Thurston Moore returns to his avant-garde roots on Spirit Counsel | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Thurston Moore returns to his avant-garde roots on Spirit Counsel


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One of the very few celebrity breakups to ever have an emotional effect on me was the 2011 split of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, which also resulted in the end of Sonic Youth. There was much speculation on how the band’s members would move forward following the dissolution of such a distinctive creative partnership, but they've all since busied themselves in an array of musical projects. In September, Thurston Moore’s current band released Spirit Counsel, a massive three-CD set whose three songs comprise two and a half hours of solid, shimmering instrumental music that encompasses meditative and abrasive moods. The sound of the set, which skews more gentle than not, represents a callback to Moore’s days in the early 80s playing with avant-garde musician Glenn Branca: it harnesses the power of multiple droning guitars and shifting dynamics to create a sense of narrative progression without words. “Alice Moki Jayne” pays homage to three great women artists (Turiya Alice Coltrane, Moki Cherry, and Jayne Cortez) with a trancelike build more than an hour long. On this tour, Moore and his bandmates—bassist and guitarist Debbie Googe of My Bloody Valentine, guitarist James Sedwards of This Is Not This Heat, and drummer Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth—have been drawing out this lush, unhurried track even further.   v

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