We finish up our week of events for celebrating the first ever National Album Day with Sonic Youth founding member Thurston Moore for a special evening celebrating the 30th anniversary of Daydream Nation on Sunday 14th October at The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket.
Tickets can be purchased in advanced here.
Thurston will be interviewed by Classic Album Sundays founder and BBC 6music host Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy. Their discussion will be followed by a full album playback of John Peel’s personal vinyl copy of the record on a world-class audiophile sound system installed by Nintronics featuring Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers. The evening will wrap up with a Q&A in which audience members will get the opportunity to ask questions of their own.
Taking inspiration from the more extreme ends of guitar music, namely early-hardcore, dissonant no-wave, and a performance ethic that saw nothing wrong with playing the same note of feedback for half an hour, Sonic Youth were the Velvet Underground for the materialistic 1980s. Whilst Pixies still tried to operate within the structure of rock and roll, Sonic Youth cast aside any convention.
Sonic Youth have been praised for having “redefined what rock guitar could do” using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings and preparing guitars with objects like drum sticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments’ timbre. The band is considered to be a pivotal influence on the alternative and indie rock movements.
In 1998 Sonic Youth were among the artists chosen by Peel to take part in the Meltdown festival alongside other Peel favourites Spiritualized, The Delgados, Rankin’ Joe, Propellerheads, Jesus & Mary Chain, Suicide, Damon Albarn & Graham Coxon (of Blur), Silver Apples and Half Man Half Biscuit.
John Peel supported Sonic Youth on his BBC Radio 1 show as far back as 1983 and the band recorded three Peel Sessions during the 1980s. One of the sessions recorded the week before the release of Daydream Nation was entirely devoted to Fall covers (although one song had originally been by the Kinks before being tackled by Peel’s favourite band).
Peel appreciated Sonic Youth’s liking for unexpected covers and played several by them during his July 1991 cover version shows, including a cover of a Madonna track by side project ‘Ciccone Youth.’
Sonic Youth’s biggest success in the Peel show’s annual listeners’ chart was ‘Tunic (Song For Karen)’, which placed #5 in the 1990 Festive Fifty, and it was perhaps fitting that their final entry should be ‘Superstar’, a Carpenters cover that reached #47 four years later. In 1995, it was also among Peel’s video selections in Ten Of The Best for VH1.
Join us as we look back at Daydream Nation with Thurston’s personal memories of the album, it’s creation and the band’s sessions with John Peel.
Photos: Vera Marmelo
Date and Time: Sunday 14th October 5:00 to 8:00pm (Doors 4:30pm)
John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Church Walk, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1ET
Transport by train: 5 minute walk from Stowmarket Station on the Norwich route from London Liverpool Street Station
Transport by car: Off the A14 and more directions here