Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's marriage ended two years ago, taking Sonic Youth with it. Larry Ryan hears them and other members strike out on their own
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Friday 14 January 2011
Near the end of last year, the French electro duo Discodeine (see what they did there?) knocked out a slinky track pairing Jarvis Cocker's vocals – in breathy/desperate/sleazy mode – with some minimal beats and addictive synth hooks.
Friday 29 October 2010
Friday 29 October 2010
Companies that have been founded by choreographers can fade when their creator dies, losing momentum and confidence. Merce Cunningham, the iconic American choreographer who died last year, made a will for his troupe: they'll tour for two years, then stop. The tour ends in 2011; worldwide, there is a dwindling number of chances to catch one of the great companies of dance.
Wednesday 27 October 2010
Tuesday 14 September 2010
The Fugs were the most unlikely of rock successes during the Sixties. Their lack of musicianship influenced countless underground, garage and punk bands, but no one matched their anarchic blend of sophomoric humour, mystical Beat poetry, and scatological revolutionary pacificsm, which owed much to the playful sensibilities of Tuli Kupferberg, the self-proclaimed "world's oldest rock star". Kupferberg was famously the character who "jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, this really happened" in Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl". Though it was actually the Manhattan Bridge, and as he explained in another poem by Ted Berrigan and Anne Waldman, "nothing happened... so I swam ashore, went home and took a bath and went to bed. Nobody even noticed". He spent the rest of his life annoyed that people felt his surviving this putative suicide attempt was "a great accomplishment".
Friday 10 September 2010
I frequently get sent music by bands I've never heard of. It tends to pile up in emails and CDs, but occasionally I'll take a shot on one: reasons for doing so can be fickle – a good name or cover art – but more likely it will be if the music comes from a label I like.
Wednesday 01 September 2010
Although they've maintained a small but devoted following in indie circles for more than a decade and a half, Portland-based alternative outfit Modest Mouse were first held up as a cause célèbre by the UK press in 2007, with the release of their fifth album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Never mind the fact that it reached No 1 in America – it was the induction of guest guitarist Johnny Marr into the band which saw Modest Mouse and their catalogue welcomed into the British rock canon.
Friday 13 August 2010
Friday 06 August 2010
Were it possible to make a guitar effect that brings to mind Pacific mist cascading on to a beach of stoned Californian slackers, anyone could sound like Best Coast. But as it is the LA three-piece fronted by 22-year old Bethany Cosentino are peerless in the field of vibrant, scuzzy Americana, showcasing a lo-fi charm that has propelled them, appropriately, into the affections of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore among many others.
Friday 09 July 2010
Recently, it has seemed that Super Furry Animals albums were the diversionary side projects to increasingly fertile solo efforts and collaborations by Gruff Rhys.
Friday 25 June 2010
Like The Black Keys and Kings Of Leon, Boston combo Black Helicopter manage to find something fresh and distinctive in the kind of heavy rock music that's the musical equivalent of an army-surplus greatcoat.
Friday 26 March 2010
Alongside his day job in Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore is something of an underground pop-culture oracle: he runs a record label, Ecstatic Peace. He collects long-forgotten literary journals. He writes a monthly music column for 'Arthur' magazine (arthurmag.com) and authors books on musical subcultures (grunge, no wave, mix tapes). Since February he has taken to the web to pursue his myriad interests with a blog, flowersand cream.blogspot.com. Here he writes about culture from the fringes: dispatches about underground poets and experimental musicians; snippets of his own poetry; details on upcoming projects including a record made with Kim Gordon and Yoko Ono; random pop-culture snapshots – a recent posting was a cut-out of a 1969 review of the Stooges by Jim Morrison's wife, Patricia Kennealy Morrison.
Dylan Jones: 'DJs take great pride in weaving the most unlikely samples together – the Carpenters with Sonic Youth, for instance'
Saturday 13 February 2010
Monday 02 November 2009
Near the close of the show, a stool and an acoustic guitar were produced. Stool? Acoustic? This is Sonic Youth, right? I think the seating arrangement was ironic, while the acoustic guitar was used by Thurston Moore for a slow-burning rhythm on "Massage the History", with Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo knocking out squalls on electric guitars. New York's noisemakers haven't gone soft.
Friday 23 October 2009
With our appetite whetted by the release of a collection of LCD Soundsystem remixes, the band's grandmaster, James Murphy (left), is stepping back into the limelight. In September he told 'Mojo' about recording a new album: "We decided, let's make Los Angeles an imaginary Los Angeles of the soul from 1973. Everyone had to wear white all the time, so it's like some sort of creepy cult." Then a succinct message was left on the band's Facebook page, "Record: March. Tour: after." Next Murphy posted an entertaining blog on MySpace discussing social networking sites, blogging, making the new album, art, and the glory of useless things in the face of creating a "functional" new website for the band. Following that, Murphy started availing of Twitter – twitter.com/lcdsoundsystem. Now amid all that talk comes a new song. It's a cover of Alan Vega's "Bye Bye Bayou", with a sleekly epic disco makeover. It will be released as a 12" vinyl on 7 November in aid of Record Store Day and digitally on 24 November. Listen to it at 22tracks.com/disco; it's mightily addictive.
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