I never thought of the guitar the same way again after hearing Sonic Youth. They opened my ears to the limitless nature of the guitar, playing in ways and producing tonalities and sounds I had never imagined possibly being wrung from this conventional instrument. Whether coaxing gentle chiming tones or scrabbling at the strings with drumsticks to produce aural tsunamis, the band’s two guitarists, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, practically invented an entire new vocabulary for this most common of instruments and influenced countless other musicians along the way. Hard to believe that 2011 marks SY’s 30th anniversary.
I visit La Blogothèque a lot less frequently than I should. I usually go there looking for French music, but I’ve become a fan of their Concerts à Emporter (Take Away Shows) and I’ll probably be posting a few of my favorites in the future. So I was surprised when I came across this really nice Take Away Show featuring Thurston playing acoustic guitar (12 string, no less) accompanied by a violin and talking about New York.
It’s interesting to hear the sorts of techniques I’m used to hearing him play on electric guitar translated to acoustic guitar. It still sounds like Sonic Youth to me, which is to say I haven’t heard anyone play an acoustic guitar the way Thurston Moore does.
Sadly, I must report on an item I found as I was doing a little bit of research for this: It appears as though Thurston and Kim Gordon have separated after 27 years of marriage. I know, I feel icky for linking to E! Online, but there you have it.