Thurston Moore

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Thurston Moore
Thurston Moore at the Brooklyn Book Festival.jpg
Moore at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival.
Background information
Birth nameThurston Joseph Moore
Also known asMirror, Fred Cracklin
Born(1958-07-25) July 25, 1958 (age 55)
Coral Gables, Florida, United States
GenresAlternative rock, noise rock, no wave, experimental rock, post-punk, hardcore punk
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, musician, consultant, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, harmonica, synthesizer, piano, saxophone
Years active1978–present
LabelsGeffen, SST, Ecstatic Peace!, Father Yod, Lo Recordings
Destructive Industries, Arts & Crafts México
Associated actsSonic Youth, Ciccone Youth, The Coachmen, Swans,[1] Mirror/Dash, Even Worse, Dream/Aktion Unit, Bark Haze, Dim Stars, Northampton Wools, Chelsea Light Moving, Twilight
Notable instruments
Fender Jazzmaster
 
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Thurston Moore
Thurston Moore at the Brooklyn Book Festival.jpg
Moore at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival.
Background information
Birth nameThurston Joseph Moore
Also known asMirror, Fred Cracklin
Born(1958-07-25) July 25, 1958 (age 55)
Coral Gables, Florida, United States
GenresAlternative rock, noise rock, no wave, experimental rock, post-punk, hardcore punk
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, musician, consultant, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, harmonica, synthesizer, piano, saxophone
Years active1978–present
LabelsGeffen, SST, Ecstatic Peace!, Father Yod, Lo Recordings
Destructive Industries, Arts & Crafts México
Associated actsSonic Youth, Ciccone Youth, The Coachmen, Swans,[1] Mirror/Dash, Even Worse, Dream/Aktion Unit, Bark Haze, Dim Stars, Northampton Wools, Chelsea Light Moving, Twilight
Notable instruments
Fender Jazzmaster

Thurston Joseph Moore (born July 25, 1958)[2] is an American musician best known as a singer, songwriter and guitarist of Sonic Youth. He has also participated in many solo and group collaborations outside of Sonic Youth, as well as running the Ecstatic Peace! record label. Moore was ranked 34th in Rolling Stone's 2004 edition of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."[3] In May 2012, Spin published a staff-selected top 100 ranking Moore and his Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo together on number 1.[4]

In 2012, Moore started a new band Chelsea Light Moving, with their first track, "Burroughs", released as a free download.[5] Chelsea Light Moving's eponymous debut was released on 5 March 2013.

Early years[edit]

Moore was born in Coral Gables, Florida, but was raised in Bethel, Connecticut.[6] Although he enrolled at Western Connecticut State University, he instead moved to New York City to join the burgeoning post-punk/no wave music scenes.[7] It was here the he was able to watch shows by the likes of Patti Smith and spoken-word performances by William S. Burroughs.[8] At the beginning of his time in New York, he lived in an apartment below artist Dan Graham, eventually befriending him, sometimes using records from Graham's collection for mix tapes.[9]

Once in the city, Moore was briefly a member of the hardcore punk band Even Worse, featuring future The Big Takeover editor (and future Springhouse drummer) Jack Rabid. After exiting the band, Moore and Lee Ranaldo learned experimental guitar techniques in Glenn Branca's "guitar orchestras."[7]

Sonic Youth[edit]

Moore and Ranaldo soon formed Sonic Youth, serving as the band's guitarists, with Moore on lead vocals on a good portion of the material. The band signed to Neutral Records, then to Homestead Records, and then to SST Records.

Live in the Netherlands (with Sonic Youth), 1991

Moore and Ranaldo make extensive use of unusual guitar tunings, often heavily modifying their instruments to provide unusual timbres and drones. They are known for bringing upwards of fifty guitars to every gig, using some guitars for one song only.[7] In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Moore and Ranaldo the 33rd and 34th Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

In 2011, Moore and his wife, Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon, announced they had separated; shortly afterward, Ranaldo announced the indefinite hiatus of Sonic Youth.[10]

Work outside of Sonic Youth[edit]

In addition to his work with Sonic Youth, Moore has also released albums as a solo artist. He and Gordon released a few songs as Mirror/Dash. The two also established Protest Records together but the project has since lapsed. Moore has collaborated with scores of musicians, including Maryanne Amacher, Lydia Lunch, DJ Spooky, William Hooker, Daniel Carter, Christian Marclay, Mike Watt, Loren Mazzacane Connors, William Winant, The Thing, Nels Cline, Cock E.S.P., John Moloney, Glenn Branca, Yamantaka Eye, Chris Corsano and My Cat is an Alien.[citation needed]

In the early 1990s, Moore formed the side band Dim Stars, with Richard Hell, Don Fleming, Steve Shelley and Robert Quine. Moore performed solo on the side stage of the 1993 Lollapalooza tour. Additionally, Moore also contributed guitar work and backing vocals on "Crush with Eyeliner", which appeared on R.E.M.'s Monster. Since 2004, he has recorded and performed with the noise collective To Live and Shave in L.A., the lineup of which also features Andrew W.K.. He recorded with the band at Sonic Youth's former studio in Manhattan, and later performed with them at the George W. Bush "anti-inaugural" Noise Against Fascism concert in Washington, D.C., named in reference to Sonic Youth's 1992 song "Youth Against Fascism". Moore curated the "Nightmare Before Christmas" weekend of the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in December 2006.[citation needed]

Moore directed the music video for Pavement's song "Here", from Slanted and Enchanted. On June 21, 2007, Moore revealed to Spin Magazine that he would be releasing a solo album titled Trees Outside The Academy. The album was recorded at J Mascis' studio in Amherst, Massachusetts. The album is made up of mostly acoustic material and features Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and violinist Samara Lubelski. The album also features collaborations between Mascis and Charalambides' Christina Carter, who performs a duet with Moore on the track, "Honest James." The album was released on September 18, 2007, on Moore's label Ecstatic Peace.[citation needed]

On September 24, 2008, Pitchfork Media reported that Thurston was working on a song with former Be Your Own Pet vocalist Jemina Pearl, a cover of the Ramones song "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker." The song was recorded for the teenage drama Gossip Girl and was featured in the episode "There Might Be Blood".

Since 2008, Moore has provided narration for a variety of documentaries on the National Geographic Channel. His work includes Inside: Straight Edge and the Hard Time series about life in prison.

In 2012 Moore and Kim Gordon announced that they were working on a collaborative album with Yoko Ono to be titled YOKOKIMTHURSTON. The album was released on September 25 through Chimera Records.[11]

Moore announced in 2012 that he was to start a new band called Chelsea Light Moving. Their first track, "Burroughs", was released as a free download.[5] Their eponymous debut album was released on 5 March 2013. The release coincided with the 2013 SXSW Festival where they made numerous appearances including a free show at Mellow Johnny's bike shop.

In July 2012 Nachtmystium vocalist/guitarist Blake Judd announced that Moore had joined the black metal super group Twilight.[12]

On November 24th 2013, he played guitar to "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" alongside Ron and Russell Mael in a Sparks concert at the Union Chapel, Islington, London.

Work on film soundtracks[edit]

Thurston Moore performing with Sonic Youth at the 2005 Roskilde Festival.

In 1994, Moore teamed up with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, Don Fleming of Gumball, Mike Mills of R.E.M., and Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters, to form the Backbeat Band, which recorded the soundtrack album to the movie Backbeat. In 1998 Moore played on the soundtrack of the film Velvet Goldmine as a member of Wylde Ratttz. Moore composed original music for such films as Heavy (1995), Bully (2001), and Manic (2001). In 2007, Moore also appeared with noise/improv group "Original Silence" featuring Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (The thing, Atomic, Scorch Trio), guitarist Terrie Ex (The Ex), Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Wilco, Illusion of Safety), saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and bassist Massimo Pupillo (Zu). The group released the live album "The First Original Silence" in 2007, on Oslo (Norway) label SmallTown Superjazz, and a second album "The Second Original Silence" in 2008.[citation needed]

Record label and writings[edit]

Moore and other Sonic Youth members published the irreverent music zine Sonic Death. Moore runs the record label Ecstatic Peace!. Beginning in 1993, this label jointly released records with rock critic Byron Coley's label, Father Yod, as Ecstatic Yod Records.

Moore reviews new music in Arthur Magazine in a column written jointly with Byron Coley. He manages the website Protest Records, named for its protest against United States' invasions in the Middle East. Moore was the editor/overseer of the 2005 book Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture. He published a highly influential list of collectible free jazz records in Grand Royal magazine.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1984, Moore married Sonic Youth bassist/vocalist Kim Gordon. The pair have a daughter, Coco Hayley Gordon Moore (born 1 July 1994). On October 14, 2011, the couple announced that they were separating.[14]

On April 22, 2013, Gordon said in an interview, "We seemed to have a normal relationship inside of a crazy world. And in fact, it ended in a kind of normal way — midlife crisis, starstruck woman." She said Moore was "carrying on this whole double life" with another woman, that Jezebel claimed is art book editor Eva Prinz. Gordon and Moore tried marriage counseling, but according to Gordon, "We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do."[15]

Equipment[edit]

Moore is known for using a large selection of Fender guitars during Sonic Youth gigs, most frequently a Jazzmaster and a heavily modified Mustang with three Stratocaster single coils and a 5-way selector called "Astroboy". His primary stage amp has been the Peavey Roadmaster paired with a Marshall cabinet. He has used the ProCo Rat, Big Muff, Crowther Hotcake, and MXR Blue Box pedals in various combinations to achieve his unique distorted and feedback-laden guitar sound.

Since Ranaldo and Moore, together with Elvis Costello, J. Mascis, Nels Cline, and Kevin Shields, are known for being key figures in the popularization and resurrection of the Fender Jazzmaster, in 2009 Fender introduced a Lee Ranaldo signature edition of a Sapphire Blue Transparent version featuring two Fender Wide Range humbucking pickups and a Forest Green transparent finish for Moore, equipped with a pair of Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazzmaster single-coil pickups).[16]

Principal Solo discography and collaborations[edit]

Solo albums
Other
Albums with Sonic Youth
Albums with Chelsea Light Moving
Collaborations
Limited Edition Noise, experimental, drone projects
Free Improvisation Albums
Live Albums
Caught On Tape series (documenting the free improv touring of Thurston Moore & John Moloney)
Albums with Diskaholics Anonymous Trio [Jim O'Rourke, Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore]
Albums with Original Silence
Early work with Glenn Branca
Early work with the Coachmen
Singles
Split LPs
Album appearances

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jonathan Kane and Swans". Young God Records. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  2. ^ Holly George-Warren and Patricia Romanowski, ed. (2005). "Sonic Youth". The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. New York, New York: Fireside. p. 912. ISBN 978-0-7432-9201-6. 
  3. ^ 100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks: Thurston Moore | Rolling Stone
  4. ^ "SPIN's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time | SPIN | Best of SPIN | All Time". SPIN. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  5. ^ a b "Thurston Moore starts new band". The Line Of Best Fit. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  6. ^ Dixon, Ken, "Music Hall of Fame proposed for state", article in Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 26, 2007 ("Thurston Moore, leader of alt-rock legends Sonic Youth, who grew up in Bethel")
  7. ^ a b c Azerrad, Michael. Our Band Could Be Your Life. New York: Little, Brown, 2001
  8. ^ Thurston Moore interview on William Burroughs
  9. ^ "‘H/C’ by Thurston Moore". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore Announce Split". SPIN Magazine. 
  11. ^ Young, Alex (2012-06-20). "Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, and Kim Gordon team up for collaborative album". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  12. ^ "Nachtmystium Interview Part 2: Fuzzy Synths, Working With Thurston Moore, And The Possibility Of Happy Black Metal". The 1st Five. 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  13. ^ Saucer-Like Sonic Youth # Articles
  14. ^ Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore Separate | News | Pitchfork
  15. ^ 4/23/13 6:20pm 4/23/13 6:20pm. "Is This the Woman Who Broke Up Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore?". Jezebel.com. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK – Update 4.06.2011". Zobbel. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 

External links[edit]