Author: Carrie Brownstein
Title: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl
Narrator: Carrie Brownstein
Publication Info: Penguin Audio (2015)
I know Carrie Brownstein as a sometimes music critic on NPR’s All Songs Considered (as well as her work on Portlandia – a show I find only moderately funny) so I knew that her memoir of her life and work with the band Sleater-Kinney would be an interesting work. Brownstein explores the effect of her childhood in which her mother suffered anorexia, her father repressed homosexuality, and Brownstein herself seeks to entertain as way of transforming the sadness around her. A lot of this books is about identity and the Brownstein analyzes her own search for identity in raw detail. The music of Sleater-Kinney is similar in its naked emotion and self-expression and Brownstein details the autobiographical detail that went into that songs. Sleater-Kinney also had to deal with the typecasting and prejudice of being an all-woman band, when Brownstein wants people to recognize them as simply a great rock band. Brownstein also relates her own struggles touring with the band that resulted in anxiety and physical illness. This a very honest and introspective addition to the rock memoir oeuvre.