Kim Gordon

Sonic Youth's post-punk woman collaborates with other ladies

PREVIEW Say it loud, say it proud: aeons after the year punk broke and Sonic Youth introduced their budding little-bro band Nirvana to their label, DGC, I'm still girl-crushed-out on SY's Kim Gordon! Especially after finding out we've been reading the same book at just about the same time: Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation (Atria), a possible inspiration for Gordon's "Phantom Orchard" performance with avant harpist Zeena Parkins, DNA's no-wave diva Ikue Mori, Boredoms drummer Yoshimi, and ex–Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn.

"Everyone said, 'Ooh, it's got to be really trashy,'" says Gordon from Northampton, Mass., where she, Thurston Moore, and their 14-year-old daughter, Coco, reside. "I started reading it and thought, you know, this is actually a pretty good, interesting, sociological overview of these women during that time in the early '60s. So, I don't know, maybe a theme might come out of that ... I always wondered when [Sonic Youth] was on tour with Neil Young, what's it like for someone like Joni Mitchell? I got a sense of the boys' club." She emits a soft, low, self-deprecating chuckle, a recurring bass note in a conversation with Gordon, who often sounds more like a grave, thoughtful teenage girl than an underground rock icon.

A certain Kimly kismet is going down, for sure, and one hopes a similar synthesis will emerge from this week's improvisations by Gordon, Parkins, Mori, Dunn, and Yoshimi. The latter most recently played on the raw 'n' lyrical Inherit (Ecstatic Peace), by the resuscitated Free Kitten, Gordon's project with ex–Pussy Galore-ist Julie Cafritz. Everyone knows girls rock, but what continues to draw this archetypal post-punk woman, who has seen so many sides of rock's boyzone, to work with other ladies? "Women communicate differently," she muses. "And, um, women communicate!"

For more of an interview with Kim Gordon, see Noise blog at

KIM GORDON MEETS PHANTOM ORCHARD Fri/26, 8 p.m., $15–<\d>$55. Montalvo Arts Center, Carriage House Theatre, 15400 Montalvo, Saratoga. (408) 961-5858,

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