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April 23, 2013 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Kim Gordon talks to Elle magazine about her split from husband Thurston Moore and her life at age 59.
posted by porn in the woods (156 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
and her life at age 59.

*spittake*
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 AM on April 23, 2013 [29 favorites]


The list of things mentioned in the second paragraph of this article proves that Kim Gordon has been telling me what I think is cool without me fully knowing it for the last 25 years at least. If she's done with Thurston Moore, I guess I am too.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:18 AM on April 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Things that make me feel old:

- Having a birthday on Sunday.
- Realizing that I've been aware of what a GIF is for nearly 20 years.
- This post. 59 years old what?
posted by elsietheeel at 8:22 AM on April 23, 2013


I remember when they used to play the Death Valley '69 video on Much Music, late at night, of course. Remember music videos?
posted by SpannerX at 8:23 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw Sonic Youth at the Minnesota State Fair (weird, wild night; they were opening for the Flaming Lips) a few years ago, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone own a stage the way Kim Gordon did that night. I can't even really describe it. I'd always liked SY, but I came away from that show thinking that she must be some kind of divine being of pure rock.
posted by COBRA! at 8:23 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kim Gordon in Elle?

Woah, Dude.
Are we worth...?

I am so above 1990s humour.
posted by Mezentian at 8:24 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


and her life at age 59.

Fuck yeah, getting older can be damn fun and fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 AM on April 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


I guess I should know better, but Thurston Moore always seemed like he was above all the dumb flawed rock star stuff like cheating on your wife with a woman who's starstruck and that sort of thing. A friend has filled me in on the some of the private details and from what I understand it's sort of more complex than that, but yeah. It sucks to think of one of your musical heroes like Thurston as just an average unfaithful disgusting bro. Not to make this about him. I saw Kim perform at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago a month ago, and it blew me away. She did a set of improvised drone-noise-riffage covers of Nina Simone songs. LOVE.
posted by naju at 8:35 AM on April 23, 2013 [16 favorites]


Nice piece. Too bad to hear that Moore was/is an asshole, at least in their relationship.
posted by OmieWise at 8:35 AM on April 23, 2013


I find it incredibly depressing that the split turns out to be the result of the male half of the couple having an affair. (One assumes with a younger woman.) I had hoped that it was just, you know, a divorce, not a "famous dude can't keep it in his pants or stay true to his amazing partner" divorce.

Seriously, straight people of metafilter, I would love not to feel this way: but this really makes me glad that my sexuality does not oblige me to build a relationship around a man, since that just seems to be a recipe for getting dumped when you wrinkle. I mean, if it happens to Kim Gordon.....
posted by Frowner at 8:37 AM on April 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I think I've heard enough from Thurston at this point (I think I'd rather listen to Chelsea Handler than Chelsea Light Moving.)

What an ass.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:39 AM on April 23, 2013


and her life at age 59.

Sonic What?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:40 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


MORE LIKE THIRSTIN' MORE, AM I RIGHT
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:41 AM on April 23, 2013 [23 favorites]


naju, that's exactly how I feel. I don't know how I could have known better, but it does seem like I've felt for a long time that members of Sonic Youth were some kind of inhuman entities and not subject to our puny moral failings. So, yeah, not terribly surprising, but very disappointing. And this article is the first I've heard anything about why it all happened, since everybody's been extraordinarily close-lipped since the break up a year and a half ago. And there again is the inhuman entity thing - they broke up because Thurston had the most common of famous rock star character failures, and nothing about it has hit the news and nobody's gossiped about it for a year and a half and there's been no drama whatsoever.
posted by LionIndex at 8:42 AM on April 23, 2013


"We have all these books, records, and art and are getting it all assessed; that’s what is taking so long,"

I can't imagine how weird and sad that process is.
posted by mintcake! at 8:44 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, if it happens to Kim Gordon...

Yeah, the thing that came to mind when I heard about this (and I realize I know nothing of their real life or interpersonal dynamics and that this is not how relationships work and also I'm a big gay homo anyway) was "The man who is tired of Kim Gordon is tired of life."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:44 AM on April 23, 2013 [17 favorites]


Part of my own affection for Kim Gordon, I realize, is her association with an era when even boys thought it was cool to call themselves feminists. I’m not sure when exactly that changed

Has that changed or do I just know better boys than the author does?
posted by elsietheeel at 8:46 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I find it incredibly depressing that the split turns out to be the result of the male half of the couple having an affair. (One assumes with a younger woman.) I had hoped that it was just, you know, a divorce, not a "famous dude can't keep it in his pants or stay true to his amazing partner" divorce.


We don't know the full story. While Moore's cheating is clearly wrong, the exact details of why and how the affair came about is unknown to us. Gordon may have been ignoring him or it Moore may grown apart from her.

Blaming one half of the party based on the other half's intentionally vague story doesn't solve anything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM on April 23, 2013 [29 favorites]


Seriously, straight people of metafilter, I would love not to feel this way: but this really makes me glad that my sexuality does not oblige me to build a relationship around a man, since that just seems to be a recipe for getting dumped when you wrinkle.

Is this kind of idiocy really your best response to this kind of situation?

"The man who is tired of Kim Gordon is tired of life."

You know, bullshit. It sounds, from what Kim said, like Thurston was a dick here, but who knows what it's like to live with Kim Gordon. She might be a nightmare to live with. I see lots of couples in private practice, and other than in abusive situations, they tend to be pretty evenly matched.
posted by OmieWise at 8:48 AM on April 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500 cheated on his wife and it was *awesome*.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:50 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Instantly blaming the man is sexism too. You don't know enough to make a judgment.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:51 AM on April 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


Blaming one half of the party based on the other half's intentionally vague story doesn't solve anything.

It's not even blame, though. It's that it always happens - it's as though I have only to admire a male intellectual or artist to discover that he has cheated on his talented, age-appropriate partner as soon as she is, like him, out of her first youth. I mean, I've gotten to the point where I assume it's a hazard of the gender - and I'm not even into monogamy, it's not the monogamy, it's the lack of self-control and the betrayal.

With the lone exception, apparently, of world systems theorist Immanuel Wallerstein, who I saw give a talk accompanied by his first (or rather, one and only) wife. I have not dared to look him up on the internet since then, as I do not want to find that he is dead or cheating.

Again, it's not so much blame as risk - that's why I am glad I don't have to rely on straight dudes to build a life with. What good does it do to build, like, 3/4 of a life with someone knowing that they are almost certain to betray you in an ugly, stupid, stereotyped way? If it were a regular woman rather than Kim Gordon, she'd be broke and alone, facing a diminished retirement and hugely diminished social worth.
posted by Frowner at 8:52 AM on April 23, 2013 [17 favorites]


Instantly blaming the man is sexism too.

No it isn't.
posted by OmieWise at 8:52 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eventually, Gordon discovered a text message and confronted him about having an affair. They went to counseling, but he kept seeing the other woman.

Probably Kim Gordon's fault.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:53 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I add that, as a broad generality, the "famous person cheats on partner and leaves them for someone younger" thing is not something that women generally do. I view this as more a function of patriarchy than anything else, but lord is it depressing.

Don't imagine me cackling and rubbing my feminist hands over male perfidy; imagine me getting depressed that the world sucks.
posted by Frowner at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's that it always happens

Bullshit. Think for just a few seconds about what it is that you're saying, and all the ways you might object if straight men were not the blanket object of your opprobrium. Imagine what someone could write about being happy they don't have to deal with being a gay man in a relationship, for instance.

That you are getting depressed about it does not make your extremely broad and unsupported claim less bad.
posted by OmieWise at 8:56 AM on April 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


This is going down a weird road.
posted by mintcake! at 8:57 AM on April 23, 2013 [29 favorites]


59 is the new 39
posted by j03 at 9:00 AM on April 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


What I don't get about this age-old story is where all of the younger women come from. When I was in my 20s I had no interest in men 20-plus years older than me. Now that I'm 40, I definitely don't want to date someone in their 50s-60s. Are there really enough willing women out there to sustain aging men's constant trading-up?
posted by chowflap at 9:00 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Regardless, I love Kim and she sounds like she's doing great. Which, of course she is -- she's freakin' Kim Gordon.
posted by chowflap at 9:01 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this kind of idiocy really your best response to this kind of situation?

OmniWise, I've just realized that I tend to view "people in a less privileged position getting kind of depressed about that situation and speaking with some hyperbole in the moment" as a bit emotionally different from "person hostility directed at one individual", and that I assume we feel differently about that.

I mean honestly, yes, it was hyperbole. But again honestly, it is terrifying and depressing to me to watch friends and older women of my acquaintance financially and socially because they get entwined in a serious straight relationship that ends because of betrayal. I ask you to believe, despite the fact that I did not say it very nicely, that it is this aspect of heterosexual relationships which is most discomforting to me, and that as a woman - the one who would statistically speaking be most likely to be left with a child, a diminished career and a diminished retirement in such a split - this is a reasonable anxiety to feel. And thus, to see it writ large, though without the financial disaster angle, with one of the famous woman musician icons of my youth....well, it does not leave me feeling happy or sanguine.

I do realize as I write this, though, that I am always foolishly wishing that people would nicely say "not so, not so! look at all these examples of men who are not like this" which is not a productive place to take the conversation.
posted by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


But anyway! In retrospect, I recognize that I should not have turned this in the direction it's going! I will personally stop going this direction! And hope others will too, except it would of course be fair for OmniWise to reply.

On that note, boy, Goo was virtually the first really nineties-esque alternative album that was available in the regular record stores near me, and it sure was a revelation even though it's one of their lesser works. I still know all the songs by heart.
posted by Frowner at 9:06 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is going down a weird road.

well, the whole Elle article (I mean, what else would you expect from Elle?) is a post-feminist trainwreck anyway:
"Kim comes off all cool and badass, but she’s really sweet and gentle and feminine," longtime friend Sofia Coppola says...
cool and bad-ass vs. sweet and gentle and feminine. you've come a long way....
posted by ennui.bz at 9:06 AM on April 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Before we blame Moore solely for the collapse of their marriage, we're only getting her side of the story. When Il magazine interviews him, then I think we'll be able to get the whole story.
posted by Renoroc at 9:07 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Frowner: “It's not even blame, though. It's that it always happens - it's as though I have only to admire a male intellectual or artist to discover that he has cheated on his talented, age-appropriate partner as soon as she is, like him, out of her first youth. I mean, I've gotten to the point where I assume it's a hazard of the gender - and I'm not even into monogamy, it's not the monogamy, it's the lack of self-control and the betrayal.”

Do you, uh, know a lot of lesbians?
posted by koeselitz at 9:07 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


[Yeah, nothing wrong with discussing the details of the divorce but if we could steer clear of generalizations based on gender that would be pretty cool. Thanks!]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:08 AM on April 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


I ask you to believe, despite the fact that I did not say it very nicely, that it is this aspect of heterosexual relationships which is most discomforting to me, and that as a woman - the one who would statistically speaking be most likely to be left with a child, a diminished career and a diminished retirement in such a split - this is a reasonable anxiety to feel.

Absolutely, but this is not what you said in either of your first two comments. I have no beef with the statement above, which contextualizes things quite well (although I think there are also plenty of lesbian relationships that end because of betrayal), and makes this an issue of particular concern.
posted by OmieWise at 9:09 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blaming one half of the party based on the other half's intentionally vague story doesn't solve anything.

While I'm not as old as Kim Gordon, I'm old enough to know that the human heart is a funny thing. It would be great if we all lived happily ever after, but sometimes we don't, and it's all part of the human condition called life.

And I really fucking doubt that Kim Gordon built her life around one man. Kim Gordon built her life around Kim Gordon.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:12 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kinda figured Gordon dumped Moore because he was spending all his time in the basement looking for rare vinyl on ebay.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:13 AM on April 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


Or cheapo Japanese knockoff guitars and hand tools.
posted by LionIndex at 9:16 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


(because I would expect that searching for his own stolen guitars on ebay is getting kind of old and pointless by now)
posted by LionIndex at 9:18 AM on April 23, 2013


"I can understand people being curious," Gordon says when I ask her about all the attention she’s gotten since the split. "I’m curious myself. What’s going to happen now?"
posted by KokuRyu at 9:18 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that was probably my favorite part of the interview, KokuRyu.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do you, uh, know a lot of lesbians?

I sure do, but I don't understand this question.

FWIW, the dealbreaker for me would be any lying and disrespect, not the sex itself. If you are old enough to be in a sexual relationship, you are old enough to talk about your feelings and needs. Don't lie and don't obfuscate (unless one or both of those things are agreed upon beforehand).
posted by rtha at 9:21 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


"The last time I saw Kim Gordon, she was preparing a chicken for roasting. (While) Moore assemble cassette tapes for an upcoming release on his Ecstatic Peace! label while his wife of some 20 years was elbow-deep in poultry stuffing. " Not opening with the record store, or the record collection, which seems a weird opening.

Wasn't there a similar thing about a NASA engineer just a short time ago? Where well, yes, she was a literal rocket scientist, but Say, Boys! Check out her meatloaf!!! Am I misremembering that?
posted by boo_radley at 9:26 AM on April 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


What koeselitz is saying is that lesbian couples are as prone to cheating as straight couples are. Which I'm pretty sure is true.

Hell, within straight couples women are as often the cheaters as men. So yeah, the "why are men such pigs" derail strikes me as sort of weird and super sexist.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:27 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a man who's been married for 22 years and who has a daughter the same age as Gordon & Moore's, I find it easier to imagine (though not approve of) what his side of the story must be like than apparently some of you. Regardless of whatever happened to their marriage, Sonic Youth's run as a band was surely nearing an end in any case. This was their career and life's work entering a major stage of transition. At the same time they were preparing to watch their only child leave home. Having recently been through this transition myself, I can tell you it effected me in ways I didn't anticipate. In the article, Kim describes Thurston as a "lost soul". I can easily see how that could happen.

What's really sad about this is that if she now feels compelled to talk about this in the press it probably means the divorce process is getting ugly. Too bad.
posted by spudsilo at 9:28 AM on April 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hell, within straight couples women are as often the cheaters as men.

That's ... not actually true. Possibly there are populations for which it is true, possibly it is becoming more nearly true over time, but in general, right now, it isn't true.
posted by enn at 9:31 AM on April 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Good for Kim for talking about this publicly and not buying into the idea that she has to keep silent about it because it's the "classy" thing to do. We've seen what happens when younger-woman scandals happen with politicians -- there's a lot of speculation among people who fancy themselves enlightened that, oh, maybe the couple had an open marriage and they just don't want to admit it. When someone as universally acknowledged to be awesome as Kim Gordon talks about the pain of this kind of betrayal, it helps free women everywhere from the pressure to make excuses for this kind of behavior (monogamy is so unhip! Men are hard-wired to need variety because of biology!)

Also, I'm with chrominance from the previous thread: "it feels like my parents got a divorce, and suddenly my dad's driving a ridiculous Miami Vice T-top convertible and partying with Heidi, the blonde 21-year-old psychology major from Florida State. I mean, do what you want, but ew."
posted by Ralston McTodd at 9:32 AM on April 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


You know who I'm really ashamed of in all this?

Myself.

Because I see I made an ebay joke the last time this came up also.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:37 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


What koeselitz is saying is that lesbian couples are as prone to cheating as straight couples are. Which I'm pretty sure is true.

Sure? But it's a cliche in the dyke community that you bring a U-Haul on the second date. It's not a cliche that when you turn 50, you buy a Corvette and starting sneaking around with a 25-year-old. Anecdatally, I know literally know no lesbian couples who match the second cliche, and lots who match the first.
posted by rtha at 9:39 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


So yeah, the "why are men such pigs" derail strikes me as sort of weird and super sexist.

Eh. Sexism requires oppression.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:39 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


me: “Do you, uh, know a lot of lesbians?”

rtha: “I sure do, but I don't understand this question.”

Sorry, I realize that comment was a little weird. I don't want to contribute too much to the derail (I guess) so I'll say briefly in the name of clarity: (a) I think our society sadly seems to encourage men to cheat in a weird way, particularly men who have some power (like famous intellectuals and artists); and (b) this is a societal thing, not a biological thing, as evinced by the fact that the problem isn't entirely gender- or cis-specific. What I meant was that I have a lot of lesbian friends, and this is a thing they deal with a lot, too; not as much as women who date men, I think (I haven't really done a survey, but like I said I think men probably do cheat more often) but it is not an unheard-of thing. I have one friend whose heart was absolutely broken when she found a partner of a year had been cheating on her almost the entire time they'd been together.

Basically: relationships are hazardous, no matter who you are or what situation you're in. There's always trust involved, and trust can always be violated. But I totally take Frowner's point that this is a disconcerting thing, and it does make me sad that other men are like this.
posted by koeselitz at 9:40 AM on April 23, 2013


Gotcha. Thanks.
posted by rtha at 9:41 AM on April 23, 2013


Having recently been through this transition myself, I can tell you it effected me in ways I didn't anticipate. In the article, Kim describes Thurston as a "lost soul". I can easily see how that could happen.

My parents are kind of the same age as Kim Gordon (she's older than Moore by about 5 years), and the 60 year-old milestone can be a rocky time for my parents' peer group. Some couples talk about breaking up (there is an Other Woman) and then don't, and set sail for life together until the end.

With retirement and kids out of the house, other couples have picked up stakes to move far away. Death is also present, and for the remaining spouse (if they're young enough) it can mean a time of renewal.

But like spudsilo notes, it seems to be a turbulent time.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:41 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the article wasn't ALL about Moore and their relationship (Bechtel test and all) ... and then disappointed to see the post's framing and the comments here focused so much on it.

"I can understand people being curious," Gordon says when I ask her about all the attention she’s gotten since the split. "I’m curious myself. What’s going to happen now?"

OK. Fair enough.

Total non-sequitur, but I'm glad she brought up that Girls scene because it bothered me too (I think it was supposed to) and no one really mentioned it.

Also, I think this observation was astute:

I am even more envious and admiring of the way the men in Gordon’s orbit—from the Beastie Boys, who played with Sonic Youth over the years, to Moore to Cobain, who was very close to Gordon—seem to have taken cues from her about how to be good men.

Causation v. correlation, etc, but seems true.

Somewhat related:

NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star is a current exhibition at New Museum.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:56 AM on April 23, 2013


rtha: “But it's a cliche in the dyke community that you bring a U-Haul on the second date. It's not a cliche that when you turn 50, you buy a Corvette and starting sneaking around with a 25-year-old. Anecdatally, I know literally know no lesbian couples who match the second cliche, and lots who match the first.”

This is something I hadn't thought about, honestly, and maybe it's something I should have focused on more. I mean – I've known lesbians who deal with cheating; but like you, I don't know any lesbian couples where, twenty years down the line when both of them are getting older, one of them suddenly starts deciding to cheat on the sly. So when Frowner says she despairs of the way men do this, I guess it's not so much that cheating happens, as that it happens in this established relationship that had come to be trusted as stable. And, yeah, that is a really, really shitty and frankly depressing thing.
posted by koeselitz at 10:00 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


this really makes me glad that my sexuality does not oblige me to build a relationship around a man, since that just seems to be a recipe for getting dumped when you wrinkle. I mean, if it happens to Kim Gordon.....

Come, come. I think we're all working toward a world in which all women are able to attain the personal autonomy, economic resources, societal respect for their freedom of choice, such that some day rich and famous chicks will find it just as easy and gratifying to dump their menfolk for a younger, prettier, simpler model. Buck up, little shaver, we may yet see it happen.
posted by Diablevert at 10:00 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thurston Moore & his little homewrecker discuss the book project alluded to in the article.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:02 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the article wasn't ALL about Moore and their relationship (Bechtel test and all) ... and then disappointed to see the post's framing and the comments here focused so much on it.

I understand the issue there, but for me at least, this is the first I've heard of anything since the actual breakup of Gordon and Moore, and Sonic Youth over a year ago. I assume that it's the same for most other commenters here - we may have had suspicions on what led to the breakup but nothing's actually been mentioned in the press that I know of, so unless you had direct ties to them through the music community or whatever, you probably would have been in the dark until now. I suspect that whatever Gordon goes on to do, the next article and the reaction to it will focus more on her own work since the cheating/breakup stuff will probably be old news and fully digested by then.
posted by LionIndex at 10:03 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


and her life at age 59.

Sonic What?


shows a lack of understanding as to what the appropriate sonics can do to the relevance of the space time continuum.
posted by philip-random at 10:04 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


ALL ROCK STARS ARE DICKS there i said it
posted by Mister_A at 10:06 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish Gordon and Moore the best through what I'm sure is probably a difficult time for them both. Over the course of my life, I (male) have been dumped by three long-term partners (female), and in all three of those instances my partner had someone that she'd started seeing just prior to the relationship ending. The last time that I definitively ended a relationship myself, I had someone with whom my flirting level had exceeded relationship-acceptability, and we immediately started hooking up as soon as I dropped my former partner.

I don't think that my experience, on either side, is unusual for either men or women. Most people just don't like to be alone, particularly as they're going through something as stressful as a failing relationship. None of the three women who had other guys waiting when they dumped me are bad people for having done so (I would not hesitate to endorse any of them as potential partners to friends), and I suspect that Moore isn't all that terrible a person for having done what he did, either. In none of the cases that have involved me would say that the "other (wo)man" was the death of the relationship; they were the eulogy.

I have spent some time considering why in all of my relationships that have ended, the follow-up partnership (mine or theirs) turned out to fizzle, and I think that it's because in all four cases the dumper just chose someone who was the absolute opposite of the dumpee, which is a terrible way to pick a long-term partner. I suspect that it will be much the same in Moore's case.

Like I said, I wish them both luck.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:11 AM on April 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Regardless of whatever happened to their marriage, Sonic Youth's run as a band was surely nearing an end in any case

Perhaps, but only from the angle that this band would never become remotely moribund. Because that last album has no moss on it. In fact, I feel that way about pretty much all of their stuff. A band who pretty much always figured a way to NOT just be riding on their laurels.

Meanwhile, in 1991 ...
posted by philip-random at 10:12 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


It sucks to think of one of your musical heroes like Thurston as just an average unfaithful disgusting bro.

Yeah, add Thom Yorke to the list. A PhD holding, gifted visual artist partner of over twenty years who by his own admission provides massive emotional support as well as mothering their two kids, but hey, groupies. Not often, by accounts, but still.
posted by jokeefe at 10:25 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kim Gordon is older than John Lydon.
posted by item at 10:26 AM on April 23, 2013


And she was born 4 years before Sid Vicious.
posted by item at 10:28 AM on April 23, 2013


Now I'm so confused I'm not sure how old I am.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:35 AM on April 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


Meanwhile, in 1991 ...

Hah, Narduar is so awesome, and his amazing schtick really personifies campus radio in British Columbia. I love him.

I was also at this very concert. Sonic Youth, and the Goo tour, was opening for Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Ragged Glory tour at the old Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. It was just after the first Gulf War, and Neil Young's set included surround sound samples of cruise missiles flying around.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:38 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


"...the couple isn’t yet divorced (Gordon says it’s because they’re having all their art, books, and records assessed)..."

I would love to see that final list of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore's art, book, and record collection. Even more, I'd love to go their garage sale!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:40 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


And I'm going to back Frowner here. My reaction on hearing that the divorce was down to Thurston Moore leaving Kim Gordon for a much younger woman was a kind of generalized despair. I know there's problems with that thinking, but it's not thinking, really: it's emotion and it's based on awareness of the overwhelming social consensus that old women--any older woman, ever Kim fucking Gordon-- is expendable. And if you haven't grown older as a woman in this society, you don't get to tell me that I'm overreacting, really: from every reference to Madonna acting distastefully by having younger lovers, to every hagiographic profile of Hugh Hefner, it comes through loud and clear: older women are used up and done for, while older men are still sexual beings unto death. I know there are individual counter examples; I also know that the drums beat hard with the message: keep your man, stay young (no matter how you are caught on the pitchforks of literal impossibility) and watch out for the competition, because eventually he will wander away from your aging body. That's what I'm channeling, because that's what I've been taught, and no amount of countersaying it takes away from the fact that it takes emotional effort to rebuff this shit. And sometimes a little blow comes along and hurts your efforts to keep your self-regard, and love your gray hair, and appreciate your experience, and deal with, again, the overwhelming social consensus that men are just "hard-wired" to dump their wives at a certain point and run after youth and beauty.
posted by jokeefe at 10:42 AM on April 23, 2013 [47 favorites]


>> "Perhaps, but only from the angle that this band would never become remotely moribund. Because that last album has no moss on it."

I completely agree. SY never made a bad album (and that includes the notoriously panned NYCG+F)

The thing is though, they no longer have a long-term recording contract, a lot of people haven't been into them since the days of Daydream Nation (these folks missed the best years of their career, IMHO) and the record buying 'youth', to the extent that they still exist, are into different stuff these days. On top of the fact that Kim has been saying for years that she's more interested in pursuing other artistic avenues - and at 59 who can blame her for not wanting to hang out in dingy rock clubs all the time?
posted by spudsilo at 10:54 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thurston Moore & his little homewrecker discuss the book project alluded to in the article.

"How did you meet and start working together?

TM: This [indicating the book Mix Tape] was a project that Eva was concepting at Rizzoli. Eva solicited Kim to do a book in the early 2000s, and Kim was intrigued but told Eva that I was completely involved with … book lust … and that she should talk to me.

...

EP: That Christmas I got a mixtape from Thurston."

OOPS.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:59 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I looked through that book and was distinctly underwhelmed.
posted by OmieWise at 11:04 AM on April 23, 2013


Yeah, add Thom Yorke to the list.

Or Bob Dylan. These performers, Kim Gordon and Thom Yorke included, are multi-faceted, complex personalities - artists. I think it's missing the point to pay attention to anything other than the music.

I recall reading an old Bob Dylan interview the other day dating back to the mid-80's, following the "born again" phase, after he had given up on producing overtly religious recordings, where he said - or maybe somebody else said of him, I can't remember - that he disliked giving interviews, and preferred to speak through his music, "I've learned more from the songs than I've learned from any of this kind of entity. The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs."

You're never going to decipher the hidden, private life of an artist through a Vanity Fair article.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:08 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is Bob Dylan saying what I was trying to say about artists (as opposed to rock stars):

"It's not tangible to me," he says. "I don't think I'm tangible to myself. I mean, I think one thing today and I think another thing tomorrow. I change during the course of a day. I wake and I'm one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I'm somebody else. I don't know who I am most of the time. It doesn't even matter to me."
posted by KokuRyu at 11:11 AM on April 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think it's missing the point to pay attention to anything other than the music.

Yes, I'm sure that's true. But it's difficult not to want to "know" the person who has made the art which has moved you.
posted by jokeefe at 11:11 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


But you can't ever know them, which I guess is what I was trying to say (in typically long-winded fashion).
posted by KokuRyu at 11:13 AM on April 23, 2013


I'm puzzled as to why this affects people. Moore and Gordon are rock stars. Why get upset over the fact that a rock star cheated on his wife with a younger woman? Being a rock star is probably the worst career for romantic relationship.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:19 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


What? Ted Nugent has been faithful to his child bride for lo these many years.
posted by Mister_A at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, KokuRyu, we're a bit at cross-purposes here, I think: no, you can't know the artist (it's hard enough knowing anybody, even the people closest to you, to be honest), but at the same time there's a desire to want them to be as good as their art. Even though one should trust only the art, and never the artist. However, there is disappointment in finding (for example) that someone you admire has treated the women in his life badly; as a woman that bothers me, and I can't help it. So it goes.
posted by jokeefe at 11:23 AM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm puzzled as to why this affects people.

I think it's because they'd been married (seemingly happy) for many years.
posted by drezdn at 11:27 AM on April 23, 2013


I'm puzzled as to why this affects people.

I think because to many people, Kim Gordon is a super-talented, smart, sexy, multi-faceted and attractive woman. If her equally super-talented, smart, sexy, multi-faceted and attractive partner is going to cheat on HER after so many many years of being together, what hope is there for a roundish boring office-worker like me to have a successful marriage?
posted by kimberussell at 11:29 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


kimberussell: When all is said and done, it just may be that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore will look back on their marriage as a success, albeit one that has run its course. I think we as a culture need to re-examine this idea of happily ever after.
posted by Mister_A at 11:32 AM on April 23, 2013 [15 favorites]


People also want to believe that people who create cool art are also cool people. This is not necessarily true.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:32 AM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Thurston Moore & his little homewrecker discuss the book project alluded to in the article.

I read that piece and looked at the accompanying picture and on behalf of Thurston Moore, I'm mortified.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:32 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think Kim Deal just needs to do a road trip with Graceland cranked on the stereo.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:33 AM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here they are frolicking in V Magazine.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:54 AM on April 23, 2013


Here they are frolicking in V Magazine.

"There's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster."
posted by entropicamericana at 11:58 AM on April 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Thurston Moore predates "Hipster". Aging punk would be more apt.
posted by philip-random at 12:11 PM on April 23, 2013


Here they are frolicking in V Magazine.

I feel like if you took those photos back in time and showed them to Thurston Moore 20 years ago, it might likely have killed him.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


If her equally super-talented, smart, sexy, multi-faceted and attractive partner is going to cheat on HER after so many many years of being together, what hope is there for a roundish boring office-worker like me to have a successful marriage?

That's an odd sentiment, because it completely defines Kim in terms of Thurston (and sort of implies that the person who gets cheated on in a relationship is to blame). Maybe he's just a dick and it doesn't have anything to do with her.
posted by whir at 12:14 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


"It sucks to think of one of your musical heroes like Thurston as just an average unfaithful disgusting bro."
posted by naju at 11:35 AM on April 23

Kim had been cheating for years, she just did it with other women. But, that's different of course.
posted by four panels at 12:16 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


"There's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster."

There's nothing wrong with being an aging hipster (for some value of "hipster"). Not knowing how to age gracefully is what's embarrassing. And looking at the V pictures the phrase "mutton dressed as lamb" springs to mind.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:22 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


> it's difficult not to want to "know" the person who has made the art which has moved you.

If it makes it any easier, they do not want to know us. They would not return our phone call or e-mail in a million years.
posted by bukvich at 12:23 PM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Frowner: It doesn't seem wise to be depressed about humanity because of the way rich celebrities behave in their middle age.
posted by frenetic at 12:30 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to say that while I disagree (?) with jokeefe in this particular case, I also did hear and reflect on what she mentioned above about ageing as a woman in our society - so no snark was intended, although I still do think that it's hopeless to try to "know" and judge an artist (unless it's Mike Tyson, of course).
posted by KokuRyu at 12:30 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thurston Moore predates "Hipster". Aging punk would be more apt.

Yes, we all know the Millennials invented the word hipster. (?!)
posted by entropicamericana at 12:38 PM on April 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am currently reading to my son "The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death" by Daniel Pinkwater, and the word "hipster" is tossed out affectionately, dating back to a time when hipsters were interesting and genuine people.

It's time for Gen X to reclaim this wonderful word.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:40 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


1957
posted by thelonius at 12:42 PM on April 23, 2013


Thurston Moore was in my store last weekend. He's bigger than I thought.
posted by jonmc at 12:43 PM on April 23, 2013


As far as being an "aging hipster" (or an aging punk) - I think that a problem with certain kinds of hipster / punk /arts cultures (probably compounded by being famous) is that it is very difficult to figure out how to get old. I assume that when everyone around you is invested in telling you that you are basically not getting old, you still have it, you're still the same - and when you want to hear that, because you're in a subculture with no model for being old, and frankly 59 is getting toward being old - then it's very hard to have the brain time and the living time to figure it out. In that respect, when you are not famous, you have the huge advantage that no one is trying to make you stay 1990-Thurston forever.

I mean, what happens with these people? So many of them seem to ossify - maybe not artistically, or not completely anyway - but there's something about them that just seems stuck, like a 59-year-old in a hoodie, floppy hair and jeans doing "goofy" photos for a rich person's fancy magazine. It's not even sad, it's just a bit frightening, because I spend a lot of my time in a very youth-heavy subculture, and since I am now rising forty (but like TM, lucky enough to look younger than I am), it's a tricky thing to negotiate. I can't - and I expect someone like TM can't - socially be the general sort of older person; it would not make sense for me to try to grow into the major cultural models for middle aged women, no matter how good some of those models may be, because those models do not take into account the lifeworld of radical political activism. And yet I can't just carry on as the world's oldest 25-year-old anarchist; it looks silly, it's uncomfortable to live and I have too much experience of the world for me to really fit in with the 25-year-olds as if I were one of them. (Plus, of course, I have a bad hip now.)

It's like people only know how to access the zeitgeist through being young, but they are not young and once you have life experience you are changed; even if you think you're still basically young, you're not. And you have to figure out how to put all that together in ways that are still living and exciting and meaningful, and that is difficult.

So how do you do that? Especially if you have few models and lots of "stay young forever" expectations around you?

I am currently reading to my son "The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death" by Daniel Pinkwater, and the word "hipster" is tossed out affectionately, dating back to a time when hipsters were interesting and genuine people.

The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death is one of my very favorite books. When I actually was a kid, it was my aspirational model for city living. The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror is not quite as good.
posted by Frowner at 12:46 PM on April 23, 2013 [14 favorites]


Also, being a metal fan means that I expect rock stars to be womanizers, so this dosen't shock me so much. ( although even there, there's exceptions, like Dee And Suzette Snider.)
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or Rob Halford.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:50 PM on April 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


People also want to believe that people who create cool art are also cool people. This is not necessarily true.

Well, yeah, but in Sonic Youth's case, I felt like they'd pretty much demonstrated their coolness over the years. The Gordon-Moore marriage seemed like some awesome fairy-tale rock thing that I could only dream of. All of the band was instrumental in helping out younger, inexperienced bands navigate their way to greater exposure, either by producing records, sitting in on recordings, or helping them negotiate major label stuff (since they were basically A&R guys for Geffen) when the time came; and then there's all the helping out artists and getting exposure for people in non-rock mediums like the article mentions. Gordon and Moore seemed to, aside from their rock god status, lead totally normal lives where they had a house upstate and were raising a daughter and there was never any stupid rock star drama or anything - and this went on for over 20 years. So, yeah this was all kind of a blow and unexpected.

Now I just worry about Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley and hope they can carry the torch.
posted by LionIndex at 12:51 PM on April 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yes, we all know the Millennials invented the word hipster. (?!)

To be clear. Mr. Moore was born in 1958 which would have made him nineteen in 1977, the year that punk really kicked into gear, and he was into this thirties before Generation X got published etc. Also, Sonic Youth came from the void that the original punks opened, rode the wave thus created. So maybe call them post-punk, but definitely still carrying remnants of the original fire.

As for tracking this dirty laundry via the internet, though I very much sympathize with Ms. Gordon's situation (and Mr. Moore's for that matter), I'd be lying if I said it had any impact on the high regard I have for their music. Nah, I'd have to discover they were lifelong Scientologists for that to happen ... and even then, I doubt it would change things.

Because truly, the older I get (and I'm almost as old as old man Thurston), the more I become convinced that the real purpose of my heroes is to publicly fuck up. So that I am reminded (via firm smack to the face) that everybody's an idiot on some level ... including most importantly myself.

I believe the word for this is humility.
posted by philip-random at 12:53 PM on April 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


She mentions dividing up the records. Probably the rawest part of any break-up. The record you let the other person have even though you brought it into the relationship...the record you insist on keeping as if your life depended on it, that you will never listen to again...the record you both got together, the one that signifies the relationship over any other - who gets it, who wants it? A record collection is painful community property to split...
posted by bonefish at 12:57 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror is not quite as good.

I'm trying to find that book. When I went away to Japan in 1994 I left all my books at my parents' house, including my Pinkwater books. When we moved back in 2004 I got all of my old stuff, and put in storage under the stairs of my house. I recently pulled out those books, but cannot find Baconburg.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:59 PM on April 23, 2013


I spend a lot of my time in a very youth-heavy subculture, and since I am now rising forty (but like TM, lucky enough to look younger than I am), it's a tricky thing to negotiate. I can't - and I expect someone like TM can't - socially be the general sort of older person; it would not make sense for me to try to grow into the major cultural models for middle aged women, no matter how good some of those models may be, because those models do not take into account the lifeworld of radical political activism.

Just kind of tangentially, but there are numbers of politically engaged and radical middle-aged (and older) women in my city (Vancouver) many of whom are my friends or acquaintances. I'm always on the lookout for role models for growing older without becoming conventional, but so far I've been lucky that I haven't had to look too hard. I'm sure they are there.

(Edit to add that depending on the subculture, yeah, it gets harder to do certain actions when you would really rather be at home with a good book by 10:30 p.m.)
posted by jokeefe at 1:12 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kim had been cheating for years, she just did it with other women. But, that's different of course

I believe that this was a mutually agreed upon part of their relationship, not something she was doing behind his back and which she kept on doing even after a particular relationship was clearly damaging (and threatening to end) the marriage. So no, she wouldn't have been "cheating", assuming the foregoing was true.
posted by jokeefe at 1:18 PM on April 23, 2013


anyone who actually paid attention to the lyrics on "rather ripped" knew something like this was going on - on both sides

i wouldn't be so quick to blame him or her - i think they both needed something they couldn't give to one another and this is what happens
posted by pyramid termite at 1:28 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


...Over the course of my life, I (male) have been dumped by three long-term partners (female)...

posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:11 on April 23

Eponylicious!
posted by Renoroc at 1:40 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The whole polyamory thing has got to be difficult for any married couple to pull off successfully, and kind of shifts their dynamic from the conventional "husband trades in for a younger model" to something else entirely.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:41 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The whole article just made me sad that Elle couldn't find a qualified feminist journalist to interview Kim. I feel like the whole article just brushed lightly against her skin and she has SO much more body to offer. For some fucking reason, this author thought a good use of her 1000 words on Kim Gordon would include poultry stuffing. Ugh.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


For some fucking reason, this author thought a good use of her 1000 words on Kim Gordon would include poultry stuffing.

I agree that it's not the most interesting angle on Kim Gordon, but it's a classic "man bites dog" setup - rock star has prosaic home life! - so I can understand why the author did it. I don't think it was intended to be patronizing.
posted by whir at 2:18 PM on April 23, 2013


There's nothing wrong with being an aging hipster (for some value of "hipster").

Indeed.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:26 PM on April 23, 2013


The real horror is found in the quote below:

How did you meet and start working together?

TM: This [indicating the book Mix Tape] was a project that Eva was concepting at Rizzoli. Eva solicited Kim to do a book in the early 2000s...


I've only recently come to grudgingly accept the term "journaling"; do I have to be okay with "concepting" now?
posted by bluespark25 at 2:37 PM on April 23, 2013


I've only recently come to grudgingly accept the term "journaling"; do I have to be okay with "concepting" now?

That clinches it: He really is middle-aged.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:39 PM on April 23, 2013


I always kinda wondered whether Thurston Moore hadn't picked up with Jemina Pearl; Kim Gordon is rad and I would date her right now (if I were cool enough, which...no), but I'd cheat on anyone with Jemina Pearl, folks. I'd cheat on you, make no mistake.

(Edited to add: The woman he actually did pick up with hardly seems like a fair trade.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:39 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sonic what?

Sonic Senior?
posted by Rashomon at 2:49 PM on April 23, 2013


a) Is it the case that most of my aesthetic tastes have been inherited from here, whole hog, somewhere around me being 13? (Reading about her in Details in the early 1990s, the idea of newness before the material of newness)
b) Was the divorice less about Thurston fucking around, then a kind of exhaustion at the world thot was a perfect post-femminist division of labour that once again turned out to the sublimation of female work under male hipness.
c) how often do we have to hear stories of the aesthetic and political left--of Waldman, DiPrima, hooks, Carolyn Cassady, Hettie Jones, and other women expected to do domestic work and the work of aesthetics) and how often, in married couples, do we continue to assume not only the production is monolithic, but thru the lens of masculine taste.
d) So, not that it's not really our biz, but is Gordon saying her divorce, is a priotizing of her own aesthetic, and separating from Moore's, just as Moore's choice of sexual partner become a question less of ethics and more of aesthetics? Even Post-Riot Grrls, even post-Love, post-the Slits, the Raincoats, Poly Sterene, Wendy Williams, Kathleen Hanna, even before that, all of that Le Tigre Hot Topic canon (a canon that is v. v. close to who my friends talk about, who we love, who we agree on, the teenbeat posters of our post-queer future) (though it doesn't feature Gordon, why is that?), do we still refuse that a girl can play a guitar, with as much ferocious quality as a boy. (and that painting, raising a kid, making chicken, playing guitars, designing clothes, producing films, et al etc could be considered creative acts--so perhaps the advantage of that Elle interview is Gordon talking about splitting from Thurston in a way that resembles the splitting of music off from other work and other capacities--b/c you sense that Thurston perhaps prioritized the rock and roll while doing other stuff?)
e) Which, you know, makes me wonder, can i be Kim Gordon when I grow up?
posted by PinkMoose at 3:33 PM on April 23, 2013


I always kinda wondered whether Thurston Moore hadn't picked up with Jemina Pearl

I'm pretty sure Jemina Pearl was in her VERY EARLY TWENTIES when she put out her solo album. I'm also pretty sure that when I saw Be Your Own Pet in Toronto once, the entire band was wasted because they were actually of legal drinking age in Canada, but not in the States. (Luckily, the prize for "puked onstage" went instead to their openers, one of the dudes from the Black Lips. I think.)

So yeah, that would be a little bit creepy.

Also, I'd like to mention that as soon as I saw this post, I immediately thought back to the post I made about Thurston Moore's apparent crush on Eliza Dushku that Ralston McTodd thought of. Thanks for saving me the trouble of finding it!
posted by chrominance at 4:01 PM on April 23, 2013


As an aside, I did some looking into this a few days ago because I went on a sudden Be Your Own Pet kick, and it seems like Jemina Pearl has all but disappeared off the face of the planet, save for occasionally playing in a random band that has had two mentions in some alt-weekly local to wherever she lives, and that's it. I guess that solo album must've been really, truly horrible, or Iggy Pop and Thurston Moore were really that off-putting, or success really is that fleeting.
posted by chrominance at 4:04 PM on April 23, 2013


If her equally super-talented, smart, sexy, multi-faceted and attractive partner is going to cheat on HER after so many many years of being together, what hope is there for a roundish boring office-worker like me to have a successful marriage?

Avoid marrying rock stars?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:38 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


As an aside, I did some looking into this a few days ago because I went on a sudden Be Your Own Pet kick, and it seems like Jemina Pearl has all but disappeared off the face of the planet, save for occasionally playing in a random band that has had two mentions in some alt-weekly local to wherever she lives, and that's it. I guess that solo album must've been really, truly horrible, or Iggy Pop and Thurston Moore were really that off-putting, or success really is that fleeting.

It's an album with some moments, but it's way off model from BYOP, which was a gamble. I don't think it's a bad album on its own terms, but it's kind of going for an unironic hard rock/pop audience that I'm not sure exists, and it's not like a great album. It's an okay album with a few pretty good songs, a few forgettable songs, and one or two sorta mediocre songs. In short, while it's certainly a respectable effort, it's not really the cannon-blast you want a debut album to be.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:51 PM on April 23, 2013


i had already lost all respect for thurston moore when he declared "i only listen to cassettes"
posted by rap and country at 6:53 PM on April 23, 2013


So, not that it's not really our biz, but is Gordon saying her divorce, is a priotizing of her own aesthetic, and separating from Moore's, just as Moore's choice of sexual partner become a question less of ethics and more of aesthetics? Even Post-Riot Grrls, even post-Love, post-the Slits, the Raincoats, Poly Sterene, Wendy Williams, Kathleen Hanna, even before that, all of that Le Tigre Hot Topic canon (a canon that is v. v. close to who my friends talk about, who we love, who we agree on, the teenbeat posters of our post-queer future) (though it doesn't feature Gordon, why is that?), do we still refuse that a girl can play a guitar, with as much ferocious quality as a boy. (and that painting, raising a kid, making chicken, playing guitars, designing clothes, producing films, et al etc could be considered creative acts--so perhaps the advantage of that Elle interview is Gordon talking about splitting from Thurston in a way that resembles the splitting of music off from other work and other capacities--b/c you sense that Thurston perhaps prioritized the rock and roll while doing other stuff?)

You know, I have a feeling that we might be largely on the same wavelength and share many of the same interests and political affiliations, but it's hard to tell because I can barely make out what the hell you are saying here ("the idea of newness before the material of newness"-- whazzat?).

Which is not to snark but to express irritation that I sense an interesting comment buried somewhere in here, but can't divine it quite yet. You use many of the words that stand for things I am interested in, but they are put together in a kind of mushy way and I don't get it.
posted by jokeefe at 7:18 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hung out with Ms. Gordon and that guy who sings for now-defunct R.E.M. all night at a party at Seattle's Crocodile back in the 90s. Singer guy was no fun (which he'd proven to me many times since first meeting him in Norman, Oklahoma back in the 80s), but Ms. Gordon was as gracious a person as you could ever hope to meet. I had to take two shots just to ask if I could sit with them. My band had opened for SY & R.E.M. the day before at the Gorge...

I specifically wanted to talk to her about not losing your soul when the big labels come calling. She had tons of advice, hilarious anecdotes, and told singer boy that if he couldn't be nice then close it. By the end of our conversation, I was ready to quit my band and become her Guy Friday.

(This was a very ridiculous night that ended with me throwing away the phone number of some lady named Courtney L*** because a belly dancer told me to.)
posted by artof.mulata at 8:12 PM on April 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Joe Keefe:

8 points:

a) i read about sonic youth's products, and sonic youth's ideas before consuming them. the idea was more exciting than the product until i encountered the product, and then that was more exciting.
b) that the avant garde, while attempting to be progressive, matches the opressive history of who they are competing against.
c) the common idea of sonic youth was moore and gordon working in unison, but perhaps thru the lens of moore, which is frustrating, because it reinforces much work that was being done by their circle against this.
d) the divorice might be a way of gordon re-establishing her own aesthetic, and so it is a seperation of aesthetics as much as it is about ethics.
e) this is kind of exciting, because it becomes a way of viewing creativity in ways that are more closely tied to these femminist understandings.
f) one of the ways to look at these femminist ideals, is to flatten the idea of creative endevours--so cooking, fashion and acting, which could be comsidered passive or femmine are as important as music.
g) in this sense, moore fucking around becomes a re-establishment for him, of the prioritizing of a v, certain kind of music making, even his work seems much less collobrative than gordans at this point.
h) i want to be kim gordan when i grow up.

is that cleaner?
ase
posted by PinkMoose at 9:18 PM on April 23, 2013


My name isn't Joe, it's Juliet.

Feminist is spelled with one "m".

Otherwise on re-reading, yes, I get it. Thank you for clarifying.
posted by jokeefe at 9:24 PM on April 23, 2013




I should have said jo, how would i know it was juliet, i was going by yr handle.

i am not sure that passive aggressive copy editing helps communication.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:49 PM on April 23, 2013


They're just fucking people.
posted by PHINC at 10:27 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's not exactly what I meant.
posted by PHINC at 10:28 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dear PHINC, I read that exactly as you didn't mean it!
posted by artof.mulata at 10:35 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


METAFILTER:
You use many of the words that stand for things I am interested in, but they are put together in a kind of mushy way and I don't get it
posted by philip-random at 11:29 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


also this ...
posted by philip-random at 11:32 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK, let's see if I got this: Kim was fucking around, but it wasn't cheating because Thurston knew about it. Her fucking around caused problems with the relationship, but didn't ultimately end it so, all good there too.
Thurston, has the unmitigated temerity to meet and start fucking around with a young hottie.
So Kim boots him out on his ass and
THAT FUCKING BASTARD RUINS KIM GORDON'S LIFE AND EVERY ALT ROCKERS FAVORITE BAND!
well I can see why you're all upset.

It's because I said alt rocker and not indie isn't it?
I'm too fucking old for this shit. I'm going back to my punk rock, where everyone's a bastard and I enjoy the music just the same.
Have fun kids. Don't stay up past your bed time.
posted by evilDoug at 12:04 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously, straight people of metafilter, I would love not to feel this way: but this really makes me glad that my sexuality does not oblige me to build a relationship around a man, since that just seems to be a recipe for getting dumped when you wrinkle.

Wow. Prejudiced much? If a Republican politican made an analogous comment about gay and lesbian relationships, people would be screaming bloody murder around here about how outrageous it was.

(Speaking as a straight man who has never been unfaithful to a girlfriend, partner, or wife, and who got divorced because of a wife's serial infidelity a couple decades ago, I'm particularly angry and offended at this bullshit.)

You'd "love not to feel this way"? Then grow up, look at real people instead of stereotypes and celebrities, and fucking don't.
posted by aught at 9:13 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let's just all take a moment to realize that we are judging a relationship, a marriage, a divorce and two people based ENTIRELY on what one person in the divorce said, with not a word from the other party. Let's all remember that's a very silly thing to do.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:54 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Edited to add: The woman he actually did pick up with hardly seems like a fair trade.)

Stay classy, MetaFilter.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:00 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stay classy, MetaFilter.

*shrug*
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:56 PM on April 24, 2013


It sucks to think of one of your musical heroes like Thurston as just an average unfaithful disgusting bro.

I've never understood this and I don't know how anyone can end up anything but disappointed when they view others as anything less than utterly, normally, averagely human. I mean, I expect Woody Allen to be a better film director than I am, but not a better parent. I expect Bill Clinton to be a better political leader, but not a better spouse. I expect Thurston Moore to be a better guitarist but not a better husband.

The interior life of even the most public marriage (or relationship) is private and unknowable to anyone but those two people - not to their children, the public or the press.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:41 AM on April 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Footnote: Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex.

Some people seem a little confused on this point.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:43 AM on April 25, 2013


I've never understood this... I expect Thurston Moore to be a better guitarist but not a better husband.

Sorry but art isn't a total technical vacuum for me. Art means something and says something about the person creating it, their priorities & the life they lead. When someone makes nuanced, thoughtful art that's a statement or reaction to cultural forces, it says something about the person making it. I think that's why a Thurston or Kim seems different to me (art star vs rock star?) If you told me that it's naive to think that Kim was a feminist in her life just because she conceived of stuff like "Swimsuit Issue", I'd say that doesn't make much sense. The same thing would apply to the stuff Thurston made and what it says about his priorities and principles, the way he conducts his personal life. It's more than just being a good guitarist, he's someone with something to say.

I'm always disappointed by how wrong and naive I am about this, of course. But it still stubbornly sticks with me.
posted by naju at 11:46 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Footnote: Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex.

If that is your definition of sexism then we disagree, but I am not confused. Many people, myself included, think that sexism, like racism, is prejudice coupled with power. Simply being bigoted regarding gender may be necessary but is not sufficient.
posted by OmieWise at 2:17 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Many people, myself included, think that sexism, like racism, is prejudice coupled with power."

Right. Those people are confused. Actually, I'm being nice. They are wrong.

If you say all men are dogs, you are being sexist.
If you say white people have no rhythm, you are being racist.

You can disagree with me, but you will also be disagreeing with the actual meanings of these words.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:52 PM on April 25, 2013


Sorta agree with naju, though I've been burned enough times I should know better by now. What bothers me here is that Thurston seemed like a pretty great, feminist boyfriend and husband for, you know, decades. It wasn't a peripheral part of his public image, nor unrelated to the art he/SY made like the examples upthread (Woody Allen, Bill Clinton). His interview with Bust back in the day, where he gushed about how Kim helped open his eyes re: feminism and how awesome a powerful woman could be and just generally had taught him so much and made him a better person...that was the sort of thing a teenage girl like myself clung to like a liferaft in a sea of shitty pop cultural messages that boys and men are dogs who will do things like, yes, trade you in for a younger physically more attractive model no matter what if given the chance. I know DarlingBri's point is that's naivete, and it definitely was on my part. It stings no less.
posted by ifjuly at 8:45 PM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


"boys and men are dogs who will do things like, yes, trade you in for a younger physically more attractive model no matter what if given the chance."

This is another example of a sexist statement.

Some women cheat. Some men cheat. Both do other crappy things in relationships that harm those relationships. The fact that they do so has nothing to do with their sex (male/female). Assuming that all men are dogs is as harmful as assuming naively that no one will ever cheat on you. Life is complicated and stereotyping offers a tempting way to simplify the chaos by making general rules, but it's worth the effort to challenge those stereotypes and take each person as they are. It makes life richer.

I also question the value of being disappointed in Thurston Moore for what you think happened based on an easy template rather than what actually happened, which no one here knows. He may in fact turn out to be a terrible person. I kind of doubt it. But we are working from very little information here, almost all of it from Kim.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:30 AM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


What bothers me here is that Thurston seemed like a pretty great, feminist boyfriend and husband for, you know, decades

And maybe he still is. Or maybe not. But you don't know.

We know Kim was openly sleeping with other people for a long time. Maybe Thurston said he was okay with that to be supportive, but eventually decided he just couldn't handle it any more. Maybe Kim was really cruel to him. Maybe he was an insensitive clod who broke the rules of their relationship. Maybe he was openly sleeping with someone else and eventually it went from being poly fun on the side to being something more serious. Maybe he decided he just wanted a younger girlfriend. Maybe Kim told him that she would only stay with him if she could sleep with other people and he couldn't, and he decided that wasn't worth it.

The point is that you don't know. And imposing your fears on other people is kind of fun, but totally orthogonal to the truth.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:44 AM on April 26, 2013


But we are working from very little information here, almost all of it from Kim.

Rule #1 of other people's soap operas. Stay out of them.

Rule #2. If you must ignore Rule #1, at least be smart enough to never believe anyone is telling you the full truth about anything, particularly if they're hurting.
posted by philip-random at 8:51 AM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Outlawyr, I've agreed with your sentiment upthread about sexism (this apparently popular on Mefi notion sexism/racism requires power imbalance/oppression I definitely do not agree with; it's worse of course then but prejudice is shitty and essentialist either way), but if you parse my comment closely (understandable not to, I know) I didn't say I believe that inherently. It's that that is the crappy message I was shown by pop culture as a teen girl, and that I desperately looked for counterexamples to cling to like Thurston. Sort of what jokeefe was talking about.
posted by ifjuly at 9:00 AM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's that that is the crappy message I was shown by pop culture as a teen girl, and that I desperately looked for counterexamples to cling to like Thurston.

Yeah, just because I can recite chapter and verse the various misogynist messages I was taught as a girl/teenager/young woman doesn't mean that I believe them, and kinda insults all the hard work of unlearning them. And part of that work is finding, and holding on to, counterexamples, either in your own life or out in the culture. We're often bound to be disappointed in our heroes, of course, but that disappointment is still real, and we wouldn't be human if we didn't have heroes at all (or let's just say people who have gained our respect if "heroes" is too loaded).

And maybe Kim had affairs with women and Thurston was okay with that, maybe he had adventures on the side and Kim was okay with that, too. She says in the interview that he had started living an entire parallel life with a new woman, and he made a choice at some point to keep living that life and end the one with Kim. That's the difference.
posted by jokeefe at 10:30 AM on April 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Outlawyr: “You can disagree with me, but you will also be disagreeing with the actual meanings of these words.”

But that's not how words work. People can mean different things by the words they use; there's not a sacred dictionary in the sky where the actual meanings are kept.
posted by koeselitz at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2013


"People can mean different things by the words they use"

Then there really is no such thing as language. You don't need a sacred dictionary in the sky. Just the regular kind will do.

Webster says:
1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

Dictionary.com says:
1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.

So yes, we frequently use sexism to refer to its most common variant, sexism against women. But "sexism" refers to a larger category that includes what has happened frequently in this thread.
posted by Outlawyr at 12:49 PM on April 26, 2013


I will say that as a long-time and sincere fan of Sonic Youth, I find all the public speculation about their sex lives and who betrayed whom to be kind of distasteful. We the public don't know what happened and will never get an unfiltered viewpoint, so what's the point really? Can we go back to the discourse about Sonic Youth where they are schmoozing social climbers who are ripping off Glenn Branca or something?
posted by whir at 10:34 PM on April 26, 2013


I am even more envious and admiring of the way the men in Gordon’s orbit—from the Beastie Boys, who played with Sonic Youth over the years, to Moore to Cobain, who was very close to Gordon—seem to have taken cues from her about how to be good men.

Kim and Kurt.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:01 PM on May 8, 2013


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