Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thurston Moore

I know this is going to piss some people off but I decided that I think Thurston Moore is really over-rated. I think dude's really more of a scenester than a brilliant artist. I like Sonic Youth as much as the next guy, they've never been my favorite band but I've had moments where I've loved their records, what they were all about, etc. And I guess that's the thing, half of it with Sonic Youth is what they're all about, not necessarily the music, which is actually pretty awful at least a quarter of the time. Sonic Youth embodies a NY downtown vibe and they still rule the scene, now in a kind of older-brother/punk sister kind of way. I got all excited about Thurston Moore's new solo record "Demolished Thoughts", produced by Beck, it was being compared to Beck's "Sea Change", which was a big album for me. Meh, it's okay, maybe a little better than his other solo album, "Trees Outside the Academy", but it's really nothing special and dude benefits so much from Beck turning the dials and all sorts of cool instrumentation. He's not that great a songwriter, guitarist, singer or lyricist. If I want to hear the kind of raw, hushed vocals, folk-punk thing I'll go back to early Elliott Smith, and if I want to remember some girl fucking up my heart (boohooo) I'll check out "Sea Change". I don't hate though, I'd probably be all gay and spastic if I met TM and tell him I have a Sonic Youth song as my ringtone, but I'm just saying, dude ain't all that.

Oh, if ya'll are bored at work or whatever spend time on this blog, DC got me hip to it and it's cracking me up. To keep it relevant on the music tip here's a link to dude ranting about internet rap.


Aaron Poehler said...

The more I revisit old SY albums the more I wish that Lee Ranaldo was the central figure of the band and that Thurston and Kim weren't so consistently impressed with themselves and each other.

ator said...

To be honest, I sorta agree, and this is coming from someone who was a HUGE Sonic Youth fan when I was younger

I think that perhaps Thurston Moore's greatest strength is that he is a cool guy with good taste. And no one can argue that Sonic Youth has been mighty influential over the years. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they've aged all that well. For me, they haven't at all... I can't even listen to their classics these days, with the possible exception of Sister.

I think it's a case of the pupils outshining the teacher. But I do respect them for what they accomplished and for being ahead of their time.

Bill Zink said...

I'm with you on this. I know most people choose *Daydream Nation* as the pinnacle of Sonic Youth, but that was sort of the end of them for me. I'm sorry, but they just don't write compelling pop songs. I always loved "Kill Yr Idols", and I still do, but once I really listened to the lyrics, the song wasn't nearly as cool as I thought it was.

For years I bought every new Sonic Youth album only to be consistently underwhelmed. I thought I might just be getting over them, but no . . . *Evol* still gives me cold chills to this very day. And the live stuff from that period (I got to see them just after Evol came out) is still amazing as well.

I didn't like the new Thurston album, but I didn't really expect to. The one thing I didn't expect was just how uninteresting the guitar playing was. With the new post-John Fahey acoustic guitar explosion, I expected at least a few interesting licks from the guy who helped define my idea of a guitar band in the early 80s. We have amazing acoustic guitar albums from people as diverse as Bill Orcutt, Richard Bishop, Jack Rose (RIP), and many more. And Thurston doesn't do anything interesting, as if unplugging your guitar automatically means you play strummy folk. Bleh.

That said, he seems like a cool guy, and he champions a lot of cool stuff. That is my sole expectation of him these days.

I'm with Aaron on wanting more Lee Ranaldo out of SY, but only if he doesn't write lyrics. That's some bad poetry, y'all. As a matter of fact, I like their little SY Records side projects better than anything else they do now, and I think the dearth of weak lyrics from the whole band helps in that regard.

Gabino said...


blablazo said...

I saw them on the Washing Machine tour and they blew me away. Don't have any recorded material by them, except for a Can remix, so...