Shes the art-rock legend who made Sonic Youth punk and now, at 66, she has made her first solo record. She drives our writer through LA to talk Donald Trump, existential angst and her anthem called Air BnB
Before she came to typify deadpan Downtown New York cool, Kim Gordon was a teenager in 1970s Los Angeles, smoking pot and listening to Joni Mitchell. It was the pot that landed her in Disney jail. Gordon and her friend were in a cave on pirate-themed Tom Sawyers Island, lighting up a joint, when the Disney cops swooped in.
They took us underground, Gordon recalls to a netherworld where she saw Mickey Mouse with a walkie-talkie and endured creepy comments from the officers: Does your mother know youre not wearing a bra?
Gordon was left in a juvenile holding cell overnight. She was taking a political science class at the time, and her mind whirled. I was writing this paper in my head about Disneyland and how fascist it was, Gordon tells me. It confirmed my beliefs about American consumerism. Its a belief she still holds. Consumerism is killing us, she says today.
Kim Gordon v Disney is an unusually revealing punk-rock folk tale: from the earliest days of Sonic Youth, the band she co-founded with her ex-husband Thurston Moore, Gordons music, art criticism and paintings have been a kind of post-Warhol skewering of American myths. That sceptical eye extends to her first solo album, No Home Record a bold mix of industrial noise, art-punk poetics and wry wit, which Im discussing with Gordon at her sunny home in the quiet hills of LAs Los Feliz district.
On display is a signed copy of Neil Young and Crazy Horses Zuma; a poster for Jean-Luc Godards Made in USA; and another of Darby Crash of the Germs, who are Gordons favourite LA punk band because of their tendency to deconstruct on stage unexpectedly. Thats my kind of entertainment. Books cover the coffee table: Claire Denis by Judith Mayne; Black Is a Color by Elvan Zabunyan; Fascination by Kevin Killian. I used to feel this existential nausea here, Gordon says of LA. Now its a sigh of relief.