It would be easy for a musician who has a 30-year distinction of leading or creating musical genres to take a sabbatical and reflect on the past; Ranaldo instead moved forward with the same spirit of innovation and art that made Sonic Youth a flagship for everything alternative.
The songs in this live set not only showcase the unorthodox open tunings of Ranaldo's Fender Jazzmaster, but indicate a mastery of well-crafted songs and aural landscapes that have not aged since his days bouncing around the No Wave underbelly of New York's music scene.
This tour de force performance also includes Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, bassist Tim Luntzel and Alan Licht on guitar. The band is skilled in handling the free-reign, clarion exploration that is Ranaldo's hallmark, but will kick their heels into the sand to investigate the content of the song as heard on "Last Night on Earth."
In "Home Chords" and "Lecce, Leaving," fans of Sonic Youth's "Daydream Nation" will find the sensation of musical journey that sounds very familiar.
All photos by Bryan Sutter