February 12, 2020 Playlist

"Last Night On Earth" by Lee Ranaldo & The Dust (2013)
Lee Ranaldo & The Dust "Last Night On Earth"  2013 (USA)
Lee Ranaldo turned 64 last week. As the "less famous" lead guitarist in Sonic Youth, he was sometimes called the George Harrison of the band, but maybe he was really more like their Jerry Garcia(?) Since Sonic Youth broke up nearly a decade ago, Lee has not been as prolific as the attention-seeking workaholic Thurston Moore, but Ranaldo's three solo albums to date have shown a lot more musical growth. Thurston is making exactly the kind of records you'd expect him to: heavy on the long droney-clangy guitar jams. Kim Gordon the bassist only got around to releasing her first solo record in 2019. Steve Shelley the drummer has played on some of Lee's & Thurston's records (including this week's CAOTW) and in their touring bands. It has been pretty interesting to hear how these musicians' contributions to Sonic Youth are more easily defined by their solo work - in particular it was always difficult to tell who was doing what in Thurston and Lee's oceanic guitar jams (sometimes also including Kim or "fifth Beatle" Jim O'Rourke on a third guitar). Freed from his collaborators, it becomes pretty clear that Lee is a Deadhead and Neil fan who favors classic rock guitar jams more than the "avant garde" styles of Kim and Thurston - which also means he writes catchier songs than they do. Last Night On Earth is his best batch in terms of good old brain-frying psychedelic guitar rock, though his 2017 follow-up Electric Trim was also a very interesting "less rock, more experimental pop singer-songwriter" album.
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year Country
The Velvet UndergroundLady Godiva's OperationWhite Light / White Heat1968USA/UK (Wales)
Throbbing GristleAdrenalinsingle1980UK
Gang Of FourReturn The GiftEntertainment!1979UK
WireMap Ref. 41N 93W1541979UK
Wire Primed And ReadyMind Hive (N)2020 (Pink Flag)UK
black midi DucterSchlagenheim (N)2019 (Rough Trade)UK
Richard Dawson Civil Servant2020 (N)2019 (Weird World)UK
Eddy Current Suppression Ring Future SelfAll In Good Time (N)2019 (Castle Face)Australia
(Sandy) Alex G Southern SkiesHouse Of Sugar (N)2019 (Domino)USA
Black Lips GeorgiaThe Black Lips Sing . . . In A World That's Falling Apart (N)2020 (Fire)USA
Sonic YouthRATSRather Ripped2006USA
Lee Ranaldo & The DustAmbulancerLast Night On Earth
Lee Ranaldo & The DustThe Rising TideLast Night On Earth
Lee RanaldoUncle SkeletonElectric Trim2017USA
Sonic YouthSkip TracerWashing Machine1995USA
Thurston Moore 8 Spring StreetSpirit Counsel (N)2019 (Daydream Library Series)USA
Kim Gordon Cookie ButterNo Home Record (N)2019 (Matador)USA
OZO Life ShipSaturn (N)2020 (Riot Season)UK
The Comet Is Coming Summon The FireTrust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery (N)2019 (Impulse!)UK
Glenn Branca
(with Lee Ranaldo & Thurston Moore)
Bad SmellsLesson No. 1 EP (reissue bonus track)rec. 1982, rel. 2004USA
Oneida & Rhys ChathamWell Tuned GuitarWhat's Your Sign?2016USA
The Ren & Stimpy ShowCaptain's Log / Space MadnessYou Eediot!1993USA/Canada
Sonny Sharrock
(with Pharoah Sanders & Elvin Jones)
Many MansionsAsk The Ages1991USA
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