Girl In A Band by Kim Gordon

Girl In A Band

Girl In A Band
It is as if Gordon was trying to write a memoir without mentioning Sonic Youth. She spends the first half of the book describing her upbringing. I didn’t find this interesting, but I kept reading waiting for the day she becomes a musician. Even this seems more like an accident than a plan. In the many other ‘Rock Biographies‘ I’ve read the musicians are driven by an unquenchable thirst to make music. Not Gordon. Throughout rest of the book she discusses writers, fashion designers, and other musicians, but not much ink is wasted on Sonic Youth. When I got to the chapters where she discusses “Daydream Nation”, “Goo”, and “Dirty” I had to wonder if she was even in Sonic Youth. This book was very disappointing as a Rock Biography and not much better as a personal memoir. I can only hope Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo or Steve Shelley writes a book about their experiences in Sonic Youth.

293 pages

Excerpts From My Kindle

when I first began playing onstage, I was pretty self-conscious. I was just trying to hold my own with the bass guitar, hoping the strings wouldn’t snap, that the audience would have a good experience. I wasn’t conscious of being a woman, and over the years I can honestly say I almost never think of girliness unless I’m wearing high heels, and then I’m more likely to feel like a transvestite. When I’m at my most focused onstage, I feel a sense of space with edges around it, a glow of self-confident, joyful sexiness. It feels bodiless, too, all weightless grace with no effort required. – location 1520-1524

Back then, and even now, I wonder: Am I empowered? If you have to hide your hypersensitivity, are you really a strong woman? Sometimes another voice enters my head, shooing these thoughts aside. This one tells me that the only really good performance is one where you make yourself vulnerable while pushing beyond your familiar comfort zone. I liken it to having an intense, hyper-real dream, where you step off a cliff but don’t fall to your death. – location 1594-1598

In those days, we had no guitar techs to help tune our instruments, and our twelve to fifteen guitars, each one tuned differently, constantly had to be retuned, or rechecked, or swapped out, which necessitated short breaks. Over time we developed an elaborate system for making those changes as seamless and fluid as possible. – location 1692-1694 [Gordon sets up this paragraph and then doesn’t finish it. She doesn’t explain why Sonic Youth has 12-15 guitars, or what the elaborate system is. Gordon is completely tone deaf to what is actually interesting in her life.]


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