When: Fri., March 29, 9:30 p.m. 2013
For three decades Thurston Moore has been inextricably linked to Sonic Youth. Sure, he’s played lots of other music during that time—free improv, noise, psych-folk—but he’ll always be the guy from Sonic Youth, which must make it daunting to start a new band (especially now that SY looks kaput). At first blush Chelsea Light Moving (named after a moving company started by Philip Glass in the late 60s) sounds like Moore’s effort to carry on where Sonic Youth left off: “Heavenmetal,” the opening track from the band’s self-titled Matador debut, threads a lazy pop melody through a low-key lattice of ringing, dissonant guitars. But before long the aggressive spirit that inspired Moore in the first place kicks in, blending the blammo art-damage of old Sonic Youth records with the hardcore punk that ruled the underground in the early- and mid-80s. Moore and his collaborators—guitarist Keith Wood (Hush Arbors), electric bassist Samara Lubelski, and drummer John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man)—blast through the Germs’ “Communist Eyes” and hammer “Alighted” with chugging metallic riffs and snarled lyrics about self-annihilation. Some of the songs carry a whiff of nostalgia too: Moore muses on boho history, quoting William Burroughs (“Burroughs”) and revisiting the murders of a pair of Lower East Side literary hangers-on (“Groovy & Linda”). He even reads some of his own postbeat poetry in “Mohawk,” which includes post-John Cale electric-violin drones from Lubelski. Moore is 54, which might seem like the perfect age for a midlife crisis, but he sounds more jacked-up and energized than he has in years—I can’t wait to watch him bring it live. —Peter Margasak Cave and Jeremy Lemos open.