I wrote this in my head, in the shower, unless that is too much information tmi but I was going to write Jon Wurster and ask him to reply to 2 or 3 quick questions. He is interviewing for an audience at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill Kim Gordon a founding member of Sonic Youth, about her book Girl in a Band.
1) Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore how is that like or unlike Mac and Laura?
2) Superchunk and Sonic Youth? They had the same agent, Bob Lawton? I think when I first heard about Superchunk or indie rock but 2 years or so before I started putting on shows I tried to call Twin Towers and I think you, Jon Wurster were there, at the agency or something and they put you on with me, and I said I had met your brother Lane Wurster, at that same show? Is that possible? I thought you were a girl? Is that an insult? Wasn’t there a woman at Matador named Rusty that only in the know people knew was a girl? That’s not an insult? Do you think Superchunk and Sonic Youth are more similar or dissimilar?
3) Kim Gordon is Jewish? The Wursters are German but not Jewish? When your ancestors were making sausage –for Von Bismarck? — ours, Kim’s and mine, not that I know Kim Gordon or anything about her, there is a Judy Gordon here who is an estate attorney and her nephew actually makes rock posters, Gordon something something Gordon, search that plus ‘rock posters’ – I would guess the Gordons and the Weisses, or I know we were Levi’s then, my cousin my dad’s cousin a VP of International Marketing for National Semiconductor was stationed in Germany, and he ended up marrying a German lady, his second wife — he also took the opportunity to trace that branch of his and my dad’s family, back to 1750, East Germany, there was something called “shutsz-juden” or “kept-Jews” — they belonged to someone else, maybe like sharecroppers versus landowners, so if the Wursters had a hot dog stand or a butcher shop the Levi’s probably and maybe the Gordons too had to eat offal or pick up after the cows — ‘chunk has some New York roots but it’s more Southern and waspy than New Yorky — I am prepping you for talking to Kim Gordon, you should thank me, can you write something straight forward in reply.
Kind of reminds me, if you excuse the digression – and it occurred to me that I am writing about Jon Wurster as much as about Kim Gordon and her book, that when Harrod Blank son of Les Blank debuted his first film a news camera of some sort was about to interview me and Harrod said “Try to be real” he thought I was way out, he who rode around town with toys hanging from his car. I had said something earlier about how someday the Detroit manufacturers would let you order a car “plain” so that you could DIY paint it yourself.
4) Did you see “Whiplash”? what did you think? How do you compare the drumming on “Birdman” to the kid on “Whiplash”?
5) Do you want to do a drum solo show, part of of Earthwise@20 series? I once did a Leon Parker show were he didn’t even bring a kit, just hamboned and sang. Ok, drum solo and ha-ha. I interview you. I’ll be you and you be Kim Gordon. But we’ll both wear yarmulkes.
I tagged this “ethnicities” “words” and “sex”.
and1: I was gonna stip in a photo of Jon but what if you send me a selfie, like right now, 1 p.m. East Coast time on a Monday? That’s weird what goes on in my head is not “Detroit” but something about the weather is good here too.
I guess i should admit I don’t really have a favorite Sonic Youth song but I like Gerhard Richter, the cover of “daydream nation” and I admit or give props that they were done with him 20 years before I was. I saw them open for R.E.M. at a shed, maybe that’s it. I like the idea of Sonic Youth. Sort of like my deer hoof obsession, but I’m in much earlier. I used to have a Sonic Youth poster for a new cd, circa 2000 on my wall and I wrote in Henry Butler as opening act, I was pretending I was producing such a show.
edit to add, a week later: Kim Gordon residentialist, exclusive to Plastic Alto the punk rock slash land use blog:
NM: You recently mentioned that you were looking at the overblown ad copy on the exteriors of all the new condo developments in New York.
KG: Oh yeah. When I was in LA in art school, the real estate section of the Los Angeles Times was always a critical source of inspiration. Selling lifestyles with ad copy for these model-home developments—it was just fascinating.
It’s insane how many condo developments are going up as pure investments in New York these days, for people who are never really going to live there. I just think it’s funny. I don’t really have any critical or ethical stance on it. Seeing the city change over the years, this is just the latest incarnation.
NM: Well, I haven’t read your memoir, but I have read a few memoirs recently in which the real subject of the book becomes: What happened to New York?
KG: That definitely figures in my book. But it’s not exactly like, Oh yeah, New York used to be so great. I mean, it wasn’t. But that kind of nostalgia is enhancing and dressing up the appeal of moving to New York.
I think one of those new buildings is called Fortress of Glassitude. It actually sounds like a heavy-metal band. I think there is another one called Thor.
NM: That’s impressively bad. You have an eye and ear for these uses of language, for words that can be tried on, or inhabited uncomfortably.
What about your relationship to writing, literature, and specifically narrative in your work?
KG: I start by writing, and then I get an idea or it becomes a part of the work in some show. Actually, that’s how the wreath paintings started—when Alex Zachary had that space in a town house uptown, I loved the space so much that I wanted to have a show there, and I started writing about town houses—how a town house is like suburbia in the city, and so I started thinking about wreaths and that started with these wreath paintings.
There was also something in the Chron, submitted by some one from Yale. Allyson McCabe be she. It looks like there were 3 items in the Chron on this.