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Kim Gordon makes the mundane sound thrilling on 'The Collective'

Kim Gordon
Danielle Neu
Courtesy of the artist
Kim Gordon

One of the things that makes Kim Gordon so interesting is that it never seems like she is trying to impress you. In fact, throughout her career, she's made art and music that seems designed to challenge you. Her latest solo album, The Collective, does just that.

As a founding member of Sonic Youth, Gordon released 15 albums with the alternative rock band before it disbanded in 2014. Much of the music they made was aggressive, loud, strange and avant-garde. It was also massively influential, with their unusual tunings and distorted guitars pushing the boundaries of what rock music could sound like.

Gordon's latest record is still focused on that distortion and disintegration of sound; The Collective is full of intense and sometimes dystopian tracks created with the help of producer Justin Raisen. Just like in the past, her unconventional approach has attracted intrigued new fans. The song "Bye Bye" went viral on TikTok, introducing Gordon to a new generation of music lovers.

In this session, she talks about how collaborating with the right person can take you in exciting, new directions; about how her visual art melds with her music; and what it's like to become TikTok famous at the age of 70.

Set list

  • "Dream Dollar"
  • "The Candy House"
  • "Psychedelic Orgasm"
  • "BYE BYE"

This episode of World Cafe was produced and edited by Kimberly Junod. The web story was created by Miguel Perez. Our engineer is Chris Williams. Our programming and booking coordinator is Chelsea Johnson and our line producer is Will Loftus.

Copyright 2024 XPN

Raina Douris
Raina Douris, an award-winning radio personality from Toronto, Ontario, is the host and writer of NPR's daily nationally-syndicated music interview and discovery program World Cafe. She has interviewed artists like Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Questlove and Brandi Carlile, and was a 2022 keynote lecturer on the topic of Folk Music and music discovery at the Chautauqua Institution.
Kimberly Junod
World Cafe senior producer Kimberly Junod has been a part of the World Cafe team since 2001, when she started as the show's first line producer. In 2011 Kimberly launched (and continues to helm) World Cafe's Sense of Place series that includes social media, broadcast and video elements to take listeners across the U.S. and abroad with an intimate look at local music scenes. She was thrilled to be part of the team that received the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award for excellence in music programming. In the time she has spent at World Cafe, Kimberly has produced and edited thousands of interviews and recorded several hundred bands for the program, as well as supervised the show's production staff. She has also taught sound to young women (at Girl's Rock Philly) and adults (as an "Ask an Engineer" at WYNC's Werk It! Women's Podcast Festival).