NMF Artist Spotlight: Lee Ranaldo

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When the experimental pioneers of Sonic Youth are discussed amongst circles of like-minded alternative music fans, the discussion is often dominated by the names Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon.

However, guitarist/vocalist Lee Ranaldo is responsible for some of Sonic Youth's most beautifully constructed and classic swirling compositions, such as "Eric’s Trip" from Daydream Nation (1988) and "Karen Revisited" from Murray Street (2002).

While Moore's and Gordon’s high-profile divorce has been grabbing headlines in the alternative scene of late, Ranaldo has been busy carving out a new direction for his music with the release of Between The Times And The Tides on Matador Records.

Between The Times And The Tides marks a new direction for Ranaldo. The album is being called his first "song-based” release, as a great deal of his previous solo works have been experimental, eschewing conventional songwriting in favor of drones and spoken word compositions.

While Between The Times and Tides has hints of his earlier solo efforts and his work with Sonic Youth, the new album features down-to-earth lyrics and relatively simple melodies and song structures, recalling the sound of early R.E.M. and the Meat Puppets.

Ranaldo's touring band features drummer Steve Shelley (also of Sonic Youth), experimental guitarist Alan Licht, and bassist Irwin Menken.

The Lee Ranaldo Band will perform at the Nelsonville Music Festival on Sunday, May 20. For details, visit www.nelsonvillefest.org.