Beer and Pavement

The Six Degrees of Thurston Moore: Challenge #1

Posted in Challenge, Six Degrees of Thurston Moore by SM on October 9, 2010

You may recall that my last post proposed a theory that any indie or alt musician could be connected to Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore in six steps or less. I demonstrated this to be true with the likes of Ani Difranco, Deerhunter, and Justin Bieber. Then, I invited my readership to come up with some musicians of their own for me to connect to Thurston.

My loyal followers did not disappoint. The first three suggestions included a little-known Australian indie outfit, a local band from right here in Middle-Missouri, and a hard-rocking, bow-toting guitar hero. None are obvious at first, but all prove my theory.

First up: The Go-Betweens – This Australian band enjoyed some minor success throughout the 80’s with songs like “Streets of Your Town” and “Was There Anything I Could Do?”, but are they within six degrees of Thurston Moore?

  1. The Go-Betweens featured Amanda Brown on violin.
  2. Amanda Brown played violin for R.E.M. in several tracks and even appeared in their tour documentary, Road Movie.
  3. R.E.M. recorded “Crush with Eyeliner” with Thurston Moore on background vocals (and possibly guitar?).

Another route I could have taken is as follows…

  1. The Go-Betweens once collaborated with Nick Cave on a project known as the Tuff Monks.
  2. Nick Cave curated an All Tomorrow’s Parties in Australia.
  3. ATP has also been curated by Thurston Moore on two occasions.

Next up: The Foundry Field Recordings – This is a local band here in Columbia and if it works in five steps, I too will be six degrees from Thurston Moore (whom I’ve actually met in-person…wait…)

  1. The Foundry Field Recordings are on Emergency Umbrella Records.
  2. EU features Sinkane, AKA Ahmed Gallab, on its lineup.
  3. Ahmed Gallab is also a current member of Yeasayer.
  4. Yeasayer appeared on the compilation Dark Was the Night.
  5. Dark Was the Night featured Matador bands Spoon (formerly), Yo La Tengo, and Cat Power.
  6. Matador is the current label for Sonic Youth.

Yeasayer also opened for Beck on tour and that’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Sonic Youth, but you get the picture.

Finally, stepping away from indie bands, my cousin suggested Ted Nugent. This might stretch the theory, but here goes nothing. I mean, how in the hell is a NRA, right-winged, hair metal nut-job only six degrees from one of my heroes? Watch and learn…

  1. Ted Nugent was in Damn Yankees whose label was Warner Brothers.
  2. Warner Brothers’ lineup includes The Flaming Lips.
  3. The Lips once famously opened for and backed Beck while he toured to support Sea Change.
  4. Sea Change was released on Geffen Records.
  5. Geffen started the rush for indie and punk bands in the late 80’s/early 90’s by signing (yes, you guessed it) Sonic Youth.

So, there you have it. The theory of the Six Degrees of Thurston Moore lives on! If you have quicker or more interesting connections than the ones I provided, please share. If you have musicians I can’t possibly connect to Thurston Moore, share those as well.

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6 Responses

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  1. Carrie said, on October 9, 2010 at 7:48 am

    more direct beck-> sonic youth connection.
    Thurston and Beck are pals.
    The album title, “Odelay” came because thurston and beck were hangingout in a car smoking (pot?) outside the studio and thurston kept yelling “Odelay” or something along those lines. I can’t remember exactly what was written in the liner notes of Odelay’s tenth anniversary…

  2. Zach said, on October 10, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I met Ted Nugent when I was 11 years old. My dad and I tracked him to some hunting convention to get him to sign some instrument for a band boosters auction.

    Nugent was surrounded by photos of him posing with exotic animals he’d killed, and he looked nothing like the long haired guy I’d seen on countless LPs. Instead, he had his head shaved and a mustache – all with the severity of Howie Mandel’s recent look. He handed me an autographed guitar pick with zebra print and said “Here, son, this will keep the evil spirits away”. It terrified the shit out of me.

    The pick was like a bad penny – I am notorious for immediately losing my picks as soon as a break in practice is called, or I change instruments, but this pick ended up in my hands at every single one of the 50 or so shows I played between my sophomore and senior year of highschool. Eventually, the pick snapped in half in the middle of a show after years of abuse. I even kept the remnants for a while, because even though I never cared for the Nuge, it reminded me of one of the last times me and my dad went on an adventure, and it seemed like the pick was haunted by something Nugent had run down with an elephant gun somewhere in Africa, and somehow it needed me to rock out with it so that it could live again.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if I visited my mom’s house and found the halves of that pick in a box of old photographs or in the pocket of an old coat.

  3. doublewordscore said, on October 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

    How about:

    Miley Cyrus
    Jane Froman
    Garth Brooks

    • builderofcoalitions said, on October 10, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      Dude, you’re pushing the indie limits of my theory. Plus, Jane Froman is barely a recording artist and has been dead for quite some time.


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