PRINT December 2007


Kim Gordon


1 Mouthus, Saw a Halo (Load Records) Soul without a soul sawing away at demons past even while gliding toward a future hell, this record has everything you could want from a listen: ecstasy, remorse, and the unknowable.

2 Charalambides, Likeness (Kranky) Tom and Christina Carter let us into their world a little more with each release. “Do You See” is starker and more vulnerable than anything by P. J. Harvey, yet it’s also their most accessible song. Tom’s guitar sets the rock tone while Christina belts it out with heart.

3&4 MV & EE with the Bummer Road, Green Blues; MV & EE with the Golden Road, Gettin’ Gone (Ecstatic Peace!) Gettin’ Gone picks up the drift where Green Blues leaves off, seeing the band rock out like they never did before. There’s a hint of early Royal Trux on their breezy, starlit mountaintop, but they make the falling apart/coming together thing sound like a campfire gathering, avec ’shrooms.

5 Islaja, Ulual yyy (Fonal) Islaja’s music is a dream, abstract and enchanted but grounded in the earthiness of a Finnish forest floor. Her real name is Merja Kokkonen; I don’t know what she’s singing about, but I’ve never heard anything so otherworldly.

6 Britney Spears at the MTV Video Music Awards, Las Vegas Sorry, but I was impressed. In the year’s most psychotic media moment, Britney created something more real than reality TV: entertainment without borders, an unconsciously brilliant deconstruction of American Idolism, a disintegration in slo-mo. You could almost call it art.

7 “Monster Eyes” in Jonathan Lethem’s You Don’t Love Me Yet (Doubleday) Lethem gives the best description of being in a band I’ve ever read. I’d love to hear this song.

8 The Bastard Wing, To Contain Love (Ultra Hard Gel) This should have been the sound track to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s final season.

9 Negative Approach, Center Stage 1, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Minehead, UK The ’80s hardcore stalwarts really delivered on this reunion tour date. John Brannon can still work a snarl like no one else. Fists punched the air in solidarity, and the wings were filled to capacity with members of Wolf Eyes and other Detroit boys who were raised on NA’s myth as much as on those of the Stooges and MC5.

10 Karen Dalton, Cotton Eyed Joe (Delmore) A beautifully transparent document recorded at the Attic in Boulder, Colorado, in 1962. I love Dalton’s vocals, guitar playing, and arrangements, but also being able to visualize the room, its small size and intimate feel. Listening is like being in someone’s house; maybe it’s cold and raining outside, but everyone there is enveloped by the space and the music.

Kim Gordon is an artist and founding member of the band Sonic Youth. In April, she collaborated with Jutta Koether on the exhibition “Dead Already” at Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York. She will release a new album with Free Kitten in 2008.