Synopses & Reviews
From the founding member of Sonic Youth, a passionate memoir tracing the author's life and art — from his teen years as a music obsessive in small-town Connecticut, to the formation of his legendary rock group, to thirty years of creation, experimentation, and wonder
"Downtown scientists rejoice! For Thurston Moore has unearthed the missing links, the sacred texts, the forgotten stories, and the secret maps of the lost golden age. This is history — scuffed, slightly bent, plenty noisy, and indispensable." Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and Harlem Shuffle
Thurston Moore moved to Manhattan's East Village in 1978 with a yearning for music. He wanted to be immersed in downtown New York's sights and sounds — the feral energy of its nightclubs, the angular roar of its bands, the magnetic personalities within its orbit. But more than anything, he wanted to make music — to create indelible sounds that would move, provoke, and inspire.
His dream came to life in 1981 with the formation of Sonic Youth, a band Moore cofounded with Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo. Sonic Youth became a fixture in New York's burgeoning No Wave scene — an avant-garde collision of art and sound, poetry and punk. The band would evolve from critical darlings to commercial heavyweights, headlining festivals around the globe while helping introduce listeners to such artists as Nirvana, Hole, and Pavement, and playing alongside such icons as Neil Young and Iggy Pop. Through it all, Moore maintained an unwavering love of music: the new, the unheralded, the challenging, the irresistible.
In the spirit of Just Kids, Sonic Life offers a window into the trajectory of a celebrated artist and a tribute to an era of explosive creativity. It presents a firsthand account of New York in a defining cultural moment, a history of alternative rock as it was birthed and came to dominate airwaves, and a love letter to music, whatever the form. This is a story for anyone who has ever felt touched by sound — who knows the way the right song at the right moment can change the course of a life.
"An expansive autobiography...Moore's dual perspective as both music industry insider and obsessive fan and collector results in a vibrant piece of cultural history." Booklist
"Fascinating...Moore conjures the grit and atmosphere of 1980s New York with ease." Publishers Weekly
"A literate, absorbing account... A self-aware, charmingly rough-and-tumble tale of the rock 'n' roll life." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Thurston Moore is a founding member of Sonic Youth, a band born in New York in 1981 that spent thirty years at the vanguard of alternative rock, influencing and inspiring such acts as Nirvana, Pavement, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine, and Beck. The band's album Daydream Nation was chosen by the Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006. Moore is involved in publishing and poetry and teaches at the Summer Writing Workshop at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He divides his time between the USA and England.