Kim Gordon, Back in Eraserhood

While 2024 has already given us opportunities to see “classic albums” by Ride, The Charlatans, and Deap Vally in their entirety (the first two on the same night), I...

While 2024 has already given us opportunities to see “classic albums” by Ride, The Charlatans, and Deap Vally in their entirety (the first two on the same night), I was equally entranced by Kim Gordon’s front-to-back performance of her 2024 LP, The Collective, this past Friday (6/14) at Union Transfer, her biggest show in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection since the breakup of Sonic Youth.  The evening (which began with an opening set by Bill Nace, Kim’s collaborator in Body/Head, who have played PhilaMOCA more than once) featured the punk legend performing a charmingly-no-frills live rendition of her sophomore solo effort (which dropped this March on Matador) in about the same time it takes to spin the actual record (just over 40 minutes), followed by a 6-song encore of tracks from her solo debut (2019’s No Home Record), standalone single “Grass Jeans,” and a reprise of track 1 of The Collective, “BYE BYE,” which both opened and closed the show.

The 11 tracks of The Collective were produced by Justin Raisen (who also collaborated with Gordon on her previous LP), best known for his work with Charli xcx, Sky Ferreira, and Lil Yachty (but who’s also produced Overcoats, Marissa Nadler, Sunflower Bean, and Miya Folick), and have been noted by critics for embracing the sounds of dub, industrial, trip-hop, and even “SoundCloud rap.  Two songs into the set, UArts BFF (we’re both pushing 40) texts me to tell me to watch the Lollapalooza doc.  I tell her where I am and she asks, “Is she playing the kind of electronic stuff?” to which I reply, “It’s still like ‘band’ music, but I guess electronic in like a VICE Magazine kinda way.  It’s still very late ‘80s/early ‘90s NYC hipster.”

Performing this music that is apparently halfway between what Millennial art school grrrls grew up on and the edgiest pop and hip-hop that my own students listen to (while very much still Gordon’s own brand of cool), Kim found herself amidst a postmodern rock quartet, although the four remained largely in shadows for those beyond the first few rows, as videos reminiscent of those to accompany Sonic Youth live shows of yesteryear played throughout.  The queen, in designer boots and gym shorts (also designer), stomped and shuffled across the stage for the duration, resembling a jaded pop star at the end of the world, having all the ineffably chic swagger of someone who thought they had nothing on Earth to prove…  And she certainly doesn’t…

Categories
Live EventsMusic

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.

RELATED BY