Archive | Thurston Moore RSS for this section

Pazz & Jop 2014 – 42nd Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll


Pazz & Jop 2014

42nd Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”

Pazz & Jop 2011 – 39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

Pazz & Jop 2011
39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”

 

Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore And The Four Biggest Rock And Roll Breakups

Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore And The Four Biggest Rock And Roll Breakups
By Jaime Lees
Wed., Oct. 19 2011 at 10:33 AM

​Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth have separated after 27 years of marriage and now the future of the band is unknown. Their record label released this statement last Friday:

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.

It feels kind of gross to discuss this news. (And not just because the couple requested privacy.) It’s weird to think about their separation because Gordon/Moore were not just the biggest couple of the alternative generation but because they were also the most respected. To the outside world, they had the perfect relationship. They were in love, married with a talented daughter, and together they were one half of the greatest indie rock band in history.

But they never flaunted their bond. They weren’t always holding hands in band photographs or anything like that. In fact, in the beginning of the band, they seemed to make a point to stand apart from one another. Because of the careful, private way they carried their love, they seemed untouchable. And strong. They were held up by admirers as the perfect rock and roll couple, an example of how cool love and marriage could be.

Fans and journalists alike were respectful of their relationship. I’ve interviewed both of them, and I never had the balls to ask either of them about the other. In our conversation a couple of summers ago, Gordon brought up Moore and was very complimentary about him. She also spoke about her daughter, but it still felt inappropriate to ask her too much about her home life. It felt like prying — like if I got her to talk about it that I would be tricking her into doing something that I knew she didn’t want to do.

And, really, there was no reason to ask about her home life. Both Gordon and Moore are prolific musicians, writers, poets and artists. There’s plenty of interesting ground to cover. Together and separately, they are both workaholics, releasing a staggering amount of art in various formats. One of their accomplishments together is the release of seventeen studio albums in the bands 30-year career.

And any fan who has listened to the last few albums could have made predictions of this breakup. It would be a mistake for any outsider to claim that that these songs are autobiographical, but there is a definite story arc from “I Love You, Golden Blue” through to “Turquoise Boy” then “Antenna” and “Massage the History” on the bands last release, The Eternal. The last few albums seemed more somber, more contemplative.

Combine that with the fact that the other Sonic Youth band members, Steve Shelley and Lee Ranaldo, seemed to be actively building other lives for themselves outside of the band, and the potential demise of Sonic Youth doesn’t seem too shocking. Shelley is all set up as the drummer for Chicago-based band Disappears, and he’s been touring with them for a while. It would be easy to change the category on the Disappears from “other” band to “primary” band. And Ranaldo is suddenly everywhere. He’s started an official Facebook page, he’s making music and his website has become increasingly active- most notably with his photojournalistic endeavors. Ranaldo’s posts his photos on his website and it has become one of the best sources for his on-the-street documentation of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Gordon has been absent lately. Laying low, one would suppose. Moore had a personal blog where he would post his writings, photos of his daughter, tributes to poets he admired, etc, but the blog was deleted over the weekend. Moore is still active publicly, even conducting a thoughtful, funny interview with Henry Rollins about his new book on the day of the announcement.

Yes, the separation is hard on the fans, too. And that’s unfair to Gordon and Moore, but it’s the truth. It’s a lot of weight to put on one couple. Before, fans would think to themselves: Maybe my parents got divorced, maybe I just got dumped, maybe my marriage is a disaster, but Kim and Thurston were still together- so true love exists! Now admirers must accept that Gordon and Moore are just like us. Not an infallible supercouple, but two people who also have to deal with the consequences of unraveling love. (And if you think your ex won’t go away, try being together for 30 years, being known world-wide and having to deal with nosy journalists and fans.)

But perhaps Gordon and Moore can still be our role models. But instead of being part of the relationship that we most glorify, they can be an example to show us how to handle even the biggest, messiest, most heart-breaking of breakups with dignity.

And while they are unique in their place in fans’ hearts, but there have been quite a few other separations between couples who made music together. Below we explore some other famous inter-band rock and roll relationships with breakups and the outcome of each.

4. Jack White and Meg White of the White Stripes

These peppermint-colored cuties hit the scene in the late ’90s as a catchy throw-back garage duo. Back then they claimed that they were brother and sister, which was believable enough given their shared look — alabaster skin and black hair. As it turns out, they were husband and wife. They’d been married for a few years and actually divorced in early 2000, just as the White Stripes were getting super-popular. Jack later said that he invented the sibling story (and a few other fake back-stories) so that the press would focus on their music rather than their relationship. It was the opposite of Fleetwood Mac. Instead of exploiting their relationship, they denied it altogether. This, of course, just made fans all the more curious and throughout their career their exact relationship was the source of much speculation. The White Stripes officially disbanded early this year, but the Whites seem to have an okay relationship. Both had remarried and Meg even had her wedding ceremony in Jack’s backyard. Just this summer Jack announced his divorce from his second wife, model Karen Elson, but relationship downers don’t seem to put a dent his productivity. Jack’s latest band is alt-rock supergroup the Dead Weather and he continues to play with the jaw-droppingly talented Brendan Benson in the Raconteurs.

3. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac

This is easily the most famous rock and roll breakup in classic rock. Fleetwood Mac, as a band, built its whole career on relationship turmoil. The classic album Rumours is a product of that turmoil, and in this case the lyrics were certainly autobiographical. In the band, there were two couples breaking up — not just Nicks and Buckingham, but also Christine McVie and John McVie. This charged atmosphere created some of the best SoCal tunes of the decade. It also resonated with listeners: Rumours has sold 40 million units worldwide. Back in the day, those songs really held a lot of meaning — both sadness and contempt. Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way” was particularly harsh on his former lover — it basically called her a slut (Which is debatable, honestly, since she slept with drummer Mick Fleetwood after the breakup with Buckingham). In any case, it was a scathing song that accused her of being a heartless skank. But it was a hit, so Nicks had to sing it on stage with Buckingham every night. Still, once the bitterness blew over, this is the one case where a serious breakup actually aided the longevity of the band. Now, whenever they’ve come together as Fleetwood Mac, they take every opportunity to play-up their former relationship, knowing that their old lady fans just love the sexual tension. Just watch the second half of the video for “Silver Springs” from 1997’s The Dance. The on-stage theatrics are out of control. And the fans love it. Since their heyday, all parties have had varying degrees of success in their solo careers. And if it’s broken down into a competition between Nicks and Buckingham, it’s hard to say who would win. Nicks is more well known but Buckingham is still mighty handsome and talented.

2. Ike and Tina Turner of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue

Ike Turner is credited as one of the inventors of rock and roll. In fact, he’s included in the short list as one of the dudes who (possibly) released the first rock and roll record. Yes, he was also a major jerkburger, but his musical pedigree cannot be stepped to. Ike met and hired a teenage Anna Mae Bullock as a background singer in the late 1950s. He gave her the stage name of Tina and the two began both a very successful career and a shit-tastic marriage. Ike was widely reported to be a controlling, easily angered woman-beater. Tina finally left him in 1976 and the divorce was finalized two years later. Ike got to keep all of the money, and Tina famously asked the court for one thing only: her name. They didn’t make music together again. Following their separation, Ike didn’t really exercise his talent. He spent some time in prison as a result of his drug addictions, and died in 2007 of a cocaine overdose. Tina, however, went on to build an impressive solo career on the merit of her distinctive voice, sexy legs and survivor status.

1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Even though everyone always hated on Ono, she was Lennon’s main musical partner in his life after the Beatles. She was also his partner in life. Like it or not, the two of them had one of the biggest, most well-documented romances in rock and roll history. She was an artist before she was even with Lennon, and she brought her vision to what they produced together. Against all odds, their partnership and love flourished. They lived as two halves of one whole, and Lennon wouldn’t do much without her by his side. What people forget, though, is that they separated for a while in late 1973. The couple had been under a lot of stress. Lennon was being skewered in the press for abandoning his nice, blonde, white wife and child for his weird, yelping Japanese artist. He was also facing deportation from a McCarthyist American government, who despised him for having a voice. When he spoke out against injustices or war, people listened, and he was considered a threat to national security. Also, Lennon had fidelity issues.

Faced with all of this pressure, the couple needed a break and Ono requested a separation. Lennon historians call this time period “The Lost Weekend,” but the separation really lasted for nearly a year and a half. During this time Lennon spent some months living in Los Angeles, hanging out with scenesters at the Troubadour and drinking far too much. When he was in LA, he was, by all accounts, a hot mess. Eventually Ono took him back, after which he seemed slightly broken, but happy in his relief. He had shed some of that famous Lennon ego and become a more humble, sensitive man. They were older, calmer, and they finally settled down together. And just when it seemed as though Lennon and Ono would live happily forever together in the Dakota, their time together was ended forever by Mark David Chapman and four bullets. The legacy of this relationship will live on in perpetuum as the rock and roll Romeo and Juliet. Ono has continued her own music career, and was recording an album with Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore just earlier this year.

Interview with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth

Folk Meets Noise Meets Whatever
Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore on Nashville’s noise scene
by Jaime Lees
Sonic Youth play Friday, 25th at City Hall w/Leslie Keffer

As a singer and guitarist for America’s preeminent indie rock band, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore has devoted the better part of three decades to engaging and electrifying the alternative underground scene. A life-long booster of punk rock and punk ethics, Moore believes in doing it all (and doing it all by himself). His many projects include scoring film soundtracks, playing in other bands, releasing solo work, running his own label, guesting in documentaries and writing and editing books.

With the recent album releases of Sonic Youth’s spectacular Rather Ripped and Moore’s own deliciously lo-fi Trees Outside the Academy, he has been roundly praised as being at the top of his game. His small record label, Ecstatic Peace!, has found success with quite a few Nashville bands, most notably with the noisy garage rock of Be Your Own Pet. Moore enthusiastically describes BYOP as “totally hot” and elaborates, “I remember thinking, who are these kids? When I was 17, I was just mowing lawns and being very afraid of girls and stuff. And these guys were on the road, punking-out across the world.”

Moore claims roots in McKenzie, Tenn., and therefore, good “Tennessee radar,” so it’s no surprise that he’s tuned in to regional acts, or that Nashville is one of only five show dates for Sonic Youth in April. Between Moore’s fondness for Grimey’s New & Preloved Music and deep, historical knowledge of the Nashville underground music scene, he could easily pass as a lovably weird local noise dude.

We caught up with Moore over the phone last week, and his passion, humor and laid-back boyish charm clearly translated across the wire.

Scene: So aside from Be Your Own Pet and Turbo Fruits, who else on your label is from the area?

Moore: Well, Leslie Keffer moved to Nashville from Ohio, and she makes harsh underground noise music. She sets up her own sort of idiosyncratic kind of noise gear with radios and cassette tapes and stuff. And there’s a certain kind of pure sound that she deals with, you know? She kind of filters radio signals into this kind of noise wash and I thought it was good stuff, so I kind of reached out to her. She’s a huge Be Your Own Pet fan and we were putting their records out. And she sort of hooked up with Angela Messina—there’s this whole Nashville noise underground of bands and [Messina] was in a bunch of them, like Taiwan Deth, Tan as Fuck, The New Faggot Cunts and I think she was in Vegan Brand. [laughs]

Scene: Those band names are all…uh…poetry.

Moore: [laughs] She’s kind of an artist and poet. And she’s been on the scene for a while and she’s great. There’s also this other guy in Nashville that I really like. His name is Derek Schartung, he’s in the underground Nashville noise scene [also in Taiwan Deth] and plays really good stuff. Then there’s bands like Cherry Blossoms. They’re really great. They had a record out that was really happening. [It was] open-ended, kind of beautiful folk meets noise meets whatever.

Scene: How are you finding time to get all of the stuff done that you get done?

Moore: I’m kind of trying to figure that out myself, you know? Sometimes it gets really overwhelming and I start having anxiety attacks and I just sort of want to climb under the covers and escape it all and hope it all goes away. But the thing is, I’m so enamored by this stuff. I love it. I always wanted to be in a position where I could actually make records and make books and make cassettes and make films and write and play music…. That was my ambition as an adult…to be able to do that.

Scene: What are you doing with your down time, if you ever have any?

Moore: That doesn’t include getting together with some people doing cross-country improvised noise music in basements, which is what I really want to do? Or starting a black metal band and like completely disguising myself as a black metal guitar player in a nefarious, bleak and dim black metal band, which is also what I would love to do? Do you mean, how do I step away and what do I do? [laughs] Hmm…. I guess I sort of do what any normal person would do—I’d start watching successive episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Scene: Are you doing anything today for Record Store day?

Moore: Record store day is today, isn’t it?

Scene: It is!

Moore: I was gonna come down to Grimey’s and sort of totally hang out and drink beers and get into the groove of the day, but you know what? It’s not gonna happen. I’m here and I’m babysitting my 13-year-old. Not babysitting, I’m child-rearing.

Scene: So, you produce a lot of limited-edition cassettes and LPs on Ecstatic Peace!…

Moore: Nobody buys records anymore. So it’s hard to do things on any level. It’s really super-duper slumped right now. Nobody buys records. I mean, that’s why, in a way, for me, it’s more rewarding and more fun sometimes to make real boutique edition stuff of real subterranean artists.

Scene: So about this show on Friday.

Moore: I hope people show up.

Scene: I don’t think that’s a problem for you.

Moore:
Yeah, well, it’s kind of a big place. You hope people show up and have a good time. That’s all we can say, it’s gonna be a good time in a sonic way.

SXSW: The Random Picture Post

These snaps were just too hot not to post.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Dead Confederate
WHEN: Wednesday, March 12, 11p.m.
WHERE: Stubb’s BBQ, big outside stage
NOTE: This band opened for R.E.M. (Athens represent) and might have been the best surprise of the festival. Read our coverage here.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: AA Bondy
WHEN: Thursday, March 13, about 9:30p.m.
WHERE: The gorgeous poolside rooftop stage of a heavily sponsored free party.
NOTE: This was one of 12 AA Bondy shows in a 3 day time span in Austin.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: downtown Austin, TX, view from the AA Bondy rooftop show
WHEN: Thursday, March 13, late night
WHERE: at 3rd Street and Guadalupe looking East
NOTE: There should be more rooftop shows. Always.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Autolux’s Eugene Goreshter
WHEN: Friday, March 14, afternoon
WHERE: Red Eyed Fly backyard venue
NOTE: Goreshter’s amazing vocals on Autolux albums? Not studio magic. Dude actually sings like that.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, solo show
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, mid-afternoon
WHERE: Garden Party (read: gorgeous yard), the French Legation Museum
NOTE: J Mascis is a God among men (who just happens to use a baby pink Razr as his preferred cellular device.)

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Thurston Moore and the New Wave Bandits
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, afternoon, slot after J Mascis
WHERE: East Austin, French Legation Museum
NOTE: Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore stole the show with his expansive talent and boyish charm. Read our coverage here.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: The Breeders
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, about 9p.m.
WHERE: Waterloo Park, north of downtown, 2nd stage
NOTE: Two Deals are always better than one. Read our coverage here.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Kid Sister at the Fool’s Gold Showcase
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 1a.m. (after Flosstradamus, before Chromeo)
WHERE: Volume nightclub, next to the told Emo’s on 6th Street
NOTE: Kid Sister claimed she was crunk but she still held down her raps with a little help from brother Josh “J2K” Young (of super-fly duo Flosstradamus) as back up.Category: Music, Reviews, SXSW, Snapshots

SXSW / Thurston Moore / Flosstradamus

Still More SXSW Coverage, Part Two
Wed Mar 21, 2007
By Jaime Lees

Friday night’s showcase at Mohawk was one of my favorite functions. Hosted by indie record label Ecstatic Peace, it featured a headline performance by label founder Thurston Moore, long-time Sonic Youth guitarist and living mop-topped rock encyclopedia. Forgoing his feedback-heavy, noise-based roots, Moore’s acoustic (!) set was pretty — even delicate. Joined on stage by Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley (billed as a “special guest”) Moore debuted new, unreleased songs called “Friend,” “Frozen Guitar,” “The Shape” and “Silver.” By the last song, however, Moore couldn’t resist the urge to jam out, incorporating snippets of favorites such as the Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” into a loud swirling, trippy climax.

Moore’s label-mates, Pagoda, are best known for having actor Michael Pitt as its lead singer. Pitt recently played the lead in Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, a film based on speculation surrounding the last few days in the life of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s singer and a God-like cultural icon. I thought the movie was mostly tedious and boring as hell, but Pitt is riveting on-screen and on-stage. Actually, it’s so easy to be distracted by Pitt’s Cobainesque guttural caterwaul that audiences might miss some of the best ingredients in the band’s sound. First of all, they have an amazing cellist who seems to think he’s playing an electric guitar. His hands alternately caress and attack the cello viciously, creating an explosive noise that’s very different than what you would expect from the usually snooze-inducing instrument. Overall, Pagoda sounded a little like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a bit like Sonic Youth and fully like the second coming of grunge. But in the good way, I swear.

Turbo Fruits

Turbo Fruits
7:30 p.m. Friday, January 19. The Acoustic Café at the West County YMCA (16464 Burkhardt Place, Chesterfield).
By Jaime Lees
Published: January 17, 2007

Indie darlings Be Your Own Pet received a lot of attention after Thurston Moore signed them to his record label, Ecstatic Peace — but they backed up his vote of confidence with hard work, constant touring and appearances at nearly every major music gathering in the country (Lollapalooza, SXSW, CMJ). However, band members Jonas Stein and John Eatherly haven’t yet run out of steam or forgotten their roots: The pair still tours as their pre-BYOP garage-pop band, Turbo Fruits (www.myspace.com/78236428). This two-man band kicks up a lot of noise and caustic boogie, and sounds a little like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or a punkier T. Rex.