NEW YORK -- Experimental rock performers Thurston Moore of Sonic
Youth and Yoko Ono are set to cross paths Sunday at the first in what is
expected to be a series of monthly benefit concerts to aid Kosovo refugees
and their families.
The benefit for victims of the conflict in Kosovo will be held at the
popular nightclub the Knitting Factory, according to Guy Compton, the
club's promotions director.
"We are planning on doing this for as long as it takes," Compton said
about the proposed benefit series. The next one is being planned for
Ono and Moore, playing as a duo, are expected to be one of the highlights
of Sunday's performance. Compton said Ono also will be teaming up at the
show with singer/songwriter Sean Lennon, her son with late Beatle John
Lennon. The mother and son also performed together at another high-profile
charity event, the 1996 Tibetan Freedom Concert, which was held in San
Francisco to raise awareness about the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
Compton said proceeds from the Knitting Factory concert will be used to
support the Kosova Relief Fund, a volunteer organization that works
to assist refugees in Macedonia and Albania and to help people find
family members victimized by the crisis.
"They're getting [all the proceeds]. Our staff is working that night for
free," Compton said. Tickets cost $20; the club holds up to 450 people.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization continues its bombing of Yugoslavia
that began in late March. The country's Serbian leadership, meanwhile, has reportedly stepped up its aggression toward
ethnic Albanians living in the province of Kosovo.
Jeton Ademaj, who is coordinating the concert on behalf of the Kosova
Relief Fund, said the organization has raised approximately $100,000
since the bombing campaign began. It spells Kosova with an "a," he said,
because "90 percent of the people who live there have spelled it that
way for the last 1,200 years."
Ono, who performed with the Japanese pop group Cibo Matto on New Year's
Eve at the legendary CBGB's nightclub in New York, is an avant-garde
artist whose music has influenced a cross section of songwriters and
performers. Last year she helped oversee the production of the recently
released box set The John Lennon Anthology. Her son is Cibo Matto's
touring bassist, and his live-in girlfriend, Yuka Honda, is the band's
As for Moore, the leader of the New York art-rock band Sonic Youth remixed
Ono's song "Rising" in 1996. Moore and his bandmates in Sonic Youth received
critical accolades a decade ago for their work on the album Daydream
Nation, which included the powerful, melodic rock tune
"Teenage Riot" (RealAudio excerpt).
The rest of the lineup for the upcoming benefit includes such local
performers as drummer Joey Baron, guitarist Glen Branca and rock duo
Damon and Naomi.