Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl

A Memoir

Book - 2015
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The guitarist and vocalist of feminist punk trio Sleater-Kinney presents a candid and deeply personal assessment of life in the rock-and-roll industry that reveals her struggles with rock's double standards and her codevelopment of the comedy "Portlandia."
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2015
ISBN: 9781594486630


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Jun 02, 2019

Carrie Brownstein (CB) shares her experiences of life on the road in an all girl band in the heyday of the Northwest punk scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Her band, Sleater-Kinney, toured on their own through Europe and as the opening act for Pearl Jam.

In this book, she describes her early musical and artistic influences growing up in urban western Washington. She gives an account of her desire to be part of the punk scene and what she did to grow that into playing in a successful band. CB shares her coming out and relationships in and out of the band.

There is a real intimacy in an audio book read by the author about her own experiences. It’s as if she is sitting across from you, sharing her life and reflections.

This book is a frank, open look at a young woman’s dreams and how she worked to make them come true. She ends when Sleater-Kinney has their final show in 2006. In the post audio book interview, CB explains that ending there was a conscious effort not to include her work on Portlandia. Maybe that’s for another day…

Jan 07, 2019

All future rock stars wishing to pen a memoir, take note: Carrie Brownstein will and has trumped your rock bio in every way. Her prose is both erudite and confessional. She gives an honest look at the Riot Grrrl, punk and grunge scenes of the early nineties Pacific Northwest both as an arbiter of these movements and as an obvious fan. Her love of music is what propels this biography and it shows in the heartfelt candor on the page. If you are a fan of Sleater-Kinney, Portlandia, grunge, or just want a clear-eyed look into life on the road for a rock band, this book is for you.

Dec 29, 2017

A memoir that slips outside of a music career to face mental health issues (her mom's anorexia, Brownstein's anxiety and depression). It's by no means a tell-all, bear your soul kind of memoir. Instead, Brownstein lays out how to deal with the aftermath: of a mom going to the hospital and staying there a while because of her disease, of an intense romantic relationship with her bandmate, of college hopes and possible careers, of feminism, and of the band itself. The chapter about her love of animals and her 4 pets is the most moving, but also doesn't seem to fit. Highly recommend this for those who love the Pacific Northwest, music, and the memoir genre. But, please, don't just read this because she's in Portlandia.

jhneli Jan 11, 2017

I loved reading Brownstiens memoir! You really get a sense for the energy and grit of being in a band. I went to the same college as Brownstien (Go Geoducks!), and her writing evoked a nostalgia for the pacific northwest that I wasn't expecting. Also a great companion to listening to every Sleater-Kinney album you can find.

Dec 10, 2016

This book made me wish I'd been more of a Sleater-Kinney fan and done some serious research about grunge music and the industry before I'd started reading. It felt like an insider's book as she named dropped bands and people all over the place that I'd never heard of. When I picked through all of that, I appreciated her story and would still recommend this to certain readers who are music fans.

Jul 17, 2016

An honest, thoughtful memoir with insight into what it really feels like to be a part of a "girl" band.

Jul 06, 2016

Was looking forward to this memoir, but it comes up short. Brownstein is a talented performer. However, this book comes off as a collection of transcribed "This American Life" episodes rather than a cohesive whole.

Apr 24, 2016

Well written memoir from one of our most talented artists. Honest, funny and insightful. One of the better books I've read lately.

SPL_Shauna Apr 21, 2016

This book is recommended for any fans of grunge, riot grrrl or Kim Gordon's memoir, "Girl in a Band."

Brownstein chronicles her early life, deconstructing the events that led her to embrace the feminist miasma of Olympia's music scene in the 1990s. From there, she details the evolution of Sleater-Kinney, their demise, and their resurrection.

Music geeks will dine out on the production details. Feminists of all stripes will howl with laughter at the reviews she excerpts. People of stolid WASP constitutions may be appalled by her self-indulgence and her willingness to state her successes, but who cares! It's a brutally honest tour of a time and place dear to many of us ladies of a certain age.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Mar 31, 2016

Random thoughts about this book... 1) It made me feel old. I've been a fan of Carrie Brownstein and Sleater-Kinney since college in the mid-90's. When you see so much of your life (namely the bands you loved) associated with dates that were twenty-two years ago and not actually two years ago as they seem, I think you instantly become more gray and wrinkly... which is just fine. It’s fine. Totally fine. 2) She knows A LOT of words that I don't. I have never needed to look up (or admittedly skip over) so many in any one book (classics included). 3) My favorite part, and when I felt most like we really COULD be good friends, was not the talk about Riot Grrrl, playing music, fandom, or difficult family situations but the chapter about her pets and the love she has for them. I get that. 4) Overall, I loved reading this book. I really did. It was fun to remember so much from what was one of my favorite eras. I will say, though, that there were times when I sensed some serious braggadocio (check out THAT word). But I guess that’s not surprising in a memoir, is it?

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