Lee Ranaldo, co-founder of avant-garde rock group Sonic Youth, was born in 1956 in East Norwich, New York. In addition to constant touring with Sonic Youth, Ranaldo has been extremely active in the New York music scene for the past 30 years.
He was recording and collaborating with numerous acts, producing discs, and publishing several books of poetry and journal entries.
Ranaldo attended SUNY Binghamton in Binghamton, New York, where he played in an experimental punk outfit called the Fluks (named after the Dadaist art movement, Fluxus).
Lee Ranaldo | Off The Wall
His early influences include many psychedelic California bands from the late ’60s, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Hot Tuna, as well as early New York City punk units like the Ramones, Television, and Talking Heads.
Through the burbling downtown no wave scene of the early ’80s, Ranaldo met future bandmates Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon with whom he founded Sonic Youth. Throughout the ’80s, the band worked hard to sustain themselves, recording and touring constantly.
Lee Ranaldo | Angles
The early years of the band are documented in a book of road journals written by Ranaldo and published by Soft Skull Press in the mid-’90s. In 1987, he released his first solo album, From Here to Infinity, on SST Records, a vinyl release with locking grooves at the end of each track.
Ranaldo’s role in the ever-experimental Sonic Youth has been an important one, acting as a textural axis for Gordon and Moore. Though he typically only contributed a handful of songs to each Sonic Youth recording, Ranaldo quickly developed his own songwriting style – throbbing beats topped with beat-influenced, half-spoken/half-sung poetry delivered in Ranaldo’s reassuring, gently confident voice, such as “Eric’s Trip” on Daydream Nation and the title track off of 1999’s NYC Ghosts & Flowers.
Lee Ranaldo | Time Stands Still
Ranaldo collaborated throughout the late nineties and the 2000s with avant luminaries like William Hooker and Elliott Sharp. When Sonic Youth moved to Matador Records to release The Eternal, Ranaldo also signed on as a solo artist.
His debut album for the label, Between the Times and the Tides, featured familiar faces such as Alan Licht, Nels Cline, Steve Shelley, and Jim O’Rourke, and arrived in March 2012.
Lee Ranaldo is supported by Chicago’s shoegaze progressive rock band Disappears.
Lee Ranaldo & Disappears LIVE
Thursday, 05 July 2012 | 20:00 CET
Lido | Cuvrystraße 7 | 10997 Berlin/Kreuzberg