Friday, April 17, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
GIRL IN A BLOG
One of my favorite things to do in California is hang out at Amoeba for several hours, digging through bins. The one in Hollywood is especially huge and eclectic. They even have a cool, reused book section. Found a really rad American graphic design book from 1994 that looks super interesting. Also took a chance on a "UK Street Soul in the Nineties" CD for $4.99. This was one of the jams on it. Feeling it for sure. Discovering music the old school way is that much better. My friend Amy did make fun of me for going to Amoeba. Apparently, the last friend of hers that went to Amoeba for sake of music discovery was years ago. California. Where they take shit for granted. :Eyeroll:
Purchased Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band, read it on my flight from LA to NY. A really great read- got sucked in from the first page. Her narrative is thoroughly engaging because it actually sounds like her voice- not that I know what or how that sounds. If you are a fan of hers, it's a great thing to be able to find that kind of intimacy through this book. Especially since she's notoriously reserved. I find myself relating to a lot of the subtle yet significant observations she sprinkles throughout her memoir. Ultimately, she reveals an extensive amount of personal experiences that I found poignant, humble, and well written.
Although I identify as a straight female, I think my brain deviates from the heteronormative expectation that is often assigned to straight women- the mask of graceful passiveness. I feel most, if not all, women are subject to having to constantly negotiate their exterior value throughout one's life. Where as the predominant male figure operates as an institutionalized fixed value in society, a woman's beauty, talent, sexual appeal, intellect, aptitude for care giving and child rearing, work, career- are all benchmarks of perceived value. At the core of our negotiations, how a woman chooses to process, interpret, and commodify the attention of the "male gaze" throughout life remains public domain. In that way, Girl In A Band hit a lot of the right notes for me. The title itself proves to be a joke sinking under the weight of it's own tired cliche.
Today, the popularity of feminism has gone beyond the singular 90's "Girl Power" movement splashed on the covers of Tiger Beat and whatever other shitty, ridiculous pre teen tabloids existed back then. Now it's a rampant hashtag, a onesie for a feminist baby in training, and timeless legions of female pop artist fanatics are encouraged to basque in the facade of commercial "feminist" success through unparalleled technology and shiny media fueled extravaganzas. As Kim pointed out Lana Del Ray's translation of "feminism" to basically encompass the freedom of a woman to do whatever she wants- even at the cost of self destruction. Though Lana Del Ray didn't verbalize that true freedom may result in self destruction, it is not only plausible, it's the truth.
All in all, the book exercises the timeless restraint of "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." For one thing, she could have shit on so many people in this book, including her ex-husband Thurston Moore, and shit harder on the people she did briefly mention. She manages to script this memoir of probably enormous emotionally vulnerable undertaking with her iconic, cool, detached, and matter of fact narrative. But it makes sense that it's a memoir and not an exposé. Even if she's been accused of being "icy" in interviews, this book demonstrates that being "icy" might be a symptom of having multitudes of intellect, observation, and lyrical whims most interviewers and fans never got to see beyond "the girl in a band" role. She writes, "I've always felt uncomfortable giving people what they want or expect." In this case I think she gave people way more than they expected. And that's not just cool, it's sincere.