It didn’t dawn on me until right before heading out to see Chelsea Light Moving that Thurston Moore has been making music for more than three decades. And I reflected upon how people I knew back when I first heard Sonic Youth, which was probably at least after a decade of their existence. Even before learning about how seminal Daydream Nation was, the first spin of “Teenage Riot” awakened a certain awareness, which shed a bit of light on why I felt a certain kinship with the gloomy few in a small town, Midwest. We we were much more interested in the British post punk, art, and literature than mingling with “the popular” crowd. The last I knew, the once nonconformists absorbed into the society that expects marriage, children, and a steady job. While I am still the outsider who can’t yield to a routine work for a mere survival. And somehow, I felt Moore would validate my seemingly desultory existence.
At my favourite Portland venue, Doug Fir Lounge, I stood right at the foot of the stage. Moore walked out, looming over me like the tree the establishment was named after. Though the passing of years has left its mark on his face and Fender, the unruly hair and the casual attire were unaltered. But most importantly, Moore’s punkish attitude and raw energy was still intact. For those of us who like the world to be a bit incongruent and spontaneous, Chelsea Light Moving provided an evening where dead relay stopped the show for several minutes, songs were dedicated to the likes of Richard Hell (who was in the house) and Pussy Riot, and story about why Moore stopped smoking weed (whether true or not) was told. As I walked out into the night alone, I relished the life that was customized for my being.
Check out our live videos from the show here.