Thurston Moore and KURT During Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

Photo by Ian Witlen

"I don't know what else to say!" he laughed. "I'm gonna play, like, one song. Then I'm going to play some music with my friend [Miami local and International Noise Conference alum] Steve Bristol.

"I want to read a couple of things I wrote," Moore added, "now or maybe later, with Kurt in mind. I thought the film was beautiful and I was happy to see that film. I love the idea that we can just be expressionistic in our feelings towards people, whether we were intimate with them or not, as long as they brought beauty and feeling into our lives."

Then Thurston, now and not later, read one of those things he wrote. "This poem is called 'Olympia." Just like the theater and the town where Cobain grew up.

"For whatever/Throw away the key to the Dharma Center/I know nothing/Stack of music/Breathing there/You'll never know what hit you/Chelsea light moving, rings true/The ultimate adult/The inexhaustible treasure/The wrong idea meant to be/The obscene strut of your exit is where I choose to drift/Give me you/Random House/Introducing distance, the responsibility to return/Better than I remember/I don't like isolation/This room has heavy bleed."

Photo by Ian Witlen

Next, leading into his only true song of the evening, Moore said, "I'd to play a song that I wrote in 1993. And it was somewhat inspired by a lot of interactions I had with the little community that was kind of hanging around [Kurt's] scene at the time in the Pacific Northwest.

"The references were abstracted. But it was certainly pointed at some friendships I had within that scene. So I wrote this song and then I wrote an album that was somewhat thematically structured around it.

"It's called 'Psychic Hearts.'"

After brooding through "I know you have a fucked up life/Growing up in a stupid town ... But will you remember one thing for me/I will always love you," Thurston shifted into a 15-minute atonal free jazz noise meditation as Bristol expertly banged away on his kit.

Moore bowed the guitar with a busted drumstick. He strangled that electric axe. He picked its strings with all ten fingers. He indulged full-on whammy bar abuse. He slapped it with rock-star windmill moves. And the instrument screamed, wheezed, buzzed, hissed, and almost ate itself alive.

Ranging from vertiginous ringing clank to high-pitched piercing guitar wails, this experimental freakout piece finally peaked with a frenzy of swirling squelch and feedback, giving way to an asynchronous explosion at hardcore speed as the indie-rock fanboys and -girls flocked to Thurston's feet.

Photo by Ian Witlen

Ending, Moore read a final, vaguely Cobain-related poem, winding through Seattle-esque imagery and even echoing his Miami monologue.

"Appearing this morning/Last night's magic workshop/Not only not real/But openly gay and indeterminate/Nuns smile, voluptuous and crazy/How I wish to be on you/A meadow, pounded by rain/The storm is natural enough/This has everything to do with you/And your tiniest hair/Be a warrior/Love life."

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