“My story starts with me as a fan. And to be a fan is to know that loving trumps being beloved. All the affection I poured into bands, into films, into actors and musicians, was about me and about my friends.” (3)
“I was learning two sets of skills simultaneously: adaptation-linguistic and aesthetic-in order to fit in, but also, how to survive on my own.” (57)
“My entire style of playing was built around somebody else playing guitar with me, a story that on its own sounds unfinished, a sonic to-be-continued, designed to be completed by someone else.” (87)
“It was sensual and disastrous.” (91)
“I suppose we were better observers than communicators; we were all subjects to be worried over, complained about, even adored, but never quite people to be held or loved. There was an intellectual, almost absurd distance.” (34)
“An audience doesn’t want female distance, they want female openness and accessibility, familiarity that validates femaleness. Persona for a man is equated with power; persona for a woman makes her less of a woman, more distant and unknowable, and thus threatening.” (166)
“Here I was again without a family, my only identity a loner. A male loner is a hero of sorts, a rebel, an iconoclast, but the same is not true of a female loner. There is no virility in a woman’s autonomy, there is only pity. I was floating. I had created my own abandonment.” (232)
“Finally, nostalgia asks so little of us, just to be noticed and revisited; it doesn’t require the difficult task of negotiation, the heartache and uncertainty that the present does.” (4)
how much do i love carrie brownstein? let me count the ways. i knew that she was in sleater-kinney, and i’ve got nothing but love for riot grrrrrl, but the music never really spoke directly to me. i love carrie because of portlandia, and this book is nothing about that.
but i was immediately endeared to her hilarious childhood anecdotes of writing way too familiar letters to celebrities and flexing her performing chops in school. i missed her talk at the toronto public library, but i heard the podcast of her talk at the philly free library, though i wish she had a different, less self-absorbed interviewer.
what i didn’t expect was how relatable her voice and her story would be-how similar that raw need to see/create yourself in art is, and how articulate her deductions on the differences between men and women in music and the world are.
i love that she loves dogs, and appreciate how honest she is about how hard it is to accept that your parents are also just kind of making it up as they go along, too. i love her raw, open heart and want to give her all the hugs, or leave her the fuck alone-whatever she wants, because it really could go either way.
thank you, ms. brownstein.