March 15, 2010

Flowers & Cream

I was pleasantly surprised to learn Thurston Moore has a blog entitled, Flowers & Cream. Thurston has long been a big hero of mine, ever since I heard Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising album back in 1985. Later, when he started making overt moves into the free-improv scene in the early nineties (eventually even performing with Cecil Taylor himself), he validated for me the connection I’d felt between punk rock and free-jazz. I’ve never met the guy, but he comes across as not just the coolest person on the planet, but as a genuinely humble (and funny) musician who is just really into a lot of different stuff: art, literature, poetry, dance, and, of course, music and noise. Sonic Youth gets accused of being “pretentious,” but to me they simply embody the DIY ideal -- it’s just that what they want to do is make Art. If that’s pretentious, then so be it. “Punk” is not so much a set of rules, or hairstyles, or fashions but simply permission to do it (whatever *it* is) yourself, outside of any stifling, readymade cultural institution. Whatever you might think of their music, the fact that Sonic Youth has, over the past twenty-five years, become a cultural institution in their own right is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the righteousness of the DIY ethic. I’m looking forward to reading Thurston’s blog. I hope he keeps it up!

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