TOUCHING, QUIETLY FEROCIOUS & POETIC: In Conversation with KIM GORDON
Design, what is it?
Art does not even have to make you feel anything. That is up to the individual.
Her brother was kind of mean. Sort of critical, it went beyond the normal sibling stuff.
In the book she tells of an instance where they were sharing a hotel room in Hong Kong. He tried to get into bed with her. He was naked. She told him to get lost. Pushed him out. Never told her parents. She did not want him to get into trouble. She did not mention this in the conversation. But, I have not been able to stop thinking about it. She has refused to let that incident define her.
He had a following of nerds in high school. Tried to separate the personality from the disease of Paranoid Schizophrenia. He did a lot of acid and I’m not sure if that was a catalyst. It is weird when the dynamics in a brother/ sister relationship change. When he came to me and told me of being so unhappy.
My mother had creative tendancies. Made this amazing collage
hung it above the stove
called it a grease catcher.
Music that I listened to. Chet Baker, Billy Holiday, Bessy Smith and Charlie Parker. In my teens a lot of Joni Mitchell.
West L.A even today, has no identity.
I returned to L.A last year.
I was a weekend Hippy. I supported the teacher strikes at my school. I did not have the legitimacy of a college age student hippy. In my mind.
Dan Graham was who I looked up when I moved to new york. Jim Shaw and Marnie Webber stayed in L.A.
There was so much more freedom than punk rock.
I made up lyrics from advertisement copy from Cosmopoliton Magazines and lip stick colours.
Hands off manipulation.
She got up and went to the bathroom.
He was upset with how it turned out.
Your telling girls what to do and how to do it.
And You cant do that.
That’s how I met him (Thurston).
She removed his oven.
The bath was also in the kitchen.
Physiological reflection and intervention.
The kind of stuff you see in bank foyers.
Post modernist ideals.
The city is your home.
A water colour of Debbie Harry.
I think he just liked women.
He encouraged me to write.
I wrote an essay: TRASH, DRUGS AND MALE BONDING.
They were all taking this drug called Locker Room,
It was basically Anal Nitrate.
He was quite orchestral: The artist and the performer.
I still think about it.
I find it really interesting.
People want to believe what performers project out into them.
It is interesting if you can make people feel uncomfortable.
Iggy Pop and peanut butter smearing with broken glass.
Kurt Cobain curling up into a drum kit and jump into the audience.
Iggy doing that broken glass crushing into his chest
In the 60s
Where it was so far removed from the peace and love of the majority.
I like to see things fall apart a little bit.
1981 was when Sonic Youth formed.
Mary Lenly gave away the guitar that belonged to an ex boyfriend.
I don’t want this around, you take it.
So, Kim did.
Learned half chords, jazz chords and rhythms.
Playing with a band like Sonic Youth. Was like discovering new land.
We all had shitty guitars that sounded better if we tuned them in all sorts of different and weird ways. Thurston with the drum stick.
Never really learnt to play properly.
So many people are too scared to do stuff.
Punk rock brought so many people into music and creating music, who would not have been inspired otherwise.
My favourite Bass player is Sid Vicious. It is not about natural ability. It is about what he brought to the band.
I brought minimalism and space.
Your records don’t do justice to your live shows.
Look at it as live Songs are a document of a different time and a different place
It is a spasmodic thing
Everything Gets more refined after that
He was a Leo.
He is a leo…
He’s still alive.
Was always the instigator.
LL Kool Jay on Cool Thing
You project things onto people you admire.
Bon Jovi was his favorite rock band.
He disappointed me
Chuck Dee did all these generic clichés into the mic
Which we deserved.
Hair band called Spread Eagle
We decided to go into a studio and make up stuff.
I went into Macy’s
Chose a jungle girl theme as my backdrop and sung and performed infront of it.
It was so satisfying
Hand over your credit card and walk out with a music video.
Kim Gordon and Kim Deal
Little Trouble Girl collaboration.
Was very distrustful
We were on a plane home.
First time away from my daughter
who was quite young.
Kim Deal was (big pause) Kim Deal was just being Kim.
We both had our own neurotic things.
Riot girl of the 90s.
I felt politics could be very dogmatic.
I’m not out there being political.
When I signed to a major label I felt that this could be a good platform
And a sort of
Fuck you to the record label
It was so great to see what they were doing
Kim Gordon dated Danny Elfmann in high school. He is more known for creating the theme for The Simpsons than anything from Oingo Boingo.
Body Head project with Bill Nace.
It is incredibly freeing to not have a drummer.
I really like playing with Bill.
Focusing more on visual art.
Reclaiming an object
The culture does not offer us anything
So we are not here.
Not glamorouse like Lydia Lunch
It was not until we toured England that people started asking about being a girl in a band. It made me really self -conscious. When asked what she is enjoying listening to.
‘’I listen to a lot of old music. I just discovered this band Fleetwood Mac.’’
The Oves, Kurt Vile, Angel Olsen.
I like engaging in ideas and making stuff.’’
There was a man who asked the question I should have been brave enough to ask.
What was she hoping to teach her daughter about dealing with dick head med.
People clapped him. I refrained. I would have if a girl had asked.
She did say (Coco) that the most important thin she ever learned from me, was how to say, no.
What do you see as the future of music and art in another 30 years?
‘’You don’t want to know. I’m as curious as you. I have no idea. I don’t know any more than you do.’’
Someone asks her what is her favorite Sonic Youth song.
Her answer is to saywhat is your favorite Sonic Youth song and then says that she loved Daydream Nation.
‘’When relearned it was fun to play. It had this energy that was so different.’’
A woman in the crowd talks of memories of so many being smoky lounge rooms
Wearing nothing but knickers and a singlet
Listening to Dirty Booys and being overwhelmed with the intense enery and imagination that the music inspired and enveloped you in. What song and artist had that effect on you when young?
‘’Heroin by Lou Reed. I can remember listening to that with my friends and acting out what we thought it was to be really high, with a needle in your arm and eyes rolling back into your head.’’
The conversation went over time and nobody cared. We did not want it to end. We were all entranced and enthralled by the enigmatic and witty woman who had us all sitting in the palm of her hand. We all leave glad that we have some important things in common with someone so smart. We all leave galvanized in our desire and drive to do as she does:
”Engage in ideas and make stuff.”