Kim Gordon

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Kim Gordon in 2009

Kim Althea Gordon (1953 Apr 28) is an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the bassist, guitarist, and vocalist of alternative rock band Sonic Youth.


  • The image a lot of people have of me as detached, impassive, or remote is a persona that comes from years of being teased for every feeling I ever expressed.
  • Your life is hard to change. But at the same time, I've also always felt that I'm the same person now as I was at five, so I've been sort of reaching out to that too, in a way.
  • I don’t, really. I mean, the one thing is more women playing music. That allows you to have different personalities, so it kind of cuts through the clichés about how women are perceived. But I don’t really think things in the mainstream have changed so much. In the underground, it seems like there’s a lot more women involved in the scene, which mostly comes out of male record collectors, so it was surprising in the late ’80s to start seeing more girls and women involved with experimental music as that scene grew. That’s pretty cool.”
  • I don't wanna think that I'm influential or an icon or blah blah blah blah...Ultimately, I feel most confident when I'm just working. Thinking about ideas. That's how I'm most comfortable. Or performing in a group situation.
  • Well, it sort of bothers me that if a man is doing it, then it's fine. Like, if a woman had Bob Dylan's voice, how far would she have gotten? Or Leonard Cohen? And men can get away with saying more things that are—I don't know, it's kind of like, everyone could sit around and pat each other on the back. And that's not very interesting.
  • If people are listening, you can feel this intense concentration, and it builds a level of trust…I can be vulnerable in a way that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to be if I was just talking. There’s something about music and electricity and the free-flowing, less-contained aspect – it’s like being in the ocean. What’s the inside and what’s outside?
  • When I was growing up in the seventies, there were more open spaces. There weren't McMansions really. L.A. always had an interesting array of architecture in the houses. Like one would be a ranch house, another could be a Tudor house. It is fitting that there are all these different styles that almost were predetermined by L.A. being a place where different people moved.

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