When Free Radicals Become Free Agents

Thurston Moore goes folk, exploits Starbucks, and walks his dog, Merzbow

Rather than dwelling on friend requests, Moore instead focuses on working his ass off. He's currently editing three books, including a photo retrospective capturing New York's booming '70s no-wave scene. He runs the label Ecstatic Peace, which has released thrillingly weird records by the likes of Magik Markers and Tall Firs. And he has his sights on eventually opening a space in Northampton that houses a bookstore, record store, galleries, and a concert venue. ("Hopefully, it'll be a chain," he jokes.)

For this permanent radical, it's all about moving forward. So it's somewhat strange that this past summer, Sonic Youth went on tour to perform that little-known record, Daydream Nation, live in its entirety. "You forget about your past in such a way where it's this kind of paper history," he says. "To get back into it, there was something very heavy about it for us." Still, Moore is not one to wallow in nostalgia. "You should grow old and mature as opposed to trying to spin the wheels on something people reacted to once," he says. Then he goes into a funny story about a Jamaican guy he used to work with in 1977 as a shipping clerk in New York. He gave Moore some advice that he follows to this day: "He used to say, 'You should never boil an egg twice. It's really bad juju,' " Moore recalls. "And I really thought that was true. You can't be new more than once."


Thurston Moore plays Maxwell's in Hoboken September 24, and the Music Hall of Williams- burg September 26, maxwellsnj.com or musichallofwilliamsburg.com

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