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Kim Gordon Rocks

from The New Yorker

Kim Gordon Is Home Again

The artist on Instagram, ambition, and Los Angeles.

By Amanda Petrusich

“The planet is on its way out if we don’t get our act together,” Kim Gordon, the musician and avant-garde polymath, said. “And then you look around and see a Buddhist catchphrase engraved on the floor of a juice place: ‘Be Here Now.’ ” Photograph by Annabel Mehran for The New Yorker

Kim Gordon was born in upstate New York, in 1953, but was raised on the West Side of Los Angeles, where her father taught in the sociology department at U.C.L.A., and her mother worked as a seamstress. She moved to New York City in 1980, with designs on becoming an artist. In 1981, Gordon and the guitarists Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore started Sonic Youth, an experimental rock band that inadvertently helped usher in the alternative-boom of the early nineteen-nineties. Gordon was the kind of cool—vaguely aloof, impossibly chic, intimidatingly smart—that made young women like me feel equal parts terrified and enamored. During a time when it was still somewhat anomalous to see women playing in rock bands, and especially in bands as esoteric and adventurous as Sonic Youth, Gordon was a beacon.

She was also an avant-garde polymath. Gordon produced Hole’s début album, “Pretty on the Inside,” co-founded X-girl, a streetwear brand for women (the actress Chloë Sevigny was its official face), formed a series of musical side projects, and eventually began to show her drawings, paintings, and collages in galleries around the world. Around 2011, her marriage to Moore fell apart, and Sonic Youth went on an indefinite hiatus. Four years later, Gordon published “Girl in A Band,” a thoughtful, occasionally scathing memoir that recounts her formative years in Sonic Youth, her relationship with Moore, the birth of her daughter, and the origins of her art practice. She has spent the last several years performing as half of Body/Head, with the experimental musician Bill Nace, and, in 2019, at age sixty-six, she released her first solo album, “No Home Record.”

In April, Gordon and I began a correspondence, and she shared her thoughts on Instagram, Los Angeles, overpriced coffee, and canvassing for Bernie Sanders. This interview has been condensed and edited.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 2, 2020 by Editor

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