Girl In A Band by Kim Gordon

This is a book released by Kim Gordon, one of the founding members of the, now extinct, band, Sonic Youth. She is labelled the epitome of coolness, the harbinger of unstated sexuality, one of the first indie feminist songstress.

But the book proves all that to be untrue. From the book it is obvious that she is a very shy person who has been dominated by strong personalities throughout her life. From her schizophrenic older brother to her band mate and husband, Thruston Moore. In between these two relationship we come to know her relationships between her parents, partners, musicians and other artists who have played an influential role in her life.

The book is a straightforward account of her life from childhood. Not some earth shattering revelation but just a story of a person whose public perceptions mask a sensitive and an endearing person. She highlights her issues, her desires and her thinking behind each of her project be they songs from Sonic Youth or her numerous art and fashion projects.

I found her to be quite an interesting person which prompted me to do what I usually never ever do….. Learn more about a person I consider one of my heroes.

I started to look for her interviewees and other articles. Here is my favourite :

But as someone said “never know your heroes too well, they will disappoint”. And she definitely did. Her fascination with astrology and everything ” spiritual ” really put me off. I mean, come on!! She is obviously an intelligent person but this interview proves that she is a little bonkers. I watched it for 20 minutes and had to switch it off.

Other than that, the book is a great opportunity to learn about one of the minds behind the iconic band. Kim Gordon may be the queen of cool but she is just another person.

Highly recommended for the fans of Sonic Youth. Mildly recommended for non fans.

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My Top 10 Albums Of 2014

My top 10 albums of the year. 

10) Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me! 

Literally an album about being a transgender. The band is headed by a woman (formally a man) who went through all that she sings about. Except for the song “Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ” which is an odd song in the list and I would have been dismissed out right if not for a killer guitar line and powerful sound. What a song! 

 

9) Ultravoilence by Lana Del Ray 

Finally found that dark brooding sound that she has been looking for… probably helped that Dan Auerbach produced the album. Eagerly waiting for her next album. Hope she kicks it up a notch. 

 

8) Thrash Rock Legacy by Mounties 

A perfect summer record. A Canada indie supergroup which I honestly thought would fall flat on its face. But they really pulled it off and their sing “Headphones ” is my song of the year. 

 

7) To be Kind by Swans 

I will be honest, I have not heard the full album in one sitting. The album is more than 2 hours long!! But each song is sublime with angst and emotions embroiled within the music.

 
  

6) Alvvays by Alvvays 

Another pop wonder this year. One of the few albums that my daughter likes (that is on this list). The one thing I really liked about this album was how the sweet innocent voice was laced with ironic and sexy lyrics. Hope this band does well. 

 

5) Make My Head Sing by Jessica Lea Mayfield 

Shows what you can do with delicate vocals and loud guitar riffs. Love it! 

 

4) Popular Problems by Leonard Cohen 

Man, never thought I would have Leonard Cohen’s album in my top 10 once he hit 80 years of age. But what a powerful album from the versatile singer. When you compare his first album “Songs Of Leonard Cohen” from 1967 and “Popular Problems” in 2014, you will notice the massive change in his singing style. Excellent album. 

 

3) Love by Amen Dunes 

Got this album on a whim and have not stopped listening to ever since it was released. I loved it so much that I bought the vinyl and played that over and over again. Reminds me a lot of Van Morrison’s works. Spacey, hazy and, on song, surprisingly loud. 

 

2) Manipulator by Ty Segall 

25 year old and 8 album (not including multiple collaborations)!! I don’t think this musician is ever going to worry about burn out. With this album, Ty Segall has really elevated his music. A little less noisy than his previous albums (therefore, more accessible?) and the songs all have a melodies. Something I have not seen on his previous albums. Started listening to it when NPR was streaming the album and still am listening it on the vinyl I bought. 

 

1) St. Vincent 

Strange, weird, in-coherent. That’s what I initially thought. That is until, I forced myself to “listen” to the album. From the first song the journey into her album has been illuminating and wonderful. This is by far the best album of the year. 

 
This is a fun exercise and I look forward to it all the time. Here are my past “top 10 albums” links :

2009

2010

2011

2013

(Looks like I skipped 2012)

10Oct2014 : Top 5 Songs/albums For The Week

1) Jeff Tweedy is back with a new album “Sukierae”. I downloaded the album a few days ago and have not been able to digest the 20 songs on it. However, what I have heard so far, makes me love the guy even more! Beautiful sonic tunes. Urgent guitars on one song and then soft melodies on another. 4 out of 5 stars, so far. Here is the best one. It’s a live performance but the sound is really good :

2) Mounties. A Canadian band (of course!) that surfaced in my “to listen” list recently. Honestly, I had been ignoring them for a while but once I listened to Tokyo Summer on a whim, I was hooked. The band features the biggies of Canadian Indie rock scene (Hawksley Workman, Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays and Limblifter’s Ryan Dahle). The album is heavy on Synth which really is not my scene unless accompanied with a heavy dose of guitar and drums. And this one delivers! Here is my favourite song from the album which so personifies my attitude towards headphones :

3) Elephant Stone. A Quebec band that is into Sitar and rock. I have always liked that combination. A little too sweet and sugary for me but I really like the sound.

4) Interested in something soothing, lush folk rock? Especially from someone who specialises in blazing guitar work with lots of feedback? Then look no further than the new album by J Mascis. Tied To A Star. Wonderful album!

5) The New Pornographers have returned!! With an OK album :( I guess the expectation is usually very high when you are an institution in Canada. Anyway, I really like the album. Just thought it would be much better than it turned out.

3Oct2014 : Top 5 Songs/albums For The Week

Here are my current top songs/albums.

1) Ty Segall. Boy this performer gets better and better with each album! And that is a rarity in the music business. His new album is outstanding! Cannot find one song in that is “yeah, that’s meh”. Here is the track that captures you right away.

2) Here’s another band that keeps getting better. To be honest the album “Sunbathing Animals” is not “Light Up Gold” but it’s close. The best song from the album “She’s Rolling”. The song is fairly standard, it’s the close that really gets you!

3) Interpol is back! And boy did they surprise me. I thought it was going to be another mish mash album. A few earth shattering songs mixed with some boring ones. But no, this album is great from the start to finish. Ok, I have to be honest, towards the end of the album, I do lose interest but from Interpol, I will take it.

4) Found this band when I was playing around with Google music (yes, am a fan of Google Music and I think Spotify sucks) and was immediately taken by their bluesy grunge sound. Excellent EP (Comfortable Skin). They take a down turn when they slow down their music. Guys, you were not built for slow, romantic songs.

5) The Raveonettes are back! With another album that proves that these guys are the band to follow. Haunting video. Excellent song.