A Review (Sort Of) Of Thurston Moore's Solo Show In NYC

Trip back to No Wavesville? Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

ATN New York correspondent Lori Miller reports: Friday

night (Feb. 16) Thurston Moore played in New York City with White Out and

Thela. As my friends and I walked through blizzard-like conditions, I thought

it was fitting that there was a band called White Out playing. I also thought

The Cooler would be empty since the weather was so nasty. Fat chance.


the time we made it past the bloated, brain-dead bouncer, checked our coats (40

minutes, even though there was no line) and ordered a beer (another 40

minutes), we had missed the band that must have been White Out. But I was

starting to get the feeling that the failed Aaron Spelling show about the

vapid-yet-beautiful ex-convicts who worked at a bar may have originated with a

visit to The Cooler.

We watched the second band (I'm pretty sure it was

Thela) from monitors above the bar. Their set consisted of two drummers and a

saxophone player, each of them playing solos. I asked my brother if he knew the

name of the band and he said, "A Slop of Saxophone Muddle and Juxtaposed Drum


Thurston didn't make it to the stage until well past midnight. My

friends and I decided to squeeze into the crowd in front of the stage instead

of watching the monitors above the bar. I couldn't really see the stage -- I'm

not very tall, and I left my platforms at home since the sidewalks were covered

with snow. I knew when the set was getting ready to start because my girlfriend

leaned over and whispered, "Get ready, he's strapping it on."

The set

started with what seemed like an extended sound check. It was just Thurston,

his guitar and a drummer. For the fist few minutes, I'll admit I was a little

disappointed that Thurston wasn't playing music from his solo album, Psychic

Hearts. But then I thought that getting a chance to see him having fun

making noise, without a band to share the stage, was a rare treat. It was like

watching a musician instead of a rock star. I felt like I was part of the early

80s No Wave scene. I wished I had worn black leather instead of the damn

earth-colored 70s hand-me-downs I was wearing. Quel faux pas! I should have

read more about Thurston's recent shows.

If this was going to be a

flash-back to New York's No Wave scene, I thought, well then I have a little

"in." I tried to move closer to the stage by tapping the shoulder of every tall

person in front of me introducing myself and telling them that I work with

Richard Edson's sister. I thought some of the older Sonic Youth fans would

surely step aside since I practically know the drummer who played on "Burning

Spear" and "She Is Not Alone." The only person to respond was my girlfriend,

who said she knows him too. He came into the record store where she used to


I was able to get pretty close to the stage, but on my own merit --

not on the coattails of my co-worker or her brother. And I really started to

enjoy the show. At one point Thurston got down on his back and put some sort of

vibrating microphone into his mouth. I heard that the people who had been

watching this from the monitors thought he passed out. He eased back into an

upright position by playing on his knees for a few minutes. He took the mike

out of his mouth and played without touching the fretboard. Eventually he was

kind of strumming with one finger and using the other hand to turn the volume

control on the bottom of the guitar up and down. For the final number (I think

it was the final number) Thurston used a piece of slate or cinder block to

play. It was a short set, and I'm not sure if it was because most of his

strings were broken or because it was after 2 A.M.

When I found my friends,

who had gone back to the bar to watch the bouncer rearrange the crowd for no

reason other than that he was MAD WITH POWER, my friends said that the show

left them thirstin' for