Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore digs flying solo

Thurston Moore is ready to shut down. No, the guitar guru behind the seminal experimental noise outfit Sonic Youth isn’t calling it quits, he just wants to get off the Internet.

“I got my computer stolen about a week and a half ago,” he says in a recent phone interview from his home in western Massachusetts. “It was so fantastic. I loved it. I had like a whole week of bliss, everybody around mewas holding their laptops trying to find a signal and being really anxious about it and I was actually just enjoying life.”

Moore’s computer-less stint, albeit brief, sparked his creative juices and he’s now considering writing a book about shutting down and removing oneself from technological dependency.

“Music, literature, art – I should be able to do these things without being on the grid,” he says. “I mean, what would you have done back in 1985?”

Don’t put that book idea past Moore either. While he’s certainly a busy, busy man – he does, after all, have a 13-year-old daughter, Coco, with Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon and a legendary band to front – that hasn’t kept him from pursuing his share of projects, which include running the label Ecstatic Peace, writing books and recording music on his own terms. On Monday, Moore performs his second solo album “Trees Outside the Academy” at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

The material on “Trees” showcases the lanky rocker’s folksier-side; he plays acoustic guitar and bass with an accompanying string section courtesy violinist Samara Lubelski. The album’s lean, melodic sound receives a little extra beef from Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis’ electric guitar work and fellow Sonic Youth member Steve Shelley’s percussion contributions, but Moore says he was reluctant to let things get too electric.

“At first, I recorded everything on acoustic and I was going to record everything again on electric to sort of have it as a flavor,” he says. “As soon as I started doing that I said, ‘no, I shouldn’t do this’ because I knew what was going to happen when we started mixing; we were going to start edging towards the electric guitar because that’s something that we understand more and so I refused to track in electric guitar at all.”

Even though the new record is Moore’s first official song-based recording in 12 years – his first was 1995’s “Psychic Hearts” – he readily admits that he’s always wanted to go the solo route, but hasn’t had the time.

“I love playing in a band and will always, but I’ve also always wanted to do this. I don’t have to think about it; everything is fully my creative measure as far as how it’s being presented,” he says. “I want to do it again, maybe put out another album next summer. I don’t want this record to be this sort of flash in the pan kind of side project for myself.”

IF YOU GO

Thurston Moore

Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 29

Tickets: $20

Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.gamh.com

Note: Moore also will appear at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at Amoeba Records, 1855 Haight St., San Francisco.

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Demonstrators commemorated the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside S.F. City Hall on June 1, 2020.<ins></ins>
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Franciscans were relieved Tuesday after jurors found a former Minneapolis police… Continue reading

San Francisco Unified School District Board member Faauuga Moliga, right, pictured with Superintendent Vincent Matthews on the first day back to classrooms, will be board vice president for the remander of the 2121 term. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faauuga Moliga named as school board vice president to replace Alison Collins

The San Francisco school board on Tuesday selected board member Fauuga Moliga… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

An instructor at Sava Pool teaches children drowning prevention techniques. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Indoor city pools reopen for lap swimming and safety classes

Two of San Francisco’s indoor city pools reopened Tuesday, marking another step… Continue reading

A construction worker rides on top of materials being transported out of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as work continues at West Portal Station on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s poor track record on capital projects risks losing ‘public trust’

Supervisors say cost overruns and delays could jeapordize future ballot revenue measures

Most Read