you can catch Kim Gordon in NYC at the recently expanded "Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets," which takes place during the Red Bull Music Academy NYC residency at Brooklyn Masonic Temple on May 1. Kim will be joined by Andrew Bird, Robert Glasper, Questlove, Andrew WK, James Chance, Julia Holter, Thundercat, and many more. Tickets for that show are still available.
All Lee Ranaldo dates are listed, along with the Joyful Noise 7" streams, below...
Matador Records confirms that it is in fact Thurston Moore in the BrooklynVegan comments, who wrote this:
I'm in London now - but i'm heading to east coast USA feb 16 -- gonna conspire with the band and matador and figure out where to do this -- i'm thinking sick house basement birthday party --- gonna see about inviting some heavy peeps like alice cooper, negative approach, savages (from france!), trash kit (from uk!), ZZZs (from japan!) -- or at least some local, wherever that may be, killer krusherzzzz!!! insanity approaches!!!!!Matador also confirms that Thurston is still looking for ideas. Make your pitch in the comments of this post. See previous ideas, multiple comments from Thurston, and all CLM tour dates, in our previous post.
A lot has been written about Thurston Moore since Sonic Youth went on indefinite hiatus, his new project Chelsea Light Moving perhaps being the highest profile of the splinter projects. But his ex-wife Kim Gordon has been busy too, playing with Dinosaur Jr. at their You're Living All Over Me anniversary show at T5 and will perform at John Cale's Nico tribute at BAM next month.
Kim has also been exercising her experimental side, forming Body/Head with free noise guitarist Bill Nace. They released a single through Belgian label Ultra Eczema over the summer and you can check out live video of the duo below. Body/Head will play NYC at Union Pool on January 26 with Sightings and Jake Meginsky also on the bill. Tickets to that show just went on sale at noon today (12/18).
Chicagoans can also catch Kim in their city in March, at the Museum of Contemporary Art with White/Light.
The stolen guitar...
Hi -- Thurston Moore had his 1966 (circa) Fender Jazzmaster stolen from the Best Western in Philadelphia (501 N 22nd St) last night 12-12-12 around 12 midnight. It's Thurston's iconic Sonic Youth black Jazzmaster with all the stickers on its body. Here's a couple of photos. A police report has been filed. Please email us if anyone tries to sell this relic to yur store, it would be appreciated. Please forward to other guitar stores you may know in the area.Be on the lookout! Additional info: "it has a Mastery Bridge, and the pickguard has been changed so stickers might be different. it's a 1960 serial#41927." Hope you get it back Thurston.
Thurston played SPACE in Philly last night as part of a short string of dates that included Union Pool the other night and includes an upcoming show at Bowery Electric. Another shot of the guitar is below...
Thurston & John on stage w/ Sharon Van Etten in Nov. (more by Chris La Putt)
Thurston Moore and his Chelsea Light Moving bandmate John Moloney, who released the collaborative Caught On Tape earlier this year, are teaming up for a NYC show at Union Pool on December 11 with Speedy Ortiz and Lone Wolf (aka Ryan Sawyer, who also appears at Union Pool a few days earlier with Yeah Yeah Yeahs for a Sandy benefit). Admission is $10 at the door.
For Northampton's Speedy Ortiz, the show is part of a short December tour which also includes another Brooklyn show happening on December 13 at Shea Stadium with Grooms, Lushes, and Eartheater. After that tour, they plan to head out with Roomrunner in January but the dates for that tour have not been announced yet. Roomrunner meanwhile open for Future of the Left at Knitting Factory tonight (11/27).
As mentioned, Thurston Moore's ex-Sonic Youth bandmate/wife Kim Gordon will appear at the Dinosaur Jr. You're Living All Over Me show at Terminal 5 (12/1), along with Al Cisneros (Om, Sleep) and Johnny Marr. Kurt Vile opens the show and tickets are still available.
A list of all Speedy Ortiz dates and an excerpt of Thurston & John's Caught On Tape release, below...
Loren Connors at Le Poisson Rouge in September (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Speaking of Loren Connors, who opens for Jozef Van Wissem tonight, he's releasing a collaborative single with singer Suzanne Langille called I Wish I Didn't Dream on Northern Spy Records. You can order that single and listen to some samples at the Northern Spy website. They'll be celebrating it with a Northern Spy-presented release show in Brooklyn on November 13 at 285 Kent with Text of Light (aka Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht, and Ryan Sawyer and Tom Carter & Pat Murano. No advance tickets for that one at the moment. $10 at the door.
This isn't the first time that Loren Connors associated with a member of Sonic Youth. Over the summer he played a collaborative set with Thurston Moore as part of Spy Music Festival.
Speaking of Sonic Youth members, Steve Shelley isn't in Disappears anymore but he's still in Spectre Folk with Pavement/Sonic Youth bassist Mark Ibold, and Spectre Folk will play a Brooklyn show on Sunday (10/7) at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge with Scott & Charlene's Wedding (who also play the Oh My Rockness CMJ kickoff show at Pianos on 10/15 with Murals), Images, and Gem Trails.
The Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon, and Thurston Moore album, YOKOKIMTHURSTON, is out now. You can stream that in its entirety below via a spotify widget.
Lee Ranaldo @ Foley Square for Occupy Wall Street - 9/16 (photo by jessierocks)
Jello Biafra @ Foley Square for Occupy Wall Street - 9/16 (photo by zacharylipez)
Today (9/17,Rosh Hashanah for many), protestors have taken to the streets around Wall Street on the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movment. The anniversary celebration kicked off yesterday, on Sunday, in Foley Square near City Hall where a stage was setup for a five-hour concert featuring familiar, OWS-supporting names like Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Lee Ranaldo (and Steve Shelley) of Sonic Youth, Michelle Shocked, Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, and Jimmy McMillan, who as we pointed out last week, will be running for mayor again because the rent is still too damn high! Watch videos from the show, below...
Sonic Youth promised us some "news" at noon today, and that news is...
Sonic Youth - Smart Bar - Chicago 1985Tracklisting below...
2xlp/ CD / digital
Release Date : November 14, 2012
In August 1985 Sonic Youth were touring across the states following the release of their recently released LP 'Bad Moon Rising'. This performance from August 11, 1985 at Chicago's Smart Bar was recorded on 4-track cassette. This live recording consists of much of Bad Moon Rising and early performances of Secret Girl + Expressway to Yr Skull later to be released on EVOL, as well as a rare never before released live rendition of Kat 'N' Hat.
Mixed and mastered by the band from the original tape source for this double LP edition w/ download card (or CD or digital edition) along w/ liner notes by Gerard Cosloy and Sonic Youth engineer Aaron Mullan and photos by Pat Blashill and Steven Koress and released by Sonic Youth on their own label Goofin' Records and distributed via Revolver USA.
Sonic Youth are promising some kind of "news" at noon Monday. Meanwhile we can hope it's related to Steve Shelley leaving Disappears (but we'll keep our expectations low by listening to the Facebook commenter who wrote " Likely announcing one of the archival releases Lee already mentioned in an interview: '85 live show, '86 tour film or the deluxe Sister reissue.").
UPDATE: It's a live album.
Lee Ranaldo at Prospect Park, July 2012 (more by Dana [Distortion] Yavin)
While the status on Lee Ranaldo best-known musical endeavor remains up in the air, he's keeping busy supporting his new solo album which came out on Matador earlier this year, like opening for Wilco at Prospect Park last month. Next up: he's playing Union Pool on August 30 with Chris Lee and Spectre Folk.
No advance tickets for this show at the moment.
UPDATE: Tickets go on sale today (8/15) at 6 PM.
Lee's Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley not only plays in Lee Ranaldo's band and Spectre Folk, but also runs new label Vampire Blues which just released new records by Spectre Folk and Chris Lee so this is basically a big label launch / record release party. You can stream both below via a Spotify player. Shelley plays drums on Chris Lee's new album, Bury the Kings, so he may not leave the drum kit all night.
In other related news, Ranaldo's other other band, Glacial, just released their new album, On Jones Beach, which consists of one 42-minute track. (Pitchfork gave it an 8.0.) Ranaldo will also be playing this year's ATP New York in September. And Thurston Moore's new band, Chelsea Light Moving, plays their first NYC show at 285 Kent on September 12 and tickets are still available with proceeds going to benefit Charalambides' Tom Carter who fell seriously ill this year while touring Europe.
Flyer for the Union Pool show and album streams are below.
Chelsea Light Moving at Sled Island 2012 (more by Zach Pollack)
Thurston Moore's new band, Chelsea Light Moving, who played a few shows in June (Sled Island included) has finally announced a show in Thurston's hometown of NYC. Chelsea Light Moving will play
Issue Project Room 285 Kent on September 12 with Steve Gunn and White Out. (UPDATE: The show is presented by Issue Project Room but it's happening at 285 Kent.) Tickets for that show are on sale now. All proceeds go to Tom Carter.
You've already heard the band's first song, "Burroughs," which you can now watch "the officially unofficial video" for below. They've since revealed two more songs, "Groovy & Linda" and "Frank O'Hara Hit," both of which you can download above.
Chelsea Light Moving isn't the only new project of Thurston's. It was also recently confirmed that he joined black metal supergroup Twilight, which there has been talk of since 2010. Thurston joins a lineup of Nachtmystium's Blake Judd and Sanford Parker, The Atlas Moth's Stavros Giannopolous, Leviathan's Wrest (aka Jef Whitehead), Krieg's Imperial (aka Neill Jameson), and Isis/Old Man Gloom's Aaron Turner. In a press release (via P4K) Thurston says, "We're not coming together to make music, we're joining forces to destroy all rational thought."
In other Sonic Youth news, in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Lee Ranaldo revealed that the band hope to release a deluxe edition of Sister and live albums from specific points in their career, with a 1985 live album coming "in the next couple months." They also have recordings they made for films that were never released that they'd like to get out there.
That video is below.
In the live interview that took place before Hellride East (aka J.Mascis and Murph of Dinosaur Jr, and the guest of honor for the evening Mike Watt) hit the stage, Watt told rock critic Byron Coley about his intense love for John Coltrane ("I thought he was a punk") and how The Stooges changed his life. It was the latter that formed the basis for Hellride East's set at Le Poisson Rouge last night (5/2), as part of a release party for Mike Watt's new book On & Off Bass.
Featuring opening sets from throwback punk rockers Dead Trend and Brooklyn post-punkers Appomattox, the Hellride East set was comprised of 100% Stooges covers along with a shockingly large number of guest appearances. Names like Thurston Moore, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Steve Shelley, and a gang of other guests sauntered on stage to help tear through Stooges classics like "TV Eye", "Loose" (with Thurston), "Dirt" (with Sharon), "Not Right", "Down on the Street", "1970", set closer "Fun House" and many more. Though the band was clearly loose and out to have a good time, it was a night of wonderful surprises and, like Iggy would say, a "Real Cool Time".
If you were there last night, you might already have a copy of the book (and signed). If not, you can still order yours. Mike Watt recently completed a tour with his old band fIREHOSE which hit Coachella.
Pictures and the setlist from Le Poisson Rouge, a video from the interview session, and the audio from an interview Mike did on WNYC Soundcheck earlier in the day, below...
Wilco in Chicago (more by Matt Zeigler)
"Levon was the glue, not just in The Band, but in all of what people think of when they think of North American music. He was a great unifier; a great glue. He unified blues and country, rural and city, and even North and South. Luckily he showed us all the way to keep it together and let it swing."- Jeff TweedyRIP Levon.
Wilco, missing Levon like the rest of us, have announced even more tour dates including two Celebrate Brooklyn shows at the Prospect Park Bandshell which happen right between the previously announced Camden and Rhode Island shows. The Brooklyn dates and openers are July 23 with Lee Fields & The Expressions and July 24 with Lee Ranaldo Band (of Sonic Youth). Tickets will go on pre-sale on May 2nd at 10AM EDT and regular sale on Friday at 10AM EDT.
Lee Ranaldo Band are doing a other few dates on the Wilco tour too and touring with M.Ward (who they play a sold out Webster Hall with). M. Ward also plays Prospect Park this summer, but with Yo La Tengo.
All tour dates for Lee Fields, Lee Ranaldo and Wilco are below, along with a recent video of Ranaldo interviewed/performing at his record release.
Lee with Sarah from Talk Normal at MHOW in 2009 (more by Lori Bally)
As mentioned Lee Ranaldo will release his solo album, Between the Time and the Tides on March 20 via Matador. He'll be celebrating the release of that album with a free in-store on the album's release date, March 20 at Other Music at 9 PM.
Thurston Moore & Samara Lubelski in Austin (more by Tim Griffin)
As you may have seen on BV Austin (and above), Thurston Moore brought his current tour to Austin last week and played sold out show at St. David's Church, not long after his NYC show at the Allen Room as part of the American Songbook Series (that Tune-Yards and Bill Callahan also played)...
"Why can't we play facing this way?" Thurston Moore asked during his February 2nd acoustic, solo concert at New York's Allen Room, turning from the audience and gazing through the floor-to-ceiling glass behind his band. In fact, he did. Halfway through "Ono Soul," from his 1995 album Psychic Hearts, the Sonic Youth guitarist swung around toward the winter's-night view across Central Park, holding his instrument over his head, then aiming it at his small amp like a divining rod, drawing out a broad drone of distortion." [Rolling Stone]Watch a video from the NYC show below (of Thurston playing and reciting poetry), and check out the pictures from Austin.
Thurston's band included Samara Lubelski on violin, and that's who will be playing with him next Thursday (2/23) at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn as part of a poetry event called "Littoral: Flowers & Cream" and along with sets (or poetry?) by Anselm Berrigan, John Coletti, and Ben Estes & Elaine Kahn. Admission is FREE, but you need a ticket.
Speaking of Issue Project Room, Ensemble Pamplemousse plays there tonight (2/17).
Speaking of St. David's Church in Austin, Islands plays there tonight.
Speaking of churches in Austin, Pitchfork announced their SXSW showcase.
Mike Kelley in 1983's The Banana Man
Artist Mike Kelley has passed away at his home in Los Angeles, having apparently taken his own life. The tragic news was confirmed... by Helene Winer, of New York's Metro Pictures gallery, a long-time associate of the artist.Many in the music world might also know Mike Kelley's art from the iconic cover of Sonic Youth's Dirty (Thurston Moore was also the one who released the Destroy All Monsters albums in 1994). Read more about his fruitful career at Wikipedia.
"It is totally shocking that someone would decide to do this, someone who has success and renown and options," said Winer. "It's extremely sad." She added that the artist had been depressed.
Kelley was born in 1954 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He became involved in the city's music scene as a teen, and while a student at the University of Michigan, formed the influential proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters with fellow artists Jim Shaw, Niagara, and Cary Loren (a retrospective devoted to Destroy All Monsters was held at L.A.'s Prism gallery last year). Together, the band hatched a style of performance that skirted the edge of performance art...
Kelley's career took off in the early 1990s, with solo shows at the Whitney, LACMA, and other international venues. He and Oursler organized a well-recived installation -- a kind of monument to punk -- at Documenta X in 1997. In the early 2000s, he began exhibiting with Gagosian Gallery after 20 years with Metro Pictures. -[ArtInfo]
R.I.P. Mike Kelley.
Yo La Tengo Hanukkah @ Maxwell's 12/22/2011 (via TheRealYLT)
The Lee Ranaldo Band and comedian Ted Alexandro opened the third night of Hanukkah for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's. Lee, Steve Shelley, and Alan Licht, who is also in Lee's band, joined Yo La Tengo for a number of songs in the latter half of their set, including a cover of Sonic Youth's "Mote," which Lee sings lead on. In the encore, Yo La Tengo covered John Cale's "Andalucia" and Barry Manilow's "Mandy," the latter of which they were joined by John Cameron Mitchell on vocals. Check out the full setlist via Frank & Earthy below.
Speaking of Lee Ranaldo, he's working on his solo album called Between The Times & The Tides, which will be out March 20 via Matador. As mentioned, his live band includes Alan Licht, Irwin Menken, and SY bandmate Steve Shelley. All three members contribute to the album in addition to Sonic Youth collaborator Jim O'Rourke, Nels Cline, John Medeski, Bob Bert (who drummed in SY before Steve Shelley joined, and was also in Pussy Galore who are rumored to be opening one of the YLT shows), Lee's wife and longtime collaborator Leah Singer, and Kathy Leisen. The album was produced by Lee Ranaldo and John Agnello, who produced Sonic Youth's most recent album, The Eternal. According to Sonic Youth's site, he is planning a 2012 tour. Lee spoke to Rolling Stone about the new album:
It's eight songs with a full band and two songs with pretty much acoustic guitar only. I've always been an acoustic guitar player and I've pretty much continued to play acoustic guitar throughout all of the Sonic Youth periods. My material for Sonic Youth often started on acoustic guitar. What was refreshing about this was just to see all these songs sprout and actually kind of follow each other down this road and actually get completed. I've got millions of tapes of half-completed songs and for some reason, at this point, I had the energy to take them all the way through to the end.And about the future of Sonic Youth:
I'm feeling optimistic about the future no matter what happens at this point. I mean, every band runs its course. We've been together way longer than any of us ever imagined would happen and it's been for the most part an incredibly pleasurable ride. There's still a lot of stuff we're going to continue to do. There's tons and tons of archival projects and things like that that are still going on, so there are so many ways in which we are tied to each other for the future both musically and in other ways. I'm just happy right now to let the future take its course and I guess I'm kind of thankful that I've got this other project that kind of came about on its own. It wasn't kind of like, well, "Oh the band is ending for a while and I've got to figure out what to do." It kind of naturally happened in the course of things so that was a nice way for that to come about. I played my first show the day after Kim and Thurston announced [their separation.] That was completely weird.A picture of Lee Ranaldo Band from the Yo La Tengo show and setlists below...
Thurston at Pitchfork Fest in July (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Thurston has since scheduled a tour around the Lincoln Center show which hits Hoboken, NJ the next night at Maxwell's on February 3. Tickets for the NJ show go on sale Friday (11/18) at noon. He also plays New Hope Winery on February 4. All shows will be Thurston with his Demolished Thoughts ensemble (Keith Wood, Mary Lattimore, John Moloney, Samara Lubelski). All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, you can catch Thurston's Sonic Youth bandmates Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley at the previously announced Glasslands show on 12/16 (tickets), where they'll be playing material off Lee's upcoming solo album Between The Times & The Tides, which comes out March 20 via Matador.
You can see Steve Shelley even sooner when his other band Spectre Folk play the new Brooklyn venue Big Snow Buffalo Lodge on November 19 and an older Brooklyn venue two days later, Death by Audio on November 21.
Sonic Youth, despite recent troubles, just played a show in San Paulo, Brazil on November 14th. Many on the Internet are asking if it could be their last show ever. We hope not. Regardless, you can watch video of the whole thing, along with all tour dates, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Lee Ranaldo with Sonic Youth in August (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, whose solo work had previously been highly experimental and noise-driven, is currently working on his first rock-oriented solo album, with material more similar to his Sonic Youth contributions. Lee and his new band, which includes Alan Licht, Irwin Menken and Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley, played their first show opening for Wild Flag at The Bell House in October. They opened their set with the song, "Angles," which Lee introduced as "kind of a love song that goes out to a couple dear friends of mine who are going through some shit right now." Maybe he was talking about these friends? Videos of Lee and band playing that song and another called "Xtina" is below.
Lee and his band will play their next NYC show performing songs from the upcoming album on December 16 at Glasslands. Tickets for the show are on sale now.
Lee is also featured on David Amram's poetry album, David Amram Poetry Jam, along with Casey Cyr, Steve Dalachinsky, Albert Kausch, Rich Martin, and Ron Whitehead. The album can be purchased at CD Baby.
Lee, a photographer on the side, has also been posting pictures from Occupy Wall Street to his page on SonicYouth.com.
In related news, Thurston Moore is one of the artists scheduled for Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2012 Season and will play an acoustic set on February 2. Tickets are available as a presale, though they require a password.
All dates and videos below...
Kim & Thurston in Brooklyn - 8/12/11 (more by Dana (Distortion) Yavin)
SPIN reports the unfortunate news:
If the demise of R.E.M. didn't put the final nail in the '90s alternative-rock dream, this news sure will: Sonic Youth super-couple Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore have split up after 27 years of marriage -- and the future of the band they've played in together since 1981 is unclear.Hopefully the recent Williamsburg Waterfront show wasn't the last NYC has seen of Sonic Youth.
The pair confirmed the news in a statement from their Matador Records rep that reads, "Musicians Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, married in 1984, are announcing they have separated. Sonic Youth, with both Kim and Thurston involved, will proceed with its South American tour dates in November. Plans beyond that tour are uncertain. The couple has requested respect for their personal privacy and does not wish to issue further comment."
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher
Kurt Vile and the Violators started the evening pretty early at Williamsburg Waterfront on Friday (8/12), taking the stage at a prompt 6:30 PM. The crowd hadn't filled in too much yet but those who did make it out early were treated to a short, but great set. Drawing almost entirely from his recently released Smoke Ring for My Halo, Kurt's shoegazey folk rock kicked off the show well and was especially fitting on the sunny waterfront with whiffs of barbecue and cigarette smoke floating through the air.
Up next was Wild Flag, who initially won me over when I saw them open for Bright Eyes earlier this year at Radio City, but their Radio City set doesn't compare at all to what they did at the waterfront on Saturday. The all-girl indie supergroup, featuring Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney, Mary Timony of Autoclave and Helium, and Rebecca Cole of The Minders, were greeted to tons of immediate applause as soon as they stepped out onto the stage. Unlike at Bright Eyes, where many people in attendance seemed unfamiliar with the group, this crowd was giving the band some serious support, and that might have encouraged them to rock even harder.
As Bill pointed out, Wild Flag's album is not out yet and hasn't even leaked, but even being only vaguely familiar with their material from live shows and various online singles, I was blown away by every song. The two frontwomen (Carrie and Mary) switched off lead vocal duties every other song and both of them ripped through killer guitar solos. I was a little more drawn to the Carrie-fronted songs because of how ferocious of a performer she is, but needless to say, Mary's were excellent as well. I feel more than confident in saying that Friday's show is not the last I will be seeing and hearing of Wild Flag.
Sonic Youth took the stage a little after 8 PM as their 5-piece incarnation of the band with Pavement's Mark Ibold, unlike last summer's NYC show at Prospect Park, when it was just the four of them. They launched right away into a handful of old material, focusing most heavily on 1985's Bad Moon Rising, and diving as far back as Confusion is Sex and the Kill Yr Idols EP. After a few more old favorites like "Kotton Krown" and "Eric's Trip," the band played a few cuts off their most recent proper LP, 2009's The Eternal. Having Mark on stage gave Kim Gordon the opportunity to put down her bass and sing. And as Kim proved when she left the constraints of a mic stand and took to the front of the stage during the pummeling "Sacred Trickster," she's an electrifying frontwoman. She carried the band as if she was solely a vocalist for their entire career.
They played material from 1983 alongside stuff from 2009, all sounding like it came from the same brilliant place. While most bands who are thirty years into their career are either fading away or living off of the nostalgia of their older material, Sonic Youth continue to sound and perform as fresh as ever. They thrash around stage with a youthful fervor that could destroy the hip-to-be-bored lo-fi scene who cite the band as an inspiration. And while you could try to argue that the similarities between their newer and older material is a negative thing, you'd be leaving out the fact that with only guitar, bass, and drums, all of it sounds like music from a time period that the rest of the world hasn't experienced yet.
Kim returned to the front of the stage around 9pm to sing "Drunken Butterfly" off 1992's Dirty. The band then left the stage after what seemed like far too short of a set. The crowd was audibly disappointmented. However, Sonic Youth quickly began making up for it when they returned for the first of three encores. Kim gave a shout out to Wild Flag and dedicated the song "Flower" to them. After leaving and returning to the stage a couple more times, the band were preparing to play their actual last song when a fan threw a ukulele to Lee Ranaldo, which he used to create the noise intro to "Inhuman." As the song progressed, Thurston Moore unplugged the bass he was playing and started making feedback with his guitar cable that he proceeded to wrap around his neck and body as he sang into the mic that he'd ripped off the stand. Mark Ibold and Steve Shelly kept what was left of the song's structure intact as Kim and Lee continued to create layers and layers of guitar noise. The band stretched the song's ending for at least twice the duration of the recorded version as Thurston kicked around stage moaning and shrieking "inhuman" and Lee swung guitars around by drumsticks lodged underneath their strings, completely stripping at least three of them. By the song's end, Thurston had uprooted the mic setup, and over a sea of fading feedback he said, "With the power of love, anything is possible," threw the mic down and walked off stage.
More pictures, a video, and setlists from the show below...
Thurston at MHOW in May (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Dinosaur Jr. brought their "Bug" tour to Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA last night (6/21). They were supported by Northampton resident Thurston Moore who played a "Demolished Thoughts"-heavy set before Henry Rollins took the stage for a live interview of the headliners (which was followed by a set of spoken word).
A friend and casual fan texted me during the Whole Children benefit show. He said, "Henry Rollins just interviewed dino jr for 30 minutes. People are starting to get antsy." That said, afterwards I got a "show was great." Hartford Courant reports:
[Dinosaur Jr.] dispelled the awkwardness when the musicians came out to play, charging through a pair of post-"Bug" songs including "The Wagon," a wistful melody cutting through a churning blend of bass, drums and singer J Mascis' super-heated guitar.Dino's tour continues, but without Thurston. It hits NYC on Thursday (6/23) at Terminal 5 with Off!, Fucked Up (who have a new video), and another live interview by Henry Rollins. Tickets are still on sale.
Next came "Bug," the last album the original lineup of the band released before Mascis kicked out bassist Lou Barlow, leading to years of enmity before Mascis, Barlow and drummer Murph regrouped in 2005.
It sounded on "Bug" as though someone remembered belatedly to turn on the house PA system: everything was suddenly louder and crisper, with overpowering blasts of guitar pushed to the brink of feedback on "Freak Scene," the booming crack of Murph's drums on "Yeah We Know" and guitar squall worthy of an army of screeching wildcats on "Let It Ride."
On "Don't," the last song on the original version of "Bug" (the 2005 reissue included an extra track the band didn't play), Barlow invited a fan to help shriek the lyrics in his place after the bassist blew out his voice doing the song Monday night in Maine. Not only did the fan look a little like Barlow, with a big mess of curly hair, he took to the part like a Method actor, howling into the microphone and eventually shedding his shirt as the band thrashed around behind him.
Dinosaur returned after a pause for two more songs, ending with its cover of the Cure's Just Like Heaven."
Thurston doesn't appear on any of the other dates on the tour, but he does play a different type of show tonight (6/22) in NYC. The show is the first of four benefits at PS 122. He performs tonight, along with John Fleck, the TEAM, Temporary Distortion, Yoshiko Chuma, and many others. Other notable appearances include Reggie Watts (who plays Summerstage tonight) on Thursday (6/23) and Amanda Palmer (who plays Maxwell's tonight) and John Zorn on Saturday (6/25). Tickets are still available. Full PS122 Benefit lineup below.
Thurston also plays Fallon tonight (6/22) (Bon Iver played last night).
La Blogotheque recently filmed Thurston at his NYC apartment for the Take Away Shows. He played "Benediction," "Blood Never Lies" and "Circulation" off the new album and talked about getting his start in New York City, CBGB, and the like. To quote Matador, "These videos are essential viewing, complete with shots of Manhattan's streets, Thurston's reminiscences on his early days in the city and some insights into the record." Watch the videos below.
Thurston heads out on his tour with Kurt Vile soon. That tour doesn't hit NYC but Kurt is also on the bill for the Sonic Youth show at Williamsburg Waterfront with Wild Flag. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are still available. All tour dates below.
Meanwhile, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's daughter Coco Gorden Moore is currently fronting the Massachusetts punk band Big Nils. Their album Sibling is streaming on their bandcamp and is available for a $5 digital download. We recently heard from Coco when she performed in the band She Murders at the Kathleen Hanna tribute at Knitting Factory in December.
And as mentioned, Thurston's Sonic Youth-bandmate Steve Shelley plays this Friday (6/24) at Death By Audio with his band Spectre Folk. The bill also includes Sic Alps, Weekends, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
All Thurston dates, PS122 lineup and videos below...
People at Williamsburg Waterfront last year (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
This summer's Williamsburg Waterfront concert season begins this weekend with a free show on Saturday (6/11) (5:30pm doors). For what it's worth, that show is Coheed and Cambria, Adrian Belew Power Trio and Tigers Jaw, but it is free. It's also one of three currently announced free shows (there will be five free shows total, one of which will be classical music). The other two announced free events are Eugene Mirman and Pretty Good Friends (Patton Oswalt will be one of those friends!) and special musical guests They Might Be Giants on July 29, and a children's show with Moey's Music Party and Story Pirates (who recently hosted a benefit) on June 19 at noon.
Ticketed shows include Death From Above 1979, Death Cab for Cutie, Sonic Youth, Bright Eyes, Thievery Corporation (with Dam-Funk & Master Blazter and Raphael Saadiq opening), TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes and more. Check out the full lineup with openers listed below...