5. CARRIE BROWNSTEIN, HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL
I could hardly resist humming the Sleater-Kinney song from which the title of Brownstein’s memoir is taken, because it is spot-on. Hungry for attention since her younger days, this guitarist, singer, writer, and actor chronicles her early life and her time with SK up to its hiatus in 2006 with fearless aplomb.
4. KIM GORDON, GIRL IN A BAND
For the first time, Gordon peels away some of her stoic persona to reveal an extended take on her life and times as bassist in Sonic Youth. Whether it’s addressing the reasons why she seems so stony, expressing opinions of the female music icons of today, or going into detail concerning her breakup with Thurston Moore, Gordon’s voice is measured and deftly darts into places where readers may never have thought she’d go.
3 . BIG FREEDIA WITH NICOLE B ALIN, GOD SAVE THE QUEEN DIVA !
I’m sure you already know about the queen of bounce, but this chronicle of how one Freddie Ross brought the world her special brand of transmuting pain into joy, with the love and support of her family and friends, is an inspiring read, complete with a guide to bouncing like a pro… and a still-open invitation to Miley Cyrus for lessons.
2. VIV ALBERTINE, CLOTHES, CLOTHES, CLOTHES. MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC. BOYS, BOYS, BOYS.
Start off an autobiography with a statement like, “Anyone who writes an autobiography is either a twat or broke. I’m a bit of both,” and what follows had better be damned good. Albertine could easily have ended Clothes with her unflinching eye on her early days as a punk and her time with The Slits, but she fiercely blasts right on through to the fairly recent remaking of her life that led her to picking up the guitar again for the first time in nearly two decades.
1. PATTI SMITH, M TRAIN
This could’ve been subtitled A Year In The Life, but the opening complexity of Smith’s dreams melding into the simplicity of her routine of but the opening complexity of Smith’s dreams melding into the simplicity of her routine of frequenting a nearby café set the table for something far more. M Train is a portrait of the wide-open possibilities of an artist’s life, pulling the skills Smith exhibited in Just Kids into a heartfelt examination of herself in the here and now.
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