Iconic Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon is set to join her fellow alt-nation heroes Beastie Boys, Peter Hook and R. Kelly in releasing a memoir covering her time in the band. Taking the typically classy tack of not punning on the title of a Sonic Youth release – (I Got A) Catholic Book, Rain Kim, Tunic (Book for Karen), Kim Gordon and the Arthur Conan Doyle Hand Cream just some of the missed opportunities – the book will be entitled Girl in a Band, neatly reflecting her position as both the lone woman in Sonic Youth’s line-up and one of American indie-rock’s most prominent feminists.
Though news of the book’s existence is just now gaining widespread attention thanks to the publicity surrounding this week’s release of Coming Apart, the debut album by Gordon’s new, post-Sonic Youth project Body/Head, Publisher’s Weekly actually reported Gordon’s deal with HarperCollins imprint It Books back in March, saying the book sees Gordon ‘chronicle her choice to leave Los Angeles in the early ’80s for the post-punk scene in New York City, where she formed Sonic Youth’.
Releasing their first album, Confusion is Sex, in 1983, Sonic Youth would go on to release a further 14 LPs over the next 26 years, in the process dragging several American avant-garde cultural movements towards something like the mainstream, particularly in the alt-rock frenzy of the late 80s and early 90s, which saw them improbably signed to Geffen imprint GDC following the success of their landmark fifth album, 1987’s epochal Daydream Nation. Even more improbably, their relationship with the major label lasted a further 16 years, seeing them through to 2006’s Rather Ripped, after which they signed with beloved indie label Matador for what would ultimately prove to be their final album for the foreseeable future, 2009’s aptly-named The Eternal. The band appears to have come to a somewhat ignominious end following the 2011 dissolution of Gordon’s 27 year marriage to bandmate Thurston Moore.
Besides the memoir, the New York Times reports that Sternberg Press will soon release a collection of Gordon’s essays written for various magazines in the 80s.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.