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Old 01.17.2017, 10:18 AM   #1
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Coming March 13, featuring contributions from Lydia Lunch, Nels Cline, Michael Gira and more.

 


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Old 01.18.2017, 01:43 PM   #2
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Was there already a discussion on this? If so, my apologies.

I didn't know about it until, well, moments before I posted this. Sounds exciting.

I was just thinking about this other oral history and how great it was. Maybe you've heard of it... it's called

 


THIS
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Old 01.18.2017, 02:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
Was there already a discussion on this? If so, my apologies.

I didn't know about it until, well, moments before I posted this. Sounds exciting.

I was just thinking about this other oral history and how great it was. Maybe you've heard of it... it's called

 


THIS

Knew it was coming and I'm sure will be very interesting.
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Old 01.18.2017, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
I was just thinking about this other oral history and how great it was. Maybe you've heard of it... it's called


 


THIS

From The Velvets To The Voidoids >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Please Kill Me.
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Old 01.18.2017, 03:37 PM   #5
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What's an oral discography? People talk about his recordings?
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Old 01.19.2017, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toilet & Bowels
What's an oral discography? People talk about his recordings?

An oral discography - exactly as you say. I love music, but I find most biographies are kinda 'soap opera'. What I wanted to show was how Thurston's music, outside of Sonic Youth, has evolved and developed over the years - so I received his permission to take a shot. I've spoken to around 170 participants in the various recordings from The Coachmen through to Rock n Roll Consciousness, the book contains what I 'think' is the most comprehensive discography available (Thurston shared with me a couple of records that are in such limited editions they're not even mentioned on Discogs) though not every song or recording is covered in the book (it covers about 190-200 with priority given to EP/LP length releases though some individual songs are discussed depending on who participated and relevance to the overall structure.)
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Old 01.19.2017, 01:27 PM   #7
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Oh, and maybe I should say, hi! I'm Nick. I've been a ghost around the forums for a lonnnnnnnnng while, but my energies were always going into the LiveNirvana forum and then my own blog then my writing (plus my actual job, real life, etc.)

Hope no one minds me waving in person but if people have questions about the book, what the hell I've done here, I'll happily answer them.
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Old 01.19.2017, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSoulsby
Oh, and maybe I should say, hi! I'm Nick. I've been a ghost around the forums for a lonnnnnnnnng while, but my energies were always going into the LiveNirvana forum and then my own blog then my writing (plus my actual job, real life, etc.)

Hope no one minds me waving in person but if people have questions about the book, what the hell I've done here, I'll happily answer them.

nice one!

cheers!
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Old 01.20.2017, 04:47 AM   #9
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Interesting. So if this about his stuff outside of SY is this bulk of the book about his improv recordings seeing as that is what the the vast majority of his catalogue is?
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Old 01.20.2017, 02:21 PM   #10
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His entire career, from The Coachmen to Rock n Roll Consciousness - but without the Sonic Youth records. Around 200 releases covered (as well as a discography listing every original release - no reissues - including individual songs on compilations, rare pressings, lathe-cuts, one-offs) so yes, lots of improv, but also his time in Swans, Lydia Lunch cuts, Even Worse, Glenn Branca, Phill Niblock, Dim Stars, all those one-off punk tribute songs, Mirror/Dash, Foot, Backbeat Band, Northampton Wools, Bark Haze, plus guest appearances on certain other recordings.
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Old 01.20.2017, 02:22 PM   #11
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Why no Sonic Youth? Because I feel their releases have been well-covered but the records charting Thurston's real evolution and development as a player, where the majority of his releases and interest has been for at least two decades, has been almost entirely passed by. An alternative history.
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Old 01.21.2017, 11:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSoulsby
Why no Sonic Youth? Because I feel their releases have been well-covered but the records charting Thurston's real evolution and development as a player, where the majority of his releases and interest has been for at least two decades, has been almost entirely passed by. An alternative history.

I can appreciate the logic behind this, and it's true that Sonic Youth's discography has been the subject of many literary musings over the years. But I still think Thurston's recording history with Sonic Youth was an integral part of his growth and evolution as a player, and while I can understand not wanting the SY albums to steal the show, I can't really think of a feasible argument for omitting them completely.

Also, I think a lot of the published writing on SY had been pretty shit. Goodbye 20th Century was interesting, but also not very good. So I'd welcome some discussion of the SY albums. Even as a sidebar, separate from the main chronology of the text. Sort of a "Meanwhile, in Sonic Youth land..." kind of thing. But hey, maybe when the for the second edition.

Anyway, thanks for commenting.

I actually checked into LiveNirvana a few times, long ago. I don't really recall the atmosphere, but I feel like it was less, ah, torturous and full of assholes than the average Nirvana fan site.
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Old 01.21.2017, 07:20 PM   #13
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Wait. When was he in Swans?
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Old 01.21.2017, 08:02 PM   #14
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He played on some swans recordings. I think you can find him on some
Early compilations
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Old 01.21.2017, 08:07 PM   #15
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I don't think he was ever a fully fledged member but I'm sure I've read about him collaborating with them very early on.
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Old 01.21.2017, 08:54 PM   #16
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quick query on discogs

https://www.discogs.com/Swans-Body-T...elease/7261816
https://www.discogs.com/Swans-Filth-...elease/2148974
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Old 01.22.2017, 10:55 AM   #17
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Michael Gira contributed to the book with regard to Thurston's involvement in Swans and gave a pretty fair account of its duration, nature and so forth. He reckons that Thurston's playing is potentially featured amid the live pieces from Body To Body, Job To Job - and is definitely featured on the additional disc to the recent three-CD Filth reissue. The two of them reconnected properly, after many years, last year and have rekindled their friendship.
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Old 01.22.2017, 01:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
I can appreciate the logic behind this, and it's true that Sonic Youth's discography has been the subject of many literary musings over the years. But I still think Thurston's recording history with Sonic Youth was an integral part of his growth and evolution as a player, and while I can understand not wanting the SY albums to steal the show, I can't really think of a feasible argument for omitting them completely.

Also, I think a lot of the published writing on SY had been pretty shit. Goodbye 20th Century was interesting, but also not very good. So I'd welcome some discussion of the SY albums. Even as a sidebar, separate from the main chronology of the text. Sort of a "Meanwhile, in Sonic Youth land..." kind of thing. But hey, maybe when the for the second edition.

I completely agree. I also think in ways Thurston's Sonic Youth material could be it's own book. I've read Goodbye 20th Century, Confusion is Next, the Sonic Youth chapter is Our Band Could Be Your Life. I own Sensational Fix, and I have not read it from cover to cover, but it is the only comprehensive Sonic Youth book in my opinion. I kind of wish Kim had discussed the band more in her memoir, but I also understand that she didn't want to do that. It would be interesting if Thurston wrote his own memoir though I highly doubt that he will.
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Old 01.22.2017, 02:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelocia
I completely agree. I also think in ways Thurston's Sonic Youth material could be it's own book. I've read Goodbye 20th Century, Confusion is Next, the Sonic Youth chapter is Our Band Could Be Your Life. I own Sensational Fix, and I have not read it from cover to cover, but it is the only comprehensive Sonic Youth book in my opinion. I kind of wish Kim had discussed the band more in her memoir, but I also understand that she didn't want to do that. It would be interesting if Thurston wrote his own memoir though I highly doubt that he will.

I do not have Sensational Fix, and I'm goddamn ashamed of that fact. Certainly it's an essential for the superfan. I have Goodbye 20th and Confusion and a signed copy of Girl in a Band, but I don't own Sensational Fix. There's something wrong with that.

But I agree about the other books. They weren't, like, god awful, but I've read a lot of Nirvana bios and the like that tend to be sensational and overly dramatic. Not enough emphasis on the stories behind the songs, the time spent in the booth, production and recording decisions, etc. Goodbye 20th kind of had to offer more of this than, say, Heavier than Heaven, or Come As You Are, because at that time SY was an almost entirely drama-free band. No drug abuse woes or other big hot ticket items that people for some reason want to hear about more than the actual music. So it was decent in that regard, but I still thought it was a pretty poorly written book. Overly simplistic, and not in a journalistic way... just ... simple. Boring. Not great.

Girl in a Band was the most interesting because of the Kim's personal narrative voice. It was also probably the most well written, to be honest. But you're right, it really wasn't about Sonic Youth. It was about something non-musical in nature, and deeply personal. So, great as it was, it didn't hit the spot for pure SY fanboy reading.

I think they deserve better. A band like that deserves to have a massive literary presence, and a slew of thoughtful, intelligent biographies to pick from. The Beatles have this kind of library. Even Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground has a pretty damn good selection of bios to choose from. Sonic Youth deserves no less.
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Old 01.22.2017, 02:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSoulsby
Michael Gira contributed to the book with regard to Thurston's involvement in Swans and gave a pretty fair account of its duration, nature and so forth. He reckons that Thurston's playing is potentially featured amid the live pieces from Body To Body, Job To Job - and is definitely featured on the additional disc to the recent three-CD Filth reissue. The two of them reconnected properly, after many years, last year and have rekindled their friendship.

If I may, how did this come about? I recently interview someone who wrote a bestselling book about an artist despite not being an established author at that point. Turns out this person had connections to the artist's family. It doesn't sound like you had a direct line to Thurston when you started, so how did you turn this into a reality? Was it a lengthy process, or did you find it to be relatively straightforward?

I don't mean to put you on the spot, but I would love to do something like this some day.
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