Carrie Brownstein’s Sentences Stand Out
Most of the new crop of musician autobiographies is weak and one-dimensional: John Fogerty is still mad, with good reason; so is Kim Gordon; so is John Lydon. Two of the guys from Joy Division are still mad, without good reason; Neil Young misses some of his dogs; Patti Smith is tired from all that remembering. The most distinctive of the ones I’ve read recently is Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. As in her best Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag songs, Brownstein wrote a memoir that simultaneously shares what something feels like in real time and considers how it’s different now that she’s had a while to let those emotions cook. Anyone who regularly comes up with sentences like
“I offered to be in a band with a cute and hip-looking woman whom I admired for her ability to pull off overalls, but she wasn’t interested”
“We were like Fleetwood Mac without the sex or drugs or hair or songs”
“My attitude may have been a factor”
has a sense of humor and sense of self that serve her book well. In its way, this tough, sweet memoir is as loud and ambiguously satisfying as the best of Dig Me Out, The Hot Rock, or All Hands on the Bad One.