|Lee Ranaldo and The Dust — Last Night On Earth (2013)|
Lee Ranaldo and The Dust — Last Night On Earth
♦ An integral member of Sonic Youth, Ranaldo is one of the most distinctive and influential guitarists in underground rock.
♦ “A solo record works best when you feel like you’re opening a window into somebody’s life, experiencing the things they’re going through or thinking about, places they’re seeing, through their eyes. At its best, you find a universality in it.” — Lee Ranaldo
Born: February 3, 1956 in Glen Cove, NY
Location: New York
Album release: October 7th, 2013
Recording Date: September, 2012 — June, 2013
Styles: Experimental Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Record Label: Matador Records
1 Lecce, Leaving 6:57
2 Key/Hole 7:08
3 Home Chos 7:31
4 The Rising Tide 9:09
5 Last Night on Earth 5:00
6 By the Window 6:58
7 Late Descent #2 3:32
8 Ambulancer 6:23
9 Blackt Out 11:56
♦ Elina Albach Cembalo, Field Recording
♦ Bentley Anderson Crew, Engineer
♦ Johannes Buff Crew, Field Recording
♦ Greg Calbi Mastering
♦ The Dust Arranger
♦ Tim Glasgow Engineer
♦ Elias Gwinn Engineer
♦ Michale Lavine Cover Photo
♦ Ted Lee Cover Painting, Design, Drawing
♦ Alan Licht Bells, Guitar, Producer, Vocals (Background)
♦ Tim Luntzel Bass
♦ John Medeski Farfisa Organ, Fender Rhodes, Organ, Piano
♦ Aaron Mullan Engineer
♦ Danielle Petrosa Photography
♦ Celso Pinto Crew
♦ Cody Ranaldo Crew, Digital Design, Photography, Technical Assistance
♦ Lee Ranaldo Arranger, Bells, Composer, Engineer, Guitar, Primary Artist, Producer, Vibraphone, Vocals
♦ Sage Ranaldo Vocals (Background)
♦ Raúl Fernández Refree Ukulele
♦ Steve Shelley Bells, Drums, Producer, Shaker
♦ Ted Young Engineer, Mixing, Producer
Review by Heather Phares
♦ Featuring Steve Shelley and Alan Licht, Ranaldo's second album introduces his new band with satisfyingly complex songs.
♦ Sonic Youth co-founder and long-established solo artist in his own right, Lee Ranaldo is something of a modern-day alt-rock legend.
Photo: John Von Pamer
♦ The New Yorker’s debut solo set, ‘From Here to Infinity’, came out in 1987 — while his ninth, 2012′s Between the Times and the Tides, won itself a heap of critical acclaim. ♦ The man, he’s still got it.
♦ And that much is more than clear on Last Night On Earth, a collection recorded with backing band The Dust (Steve Shelley, Tim Luntzel and Alan Licht). Taken as his 10th solo album, it’s something of a marker for its maker — to have come this far, both with band and under his own steam, and never lose sight of inspiration within the accessibility of these Neil Young-y, folk-tinged but still fiery arrangements, is a tremendous achievement.
♦ Ranaldo’s reputation for undulating squalls of amplified sound, as a member of Sonic Youth, doesn’t always carry over into his solo fare — and ‘Last Night On Earth’ is distinctly easy on the ear compared to some other notable works in this musician’s catalogue. Which isn’t to say it lacks spirit, that spark that’s always characterised the best Sonic Youth fare. There’s restlessness here, beside the familiar strums, a sense that Ranaldo, well into middle age, remains creatively ambitious.
♦ Sonic Youth co-founder and long-established solo artist in his own right, Lee Ranaldo is something of a modern-day alt-rock legend, if we're being honest. And we're always honest around these parts.
♦ The New Yorker's debut solo set, 'From Here To Infinity', came out in 1987 — while his ninth, 2012's 'Between The Times And The Tides', won itself a heap of critical acclaim. The man, he's still got it.
♦ And that much is more than clear on 'Last Night On Earth', a collection recorded with backing band The Dust (Steve Shelley, Alan Licht and Tim Luntzel). Taken as his 10th solo album, it's something of a marker for its maker — to have come this far, both with band and under his own steam, and never lose sight of inspiration within the accessibility of these Neil Young-y, folk-tinged but still fiery arrangements, is a tremendous achievement.
♦ Ranaldo's reputation for undulating squalls of amplified sound, as a member of Sonic Youth, doesn't always carry over into his solo fare — and 'Last Night On Earth' is distinctly easy on the ear compared to some other notable works in this musician's catalogue. Which isn't to say it lacks spirit, that spark that's always characterised the best Sonic Youth fare. There's restlessness here, beside the familiar strums, a sense that Ranaldo, well into middle age, remains creatively ambitious.
♦ But don't just take these words for it.
Artist Biography by Jesse Jarnow
♦ Lee Ranaldo, co-founder of avant-garde rock group Sonic Youth, was born in 1956 in East Norwich, New York. In addition to constant touring with Sonic Youth, Ranaldo has been extremely active in the New York music scene for the past 30 years, recording and collaborating with numerous acts, producing discs, and publishing several books of poetry and journal entries.
♦ Ranaldo attended SUNY Binghamton in Binghamton, New York, where he played in an experimental punk outfit called the Fluks (named after the Dadaist art movement Fluxus). His early influences include many psychedelic California bands from the late '60s, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Hot Tuna, as well as early New York City punk units like the Ramones, Television, and Talking Heads.
♦ After moving to New York in 1979, Ranaldo briefly attempted to revive the Fluks before playing with a series of acts including Rhys Chatham and Plus Instruments (with whom he recorded an LP in 1982). Through Chatham, Ranaldo met the charismatic composer Glenn Branca, who created avant-garde pieces for electric guitar ensembles. Through the burbling downtown no wave scene of the early '80s, Ranaldo met future Sonic Youth bandmates Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon.
♦ From Here to Infinity Throughout the '80s, the bandmembers worked hard to sustain themselves, recording and touring constantly. The early years of Sonic Youth are documented in a book of road journals written by Ranaldo and published by Soft Skull Press in the mid-'90s. In 1987, he released his first solo album, From Here to Infinity, on SST Records, a vinyl release with locking grooves at the end of each track.
♦ Daydream Nation By the early '90s, after the completion and subsequent canonization of their seminal Daydream Nation (and probably partially by dint of sheer survival), Sonic Youth were looked up to as elders in the fledgling alternative music scene, acting as mentors to dozens of younger bands (including Nirvana). In this role, Ranaldo has produced albums for Babes in Toyland, You Am I, Deity Guns, and others.
♦ NYC Ghosts & FlowersRanaldo's role in the ever-experimental Sonic Youth has been an important one, acting as a textural axis for Gordon and Moore. Though he typically only contributed a handful of songs to each Sonic Youth recording, Ranaldo quickly developed his own songwriting style — throbbing beats topped with beat-influenced, half-spoken/half-sung poetry delivered in Ranaldo's reassuring, gently confident voice, such as "Eric's Trip" on Daydream Nation and the title track on 1999's NYC Ghosts & Flowers.
♦ Clouds In addition to releasing a book of his poetry (also published by Soft Skull Press), Ranaldo has also edited a volume of tour journals from the 1995 Lollapalooza Tour written by Moore, Beck, Stephen Malkmus (of Pavement), Courtney Love, and others. Ranaldo also has an ongoing collaboration with jazz drummer William Hooker. The two create dissonant music — Hooker on drums, Ranaldo on modified guitars, synthesizers, and other electronics — while taking turns reading and improvising poetry. These collaborations include 1998's heavily edited live album Clouds as well as 2005's Music for Stage and Screen, which featured excerpts of a score Ranaldo produced for Dania Saragovia's film Jealousy, as well as music for plays by Gil Kofman and Michele Salimbeni.
♦ Christian Marclay: Graffiti Composition: Ranaldo continued to collaborate throughout the 2000s with avant luminaries, as on Christian Marclay: Graffiti Composition, which also featured Elliott Sharp and Vernon Reid, and also released solo forays into the fringes of guitar work while also working with Sonic Youth. When that band moved to Matador Records to release The Eternal, Ranaldo also signed on as a solo artist. His debut album for the label, Between the Times and the Tides, featured familiar faces such as Alan Licht, Nels Cline, Steve Shelley, and Jim O'Rourke, and arrived in March 2012. For 2013's Last Night on Earth, Ranaldo assembled a new band, the Dust, which featured Licht and Shelley along with Tim Luntzel.
|Lee Ranaldo and The Dust — Last Night On Earth (2013)|