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Kim Althea Gordon (born April 28, 1953, Rochestermarker, New Yorkmarker) is an Americanmarker musician, vocalist, and artist. She sings, plays bass and guitar in the alternative rock band Sonic Youth. She also plays in the band Free Kitten with Julia Cafritz (of Pussy Galore), and she has collaborated with many musicians, including Ikue Mori, Kurt Cobain, DJ Olive, William Winant, Lydia Lunch, Courtney Love, Alan Licht, and Chris Corsano.

Early years

The daughter of a seamstress and a high school guidance counselor who worked in Ferguson, Missourimarker, Gordon and her family moved to Rochester, New Yorkmarker in 1958. The next year, Gordon's family relocated to Los Angeles so that her father could take a job with the UCLAmarker sociology department. After her high school years, Gordon attended The Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County and York Universitymarker in Toronto where she played in an experimental heavy metal art group.

Musical career

After graduating, she moved to New York Citymarker and joined the short-lived band CKM with Christine Hahn and Miranda Stanton. Through Stanton, Gordon met her future Sonic Youth bandmates Lee Ranaldo, and Thurston Moore. When she began dating Moore, the three formed Sonic Youth in 1981.

In 1989, Gordon, Sadie May, and Lydia Lunch formed Harry Crews and released the album Naked in Garden Hills. She also was one of the producers of Hole's first record, Pretty on the Inside, released in 1991, and co-directed The Breeders' "Cannonball" video with Spike Jonze.

The band Free Kitten, a collaboration with Julie Cafritz that also includes Mark Ibold and Yoshimi P-We, has released three albums on the label Kill Rock Stars, with the fourth and most recent album released on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. Another of her side projects is the band The Supreme Indifference, who appear on the compilation Fields And Streams.

Art career

Gordon is also an established visual artist and curator. Her work has been exhibited across the U.S., Japan and Europe. She graduated from the Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. In the early 1980s, Gordon wrote for Artforum and worked for several Sohomarker art galleries. She curated an exhibition at White Columns gallery in 1982 in which Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler were among the participants. Dan Graham invited her to join in a performance of an all-female rock band, which marked the start of her first band CKM. In 1996 Gordon was involved in an exhibition entitled Baby Generation at Parco gallery in Tokyo.

Her exhibition titled Kim's Bedroom was shown at MU in the Netherlands and included drawing and paintings along with live music and special guests. This resulted in a limited-edition book and CD published by Purple Books. In 2003, Gordon was featured in the Gothenburgmarker Biennale, and exhibited Club In The Shadow, a collaboration with artist Jutta Koether at Kenny Schachter's Contemporary Gallery in NYC. In 2005 she took part in the Her Noise exhibition in London and did another collaboration with Koether.

An artist's book titled Kim Gordon Chronicles Vol. 1 featuring photos of Gordon throughout her life was published in 2005. In 2006, Kim Gordon Chronicles Vol. 2 was released, featuring her artwork.

Personal life

Gordon married Moore in 1984, and she gave birth to their daughter, Coco Hayley Gordon Moore, on 1 July 1994. Gordon, Moore, and Coco currently reside in Northampton, Massachusettsmarker. They are frequently sighted in the area, and played a benefit concert with Cat Power for the Greenfield Center School in 2005. The band played a second benefit for the school in 2007.

Kim also runs her own clothing company, X-Girl, in Los Angeles. In September 2008, Gordon launched a limited edition fashion line called "Mirror/Dash" inspired by Fran├žoise Hardy, deciding that "there's a need for clothes for cool moms."

Other work

Live in the Netherlands (with Sonic Youth), 1991
Apart from her career in music and in arts, Gordon has also made appearances in films and television. She appeared in Gus Van Sant's Last Days, a fictionalized biopic of one of her close friends, Kurt Cobain.

In the season six finale of Gilmore Girls, she played a street troubadour along with Thurston Moore and their daughter Coco, performing the song "What a Waste" from the album Rather Ripped.

Gordon, along with the rest of Sonic Youth, made an appearance in the television series Gossip Girl and performed an acoustic version of the song "Starpower".

In popular culture

  • Fellow rock band Rapeman recorded a tribute to her on their album Two Nuns and a Pack Mule titled "Kim Gordon's Panties." The song has lyrical similarities to the song "Schizophrenia" on Sonic Youth's album Sister.
  • In the 1999 Sony PlayStation video game Silent Hill, players discover information about a school teacher named "K. Gordon". The link to Kim is confirmed as, later in the game, the game mentions three more teachers by the names of "T. Moore", "L. Ranaldo", and "S. Shelley", a clear reference to fellow bandmates. In the 2003 PlayStation 2 sequel Silent Hill 3, players pass through K. Gordon's classroom and learn a little bit more of her relationship with the game's main characters. The character is not inspired by her. Merely her name is.


  1. Kim mim-bio, X-Girl

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