Published May 01, 2005Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore certainly takes an active role in many realms of underground music culture. Two of his most recent projects find Moore taking a front seat role as co-curator of Victoriaville's Festival Musique Actuelle (FIMAV) and editing a book that explores the history of cassette culture.
Of the 24 stellar shows packing the 22nd FIMAV (running May 19 to 23, see listing on page 50), Moore programmed six, and it's a sure bet he's responsible for bringing the huge dose of free noise drilling a hole through the festival's skull. Usually a stage for free jazz and avant-garde performers, this year's festival boasts such notorious noise and drone delinquents as Dead Machines, Double Leopards, Hair Police and Wolf Eyes. Moore's own performance unveils his latest free music ensemble, Dream Aktion Unit, which lists such wailing talents as Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano and Okkyung Lee among its eight members. But the festival hardly ends there. Peter Brötzmann, Ikue Mori, Nels Cline, Anthony Braxton and the No Neck Blues Band are among the week's outstanding talents. Czech Republic prog-rock legends the Plastic People of the Universe and the long-in-hiding Boredoms are also making highly anticipated appearances.
All this great sound is enough to drive a music fanatic to wanna make a really killer bootleg mix, which is a whole realm of music culture Moore explores in Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture, which hits stores this month. In it, Moore culls together a host of diverse minds to express their feelings regarding this most fascinating of formats, covering such emotional topics as the romantic tape, the break-up tape, the road trip tape and the "Indoctrination tape." Moore's book is a must for anyone wondering why mix tapes have become such a necessary part of music fanaticism.