Tag Archive: Patti Smith


The Coathangers The Coathangers are a punk rock band from Atlanta formed by guitarist and singer Julia Kugel (aka Crook Kid Coathanger), bassist and singer Meredith Franco (aka Minnie Coathanger), and drummer and singer Stephanie Luke (aka Rusty Coathanger). They have toured throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2007, punk label Die Slaughterhaus Records teamed up with New York’s Rob’s House Records to issuing the band’s self-titled debut album. Their second album, “Scramble”, was released in 2009 by Suicide Squeeze Records followed by “Larceny & Old Lace”, in 2011. The Coathangers released album number four, “Suck My Shirt”, in the spring of 2014 and on April 15, 2016 the band released their fifth studio full-length entitled “Nosebleed Weekend”. which debuted at #149 on the Nielsen Soundscan Top 200 sales charts and #6 on the Top New Artist Albums and #4 on the Alternative New Artist Albums chart. The Coathangers will be on tour in Europe beginning 23 May and they play Paris at Le Batofar on 3 June.

HVUM: Thanks very much for talking with us. We know a lot about the Coathangers, but can you tell about the band’s highlights over the past few years – personal anecdotes included!

C: Over the past few years we’ve been putting the pedal to the metal! Constantly touring including 5 UK/European tours, 2 Australian/New Zealand tours, and countless US/Canadian tours! We also have managed to put out our 5th full length LP and coming up we are releasing a 5 song EP, its a 12″ so on one side we have the 5 songs and on the other side, an etching of artwork by our good friend Helena Darling from Canada! We also have been able to do a bunch of festivals and even got to tour with legendary band, Refused last year.

HVUM: What motivates you as a band? What keeps you going?The Coathangers4

C: I think the main thing that keeps us goin is our love for each other and our love for the band itself as well as all the fans and people we’ve worked with in the industry that have supported us so very much. This isn’t a hobby for us, it’s truly our lives, who we are.

HVUM: Thinking about Hunter S. Thompson’s famous quote,
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

We’re followed by a lot of young women aspiring to working in the music business. Do you agree with Thompson? Any advice you want to pass along to our aspiring readers?

C: That quote! Wow, yes it’s definitely true for a lot of bands , and maybe we’ve been included in this quote before as well, however, like my momma has always said “Nothing worth doing is easy”. Whether it be music or any other passion or profession, you must work hard at it and assume nothing. Me and the girls sometimes say, “Expect the worst, but always hope for the best”.

HVUM: Reviewers have referred to the Coathangers as bridging punk, garage, new wave and classic girl group sounds ( the Ronettes, the Shirelles, the Chiffons , Little Eva, and the Cookies). How do you hear that that mix in your music?

C: That’s amazing, that’s just what we want to hear! On some of our slower songs I definitely take a little bit from the drumming sounds of 50s/60s classic do-wop and we have been inspired by the vocals of the same groups so I’m glad people can hear that.

HVUM: Case in point? Let’s take time out for a look and listen, “Perfume”.

HVUM: Let’s talk punk for just a minute. It’s interesting how – call it a subculture if you want – punk has lived on far beyond the 70’s and Richard Hell and The Voidoids, MC5, The Clash, Iggy & The Stooges, Patti Smith, The Sex Pistols and The Ramones…but as Dorian Lynskey (Guardian) has pointed out it’s not nostalgia that keeps punk alive. Your thoughts?

C: I think that the ideals that punk is based upon continues to stick around because it is in fact a way of thinking, a way of being, living. Thinking for yourself, treating everyone as equals, saying Fuck You to the status quo, fighting for women’s rights, humans rights etc, these are all punk ideals and they aren’t going anywhere. Especially with the way things are in the world now, I think it’s one of the most important times for people to make music, whether punk or not, there’s so much to say, to speak out about, and music is a very real force to be reckoned with.

HVUM: Thinking about your five studio albums, is it fair to say that the Coathangers have been consistent in delivering on a primal anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian ethos?

C: I think we’ve definitely done justice to those ethos, because we are going against sexist, establishment/authoritarian, racist, injustices that surround us all. If you have something to say, say it. However we always want our listeners to think for themselves, just bc we say it doesn’t mean you have to agree, it is just how we feel.

HVUM: Okay, let’s give a listen one more time, “Down Down”.

HVUM: Looking back over the last eleven or so years of hard work as a band, can you identify a “high” point… “low” point? Based on your experience, what works really well for the band and what doesn’t work so well?

C: Ha, the highs and lows are always day to day especially when we are out on the road so much. The highest of highs are those amazing gigs where everything just falls into its place, the lowest of lows are missing out on family and friend affairs back at home I think. What works best for us now is taking small breaks in between tours, treating ourselves to a nice meal from time to time… its the little things….

The Coathangers3HVUM: In putting together a set list, how do you go about deciding what works and what doesn’t?

C: We definitely only have like maybe 2-3 songs out of all of them that work best as the first song! We want the first thing people to hear at our shows, something that really captures their attention and gets the place going! Then after that we just try to equally place the songs going back n forth between all our lead vocals. And not too many slow songs as that tends to bring down the energy.

HVUM: HorizonVU Music advocates for particular social and political causes such as rights for women, LGBT, legalizing of marijuana use. What issues do you feel comfortable taking up as a band?

C: All those things, basic human rights in general, but especially all those mentioned above. We went to the Anti Trump march in Washington DC with my sister and friends and it was the most powerful feeling… being in the presence of so many, all marching against the same injustices, it really does matter to keep fighting against all these awful things…

HVUM: Thinking ahead, suppose that in five years, individually or as a band, you could be anywhere you want doing whatever you want to do. Where you and what are you doing?

C: Doing exactly what we are doing now, maybe playing even bigger venues? As long as we get to keep writing and playing I am happy.

HVUM: Last, outside of music, what do you do for kicks?

C: Go to the movies, hang in the park with my dog, hang with loved ones at home, quite boring eh? Ha

HVUM: Hey, it’s been a real pleasure talking with you. We wish you all the best for your spring – summer tour taking you across Europe and winding up in Knoxville, TN on 5 August. We’ll see you in Paris in a couple of weeks. Meantime, safe travels!

C: Thank you so much

Visit The Coathangers at http://thecoathangers.com/home/


February 23, 2015

Reposted from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/books/kim-gordon-of-sonic-youth-writes-about-her-band-and-breakups.html

Kim Gordon, pictured in Los Angeles, said her new memoir is the most conventional thing I’ve done. Credit Sam Comen for The New York Times

Kim Gordon, pictured in Los Angeles, said her new memoir is "the most conventional thing I’ve done." Credit Sam Comen for The New York Times


by Joe Coscarelli

Kim Gordon knows her reputation well. “Detached, impassive or remote,” she ticks off in her new memoir, “opaque or mysterious or enigmatic or even cold.”

But rather than dispel the persona she built up over 30 years as the antifrontwoman for Sonic Youth, Ms. Gordon hoped to make it three-dimensional in her book, “Girl in a Band,” to be published on Tuesday by the HarperCollins imprint Dey Street Books.

“People just project stuff onto you, mostly — they don’t really know me,” she said recently at breakfast in Brooklyn. “I just felt like I was saving it. I was being very withholding for the right time.”

Not that the book is a typical tell-all. “I thought of putting a disclaimer in the beginning: No sex, drugs or rock ’n’ roll,” she continued, her sentences trailing off or becoming barely audible, even when her ideas were confidently held and complete. “I’m a read-between-the-lines kind of person.”

“Girl in a Band” does begin and end with a breakup, two, actually: the simultaneous 2011 demise of Sonic Youth and her 27-year marriage to Thurston Moore, who founded the band with her in 1981. But that may be the extent of the fresh dirt. The rest of the memoir, in line with Ms. Gordon’s indecipherable feline stare and flat affect, can be minimal and bare, even stilted, revealing in its brief moments of reverie but careful to stop short of saying too much. It is never embarrassing.

Once the epitome of ’90s cool, Ms. Gordon could be accused of name-dropping in her writing if the connections cited weren’t so natural: Danny Elfman, the composer, was a high school boyfriend; Kurt Cobain was a fan and close friend; and she describes plainly the time her daughter met William S. Burroughs while on tour as a baby with Sonic Youth.

Ms. Gordon’s relationships have also transcended music: After Sonic Youth signed with a major label — joined soon after by Nirvana — she helped start the careers of Chloë Sevigny, who made her debut in the music video for “Sugar Kane” (along with Marc Jacobs’s infamous “grunge” collection) and Sofia Coppola, who staged a show for Ms. Gordon’s fashion line, X-Girl. Just last year, Ms. Gordon played a rehab patient on HBO’s “Girls.”

The decision to write it all down, however, was more practical than artistic. Single at 61, with a daughter in college and a generation of fans presumably ready to follow her into the next phase of life, Ms. Gordon said the book was a way “to open up other opportunities for finding ways to support myself, to be quite honest.” After decades of exploring discordant indie-rock and experimental visual art, she added, “Girl in a Band” is “the most conventional thing I’ve done.”

It was also an attempt at defining her legacy outside of Sonic Youth. Dave Kendall, the former host of MTV’s “120 Minutes,” which championed the band, said Ms. Gordon “didn’t need to project any strong persona or marketing message” and “could just be herself.” As a rock star with acceptance in the art world, she showed women that “there’s no need to sell yourself as a sex object,” he said, or “to hide in the background.”

But with Ms. Gordon’s defining work linked so closely with Mr. Moore, Carrie Thornton, the executive editor at Dey Street Books, said she pitched her on the project this way: “Better to tell the story yourself than to let someone else tell it for you and tell it poorly.”

One possible model was “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, which became a best seller and won a National Book Award for nonfiction. Rock memoirs by women, Ms. Thornton said, “tend to be more relational — certainly in the case of Kim and Patti, there’s a sense of relationship to place and time.”

But for Ms. Gordon, “Just Kids” — a love letter to boho New York and the artist Robert Mapplethorpe — was a much different story from her own. In any case, she said, “I didn’t read it.” And of her own memoir, she said, “I didn’t want it to be romantic.”

That applied to both place and person. “Writing about New York is hard,” begins the chapter in which she meets Mr. Moore. “It is because knowing what I know now, it’s hard to write about a love story with a broken heart.”

Yet the book would not exist without Ms. Gordon’s divorce, which she said was caused by Mr. Moore’s affair with a younger woman, a story both sides have aired out in the news media. “When something like that happens, you start going back and examining your whole life,” she said. “How did I get here?”

The answer starts in Los Angeles, where Ms. Gordon was raised and wrote much of the book. She lovingly describes her beatnik-adjacent parents and childhood, but her relationship with her brother, Keller, who has schizophrenia, is the specter that looms over the memoir.

Her shyness, for instance, “comes from years of being teased” by Keller “ for every feeling I ever expressed,” Ms. Gordon writes. The broken brother-sister relationship caused her to seek out “big personalities” in male mentors, she said, and eventually in Mr. Moore.

Neither of the most imposing men in her life has read the book. “For obvious reasons, I didn’t share it with Thurston,” Ms. Gordon said. “I’m now officially divorced — only recently. So it doesn’t matter.”

She added: “Maybe he’ll write his own book. I’m not really interested.” (Through his representatives, Mr. Moore declined to comment for this article.)

And Keller, who is in an assisted-living home for the mentally ill, is more concerned with “conventional” things, Ms. Gordon said. “I think he likes my teeth,” she said through tears. “He told me I have a great smile.”

In the memoir, Sonic Youth seems almost like an afterthought. An essential band for a generation in which the avant-garde rubbed sometimes uncomfortably with the mainstream, the group “did inform my life and who I am, so it was silly not to write about it,” Ms. Gordon said.

But the book’s middle section, in which she decodes her lyrics and life as a touring musician, feels almost perfunctory. “I could have done more of that, but I kind of got bored,” she said. “I didn’t want it to become a Sonic Youth book.”

Now, in addition to writing and playing with a new band, the guttural Body/Head, Ms. Gordon has renewed focus on her visual art: A forthcoming show at 303 Gallery in Manhattan will explore the way New York has, she said, “become so beautified for foreign investors to buy condominiums.”

Beyond work, there is personal rebuilding. Ms. Gordon can be fanatical about television — she watches “The Good Wife,” “Scandal” and “The Affair,” although she said that all the cheating was a coincidence — and she is dating again. “I think it’s easier to meet single guys in L.A.,” she said.

She also plans to sell the home in Northampton, Mass., where she, Mr. Moore and their daughter, Coco, lived starting in 1999. She may split her time between the West Coast and New York — possibly in a Brooklyn studio apartment with her two dogs.

“For a while, I was concerned about being alone,” Ms. Gordon said. “Now I’m really enjoying my freedom.”

A version of this article appears in print on February 19, 2015, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Making Another Kind of Noise.


What’s The Buzz ?


Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved


by student organizers at Paris School of Business and l’Institut d’Études Supérieures des Arts (IESA) for the Sue Rynski Photography Exhibition 11 July 2012, 7th July – 31st August 2012, Café Artistique l’Apostrophe

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

The chaotic, frenetic scene of the punk rock musicians, young spectators along with their fresh anger, distant dreams and “raw power”, are all freeze-framed in Sue’s black-and-white camera. The legendary godfather and godmother of the punk rock music Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Patti Smith appear under Rynski’s lens as subversive members among the crowds instead of rock n’ roll superstars . Rynski tends to capture people without including their heads in the photographs. In this way, by neglecting their identities, she successfully records the cultural background vividly without being overshined by those
notorious figures.

The distorted composition created by Sue Rynski embodies Movements are involved in the static, two-dimensional images with the suffusing cigarette smoke, jumping up-and down musicians and howling spectators. Furthermore, the black-and-white photographs now demonstrate a certain quality of “retrospect” which coordinates perfectly with the status quo of punk rock music — the “vintage come-back”. Comparing Rynski’s art works with others from that period of time, people identify her art works from the specific content focusing on underground rock n’ roll performances and revelry of the youth. Moreover, the black-and-white feature as well as the “no-head” shoot also brings immediate recognition to Rynski’s works. Finally, certain “coolness” conveyed from Rynski’s photographs could be another measurement.

The first institution that Rynski attended could be identified as the city of Detroit. Immersing in the “high energy, physical, emotional” music, Rynski

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

took in this type of music so that the energy from the music will later poured out onto her photography. Later, she moved to Paris and learned photography at the American Center for students and artists in Paris. This was the footstone for her to clearly realize her passion towards photography and to hone the multifarious skills to become a professional photographer. After moving back to the U.S. and continuing her education at University of Michigan School of Art, Rynski graduated not only as an energetic photographer, but also as a sensitive, creative artist. These educational “institutions” molded and inspired the photographer to march forward to the images that she longed to make.

On the other hand, on the other side of the business, a group of cultural “institutions” also contributed to her career by promoting her as a productive witness of the 70s and the chaotic music or political movement in America. In 2004, the Patti Smith Archive at Mills College published a collection including Rynski’s photographic works with Patti Smith and her husband Fred Sonic Smith featured in it. In 2005, the exhibition “Sue Rynski, Rock and Roll Ecstasy” was held in her hometown of Detroit.

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

In 2006, the Zamiang Gallery in Tokyo held an exhibition for the release of Sue’s first monography “hysteric fifteen” and the launch of her photo t shirts collection by Hysteric Glamour. Paris Université VII Jussieu invited her for lectures and the exhibition “Detroit Rock & Roll Haute Enérgie” in 2007. She also participated in the Art Basel Miami in 2008, and in 2009, she had works included in the “Destroy All Monsters – Hungry For Death” exhibition which traveled to New York, Minneapolis, London and Oslo. In 2010, her work was consecrated at the Rencontres d’Arles Photography Festival, the most prestigious art photography festival in the world, as part of the exhibition “I Am a Cliché – Echoes of the Punk Aesthetic.” Prestigious cultural media such as France Culture and Arte have interviewed her.

Although Rynski intends to blur the identifications of her objects in the photographs, important figures from the punk rock movement also make her works known by the world. These significant musicians include Patti Smith, MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Destroy All Monsters and so on and so forth. Due to her well-known subjects or “objects” (in this case, the people in Rynski’s photos) no matter the location of where her works are being exhibited, her photographs are decontextualized.

Sue Rynski’s photos are on exhibit through 31 August at Café Artistique l’Apostrophe, 23 rue de La Grange Aux Belles 75010 Paris, France.

Visit Sue Rynski Photography at http://www.suerynski.com/

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