I wrote about Bikini Kill, Kathleen Hanna, female anger and this album that has been a necessary cathartic release these past few enraging months where I’ve just wanted to scream 24/7 for FLOOD Magazine.
ay yo, two new episodes of ’77 music club are live right now and they could not be more radically different:
season 3, episode 3: joe walsh’s the smoker you drink, the player you get
in which we talk about joe walsh’s surprisingly eclectic musical influences, recognize the contributions of his backing band, lol about how he is an irl meme, and so much more
season 3, episode 4: nico’s the marble index
in which we’re back on our bullshit about trailblazing women, discussing how radical nico’s agency and aesthetic were in 1968, this album’s difficult themes, and what makes it so influential to the goth rock genre
A friend of mine recently told me the story of his one and only encounter with Kim Gordon. A few summers ago, he was playing with a band on a small European tour; their dates dovetailed around ones Gordon was playing with her then-new band Body/Head. The experimental noise guitar duo had yet to release a full album, but their EP and few shows — combined with the curiosity of seeing what Kim Gordon would do post-Sonic Youth — had people talking. One hot night on a rooftop in Germany, he and his bandmates finally got a chance to see what all the fuss was about.
He watched Gordon drone intermittently over the dissonance coming from the guitars she and bandmate Bill Nace played. It was slow, but built to a furor, Gordon desperately choking out random words and phrases like “the last mistress” as she wailed away on her guitar. When all was said and done, she was spent, barely able to leave the stage without some assistance.
“Wow,” my friend said, slightly confused by what he just watched. “Was she on drugs?”
“No,” one of his bandmates — a woman not much older than Gordon herself — shushed him. “She’s just very, very sad.”
I think about this story a lot. I think about how our anguish can be unleashed in music, and how an emotional release is easily expressed in a melody or a verse, but harder to comprehend in abstract noise.
I think about how Gordon’s feelings were so much easier for a woman to see and understand, while my friend later dismissed it as “college shit.” Of course Gordon was expressing pain, an intricate sort of pain and anger that many women, particularly as they age, could empathize with deeply in their bones. Gordon and her husband of more than 25 years, Thurston Moore, had officially divorced just months earlier. Their split had been messy, humiliating, and disappointing for many who had seen their lasting union as a beacon of hope, leaving them instead with a feeling that their idols had failed them. Her identity had morphed into one half of a couple, and here she was figuring out who she was on her own again.
Of course she was sad. Of course she was angry. And of course her complex grief continued to pour out in a furious manner on stage over the following years.
Read the rest on bed crumbs.
In case you missed it: A fantastic new episode of the ’77 Music Club podcast is now live. It’s a special one — we interviewed iconic punk baddie Viv Albertine about an album that’s influenced her (Dionne Warwick’s Golden Hits Pt 1) and learned so, so much in the process. It’s a great one. Tune in here.
’77 Music Club is back for a third season! In the latest episode, we break down Laura Nyro’s 1968 album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. We discuss Nyro’s evocative imagery and sense of self, the surprising and enlightening ways we found it connecting to our own experiences as young women in 2018 — particularly examining the similarities and stark differences between second and fourth wave feminism — and of course, musical earworms. For a 50-year-old album recorded and produced by a 20-year-old girl, this prodigious record still remains astonishingly relevant.
I talked to Lindsey Jordan aka Snail Mail about Lush (my favorite album of the year, if you’re new here), sequencing, stanning Television, and some other good stuff for FLOOD Magazine. I managed to even get a Joan Didion ref in there, so check it out.
It is such a privilege to be able to tell someone else’s story, and I am so lucky that I got to do that with this, the first video I story edited and produced for Iris. This is just a scratch in the surface of Dylan Hundley’s story, but I am quite proud of it.