Arts and Entertainment All over now: Thurston Moore (right) and Kim Gordon (left)

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

Caught in the Net: This is hardcore from Discodeine

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.

Halloween music - Scary monsters and super creeps

Halloween has, traditionally, been haunted by records about ghosts, ghouls, and graves. Robert Webb digs up the best

Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Barbican Theatre, London

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.

Hallogallo 2010, Barbican, London

Motorik still euphoric in a Neu! setting

Tuli Kupferberg: Leading figure of the Beat movement who founded the provocateur rock band the Fugs

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".

Caught in the Net: Women on the verge of a sonic meltdown

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.

Modest Mouse, Picture House, Edinburgh

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.

Best Coast, Cargo, London

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.

Caught in the Net - Popping in for the experimental

Recently, it has seemed that Super Furry Animals albums were the diversionary side projects to increasingly fertile solo efforts and collaborations by Gruff Rhys.

Album: Black Helicopter, Don't Fuck with the Apocalypse (Ecstatic Peace!)

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.

Caught in the Net: Very Moore-ish

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 ( 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 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.

Sonic Youth, HMV Forum, London

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.

Caught in the net: Murphy's talk turns to song

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 – 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; it's mightily addictive.

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<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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