Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story - a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith's Just Kids.
Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon opens up as never before in Girl in a Band. Telling the story of her family, growing up in California in the '60s and '70s, her life in visual art, her move to New York City, the men in her life, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, her music, and her band, Girl in a Band is a rich and beautifully written memoir.
Gordon takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and '90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the alternative revolution in popular music. The band helped build a vocabulary of music - paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, and many other acts. But at its core, Girl in a Band examines the route from girl to woman in uncharted territory, music, art career, what partnership means - and what happens when that identity dissolves.
Evocative and edgy, filled with the sights and sounds of a changing world and a transformative life, Girl in a Band is the fascinating chronicle of a remarkable journey and an extraordinary artist.
©2015 Kim Gordon (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
If you don't already love Kim Gordon's deadpan voice from her music projects the performance of this text might surprise you. I found her energy and life story captivating - less in terms of her time with Sonic Youth and more because of her coincidental encounters with cultural figures like Larry Gagosian and Danny Elfman - one of whom she dated apparently? - and her home life and work as an artist. The book did cause me to do an early 90s deep dive into Sonic Youth, X Girl, Mike Mills, and bands I listened to at the time like Pavement. I will listen to this book again.
Exciting but I was frequently filled with a an unusual sadness. Very revealing and honest. I don't how much of the sadness comes from the voice. And how much from the story.
Interesting musings on LA, New York, small town Massachusetts and the meanderings of a creative soul. A subjective glimpse into punk rock, and an experimental approach to music and art from the less-often heard perspective of a woman. Certainly interesting enough to keep one's attention but not master storytelling at work. I enjoyed listening to Kim's unique voice (I mean the actual sound of her voice which may not actually appeal to everyone.)
We now know more about the people Kim Gordon surrounded herself with than we do Kim. I understand that it has to be hard to bare your soul to the masses but I'm left feeling like I only got the nickel tour.
I know this book is about Kim Gordon's life but it also helped me relive many moments of my own life. Sonic youth is my all time favorite band and Kim has been a female inspiration to me to be rebellious of gender stereotypes I have faced. Listening to her softer side made me remember my own fragility, I really enjoyed her mellow voice describing horrors she has been through, the contrast haunted me throughout the day, even when I wasn't listening to the book.
Using you tube, I would look up events she mentioned and this enriched my listening experience greatly, making it almost interactive. Looking at photos of myself at various shows throughout the nineties brought it all home.
If you lived for music in the nineties, this is a must read.
And the writing is quite good, although the sectioning style makes following the linearity of the bio a bit difficult at times. If you don't get stuck on that, you will enjoy her way with words. Well done Kim!
Having a book narrated by the author isn't always a good thing. However, Kim's reading was easy to listen to and came across very honest. I want a huge Sonic Youth fan, but recognize that she played an important (if unwitting) part in the feminist movement... Very much enjoyed her perspective.
I love to be read to!
Love that Kim Gordon was the narrator. Not known for an effusive personallity Kim's reading was authentically her own. She tells it like is was and is and I was very engaged with her story.
Her narration combined with her words gave a true memoir.
Made me dive into the spotify cataloge of Sonic Youth and really enjoyed the experience.
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