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

One man and his Strat

An enthusiastic Tony Blair has declared the Fender Stratocaster the 'symbol of the century'. Save us from middle-aged men and their rock fantasies, pleads Oliver Bennett

Rock: B+ for effort (and outfits)

Ash

Rock & Pop: They aim to placate

Placebo

Arts: A wild, bareback ride through Country

Pop: SPARKLEHORSE SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE LONDON

All made up with somewhere to go

The name means `I will please', and Placebo have done so far. Now for that difficult second album.

Music: There is life beyond Nirvana

How to escape the shadow of grunge? Why, rediscover Allen Ginsberg, of course! Nick Hasted howls along with Sonic Youth

Pop: Post-rock with a raw edge

James Young, of Scottish outfit Ganger, has ambition. He wants to write the Tour de France theme tune. He wants to supply mad, loud music for TV adverts (though he'd probably suggest that they use Slint's "Good Morning Captain" first) and he wants to play US arenas supporting the likes of Sonic Youth and Nine Inch Nails (both of whom he's been told like the tough Ganger sound).

Album review: Mark Eitzel, `Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back Out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby...' (Matador OLE 179-2)

Mark Eitzel's reputation as the Leonard Cohen of his generation remains unthreatened on Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back Out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby, a mostly solo, acoustic album. Yo La Tengo's James McNew and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley add bass and drums respectively to four tracks, and former Cramps guitarist Kid Congo Powers scrawls expressionist sheets of fractured guitar noise over three, but otherwise the absence of colluding musicians leaves Eitzel even more bereft than ever, adrift upon the whims of his misery.

Pop: Design for Indoor Living

Long before Supergrass and Super Furry Animals made it big, North Carolina's Superchunk were leading the way, says Tim Perry

Arts: A marriage made in verite

DA Pennebaker chronicled the Sixties with his legendary rockumentaries. Dennis Lim caught up with him in New York

POP: The spacemen singeth

They come from Atlanta, Georgia... or do they? They say they are space aliens, but they sound like the mutant grandchildren of Dick Dale. Tim Perry makes contact with Man or Astro Man?

Whatever happened to... Punk

Fascist Regime

how to mess up a relationship

Christopher Taylor's life was clean and ordered - then he moved in with his girlfriend...

Saturday night Sunday morning: `It is such a relief to know that my ex is right. I do think my life is a film'

Why am I outside Buckingham Palace at 6.30 in the morning, wearing a Walkman and dancing to the Rolling Stones? If my on / off ex could see me, he'd say it's because I think my life is a movie. I do a little high kick. A soldier in a green beret eyes me nervously. I tell the soldier that I'm listening to "Happy" - "It's one of the few tracks that Keef sang on", as if that explains everything. Not quite. At what point did I decide I hated the people I invited back to my flat so much that I threw myself out and came stomping past Victoria tube to complain to the Queen?

Pop: Sonic Youth, The Forum, London

When Sonic Youth come to town, you discover who your friends are. As you try to get someone to accompany you to the band's first London show in three years, you realise that everybody is either washing their hair, mucking out the budgie or flossing their toes. You can sympathise. At the end of last Wednesday's show, you expected to be handed a certificate - "I survived Sonic Youth," perhaps. It wasn't so much a gig as an art exhibition with guitar feedback.
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