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Modern hunger

The Rumpus has an interesting review , by Tara Merrigan, of Carrie Brownstein's memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Merrigan takes exception with Brownstein's lack of candor about her personal relationships.
However, when it comes to her personal life, Brownstein is less direct, using vague allusions to discuss her romantic desires. She describes herself as “queer” and briefly mentions girls she dated or desired, but she refuses to delve deeper. This limits Brownstein’s portrayal of herself, and her portrayal of the band’s development because her sexual history is intertwined with Sleater-Kinney — she and Corin Tucker, the band’s other singer and guitarist, dated.
One aspect of rock bands that fascinates me is what happens when two of the members fall in love - and, even more dramatically, when they break up. Bands spend so much time together - in the studio or on the road - that the tensions that inevitably arise after a breakup have to be almost unbearable. For a band to survive two of its members breaking up seems like nothing short of a miracle.

Superchunk (with Mac MacCaughan and Laura Ballance) and Versus (with Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups) are two bands I know of that survived a breakup; in contrast, Sonic Youth's stellar career ended after three decades, at least partly due to the separation and subsequent divorce of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. (Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are the happy rock-breakup exception - they founded Yo La Tengo in 1984 and have kept both the band and their marriage together ever since.)

Though I still want to read the book, Brownstein's apparent omission is indeed disappointing. I would have loved to learn her personal take on how her relationship - and breakup - with Tucker impacted the band. And how the band survived.

November 19, 2015 in Books | Permalink

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