Lee Ranaldo

Ex Lion Tamer

Wire – Ex Lion Tamer

Last week I went to see Lee Ranaldo and the Dust, which I highly recommend if they come to your area. It was a small place, tickets were only $15, can’t go wrong. Toward the end of the show they played Fragile off of Wire’s album Pink Flag. (It sounded about like this, if you’re curious.)

Pink Flag is such a great album. 21 tracks in just about 35 minutes. Hugely influential. Since I bought my copy when I was in college it’s a record, and although my turntable works just fine, you can only use it if you do not move. Not even a tiny bit. The house is more than 150 years old and the floors all creak and bend when you take a step so even someone walking in a different part of the house will cause the needle to skip. It’s not an album I can sit still while listening to.

A month or two ago I found a copy of the CD at the library. I listened to it just about every day of the three weeks I was allowed to have it out on loan. Especially in the car. It’s hard to pick a favorite track but I kept hitting repeat on Ex Lion Tamer. I just love the way he sings, “Fish fingers all in a line.”

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Off the Wall

Lee Ranaldo – Off the Wall

I always meant to go see Sonic Youth* but the timing never worked out. Now that seems like a slim possibility. But Lee Ranaldo has a new solo album out, Between The Times and The Tides, and I like what I’ve heard so far. He’s also touring! Opening up for Wilco nearby in August, and for M. Ward in May. I’m really going to try to make it out to one of those this time.

*Back in the early 90s, I thought it would be cool to name a hypothetical son Thurston, until a friend pointed out that most people would make a connection with Thurston Howell III and not Thurston Moore. I guess it’s going to end up in the names not used pile.