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Sonic Youth Guitarist To Tour India With New Band

Lee Ranaldo and The Dust, who headline the Ziro Festival of Music, will also perform club shows in Delhi and Mumbai this September

Megha Mahindru Aug 17, 2013
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Lee Ranaldo and The Dust. Photo: Michael Lavine

Lee Ranaldo and The Dust. Photo: Michael Lavine

Guitarist Lee Ranaldo won’t let us call him the former guitarist of Sonic Youth just yet. Since 2011, when the American alt rock band announced an indefinite hiatus following band members Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon filing for divorce, Ranaldo has remained ambivalent about the future of the band. “Nobody is talking about anything new and at the same time, nobody is saying it’s over. Everyone’s busy with their own projects right now and I don’t think anybody is thinking about Sonic Youth in any way except in terms of the development of our archival project like the live recording we released last year [Sonic Youth Live At The Smart Bar Chicago 1985],” he says over a Skype interview from New York.

Meanwhile, the closest that Sonic Youth fans can get to the band’s music is with Lee Ranaldo And The Dust, Ranaldo’s new band that also features Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. This week, the band announced a new album, titled Last Night On Earth, which is slated to release on October 8th. Ahead of the album launch tour in Europe and the US, the band will preview songs from the album in India this September at the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh. “We’ve played a few songs at shows in Europe and South America, but I think probably this will be the first run of gigs where we are up and running and ready to play everything from the new album,” adds Ranaldo.

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Ranaldo, whose band headlines Ziro Festival of Music, scheduled to take place between September 20th to 22nd, has some other good news for fans who cannot travel to the North East festival: “We have been confirmed to play at a venue called Blue Frog in Delhi and Mumbai. I don’t know whether that has been promoted yet,” he says, adding, “Initially, only I was invited to play, then I roped in Steve. Though I really thought we needed to bring the whole band to show what I’m doing in a clear way. At this point, it looks to be the whole band will be playing there, so it’s an interesting development.” 

While songs from Ranaldo’s 2012 solo debut, Between the Times and the Tides and his upcoming album with The Dust, which also features guitarist Alan Licht and bassist Tim Lüntzel, will make up most of their setlist, Ranaldo may decide to do a set that will appeal to Sonic Youth fans in the country. “We have told the promoters that they shouldn’t expect Sonic Youth material, since we are playing songs from the two records. But it’s always possible that there are one or two more obscure Sonic Youth songs that I sang on that we never played very much. If there are one or two Sonic Youth songs thrown in, that would be a lot,” he adds. 

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Lee Ranaldo And The Dust perform at Ziro Festival of Music on September 22nd, 2013. For tickets, click here. The band will perform at Blue Frog, Mumbai on September 25th and Blue Frog, Delhi on September 26th. 

 

Listen to “Lecce, Leaving,” the first track from the band’s upcoming album, Last Night On Earth
 

 

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