Book Review: Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
ashley | Ah, another rock memoir. Hunger Made Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein came out pretty much on my birthday (Oct 28) and it was by far one of the best birthdays presents I could have gotten (for myself). I am a HUGE Sleater-Kinney fan and have been for a while, but unlike some bands where I need to know every single thing about everyone involved, I actually haven’t read much into the band or the band members personally and admire them solely for their music. So this was a very interesting snapshot behind the scenes for me and going in blind actually made it a very cool.
This didn’t read like a typical memoir to me. It wasn’t laced with accomplishments and stories that basically show how cool Brownstein is. In fact, it was quite the opposite; full of insecurities and personal doubts and embarrassing struggles. It was very intimate in that sense, intimate yet still somehow able to keep the reader at arm’s length. There were personal stories and feelings and insights, but everything still felt pretty guarded.
Mostly, though, this was a verbal account of Brownstein’s musical career. From her early obsessive fangirl days, to trying to form her first bands, to forming Sleater-Kinney and walking the reader through recording sessions of each Sleater-Kinney album. It was more about what she was thinking and feeling while writing and recording these albums as opposed to any kind of broad general life analysis, which I thought was awesome, considering it is the music that drew me to them in the first place. It resonated with me deeper than anything else would have. Reading back on their early days and discovering their story through Brownstein’s words and memories was a great reader experience.
The description of that first moment when it all clicked for her, when she listened to Bikini Kill and suddenly, her entire life was explained in one song. THAT is what music is for me. THAT is a feeling I will never forget and never get tired of. And that was my favourite part of the book. It was the descriptions of music by someone so passionately a fan of music, that’s what makes this book so great.
I have read a ton of music books and memoirs and I don’t think any of them are as rawly descriptive about the writing and performing and touring as this here is. This was great.
october 27, 2015