One of our favourite books of 2015 was Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, a funny and self depreciating meditation about growing up as one of the most influential figures on the punk rock landscape in the US.
Brownstein beautifully captures what it feels like to be known and adored by an entire subculture as lead guitarist of acclaimed band Sleater-Kinney, before she really even knew herself.
You might also know her from the always amazing Portlandia. It’s worth a binge watch…
To celebrate Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl we’ve thrown together a playlist of our favourite Sleater-Kinney tracks.
Damn they are good. But so is Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, you know?
by Carrie Brownstein
From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life-and finding yourself-in music.
Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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