Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon

Girl in a Band

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 Ca...


Details Girl in a Band

TitleGirl in a Band
ISBN9780062295897
Author
Release DateFeb 24th, 2015
PublisherDey Street Books
LanguageEnglish
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography
Rating

Reviews Girl in a Band

  • Lauren
    2014-12-05
    Interesting and at times even moving, but mostly, there is a distance there and whether or not it's because there are places she doesn't want to go or doesn't care to take you, I'm not sure. There is something very unresolved about it as a memoir but again, that's ok - she's in the middle of a major life change and you can feel it. Not that different from how I feel about Sonic Youth, a band I liked and even admired, but never felt a heart connec...
  • Sgossard
    2015-02-22
    I finally understand why they say you should never meet your heroes. I thought (just like you) that Kim was the coolest ever in the hippest band ever. If you want to keep thinking that, don't ever read this book. Read this one instead. If you're already set on reading it anyway or got it as a gift or pre-ordered it just like me, at least let me help you a bit. Out of the 288 pages in this book, around 150 are about how growing up was for her, how...
  • Jane Settles cigarran
    2015-03-06
    A very fast read and quite illuminating though not for the reasons one might expect. I was pretty dismayed at how Kim's elitism and namedropping goes hand in hand with her playing punk rock contests and speaking really harshly about other women. It's one thing to say Courtney Love is crazy but quite another to complain just chapters before, how sexist it was to call a brash woman "crazy". It's one thing to admit to dating older, influential, stif...
  • Lynx
    2015-01-23
    Kim Gordon's life has certainly taken her to fascinating places. Growing up in the sixties, traveling, infiltrating the NYC art scene, Sonic Youth's formation and success, starting her own fashion line, producing others music and films, becoming an artist in her own right and all while being female and a mother, something ignorant journalists never fail to ask her about. Theres certainly never a dull moment in this book. Kim opens up about all th...
  • Jim
    2015-03-03
    I think its telling that after spending 270 pages with the author I don't really have a sense of her as an artist, musician, or a person. I know a lot more about her projects and things that happened to her, but at the end of the book she remains a cipher. For someone who has accomplished so much the book feels thin, understandably disjointed, yet lacking in depth. It's also oddly humorless, but as many have remarked, the memoir begins and ends w...
  • Ettore Pasquini
    2015-01-10
    This book gave me a different view not just on Kim Gordon herself, but also on women's rights and the role of visual arts post-1960s.I listened to the audio book, main reason being that she is reading it herself. It was my first audiobook, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I have to say that her "performance" adds something to this memoir. Even if a few times her reading stutters, in my opinion this makes the experience all the mor...
  • Anhelo
    2015-03-24
    I was disappointed by this book for several reasons. Call them personal if you may. I didn't think it was healthy to vent so much about Thurston Moore's affairs; Kim actually sounded desperate for validation, and a book was not the place to do it, in my personal opinion. I agree with some other reviewers who suggested that telling a story of a couple falling in and out of love seemed to make more sense, rather than labeling as a "middle age male ...
  • Darwin8u
    2015-10-09
    Maskenfreiheit: The Freedom Conferred by Masks"In general, though women aren't really allowed to be kick-ass. It's like the famous distinction between art and craft: Art and wilderness, and pushing against the edges, is a male thing. Craft and control, and polish, is for women. Culturally we don't allow women to be as free as they would like, because that is frightening. We either shun those women or deem them crazy. Female singers who push too m...
  • El
    2015-03-25
    Last night I came across a journal I kept in late 1997 and early 1998, a journal I completely had forgotten about, but it seemed fitting to come across it now since reading this book has taken me back to around that period when I was listening to a lot of Sonic Youth. It was like being 19, 20 again and feeling like music was actually accomplishing something. (All that really meant was I was listening to music that affected me in some way, regardl...
  • Michelle
    2015-02-23
    Didn't like this quite as much as I thought I would. Some weird tone problems, too much name-dropping (as opposed to more in-depth reflection), some randomly dropped-in feminist sloganeering that felt artificial, and holy moly, some really questionable decisions about the framing of the breakup of her marriage and band. I'm still totally Team Kim, but dang, some of it was really, really cringe-inducing.
  • Tosh
    2015-01-20
    i know I'm in the minority of most readers of Kim Gordon's "Girl in a Band," but I think the book would be a lot more interesting if she focused on her childhood and then the New York years. I liked her descriptions of Manhattan life in the late 70s and early 80's - and also the sections that deals with her ill brother. If I was the editor, I would ask more writing about her family as well as the early stages of being an artist among other artist...
  • Jayne Lamb
    2015-02-18
    I'm hoping that this will turn out to be the biggest literary let-down of 2015, because I can't think what could be worse. You know how Gordon is famous for being icy, opaque, inscrutable? This memoir is.. icy, opaque and inscrutable. Page after page of naming art dealers, a statement at the beginning about her whole reason for writing the book was because of her marriage ending - and you find out *nothing* about her relationship with her former ...
  • susie
    2014-10-09
    COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.- - -Edit: Ok, now I've read. I savored! This book was everything I hoped for and sometimes more and sometimes less. That it was just a little bit flawed makes it feel more intimate a portrayal.Kim Gordon is an icon of counter-culture. I looked up to her when I was a teen, and she's one of few people I looked up to *then* that I can say I still do *now*. She has a whip smart internal compass that has guided her through d...
  • Julie Ehlers
    2015-02-19
    What I found most interesting about Girl in a Band was the way Kim Gordon’s experiences in the Manhattan art world of the 1980s affected her other creative pursuits, including music. There’s a lot of appropriation going on, and Kim speaks quite openly about the ways various songs, album covers, and other projects were influenced by other artists and creative works she admires. This was a new way of looking at creativity for me, and I enjoyed ...
  • Leah
    2015-05-06
    I can't believe I'm about to use this as the definitive word for a book by Kim Gordon, but, more than anything, Girl in a Band is... boring.I don't doubt that she wrote this book because she wanted to. I don't doubt that she wanted to tell her story, but Girl in a Band just skirts the surface of her very interesting life, coasting along until we get to what/who broke up Gordon and Moore. It feels like she had a kind of tunnel vision in writing th...
  • Sofia Teixeira
    2016-07-03
    Acho que estou apaixonada... pela Kim Gordon. Okay, é óbvio que já conheço os Sonic Youth há anos, é claro que sabia que ela e o Thurston tinham uma filha, mas tal como quase tudo na vida me passa ao lado, também as razões pelas quais se tinham separado passaram. E, caramba, que mulher brutal descobri no seu livro - Girl in a Band. Sempre que me desafiam a escrever um livro, debato-me com o tipo de registo que empregaria, caso algum dia o...
  • Christopher
    2015-03-12
    Sonic Youth is great and Kim Gordon was an indispensable part of the band; it wouldn't have been successful without her, and that's something you'd rarely say about a bass player. However, I should have left it at that. I don't usually indulge in artist/author/musician biographies, because they almost always devalue the subject in my mind. I like for the art to do all the necessary speaking for its creator. Another way of saying that is: the art ...
  • Minty McBunny
    2015-04-10
    Having read several lukewarm reviews by fellow Sonic Youth fans, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by this book. I was not prepared for how amazing it was and how it's been haunting me since I finished it.I have long admired Kim for her toughness and her talent. Sonic Youth, particularly Kim's singing, made me feel bold and empowered at a time when I was neither and they have a special place in my heart. This memoir is moody and atmospheric, as y...
  • Susan
    2015-05-03
    I loved Sonic Youth and saw them many times so I was really looking forward to this book. Then I read it. Once you discard all the pointless and insecure name dropping, there are two main points the author makes:1. All her life she has lived in the shadow of men who have made it impossible for her to figure out who she was and what she was all about. 2. She had the most difficult pregnancy of any woman on earth and found raising one child to be a...
  • Sabs
    2015-02-04
    I couldn't even make it to the good stuff. I was so utterly bored by one of the most fascinating lives ever lived. Kim needed a better editor. I bet the audio book would be worthwhile. Book is just name droppy boring writing. Really had higher expectations for this.
  • Jenna
    2015-01-31
    First things first: Having recently read a few memoirs of women in music, I can confirm I'm reliably mystified/enchanted by (Read: a sucker for) some of the reverse-Pygmalion-like conventions of these stories. Specifically, an influential countercultural musician who claims at the outset to:--Have had no actual musical training. I mean, we're talking "has barely held an instrument/what's an instrument?" territory. And then suddenly, is Just Playi...
  • Edmole
    2016-01-19
    So hard to say what I feel about this book. It's full of a lot of pain, as Kim clearly and heartily states her case and shows her wounds over her split with Thurston Moore. But outside of that, there is an odd blankness, a cool recounting of a sequence of events. It reminded me a little of Viv Albertine's book, of a woman at the heart of various scenes and engaged and creative within them, but simultaneously seeming and being swept along by cultu...
  • Solistas
    2016-12-12
    Το βιβλίο αφορά αποκλειστικά τους die-hard fans των Sonic Youth.Κι επειδή οι τελευταίοι (myself included) μάλλον έχουν ήδη διαβάσει το βιβλίο, δεν υπάρχει κάτι που μπορεί κανείς να σχολιάσει που να μην είναι ήδη γνωστό. Όπως και να'χει όμως, είναι κάπως σοκαριστικό ν...
  • Vanessa
    2015-03-07
    This was a really entertaining rock memoir - the short chapters, the photographs, and the anecdotes within all built up to educate me on Kim Gordon, one of the founding members of Sonic Youth, providing me with a lot of things I had never known about her before.In under 300 pages, Kim Gordon details her life growing up with a troubled, emotionally-abusive older brother, her coming into her own in New York, her work in the art scene, her musical c...
  • Jessica Silk
    2014-12-12
    There are a lot of things I really loved about this memoir. I appreciated her starting with her break-up because it felt vulnerable to start from a dark place. I admire that--as a woman--she is speaking her truth about her break-up and isn't trying to play the whole "I'm perfectly fine and things are amicable" thing we are forced to present in public. She's angry and I'm on her side. This book very much reads like documentation of someone process...
  • Lisa
    2014-12-05
    Good, though not moving... and it felt a little incomplete, somehow. Which I know is the nature of a memoir if one isn't dead yet, but somehow Gordon feels like she's still got a lot more stuff to settle up. It's a panoramic book, not a reflective book. But still interesting, anecdotally and all, and a fun read. Needless to say, I loved all the old 1980s downtown NYC stuff—it sent me off to Google every few pages to see whatever happened to so-...
  • Antonia Crane
    2015-04-26
    I want to believe Kim Gordon wrote her own book. She is clearly a super smart, intuitive, well read, talented woman with intrinsic style who was born charmed with a nose for timing and unique, refined taste. She also simply hung out with the right people during an extremely exciting time in NY that existed before the Internet branded our souls and sold us down the river of Facehooker. I heard "Girl in a Band" on Audible read by Gordon. It was kin...
  • Deb
    2015-01-06
    Kim Gordon takes an autobiographical look at her personal life and her life as the vocalist/bass player for Sonic Youth. She is very articulate, and able to describe the various issues associated with life in a well-known, touring band over a period of years. She starts the book with the deconstruction of the band, and her marriage to one of its members, Thurston Moore, then backfills the story over the many years of the band's life.Being a woman...
  • Liz
    2015-04-29
    I will risk losing all punk cred by saying that I've never been a huge Sonic Youth fan, to say that I don't know ANYTHING about the band other than that they exist, and people hold them in very high regard, so I went into this book pretty blind. Not having a frame of reference for the songs she was writing about really changed the impact that reading about them has, but I did find her descriptions of growing up in LA and moving to NYC very intere...
  • Tuck
    2016-01-21
    a book of contradictions, but i guess a person has to write the book they have to write. kim gordon talks about her band, sonic youth, and epic run of over 2 decades are serious music, a huge and public (sort of, more public now with this book for sure) breakup of her and band and husband in band. her childhood and family (difficult family too), her being a young woman and artist all that implies, independence, poverty, fame, fishbowl life, succe...