A couple of days ago I put on a record that John Moloney gave me when Chelsea Light Moving joined Sharon Van Etten at Town Hall a year ago called Caught on Tape by Thurston Moore / John Moloney and released by the amazing label/record store Feeding Tube Records in beautiful Northampton, Massachusetts. It’s live recordings taped to cassette of John and Thurston playing what I am assuming are improvised sets with just electric guitar and drums in Europe in 2012. I put it on while working on the insert for my new record and listened through the whole record twice. It’s a great record. The cover art for that record is by Raymond Pettibon so it’s pretty amazing, too.
It turns out that was just a precursor for me to delve deep back into Sonic Youth and Sonic Youth affiliated records. After listening to The Washing Machine record this morning, I pulled out Psychic Hearts which is, if I’m not mistaken, Thurston Moore’s debut record under his own name. It was originally released in 1995 as a three sided LP with the 4th side being an etching by Rita Ackerman that appears to have been done originally on vinyl as well. It honestly looks like she hand etched each one, pretty bad ass looking. It was reissued not too long with outtakes on side 4, but I haven’t heard that version.
Anyway, I’d forgotten how much I love this record. Steve Shelley is playing drums and Tim Foljahn (of Two Dollar Guitar and now solo fame) plays second guitar and Thurston plays guitar and bass. It’s a really cool kind of noisy record that touches on all things Thurston Moore. It has guitar noise, strange tunings, pretty mellow strums and random answering machine snippets and hints of the acoustic vibe he took further on later solo records.
In the way he presented it originally, it’s almost like two separate records. Sides one and two are on clear green vinyl and have shorter more structured feeling songs. Also, all of the liner notes internal artwork are on the sleeve for record one. Then sides three and four are on black vinyl wrapped in a simple unprinted black sleeve. Side four is an etching as mentioned previously, but side three is a twenty minute stretch out of instrumental amazingness called Elegy For All the Dead Rock Stars that must have been a blast to record. It’s mellow, it’s explosive, it’s droney, it’s controlled feedback, it’s great.
This is getting longer than it should be. That’s what I’m listening to and it’s amazing, highly recommended.