Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts

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coverIf KCRW’s key word is "eclectic" (and it is), then by all rights Thurston Moore should be our king.  Since co-founding the boundary annihilating indie rock band Sonic Youth in 1981, Mr. Moore has been a part of something like 40 or 50 different recordings under various guises.  These recordings range from pop collaborations with such disparate figures as Richard Hell and DJ Spooky to free-form improvisational jazz.  Only three albums that bear the name Thurston Moore contain (somewhat) traditionally structured songs.  The most recent of these, Demolished Thoughts, might very well be the best.
The album is produced by Beck, and the pair work as though they've been creating sound together for years.  There is an extraordinary degree of attention paid to the details ofDemolished Thoughts.  Something as simple as the hint of a Spaghetti Western style whistle coming in at the end of the intro to "Mina Loy," and weaving its way around a delicately (but deliberately) plucked harp is unexpected and thrilling.  This is true of all of the arrangements really.  They are composed with such clear purpose, so that each song will have the ultimate level of impact.  At the same time, however, there is an overall feeling of wide open space which leaves room for improvisation, and discovery.  Rock chords unfold easily into jazz chords and vice versa, and the trademark alternate tunings that Sonic Youth have been bending minds with for years are on full display.  Most of the songs take their time to reveal themselves, but they never let go of your attention. The aforementioned harp played by Mary Lattimore, and violin by Samara Lubelski are perfect secret weapons; at times they are peppered in sparsely, at other times they combine to create swarms of gorgeous noise.
This all sets the stage perfectly for the primary instruments featured on the record: the acoustic guitar, Thurston Moore's voice, and Thurston Moore's words.  His lyrics are as unexpected and challenging as the way he chooses to tune his guitar.  Psychedelic musings mingle with thoughts on complex adult relationships, both romantic and familial.  The album opener, "Benediction," and centerpiece "Blood Never Lies" showcase this particularly well. And in the case of the song "Space," the psychedelic musings take center stage.  Coupled with the beauty and oddity of the music it really is something to hear.  Actually, Demolished Thoughts as a whole really is something to hear.  It is a perfect culmination of style, influence, and instinct.  Subtle eclecticism at its best, and further evidence for the case that Thurston Moore should be crowned king of KCRW... or just everything.
-- Marion Hodges, KCRW Music Host

Demolished Thoughts will be available to stream on demand from May 16 through May 29, 2011. The album will be released on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

mbe thurston moore 2007Listen to Thurston Moore's Morning Becomes Eclectic Performance from October 31, 2007 here.

Artist website:
Track listing:

1. Benediction
2. Illuminine
3. Circulation
4. Blood Never Lies
5. Orchard Street
6. In Silver Rain With A Paper Key
7. Mina Loy
8. Space
9. January