(Sonic Youth and Pavement, backstage at the Palms Hotel and Casino's Pearl Theater, October 1, 2010: Bob Nastanovich, Thurston Moore, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold, Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, Stephen Malkmus, Steve Shelley, and Steve West)
The Matador at 21 birthday concert was a 48-hour all-you-can-eat music buffet at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Vegas, featuring more than two dozen roster mainstays of the venerated New York-based indie label (Yo La Tengo, the New Pornographers, Belle and Sebastian), reconstituted alumni (the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Superchunk, Chavez, Pavement in their likely last-ever U.S. appearance), and welcome newbies (Girls, Harlem, Perfume Genius, Esben and the Witch).
All this, plus the temptation to blow one's paycheck on an ill-advised 4:30 A.M. round of blackjack with Pavement's "Frontwards" playing on the P.A. between Ke$ha and the Fray.
Halfway through Ruban Nielson’s explorative third LP, Multi-Love, the bipolar “Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty” fractures momentarily into reverberating shards, creaking like a bridge collapsing as a murky guitar yowls in the background. Coming so soon after a silky smooth, Steely Dan-referencing guitar solo courtesy of his equally musical father Chris Nielson, it’s a tonally… More »