From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, the book Kim Gordon says "everyone has been waiting for" and a New York Times Notable Book of 2015-- a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life--and finding yourself--in music.
Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.
HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.
With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.
This strikingly expressive memoir from Brownstein, a writer, actress, and guitarist who created the critically acclaimed television show Portlandia, gambols over the sometimes steep hills of the quest for self-definition. Brownstein attended her first rock concert in fifth grade; she went to see Madonna, and was enough of fan to even try dressing like the star. Her mother nixed her outfit, but Madonna's show was still a "moment I'll never forget," she writes, "a total elation that momentarily erased any outline of darkness." Struggling though a chaotic family life, she finds herself through music, eventually co-founding the group Sleater-Kinney with her friend and then-lover, Corin Tucker. In the beginning, music mimics the turbulence in her life, as the band searches for ways to practice, write songs, cohere as a group, get along with one another, and establish themselves in the Seattle music scene as well as outside the US. As their reputation builds and they take their place at the forefront of the Riot Grrrls movement, Brownstein writes, "the unlit firecracker I carried around inside me in my youth... found a home in music." Brownstein is unafraid to reveal her emotional vulnerability, making this one of the smartest and most articulate music memoirs in recent years.
Customer ReviewsSee All
To be fair I had never heard of this band in my life, but you don't have to know or even like the band to enjoy this book. As a musician she brings a beautiful new perspective to the crowd/fan and musician dynamic. Highlighting that the lyrics written may not even be about individuals in the band and can often feel like acting on stage it allows the crowd to possibly further respect the art. Her brutal honesty about her life experiences throughout this work led me to further respect this author as she did not try to fit a square peg in a round hole- she was no devil or a saint! Where I'm from in the south of the US many try to proclaim one extreme or another- Holier than Thou Jesus Freaks or Outlaws/Rebels, but she harnessed her innocence and experimental nature all in one leaving us a real person to with whom we can relate. Bravo!
Anyone who has followed Carrie through SK, Monitor Mix, and Portlandia is familiar with her creativity and the power of her words. I couldn't have been more excited to read this, and it still managed to be better than I could have imagined. Not just the best memoir I've ever read, it is one of the best books I have ever read. Read it.