In an effort to contribute to the fight against the recent Texas state law that effectively bans abortion, Sonic Youth has released two archival live albums on Bandcamp.com, both of which were recorded in the state.
The first was recorded in 1995 at the Austin Music Hall during the band’s “Washing Machine” tour, which followed their headlining slot on the alternative-nation defining Lollapalooza tour that summer (which also featured Hole, Cypress Hill, Beck, Pavement, Moby, Elastica and others). The second album captures a show 11 years later at the Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas, recording during the band’s “Rather Ripped” tour.
Sales from the albums and shirts benefit Fund Texas Choice and the Abortion Support Network.
The band, which broke up in 2011 in the wake of co-founders Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s separation after nearly 20 years of marriage, explain their motivation in a note on their website:
In its posthumous state, Sonic Youth has dedicated great energy in making previously unreleased sounds available to their fanbase. Historically, their trailblazing cross-country tours of back to the mid 80’s consolidated their independent/artistic stance with many formative Texan bands and artists, including the likes of the Butthole Surfers, Big Boys, Daniel Johnston, and Meat Joy. The enduring support from Lone Star state fans for SY warrants a favor returned specifically for this state’s fanbase, and in broader scope, Sonic Youth support a national and world community where abortion is embraced as health care and a human right.