Lee Ranaldo: 2017
Lee Renaldo (photo by WFUV staff)
As a founding member of Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo etched his name into the canon of New York rock artists during his 30-year tenure with the group, from 1981 to 2011.
His inventive guitar playing, built upon unusual tunings, sprung from the city’s downtown experimental 'No Wave' scene and had a profound, far-reaching impact. The Long Island-bred, SUNY Binghamton-educated Ranaldo was a veteran of the electric guitar orchestra of Glenn Branca when he co-founded Sonic Youth with Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. With his bandmates, he expanded the vocabulary of rock and emanated a unique brand of New York cool that has aged like fine whiskey.
Ranaldo began recording as a solo artist in 1987 with From Here to Infinity, and has been especially active since becoming a free agent. The Times and the Tides was issued in 2012, followed by Last Night on Earth, co-credited to his band The Dust (along with its companion, Acoustic Dust).
Ranaldo came by for this FUV Live session upon the release of Electric Trim, featuring songs he hatched with Barcelona musician/producer Raül Refree. Nels Cline, Sharon Van Etten, and his old bandmate Steve Shelley turn up on it too. In conversation he gave us some insight into this new record, and he played a couple of its songs.