Chelsea Light Moving: A New Song, Inspired By Chocolate Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and his new band Chelsea Light Moving wrote a song while warming up in the KEXP studios, with a little inspiration from a DJ and her candy bar. Watch the result.

Favorite Sessions

Chelsea Light Moving: A New Song, Inspired By ChocolateKEXP

After nearly 40 years in music, Thurston Moore can still find inspiration in the unexpected — like a candy-bar wrapper.

The Sonic Youth veteran and his bandmates in Chelsea Light Moving had been jamming off-air in the KEXP studios. When they stepped outside to get some fresh air, KEXP's DJ Sharlese followed, offering them some of her chocolate bar. At first, Moore politely declined, but as the candy got eaten away, piece by piece, a poem (John Donne's "The Ecstasy") was revealed underneath, printed on the candy wrapper.

"Can I have that?" he asked, and the next thing we knew, he was sprinting back into the studio, taping the tattered wrapper to a mic stand, and belting out his own version of the poem against discordant guitar chords. Who knew a sweet treat would become a KEXP exclusive by Chelsea Light Moving?

Watch the rest of the session — including two songs from Chelsea Light Moving's debut album and another original composition written on the spot at KEXP — on KEXP's YouTube channel.

Personnel

  • Thurston Moore (guitar/vocals)
  • Keith Wood (guitar)
  • Samara Lubelski (bass)
  • John Moloney (drums)

Credits

  • Audio Engineer: Jackson Long
  • Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Justin Wilmore & Scott Holpainen
  • Editor: Scott Holpainen
[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

The Comet Is Coming performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 2, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

The Comet Is Coming

The Comet is Coming is a force of nature. The British trio makes the kind of instrumental jazz that takes music lovers out of their comfort zone and into a musical realm they may never have explored.

Weyes Blood performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 7, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Weyes Blood

Watch the band perform a blissed-out, gently sweeping set featuring three songs from its latest album, Titanic Rising.

Sheryl Crow performs during Tiny Desk Fest, on Oct. 29, 2019. Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow's Tiny Desk Fest concert included a handful of early hits that have become pop standards.

Snarky Puppy performs during a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 12, 2019. Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Snarky Puppy

The jazz, funk and gospel improv group brought jams and joy to the Tiny Desk.

Rick Danko on Mountain Stage in 1989. Courtesy of Mountain Stage Archives/West Virginia Public Broadcasting hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Mountain Stage Archives/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Rick Danko And Garth Hudson On Mountain Stage

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Band's bassist and vocalist and one of rock's greatest organists and keyboardists both stop by Mountain Stage in this archival session from 1989.

Rick Danko And Garth Hudson On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/776941566/777175587" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Chai plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Bob Boilen/NPR). Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

CHAI

The group from Japan is on a mission to expand the conventional meaning of "cute." Their performance included synchronized dancing, pom-poms and matching pink uniforms, with a heavy, angular sound.

Brittany Howard plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Brittany Howard

The Alabama Shakes singer and guitarist brought an eight-piece backing band to the Tiny Desk for a set of deeply personal and affecting songs.

Charly Bliss plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Bob Boilen/NPR). Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Charly Bliss

The vibrancy of the band can feel childlike and candy-coated. But the group's songs are more about the pain of entering adulthood and leaving some of that sweetness behind.

Sharon Van Etten performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Sept. 23, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Sharon Van Etten

Nearly a decade after her first appearance at the Tiny Desk, Sharon Van Etten returns with a full band and a bigger, bolder sound.

Josh Ritter (center) performs with Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell at a Tiny Desk Concert on Aug. 27, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Josh Ritter With Amanda Shires And Jason Isbell

In his second visit to the Tiny Desk, Josh Ritter had America on his mind. "We all have to fight against this notion that we're not all human beings."

Back To Top