Thurston Moore

Make mine a "Thurston LESS" please! Hee heh hhehe. HA!!! HEEEE. Hee. HEE!!!!

That was a great joke! How come no broads came and picked me up afterwards?

* special introductory paragraph!
* Psychic Hearts
* Root
* Trees Outside The Academy
* Demolished Thoughts

Thurston Moore is the lead sinker and guitarist for Sonic Youth.

Psychic Hearts - DGC 1995.
Rating = 3

This album is so Thurston POORE, it makes me want to take it out of the Thurston DRAWERE and throw it on the Thurston FLOORE. Then I might even grab the Thurston BORE and kick it out the Thurston DOORE and go down to the Thurston SHORE to pick up a Thurston WHORE. Let me tell you what you have in Thurston STORE if you decide that Dirty and Goodbye 20th Century CDs aren't sufficiently rotten to the Thurston CORE and you need some Thurston MORE to. oh. That was already - OK next slide.

Submitted for your approval: Sonic Youth features THREE different songwriters and STILL can't put out consistently good albums. So how do you think that ONE of those songwriters would fare when deciding to create a 15-song solo work? Well, Lee Ranaldo decided to create an album that's just a bunch of noises with locked grooves - "infinity" he calls it - HA! Can you imagine the art? Unfortunately it didn't translate very well to CD, what with "locked groove CDs" not...uh... existing. The first track sounds like --- HEY! WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO MY REVIEW, YA DAMN "READER"???

As I set out to say, when Thurston Moore decided to create a solo work, he ripped off "He's So Fine," added a "bonus disk" of the worst jamming garbage you will ever hear, battled a burglar in his home and eventually sadly succumbed to the cancer that had - HEY!!!! GOD DAMN AMERICA FOR MAKING MY ATTENTION SPAN SO SHORT THAT I CAN'T EVEN COMPLETE THIS SIMPLE ARTICLE ABOUT THE YANKEES FOR MY SPORTS NEWS WEB SITE!

Thurston Moore's bad habits: (A) Performing songs whose vocal melodies are exactly the same as the guitar melodies. You've heard "Iron Man," right? Not the smartest-sounding song around, is it? (B) Just "saying" lyrics in an attempt to come across as "sassy" and "cool" - often double-tracked and/or through a distortion effect. Like an especially whiny version of Lou Reed. While we're on the subject, am I crazy or does Lou Reed seem to be especially fond of himself? (C) Using the exact same simplistic songwriting style in every single song (think of his tracks on Experimental, Jet Set, etc. - every song on here sounds just like those but worse -- unbelievably simple power chord sequences with slight finger ups-and-downsy changes repeated over and over and over again). And (D) Coming up with absolutely atrocious, ugly, amateurish, boring "hooks" with no positive qualities for miles around. Which is to say that if you like his Sonic Youth output, there's at least a CHANCE you'll like this too, though don't be surprised if you find your opinion of the man sinking pretty low after giving it a spin in the washing machine.

Woman: Did you say WASHING MACHINE????

Man: I sure did, SISTER!

Woman: Oh man, dat's COLD man - dat's EVOL!

Man: Sorry about that, baby! Look, to make it up to you, how about if I let you stroke my DIRTY MASTER-DIK til I shoot my GOO all over those NYC GHOSTS AND FLOWERS?

Woman: I'm confused.

Man: Of course you are baby, because CONFUSION IS SYR 3 FEATURING JIM O'ROURKE.

Woman: Don't GO there! You ain't getting' none of MY stuff unless you pay me A THOUSAND. (LEAVES).

Man: Hey! Come back! This is BAD because the MOON is out and my penis is RISING!


There are four pretty great songs on here (the intriguing feedback-drenched "Ono Soul," an interesting little arpeggiated minor chord piece of melody called - ironically enough - "Pretty Bad," a sassy generic Sonic Youth style rocker called "See-Through Play/Mate" that has a really awesome double-guitared third chord in the riff, and this really fast "Hang Out" song whose ugly chords actually come to really grow on a guy if he's forced to listen to them over and over inside an echo chamber full of bugs. All crawling in and out of his eyes until he GOES INSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNEEEEEEEE!!!!!!)

The rest of the album sucks a dick though, and I betcha any other member of Sonic Youth, past or present, would say the same thing. I hope that SOMEHOW this review is only taken as a bitch piece about this particular CD though, because I made some personal attacks on Thurston in my Sonic Youth reviews (which are several years old, btw) and that is NOT AT ALL my intent here. He's just a guy who creates the kind of music that he likes. And a ton of other people like it too. I just PERSONALLY feel that his weak rockers need the counterpoint of Lee Ranaldo's screwball art-minded brain to keep them interesting and varied. Otherwise they sound underwritten, amateurish and extremely samey. And I think the same of Lee's ambient mood pieces - without the rock structure of the rest of the band, that guy's output is a total bore too. So please - I like Thurston now, and greatly respect how he has kept his band together for over two decades, for the most part giving us lots of really good songs to enjoy.

But I can't help it - this CD really really does honestly suck a lot of balls out of my mouth.

Reader Comments (Michael J. West)
Now, really. How can you go faulting Thurston for "Using the exact same simplistic songwriting style in every single song" when here you are in this review, ripping off your own material (ref. SUPERCHUNK - Come Pick Me Up). Mark Prindle, you're a no-talent, gutless hack. I can't believe your worthlessness as an artist. Clearly your creative energy dried up around the time of your PiL reviews. You filthy, meat-rocket-eating wino of a music critic. (Bernardo Pacheco)
Thank you Prindle! This album is pretty lame.
Shit man, based on your review I think its time I visited an ear specialist.
here's an amusing excerpt from an old spin-online interview with Lee Ranaldo:

SYDaydrea: What did you think of Thurston's solo effort?

LeeSncYuth: Man, which one? DID YOU HEAR THE CORPUS HERMETICUM RELEASE? (sorry caps) That is one ill pup. P Hearts roks too. (He's singing along w/ the gtr line, though...) Ha ha. That's priv joke to T.

I guess this applies to any of Sonic Youth's later records as much as it does to Psychic Hearts
let the people enjoy the music for the feeling they receive from it .you don't always have to dissect something . Thurston is a talented musician/artist and lets leave it at that
Thuston Moore is one of the most creative and innovative minds in music in the last 20 years. I, MYSELF feel as though Psychic Hearts is one of those rare and pure examples of true artistry. Complex rythems set against weaving intertangling chords flying all over the place and yet still in a tight structured groove. Listen to the title song " " or " ono soul" or if you really love music listen to "eulogy for the dead rock stars". perhaps

you should try actually listening to the album before you let such ignorant diharea just spill out of your hole like that !


your weak
I totally disagree with your review, HOWEVER, it's still funny as shit

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Root - Lo Recordings 1998
Rating = 3

Suck me, Root.

One day late last century, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore recorded 25 minute-long guitar improvisations and mailed them out to all his friends in the diamond business, including: Stereolab, Mogwai, Blur, Merzbow and Add N to (X); members of Atari Teenage Riot, Pulp, His Name Is Alive and Wire; and several experimental electronic artists of no repute. These friends were then invited to take the guitar snippets and build actual songs around them. Unfortunately only about four of them did so, with the others just piling a bunch of random bullshit on top and calling it 'experimental noise.' This is why I hate artists.

The few superlative tracks here are those in which the artists (specifically Luke Vibert, Blur and Spring Heel Jack) pick a short and bizarre snippet from the Moore improv, loop it so that it repeats indefinitely, and then pile instruments and melodies on top of the loop -- thus converting it into a recognizable yet completely idiosyncratic "song." Why so few of the featured artists thought to do this is beyond me. I guess it just seemed easier to ram the tape up their ass and call it finished.

There are a few other highlights to be found throughout the disc. For example, having apparently received a tape of Thurston playing an acoustic version of Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia," Warren DeFever buried it under a stripped-down synthesizer version of same, leaving the listener unclear of what he's hearing until the very end when "Schizophrenia" suddenly shows up. But for the most part, what you get are more or less pointless collections of industrial noise and electronic beats, with the occasional snatch of melancholy melody.

Lowlights are many, but must include: Derek Bailey talking music theory through a distortion pedal; Russell Haswell scratching a condenser mic with his fingernail; Stereolab playing a single keyboard note for four minutes with no sign of Thurston Moore's involvement anywhere; and Bruce Gilbert, Richard Thomas, Merzbow, David Cunningham, Mogwai and Alec Empire basically turning on a bunch of vacuum cleaners and fancying themselves geniuses. I forgive Merzbow his trespasses because being an annoying ear-destroyer is his whole schtick, but Bruce Gilbert was in WIRE, for Christ's sake! I guess it's true what they say: "If Thurston Moore is involved, it's not going to be any good."

So please take this ROOT and give it the BOOT, because Moore's a GALOOT who gives not a HOOT if his music sucks TOOT. He thinks that it's CUTE, but that's not too ASTUTE. I may be a BRUTE, but he's just a big FRUIT -- an old baggy COOT with the strength of a NEWT who probably loves the sound of a LUTE. I should start a lawSUIT against fans who say "WOOT!" when they hear Sonic YOUT.

Was that a bad ending? The question is MOOT.

Reader Comments

I'm glad you singled out the Springheel Jack track, which is far and away the best thing on here. They were (are?) a British drum n' bass group, and this was a total change of pace for them, and really pretty. Elsewhere there are some good bits and pieces, moments really, but most of it is just repetitive 'Will this do?' crap. You mention Warren Defever - could you ever be tempted to write some reviews up of His Name Is Alive? I can't imagine their first couple of albums appealing to you, but they had an awesome streak of well-written songs for a few albums. In particular 'Ft. Lake' is a classic. And I think a musicologist like yourself would appreciate trying to pin-point all the influences on 'Stars On ESP', kind of like Ween.

Important point: any Sonic Youth fans who haven't heard 'Root' and are now racing to find it - really, don't bother. I bought this at time of release (I actually own TWO copies, one of which is in a specially designed vacuum cleaner bag...), and it's never got any more fun to listen to.

actually, i remember reading an interview with warren defever where he basically said that he didn't even listen to the tape thurston sent him, and that he just recorded what he thought thurston's music in 1998 SHOULD sound like. so it ended up being that weird electro-folk cover of "schizophrenia". that's actually warren singing and playing guitar at the end, not thurston. warren did 2 solo albums under his own name and a few 7"s and tapes under various band names (all with the prefix ESP-something) that all had that old-timey wax cylinder sound to them.

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Trees Outside The Academy - Ecstatic Peace 2007
Rating = 6

Speaking of Henry "The Fonz" Winkler, this is NOT ME -->

Some silly goose decided to do a parody of me, and now it's sitting out there in Cyberspace with my name all over it. I hope he isn't intimating that I've "Jumped The Shark"! I'd hate to think that I somehow "Jumped The Shark"!

Having said that, I'd like to welcome everybody back to Mark Prindle's Family Place (formerly "Mark Prindle's Record Reviews"), featuring record reviews by Ted McGinley (as "Mark Prindle") and music fans the worldround. Today, with the help of Special Guest Star Mikhail Baryshnikov, we're taking a trip to Hawaii to enjoy a special Vacation Look at Thurston Moore's second non-avant-garde solo CD, Trees Outside The Academy!

When you buy this in the Thurston STORE, you'll totally label it a "Thurston SCORE" and want some Thurston MORE because it's good to the Thurston CORE and as satisfying as a Thurston WHORE walking through the Thurston DOOR with a big tasty Thurston S'MORE for Filmmaker Al "Thurston (Thirstin') For An End To Global Warming" GORE, who's busy mining for Thurston ORE to help bring about an end to the Thurston WAR, but his muscles are Thurston SORE and he's tired of hearing tales of Thurston LORE and he wants to go down to the Thurston SHORE but he's too Thurston POOR so he has to keep working even though he Thurston TORE a ligament in his ankle and is experiencing pain (Thurston) GALORE as if he's starring in a classic Film (Thurston) NOIR and the aching in his veins feels like a Thurston ROAR and (*finishes sentence*).

Hey look! Here comes Henry The All-Grown-Up Dog and his new lil' friend Spikey The Puppy! "Woof! I'm Spikey The Puppy!"

Where Thurston's earlier solo outing found him in an obnoxious 'cool guy' mood, this one presents him as a much more mature adult songwriter and musician unconcerned with proving that he's hip. Interestingly, he chooses to play acoustic guitar on nearly every track, leaving the electric leads to guests J. Mascis (Dnsr. Junior) and "Gown" (an actual gown).

And speaking of guests, look who's at my door! Why, it's Mikhail Baryshnikov! (*performs tap dance; helps the kids put on a variety show to save the Clubhouse*)

Twelve titles are listed. Of these, one is a tape recording of Thurston dicking around at age 13, one is a half-minute noise loop, and three are instrumentals. Seven of the tracks feature the violin as a prominent instrument. These same seven feature The Crucifucks' Steve Shelley on drums. None of these facts are important, but you may want to memorize them in case they come up as a Quiz Bowl question. That way you won't look as stupid as I did when I buzzed in on a question about a 'Latin Christmas Carol' and answered "O Tannenbaum."

A lot of this CD sounds like an acoustic Sonic Youth album, and that's not a bad thing at all. Thurston's ear for musical tone is in full effect, and the mixture of acoustic strumming/arpeggiating, electric soloing and violin swooping sounds full-bodied and gorgeous the entire time. The only problem is that, as pleasingly mature as it is, the songwriting is also very hit-or-miss.

Speaking of 'hit-or-miss,' remember that time I reviewed Gwar's Ragnarok? Man, it seems like it was only yesterday....

(*computer screen gets all wavey*)

"Unfortunately, though RagNaRok is definitely HARDER than the last album, its songwriting is still so hit or miss it might as well be called The Milwaukee Brewers!

Or are the Brewers good? I haven't watched a baseball game in like 40 years. If they're good, put in some team that really sucks, like the Washington Senators or something. Because nobody SUCKS like a Senator!!!!! That's their new nickname. I also designed some new uniforms for them. All the numbers are made out of dicks, and then there's a velour tongue that waggles all over them and squirts out water as the players move around."

(*computer screen gets all wavey*)

Yeah, those were good times.

Damn good times.

Trees Outside The Academy is at its best when it's dark and moody with a driving 4/4 rock beat. "Frozen Gtr," "Silver>Blue" and "Off Work" are perfect encapsulations of brooding activity -- the troubled but motivated angry pacer. That was a terrible description. I am aware of this. But these songs are (a) troubled, yet (b) don't wallow in the troubles and cry. They move forward determinedly, perhaps to get revenge on somebody. That's the psychological and emotional sense I get from them. Luckily, I lack the skill or vocabulary to clearly explain WTF I'm talking about.

And by "WTF," I of course mean the "World Trade FUCK - AN AIRPLANE!"

See, we can laugh about it now because lots of people have died since then, most of them not in airplane-related terrorism attacks. This is also why Holocaust Jokes are uproarious. Look, here's one:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Hal who?
Hal O'Ween!

I meant to type "Hal O'Caust" there, but you see what I'm trying to say. Other top tunes include total 'Sonic Youth Unplugged' candidate "The Shape Is In A Trance" and relaxed daydreamy David Gilmoury "Never Day." But what good is a list of song titles with the phrase "I like" or "I don't like" next to each one? Let's get down to the nitty-gritty solids of why this album only earns a 6 out of 10, or 60%, which seems like an above average rating but actually represents complete failure according the U.S. Educational School System.

Oh no! It's my evil twin Gark Spindle! "Hi, I'm Gark Spindle. I love the Dave Matthews Band."

The reason it only earns a 6 out of 10 is that Thurston Moore's musical tastes as expressed through the music on this disc only correlate with my own about 60% of the time. My own musical tastes find the happy folk pleasantries of "Honest James" and "Fri/End" exceedingly dull, the half-assed piano improv "American Coffin" directionless and pointless, the fast garage rocker "Wonderful Witches + Language Meanies" lacking in the chorus department, the 6-minute chuggling instrumental title track far too long for its dearth of ideas, and the non-songs "Free Noise Among Friends" and "Thurston @13" cute for one listen but hardly worth the 3+ minutes of space they occupy. Plus, Thurston is holding a copy of Patti Smith's Horses on the inside booklet and that's a terrible record.

Hey look! It's a special visit from Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All-Music Guide! "Hi, I'm Stephen Thomas Erlewine. I love every single album ever released. Now if you'll excuse me, Mark Prindle of Mark Prindle's Family Place, I have to return to my own record review web site, The All-Music Guide."

Here's something I very likely have discussed elsewhere on the site (because I think about it often), but it bears repeating over and over and over so here it is again:

Everywhere you go online these days, you'll see message boards wherein one person says something like "So-and-so album is a complete piece of shit," then somebody else inevitably replies along the lines of "What makes you think you know everything about music? You seem to think that your opinions are facts; you should really begin statements like that with 'In my opinion.'" This line of argument only annoys me because I see it come up time and time again. Look -- if a person makes a statement that is obviously an opinion (for example, "So-and-so album is a complete piece of shit"; unless the album under discussion is in fact comprised of feces, THIS IS OBVIOUSLY AN OPINION), and if this person does not attribute the stated opinion to a third party, then isn't it clear that it's just the speaker's opinion? Is the phrase "In my opinion" really necessary? It's not like somebody's going to say "In my opinion, Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota." A fact is a fact, a factual error is a factual error, and an opinion is an opinion. There is no need to qualify ANY of these, unless you're like two years old and honestly can't tell the difference yet. So up your ass, Internet prix.

Hey look! There's The Fonz on his motorcycle, getting ready to jump over a

Reader Comments

S Fall
To stick in my (Thurston) OAR, I'm really looking forward to the next Thurston MOORE album review, if only for your name puns, which I (Thurston) ADORE. I hope it won't be a (Thurston) CHORE to think up some MOORE. Perhaps you have a (Thurston) STORE of them? If not, I im(Thurston)PLORE you to go from (Thurston) DOOR to DOOR to make (Thurston) SURE. Please don't ig(Thurston)NORE this suggestion. Perhaps your dog could lend a (Thurston) PAW or CLAW? Failing that, he should GORE and GNAW YOUR SOREs RAW.


Kim Gordon

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Demolished Thoughts - Matador 2011
Rating = 6

Taking a day off from being audited to remove the Thetans from his body, renowned record producer Beck Hansen entered the studio with leading acoustic guitarist Thurston Moore, top-selling harpist Mary Lattimore, award-desiring violinist Samara Lubelski, world-extraordinaire bassist Bram Inscore and jaw-dropping drummer Joey Waronker to record nine songs that all sound the same. And believe me, if I were named "Bram," I'd be "Insecure" too! Ha ha. Lol.

This album is built upon calm acoustic chords and arpeggios, accented with lovely violin and harp passages, and bummed out by the same hackneyed vocal melodies that have been haunting Sonic Youth's catalog for decades. The finest moments are as warm as a sweater and hypnotic as a dangerous mesmerist using you to kill the president, but with most of the songs mining the same exact relaxed mood, the 40-minute trek can start to feel awfully samey after a while. And sure, it's hard to complain about songs as effortlessly lovely as "Blood Never Lies" and "In Silver Rain With A Paper Key," but the record as a whole would've definitely benefited from a few more stylistic diversions like the Sonic Youthy rocker "Circulation" and clever moody "Mina Loy."

Some fans have expressed surprise that a noted noisemaker like Thurston Moore would record an acoustic album, but honestly it's not that big a departure from the mellow records that Sonic Youth was releasing near the end of its Geffen era. Plus, having already encountered acoustic releases by Bad Religion's Greg Graffin and The Crucifucks' Doc Corbin Dart -- not to mention Anal Cunt and even stinky old GG Allin -- the world shouldn't be too surprised that rickety old Thurston Moore (age 52) has decided to give it the fiddly-doo.

So go tell THURSTON that David DURSTON is BURSTIN' with pride because he's FIRST IN line for a CHARLESTON Chew fuck this

Hey look, it's a bunch of my recent Facebook status updates:

Mark Prindle just started reading a book about the "Return of the Living Dead" film series today, and keeps misinterpreting "ROTLD" as "Rolling On The Loor Daughing."

Mark Prindle has exactly 1776 Facebook friends. God Bless America!

Mark Prindle just watched "The Invisible Man." It was a "WHALE" of a good time!

Mark Prindle has now gone an entire month without a drop of alcohol. Somebody call Guinness! (The book, not the beer company)

Mark Prindle was just informed that the place he's temping today fired the janitor a few minutes ago. As a temporary receptionist making $12 an hour, I think it'll be awesome if he comes back with a gun and kills me.

Mark Prindle cannot believe the depths of suckitude reached by Damon Edge after Helios Creed vacated his Chrome band. May he rest in peace, of course, but "Eternity" is still getting a 2/10.

Mark Prindle will probably give Chrome's "Liquid Forest" a 4/10. Again, please rest in peace Damon Edge, but you stunk.

Mark Prindle just watched the 1962 British horror film "Burn, Witch, Burn" -- also known as "Night of the Eagle." I liked it! Good show, the British! Tally-ho! Cheerio, mate! Let's go down the pub! Bob's your uncle!

Mark Prindle just watched the 1970 British horror film "And Soon The Darkness." 'Twas bleeding bloody brilliant, innit? "Cor blimey!" if you ask this bloke, mate!

Mark Prindle just watched "Blood & Lace," an inept psycho-thriller starring the finest actor of today's "Now Generation," Mr. Vic Tayback. On another topic -- on the basis of hearing exactly one song, I hereby declare Dream Theater "Worst Band Ever to Form Ever."

Mark Prindle watched "Happy Gilmore" and "Mad Love" today. Remember back when Adam Sandler was funny? Remember back when Peter Lorre was alive? Oh! What a nostalgic day I've had!

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Sharks love Thurston Moore. Click here to purchase.

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