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
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 29
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.