Monday, August 6, 2012

Sonny Sharrock - Space Ghost Coast to Coast [1994]

Sonny Sharrock is easily one of the coolest guitarists ever, and he stayed good to the very end. This, in fact, is what I believe to be his last recording. That's right, Sharrock fans, Sonny did the Space Ghost soundtrack, and Space Ghost fans, this is the name of the guy who plays your favorite theme song. Of course, some of you already knew this from episode 26, on which they played a bunch of these tunes:
Very loosely based on the original Hanna-Barbera Space Ghost series, Coast to Coast was aired in the early 90s as a light-hearted manifesto of post cold-war dadacidal humor, and could be seen as Cartoon Network's attempt to tap into the then emerging "alternative" nation of America. Anodinous, hilarious or plain weird, Coast to Coast reinvented the honorable fake-interview tradition by having pre-recorded conversations with "celebrities" and people like us rearranged by the nonchalant and ego-maniacal Space Ghost. In this very special episode, Thurston Moore incarnates one Fred Cracklin in a brief nonsensical cameo which is but a pretext to pay homage to the great avant-noise-jazz-blues guitar player Sonny Sharrock, who had recently expired. If the Coast to Coast series is bizarre for any standards of good TV conduct, the Sharrock episode is particularly strange in that its plot is a lame excuse to pay tribute to the musician and listen to several minutes of his ethereal noise-jazz guitar, thinly framed by some silly jokes between the Ghost and his adorable sidekicks.

There's plenty of free-kout to go around here, with some vamping on the main theme as well as forays into other sonic dimensions. If it seems like a novelty, it's really not, but as a 15-minute EP it makes for a great punk record. All I know is that Sonny Sharrock makes some of the most joyous and chaotic music I've ever heard, and that you should have this. Space Ghost, while being a brilliantly subversive kids' show in its own right, not to mention endlessly entertaining to re-view as an older child, is also responsible for planting Sonny in my six-year-old head (and, perhaps, many of yours).

WFMU blog entry on the Sharrock episode
And now, Zorak and the Original Way-outs (not to be confused with Chicago's Wayouts)

1 comment:

  1. would you mind re-upping this? one of my favorite shows as a yung + one of my favorite guitarists now. also pretty sure the thurston moore tribute to sharrock he did on the show was how i got into sonic youth.