Thurston Moore harvests friendship
# Not me, us
Photo: Thurston Moore grabbing his cables after his 20 min noise experiment at The Ex Festival (2014). In his own words: "Yes, I picked up my cables, who else was going to do it? The cable guy?"
My first words with Moore where in the dark hallways of the Vera, an underground venue in Groningen (The Netherlands). He just finished his performance at The Ex Festival. It was an eclectic night organized by the band The Ex, which included drummer Han Bennink and an Ethiopian folk group called Fendika.
That night I had the opportunity to clarify a deep doubt. I took Thurston´s arm and moved him near my boyfriend Wout, solving the mystery of knowing who of the two was the taller. Even though the difference was not so impressive, Thurston decided to remark a corporeal difference by showing us his mature belly. The Netherlands, the land with the tallest men on earth, is a place where Thurston feels cozy, not only because he does not have to bend whenever he talks to someone, but because he has harvested some friendships. Once upon a time, while he was playing rock and roll around Europe, he couch surfed in the house of a member of The Ex, starting a friendship with the band. That night in February 2014 I heard different stories from Han Bennink, who has a gift for storytelling. I am wondering why nobody has taken his ability seriously and has recorded his stories. I only remember that his passion for rhythm gets distorted whenever he hears the mechanical sounds of a dental room.
These last years people have approached Thurston with nostalgia, constantly referring to a past that will not come back. I also felt nostalgia. When Chelsea Light Moving (CLM) performed in the Vera in 2013 the fibers of my soul were shacked. It was a kind of exorcism. I shared my enthusiasm for CLM performance but Thurston remained silent. As many musicians and poets, he is a person that talks through silences.
I quickly changed the topic asking him what tv series he likes; he is not a TV guy. I did not watch tv since I was 14 years old, until South Park made me change my mind. Thus I suggested him to explore the progress of TV series in the last decade. Literature has fortunately replaced the time he could have spent behind a screen. Actually, underground literature is his other main activity. Six years ago he founded an art and culture press called Ecstatic Peace Library with his girlfriend Eva Prinz, with whom he published (more than ten years ago) the book Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture. It feels that they had a strong friendship before some mysterious force pushed them to experiment the phenomenon of love. It was cute to see them playing hide and seek at the Vera backstage.
Photo: Eva Prinz and the one writing this article, in the agreeable darkness of the Vera backstage
I asked Thurston and his friends to kindly take a picture holding an S.O.S. message about Venezuela -a beautiful land that currently ranks as the most miserable country on earth-. I am glad he realizes the importance of raising your opinion about political matters. Last year he cancelled a show in Israel to protest the treatment of the Palestinian populace. It is worth noting that he is one of the first artists who endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders. All these actions are just great. Moore is a humanist. In his music, noise is set free and it dances with soft and delicate melodies. You can confirm this in his last album: The best day.
Photo: Life tastes good- S.O.S. Venezuela. From left to right: Han Bennink, Mr. Moore and Mr. Moor