Sonic Youth principal Kim Gordon will offer the U.S. premiere of her film, “Perfect Partner,” and participate in a live performance of the soundtrack this Friday (Oct. 27) and Saturday at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J. Gordon will be joined on stage by her husband/Sonic Youth partner Thurston Moore and longtime collaborators Jim O’Rourke, Ikue Mori and Tim Barnes for the screenings.
“Perfect Parter,” which Gordon assembled in tandem with artist Tony Oursler and director Phil Morrison, is a road movie reflecting her obsession with the ad copy in car brochures. “Ad copy is this existential, contemporary philosophy that doesn’t mean anything,” she tells Billboard.com. “But the brochures are so sophisticated. They really stretch and try to be poetry and art.”
For the movie, footage of actors Michael Pitt and Jamie Bochert plays on one screen, while “psychedelic landscapes” are projected on another screen behind it. The musicians perform the live score in between the two screens, thus creating what Gordon describes as “a kind of 3-D movie in the way the two screens work together. The actors disappear sometimes, and sometimes it is just abstract landscapes with music.”
“Perfect Partner,” which debuted last fall in London, runs for about 55 minutes. Gordon hopes to enlist an entirely different cast of musicians to play the score at future performances, but before that, she wants to at least stage screenings with the original ensemble in Manhattan in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Geffen will on Dec. 12 release “The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities,” which will fulfill Sonic Youth’s contract with the label. Gordon says Moore and drummer Steve Shelley have been in charge of the project, which will feature a blend of tracks from vinyl singles, compilations and international releases as well as material seeing the light of day for the first time.
Asked if Sonic Youth would consider re-signing with the label for which it has recorded since 1990, Gordon says, “I don’t really think they want us to stay. They fired a few key people working on [the band’s 2006 album ‘Rather Ripped’] a week before it came out. Our A&R person — he worked on our last record with us, and that was the first time we had an A&R person in five years, but we liked him. Also a marketing person who had really good ideas. So, I don’t know.”
Gordon is also unsure if a potential move away from Geffen would affect the planned expanded reissue of Sonic Youth’s landmark 1988 album “Daydream Nation,” which is thought to be in the Universal Music Enterprises pipeline.
For now, Sonic Youth will focus on touring, beginning Dec. 8 with the Nightmare Before Christmas festival in England, which Moore is curating. Visits to South America, Japan and China are in the planning stages for next year, and Gordon reports that Moore is working on material for his next solo album.