Girl in A Band

Girl in A Band

Book - 2015
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For many, Kim Gordon, vocalist, bassist and founding member of Sonic Youth, has always been the epitome of cool.

Sonic Youth is one of the most influential and successful bands to emerge from the post-punk New York scene, and their legacy continues to loom large over the landscape of indie rock and American pop culture. Almost as celebrated as the band's defiantly dissonant sound was the marriage between Gordon and her husband, fellow Sonic Youth founder and lead guitarist Thurston Moore. So when Matador Records released a statement in the fall of 2011 announcing that--after twenty-seven years--the two were splitting, fans were devastated. In the middle of a crazy world, they'd seemed so solid.

What did this mean? What comes next? What came before?

In Girl in a Band , the famously reserved superstar speaks candidly about her past and the future. From her childhood in the sunbaked suburbs of Southern California, growing up with a mentally ill sibling who often sapped her family of emotional capital, to New York's downtown art and music scene in the eighties and nineties and the birth of a band that would pave the way for acts like Nirvana, as well as help inspire the Riot Grrl generation, here is an edgy and evocative portrait of a life in art.

Exploring the artists, musicians, and writers who influenced Gordon, and the relationship that defined her life for so long, Girl in a Band is filled with the sights and sounds of a pre-Internet world and is a deeply personal portrait of a woman who has become an icon.

Publisher: New York : Dey S., an imprint of William Morrow Publishers, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780062295897
Characteristics: vii, 273 pages :,illustrations, portraits ;,24 cm.


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Mar 18, 2018

I'm mystified by the comments about the "hurt," etc. in this book. The short first chapter functions as a flash forward, in which Gordon does mention the regrettability (maybe that's a word?) of her marriage ending in such a culturally typical fashion. A few pages in, the book becomes and remains a compelling read about a truly fascinating life, from an unusual and sharp perspective. This does include Gordon's viewing her life choices in the context of her childhood and her socialization. She also speaks well of her work relationship with Thurston Moore, and of his character. I especially think that fans of Patti Smith's last 2 books might like it. But by all means, if you cannot hang in for more than 5 pages or if honest discussion of emotions gives you vapors, read something dumber.

May 03, 2017

A memoir unlike any I've read before. Kim Gordon's choppy, yet descriptive, prose was surprisingly easy to read. And I was glad for it! Because who better than the kick-ass bass player from Sonic Youth to conjure up such a heady work about her life, love, and hurt. If you want a memoir that is unconventional and un-linear (is that a word? Probably not. But it's the only way to describe it), then I dare you to read Girl In a Band.

Sep 20, 2016

I enjoyed this memoir- I think it helps if you're a fan of Sonic Youth, but it's a well written memoir, as well as an interesting look at NYC in the 70's-80's.

Aug 07, 2016

I loved reading about Kim growing up in the sixties, traveling, infiltrating the NYC art scene, meeting Thurston Moore and Sonic Youth's formation. I liked her descriptions of NY in the 70s and 80s. But I was left still feeling like I wanted more of who she was as a person. The marriage part is too recent and raw and at times it feels like Kim was still too bitter for real reflection. Having said that, Kim Gordon is an icon of counter-culture. I looked up to her when I was a teen, and after reading the book I can say I still do. She has a whip smart internal compass that has guided her through decades of style and dozens of interesting experiments, projects, Motherhood and expressions beyond Sonic Youth.

Jul 17, 2016

Not your typical rock girl memoir, as Kim Gordon shows a lot of class in her interest in art and her desire to raise her daughter with some sense of normalcy. Too bad Thurston Moore turned out to be a douche bag.

Mar 20, 2016

Interesting insight into the times when Sonic Youth were starting and "the scene" in which they incubated.
I know Gordon is an intelligent woman but I found the book to be awash in self pity.
If she finds any joy in her art it would be nice to share that too.

RemiRoussel Jan 26, 2016

A little long to read, but a must if you are a fan of Sonic Youth.

Jan 02, 2016

An excellent read. Gordon is intelligent and honest. She gives an engaging sketch of the underground music scene during the 1980s and 1990s. Also, an interesting account of her life as a visual artist and musician.

shoelace Dec 16, 2015

So good!

adasilva7 Nov 24, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Kim Gordon, especially as an artist and her experiences in the LA and New York art scenes during the mid to late 20th century.

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