'Rock N Roll Consciousness' is the new album from former Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore.
Former Sonic Youth star Thurston Moore is returning with his fifth solo album this Spring ahead of his forthcoming worldwide tour dates. 'Rock N Roll Consciousness' delves into all things spiritual, and focuses on a deeper meaning within the world of art and music.
Thurston Moore rocking out at Way Out West
'Rock N Roll Consciousness' follows the alt-rock singer's critically acclaimed 2014 album 'The Best Day'. He's come a long way since his 1995 solo debut 'Psychic Hearts', and this new album shows an almost metaphysical transformation. With just five tracks exploring everything from rebirth to angels, it's a fresh look at the world without compromising those scuzzy strings and transcendent drums that we know so well.
Doug Aitken is a multimedia artist who takes an in-depth look at society's art today; with the likes of music, dance and physical artwork in mind. On his exploration, he takes a 4,000 mile trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (that's New York to San Francisco) picking up a variety of artists along the way and making stops to witness some incredible 'happenings' throughout the country. He gets the chance to speak to musicians in their droves, all eager to open up about their experiences and interpretations of their art. The trip takes place over 24 days and features such spectacles as Beck being joined by a gospel choir in the enormous Mojave desert; an expanse which spans California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. 'Station To Station' is an artistic documentary roadtrip with a difference. Directed by Doug Aitken ('The Source'), it includes appearances from some 43 musicians and artists including Beck, Jackson Browne, Thurston Moore, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Cat Power, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Dan Deacon, Cold Cave and many, many more. The movie is set to be released in cinemas on June 26th 2015, after which the Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening event will kick off.
It's nearly that time again! More stellar acts will again flock to the spectacular Northern city of Leeds for a day of non-stop musical exhilaration. Plus, Live At Leeds 2015 will play host to some stunning new venues, and what better time to experience them?
Without further ado, then, we present to you your must-see schedule for Saturday (May 2nd 2015). It's been tricky to work out this year, however, as every year each line-up gets better and better and this year is honestly no exception. So there may be a few overlaps, but you certainly won't be bored.
The Riptide Movement - Oporto - 12:00
Getting the day off to a low key start is The Riptide Movement at the small but very quaint Oporto bar. The only problem here is that a set from these Dubliners is bound to leave you singing along for the rest of the day ('All Works Out', for example), but it will at least get you geared up for their upcoming debut album 'Getting Through' released on June 1st, which has already been critically acclaimed in Ireland.
Continue reading: Live At Leeds 2015 Preview
Thurston Moore and We Were Promised Jetpacks among Live At Leeds 2015 line-up.
Every year in Leeds, the May Bank Holiday marks the return of a whole bunch of great gigs for the annual Live At Leeds festival. Played by tons of bands at venues all over the city, the festival pulls in a good crowd with its diverse line-up. In the past, the festival has hosted loads of great acts including Bombay Bicycle Club, Wild Beasts and James Blake.
Thurston Moore will play Live At Leeds 2015
Last year's festival brought in a number of popular acts including Clean Bandit, George Ezra, Kodaline, Little Matador and Pulled Apart By Horses - a line-up which helped win the festival its 'Best Metropolitan Festival' accolade, beating Brighton's popular 'Great Escape' and pop-punk festival 'Slam Dunk' to the top spot.
Continue reading: Live At Leeds 2015 Brings 200 Artists To 20 Venues
'Here's a man who's done it all.' The opening lyrics to the title track and first single from Thurston Moore's new album 'The Best Day' epitomize his current standpoint in relation to the world of music and the surrounding culture. Having collaborated with such artists as R.E.M, J Mascis and Yoko Ono, directed music videos for the likes of Pavement and narrated various documentaries spanning a range of subjects, the Sonic Youth man really has done it all. This time-honoured know-how is evident throughout 'The Best Day' as Moore intersperses melodic segments, in which his vocal takes centre stage, with experiments in soundscapes and song structure. It is this variation and the constant transitions between dissonant instrumentals and more conventional frameworks that give 'The Best Day' its appeal.
In assembling a band made up of Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, My Bloody Valentine's Deb Goerge on bass and James Edwards of Nought on guitar, Thurston Moore has surrounded himself with an able crew. The band's ability is best made evident on the seven minute instrumental 'Grace Lake', in which hypnotic guitar lines interact before evolving into a feedback laden wall of sound, touching on elements of drone and post-rock. Similarly, the persistent drum and bass parts of Shelley and George respectively on 'Forevermore' provide the track with its relentless thrust, on top of which Moore and Edwards exchange guitar based pleasantries. The result of such passages is the sound of a band perfectly in sync and it is as if the four individuals have been playing together for twenty years or more.
However, the focus is by no means always on extended jams and searching instrumentals, Moore ensures that the core of each song is kept in sight. Opening track 'Speak To The Wild', for example, is based around the opening lyrics of 'Speak to the wild, reach for the wire, protect your child, from empty empire' and an accompanying two chord guitar riff reminiscent of Neil Young's 'Hey Hey, My My'. Although the track delves into sections of dissonant exploration, the lyrics and melody remain the reliable point of reference.
Continue reading: Thurston Moore - The Best Day Album Review
Beck's Song Reader might be a stroke of genius.
It is perhaps Beck's strangest album. Song Reader - the record made up entirely of sheet music - was played in full at London's Barbican Theatre on Sunday (July 7, 2013), with a huge cast of musicians including Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand and Beth Orton. This potentially had disaster written all over it, though reviews suggest the album was perfectly realised in the historic setting.
Song Reader contains twenty new songs, all publishing on song sheets. The tracks are scored for keys, guitar and voice though Beck's intention was for fans to elaborate and change the songs to their liking. As noted by the Financial Times' Ludovic Hunter-Tilney in his review, songwriter Ed Harcourt was given that job on the piano. He was accompanied by flugelhorns, ukuleles, drums and guitars. The veteran punk poet John Cooper Clarke read prose between songs while female vocal trio The Staves helped out on vocals.
David Smyth of the Evening Standard suggested the concert will have encouraged fans to have a go themselves, writing, "The songs Beck performed himself sounded the most predictable, with acoustic guitar to the fore, though a jazzy, catchy Do We, We Do would have stood out regardless of the singer. For those buying the book in the lobby, it was a case of do try this at home."
Continue reading: Song Reader: Beck Plays Album Of Sheet Music At London's Barbican
A mix of old and new to perform in London over June
Yoko Ono has announced the bulk of the names for her Meltdown Festival line-up to take place in London this year, with the former wife of John Lennon staying true to her vision to create a line-up based on concept and not going all out for big names for the sake of it.
Names announced for the event, which takes place at London’s Southbank Centre for a week and a half in June, include Patti Smith, Boy George, Siouxsie Sioux and Iggy and The Stooges. Back in November, upon the announcement that Ono would be taking on the curator’s role, she commented "I'm not pursuing big names for the sake of big names. I'm thinking along the lines of a concept, which is more refreshing. There will definitely be an element of feminism and the plight of women … [and] I am thinking of having one or two events where I ask men to say something strong about themselves too."
That’s certainly a concept she’s stuck too with the line-up announced so far. Alongside these more established names, Ono also has the likes of up and coming post-punk group Savages, as well as the likes of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, formerly of Sonic Youth, Peaches and comedian Reggie Watts. Ono herself will perform with the Plastic Ono Band. Additionally there will be various talks, panels and film screenings over the event. "It's not only a great honour to curate Meltdown in its 20th year," Ono said in a press release, according to The Guardian "it's also a lot of fun."
Most of the literature and documentaries on punk tend to start out in the same place, talking about how in the mid-1970s music had become this bloated, big-business monster, with pretentious arena rock bands playing 20-minute solos and so on - and then came The Ramones to shatter all that. Letts - a former producer and icon in the scene, as well as director of the authoritative documentary on The Clash, Westway to the World - digs deeper than that, going back to the 1960s and early '70s, finding the root of the coming musical uprising not just in expected places like The Velvet Underground, MC5, and Iggy Pop, but also in the jaggedly poppy sounds of many now mostly forgotten garage bands (whose sound is still inspiring post-punkers like The Hives). In describing the ascent of punk later in the '70s, Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra talks about how just about every smaller town and city had one guy who was into The Stooges and The Velvet Underground who then moved to the bigger cities, met up with all the other like-minded small-town new arrivals, and started bands.
Continue reading: Punk: Attitude Review