Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon describes rock and roll in the 1980’s


Girl In A Band

by Jackson Kinsey, Reporter

“What’s it like to be a girl in a band?”

Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth ironically asks this in the song “Sacred Trickster” from the 2009 album Eternal. Although inherently meant to be a statement against the misogyny present in the music industry, Gordon derived the title of her new memoir, Girl in a Band, from this line.

Following her divorce from fellow Sonic Youth member Thurston Moore, after 27 years of marriage and 30 years of being a bandmate, Gordon finally tells all about her life as a musician, artist, and mother. In this autobiography, released on February 24, 2015, Gordon recounts various experiences from her life, from attending school in Hong Kong, to travelling around the world in a famous rock band.

Gordon begins with an account of Sonic Youth’s last show as a band, before delving into her early life, growing up with a schizophrenic brother and being a part of New York’s 1980s contemporary art scene. With a timeline as intricate and engrossing as her music, Gordon captures readers with her honest depictions of life as a young musician, pioneering the way for 90’s grunge and alternative.

Gordon fills her story with narratives of humor and heartbreak, providing the reader with an outline of past relationships and friendships with various household names, like Dan Graham and Kurt Cobain.

Contrary to her description by peers as being shy and meek, Gordon boldly writes of her passion for art and music with insight and vehemence.

As Gordon says in her book, it is sometimes “easier not to talk about what I did for a living,” but she managed to do a spectacular job at it in Girl in a Band.

Sonic Youth became popular in the early 80s, playing shows and festivals all the way up to their hiatus in 2013. To date, there are over 30 Sonic Youth LPs, EPs, live recordings, and greatest hits albums. Although Sonic Youth was enjoyed in your parents’ generation, their music is for everyone. Some of the most accessible albums by Sonic Youth include the albums Washing Machine and Daydream Nation. A few recommendable songs include “Death Valley ‘69,” “Teen Age Riot,” and “Tunic (Song for Karen).”