Lee Ranaldo :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Ten years past the end of Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo takes the stage at a low key festival in northern New England with just a couple of guitars and a few microphones. He strikes a note, hard, on an aging acoustic, cocks his head a little, and seems to contemplate that reverberating sound. From an iPhone lying on a stool next to him, the sounds of urban life flicker—an indistinct voice, some running water, the sounds of faraway traffic.

A few days after the concert, we connect by phone to talk about Ranaldo’s experience of the pandemic, how it moved him to create this new piece and how his attitudes towards touring and performing have changed since COVID.

Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth :: Transmissions

Ahead of the release of the instrumental freak out collection In/Out/In, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth join us to discuss The Simpsons, the Geffen years, stolen (and recovered) guitars, the science fiction of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, and much more on this episode of Transmissions, Aquarium Drunkard’s weekly podcast.

Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

On Names of North End Women the new collaborative lp by former Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo and Spanish producer/composer Raül Refree, the duo condense electronic pulses, shifting rhythms, tape loops, and far out (and frequently lusty) poetry into a beguiling collage. “I think the idea of going forward is to try to venture into more different places,” Ranaldo says, “rather than fall back into familiar sound-worlds from the past.”