I’m not sure if I should lay prostrate while I write this, because in all regards, Thurston Moore is an Indie deity. Besides being a very pretty man, he is the singer, songwriter and guitarist for the legendary Sonic Youth. Formed in 1981, the band is highly regarded as a spearhead for the no wave and noise rock movements that birthed alternative and indie genres that we know today. And Sonic Youth is actually still plugging along. This past January saw the release of their Soundtrack for a French suspense film entitled Simon Werner a Disparu. The soundtrack is an instrumental collection the band made for the film after they were able to sit down and watch it scene by scene. Sidenote: 3 nights out of 7, I used to dream about hottubbing with his wife and fellow Sonic Youth-ite Kim Gordon. Inappropriate. Let’s move on.
Moore is also one hell of a axe man. Every awe-inspiring guitar solo on the Sonic Youth records is his casual effort. He makes it look ridiculously easy. He likes to get right up on an amp, and let the feedback and the instrument have a long conversation about the years that have passed between them. Rolling Stone named him 33rd in the list of the “Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. To date, Thurston Moore has released four solo albums. The latest, Demolished Thoughts, comes out this Tuesday (5/24/11). It’s all cued up to be a gorgeous continuation of his acoustic/orchestral free-verse montages. My favorite though, has to be Trees Outside the Academy, which after a 9 year hiatus between his other solo records, was released on his very own label Ecstatic Peace! in 2007. Thurston is famous for the cryptic lyrics he puts to his songs, but more so for his always tangible guitar work that guides the words. Tracks like “Fri/end” and “Honest James” feature both, and should rotate constantly on mixes for long drives.
Moore has an amazing talent for rescuing moments that usually fade quickly in life. If a walk in an aged forest could be distilled, his guitar would be the vessel. With a rich depth to his work, and a hell of a live show to showcase it in, Thurston Moore is guaranteed to be one of the best acts at this year’s Pitchfork Festival.
Thurston Moore is currently touring alone, but in July he’ll be picking up Kurt Vile for a number of dates on the west coast. They both land at Pitchfork this summer, the Sonic Youth veteran playing Sunday the 15th. For more more information, visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com.
(Demolished Thoughts is available 5/24/11 from Matador Records)