||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
Kim Gordon live in 2007
|Birth name||Kim Althea Gordon|
April 28, 1953 |
Rochester, New York, United States
|Genres||Alternative rock, noise rock, experimental rock, no wave|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, producer, fashion designer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass|
|Associated acts||Sonic Youth, Ciccone Youth, Mirror/Dash, Free Kitten, Harry Crews, CKM, Anxious Rats, Body/Head|
Kim Althea Gordon (born April 28, 1953, Rochester, New York) is an American musician, vocalist, artist, record producer, video director, fashion designer, and actress. Gordon's primary musical act was the alternative rock band Sonic Youth, in which she sang and played bass and guitar. Gordon also formed the musical project Free Kitten with Julia Cafritz (of Pussy Galore) in the 1990s, in addition to collaborations with musicians such as Ikue Mori, DJ Olive, William Winant, Lydia Lunch, Yoko Ono, Raymond Pettibon, Courtney Love, and Chris Corsano.
Early years 
Gordon lived most of her early life in Los Angeles, U.S.—her father was a sociology professor and her mother was a "a homemaker with creative tendencies." Gordon attended a progressive elementary school that was attached to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and, in 2013, she provided a description from her time there: "“It was learn by doing. So we were always making African spears and going down to the river and making mud huts, or skinning a cowhide and drying it and throwing it off the cliff at Dana Point.”
Musical career 
Sonic Youth 
After graduating from art school, Gordon moved to New York City and became fascinated by "no-wave" bands:
When I came to New York, I’d go and see bands downtown playing no-wave music. It was expressionistic and it was also nihilistic. Punk rock was tongue-in-cheek, saying, ‘Yeah, we’re destroying rock.’ No-wave music is more like, ‘NO, we’re really destroying rock.’ It was very dissonant. I just felt like, Wow, this is really free. I could do that.
In New York City, Gordon joined the short-lived band CKM, with Christine Hahn and Stanton Miranda, and met her future Sonic Youth bandmates Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore through Miranda. Gordon began dating Moore and, together with Ranaldo, the couple then formed Sonic Youth in 1981.
Gordon is known for a fascination with Karen Carpenter and Sonic Youth wrote the song "Tunic" about the deceased musician. Gordon provided insight into the song in a 2010 interview:
I was trying to put myself into Karen’s body. It was like she had so little control over her life, like a teenager – they have so little control over what’s happening to them that one way they can get it is through what they eat or don’t. Also I think she lost her identity, it got smaller and smaller. And there have been times when I feel I’ve lost mine. When people come and ask me about being famous or whatever and I don’t feel that, it’s not me. But it makes me think about it. The music is definitely about the darker side. But I also wanted to liberate Karen into heaven. . . . You know there’s all these families out there trying so hard to do everything right and be perfect.
Other projects 
In 1989, Gordon, Sadie May, and Lunch formed Harry Crews and released the album Naked in Garden Hills. She was also one of the producers of Hole's debut record, released in 1991, Pretty on the Inside.
As part of Sonic Youth's recording contract with the Geffen music company, Gordon was required to release two solo records. For her first album, Gordon formed the side project "Feminist Intonations" with a group of New York City tenth graders in 1993; however, the project's recording was rejected by a Geffen executive, who criticized it as being "unmusical and unsaleable". An angry Gordon then booked a studio and recorded a second project called "Pussy Has the Power (Tone poem for the 90s)" with several amateur musicians who were members of a sex offender therapy group—the music was improvised and was rejected as "pretentious and awful" by Geffen. Although neither recording was released, Gordon did reuse many of the lyrics and vocal patterns on subsequent Sonic Youth recordings.
Gordon collaborated with Cafritz to form the band Free Kitten that also recorded with Mark Ibold and Yoshimi P-We. Free Kitten released three albums on the Kill Rock Stars record label and a fourth album on Moore's Ecstatic Peace label.
Art career 
Gordon is an established visual artist and curator, and her work has been exhibited across the U.S., Japan, and Europe. She graduated from the Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. In the early 1980s, Gordon wrote for Artforum and worked for several Soho art galleries. She curated an exhibition at White Columns gallery in 1982 that involved contributions from Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler, among others.
In 1996, Gordon was involved in an exhibition entitled Baby Generation at Parco gallery in Tokyo. Gordon's exhibition Kim's Bedroom was shown at MU in the Netherlands, and included drawing and paintings alongside live music and special guests. A limited-edition book and CD of the exhibition were published by Purple Books.
In 2003, Gordon was featured in the Gothenburg Biennale and exhibited Club In The Shadow, a collaboration with artist Jutta Koether, at Kenny Schachter's Contemporary Gallery in New York City, U.S. In 2005, she submitted another collaboration with Koethe for the Her Noise exhibition in London, United Kingdom (UK). In the same year, an artist's book Kim Gordon Chronicles Vol. 1 was published and featured photos of Gordon throughout her life. The following year, Kim Gordon Chronicles Vol. 2 was released and featured her drawings, collages, and paintings.
In 2013, Gordon explained the significance of her art in relation to the conclusion of Sonic Youth: "When you’re in a group, you’re always sharing everything. It’s protected. Your own ego is not there for criticism, but you also never quite feel the full power of its glory, either. A few years ago I started to feel like I owed it to myself to really focus on doing art.” Gordon will exhibit a survey show at New York's White Column Gallery in 2013.
Film career 
In addition to her careers in music and art, Gordon has also worked in film and television.
In the early 1990s, Gordon co-directed The Breeders' "Cannonball" music video with Spike Jonze. Over a decade later, Gordon appeared in Gus Van Sant's 2005 fictionalized biopic of Kurt Cobain Last Days (Cobain was a close friend). She also has a small part as a textile exporter in the 2007 film Boarding Gate starring Asia Argento and in I'm Not There.
She was a forerunner, musically. Just knowing a woman was in a band trading lead vocals, playing bass, and being a visual artist at the same time made me feel less alone. As a radical feminist singer, I wasn’t particularly well liked. I was in a punk underground scene dominated by hardcore dudes who yelled mean shit at me every night, and journalists routinely called my voice shrill, unlistenable. Kim made me feel accepted in a way I hadn’t before. Fucking Kim Gordon thought I was on the right track, haters be damned. It made the bullshit easier to take, knowing she was in my corner.
Personal life 
Gordon married Moore in 1984 and gave birth to their daughter Coco Hayley Gordon Moore on July 1, 1994. Gordon and Coco reside in Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S., where Coco attended the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The pair were frequently seen in the area and Sonic Youth played a benefit concert with Cat Power for the Greenfield Center School in 2005. The band played a second benefit for the school in 2007. As of 2013, Coco is a first-year student at an art school located in the American city of Chicago.
An announcement in October 2011 confirmed that Gordon and Moore had separated. Gordon revealed details about the decision in April 2013: She first confronted Moore about a text message that she discovered from an unnamed woman; this was followed by counselling sessions; the separation then occurred as a result of Moore's inability to cease his extra-marital relationship—Gordon explained that her ex-husband was "like a lost soul."
Gordon co-owned—with Daisy Von Furth—a short-lived clothing company in Los Angeles, U.S called X-Girl. The company also opened retail outlets and the first X-Girl store was opened in Los Angeles in 1994. In September 2008, Gordon launched a limited edition fashion line called "Mirror/Dash" (also the name of a musical side project that was created with Moore), inspired by Françoise Hardy and based on the idea that "there's a need for clothes for cool moms."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kim Gordon|
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