Sonic Youth have been one of the leading bands on the American alternative music scene since the mid-80's; taking up rock's signature instrument, the electric guitar, Sonic Youth sought to re-invent the way it was played by embracing alternate tunings, physically reshaping their instruments and beating them with sticks or mallets to create otherworldly noises that were at once cacophonous and strangely beautiful, molded to melodies that could be ghostly or aggressive depending on the group's mood. By 2006, Sonic Youth had matured from young upstarts to revered elder statesmen in the noise rock underground, but their music had not lost the ability to engage and challenge an audience, and filmmaker Michael Albright set out to document the group's July 4 appearance in Las Vegas, Nevada. Albright leads a program called Project Moonlight that teaches practical filmmaking technique to high school students, and he assembled a crew from his young charges to capture Sonic Youth's show on digital video gear; the result is Sonic Youth: Sleeping Nights Awake, a concert film that captures guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo, guitarist and bassist Kim Gordon, bassist Mark Ibold and drummer Steve Shelley in full flight, with the band also offering a perspective on their art in brief interview sequences.
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