He spent more than half his life in one band, but if anything is evident from Lee Ranaldo’s career after Sonic Youth is that’s he perhaps the most versatile artist performing in NYC these days. We were there when Lee launched his band in support of his first proper solo album. The band that eventually became The Dust have played consistently over the last four years and are responsible for three albums since 2012. Over that period, Lee has also performed solo acoustic sets, acoustic duos, and as we experienced at Trans Pecos last month, as an acoustic trio. But there has always been more than guitar. Lee’s earlier works have also included spoken word, poetry and art installations often in conjunction with Lee’s wife the renowned artist Leah Singer.
The show that Lee Ranaldo performed as the opening set at the grand re-opening of the Market Hotel was in many ways a synthesis of his many artistic endeavors. It was a duo with the percussionist Tim Barnes with Lee nominally on “guitar”, but the piece was more of a stretching of the boundaries of how to “play” a guitar. The set began with Lee’s guitar hanging by a rope from the ceiling and continued with Lee’s use of the instrument in previously unimagined ways. He used the venue as part of the piece as the stage floor, the ceiling pipes and the front pillar (@marketpillar) became means by which the guitar was played. As Barnes accompanied Ranaldo with flourishes of percussion, often subtle but at other times manic, Lee maintained a cacophonous symphony of noise that reverberated around the packed and buzzing venue. It was a glorious inauguration for the Market Hotel and christened the venue with the type of imaginative and inventive programming that will surely follow as the calendar turns to 2016.
Lee will be performing solo again at the City Winery for Joseph Arthur’s 6th Annual New Year’s Day Celebration, before heading to Europe for solo dates in late January and early February.
I recorded this set with the Sennheiser cardioids mounted on the second Pillar and mixed with a board feed. The sound quality is quite outstanding. Enjoy!
Stream the Complete Set:
Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Upfront Audience
Soundboard + Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)
Recorded and Produced
[Total Time 27:55]
01 Lee Ranaldo-Tim Barnes Duo