Sometimes it’s more difficult to write a review for a book than other times. Those are the times when books hit too close to home.
For me, it happened with Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. The reason was very simple. I come from a small village north of Czech republic. The village sits near the border with Poland, surrounded by beautiful mountains, but also exceptional examples of bigotry, corruption, and stuckness in past.
To differ in such place is to be cast out and bullied among other things, and such other bullshit. Those times are difficult for anybody, let alone a fifteen-year-old girl that just wished nothing but to escape to the glorious West.
See, that is when I found a number of bands. I tackled blues, rock’n’roll, and punk. At the same time I have, by an amazing accident, stumbled upon Sleater-Kinney. At the time of dial-up internet connections in library only, I started looking for anything about them. To get their CD’s was close to impossible, there was no YouTube, just couple radios. I would look for that one song I heard everywhere and I was determined to find it. I eventually got hold of their CD by paying all my money to a DJ who brought tapes from Germany. Now I had Sleater-Kinney and it felt so good. You see, sometimes, you listen to a music that speaks right to you. It touches your anger, your loneliness, confusion but also determination, love, and sex. It is just there and flows right through you.
The Sleater-Kinney were very important at the time when I was more lost and more tired than young people should be. But the world is far crueler than it is fair.
I realize, that this review is more of a sob story than a review. But what you need to know about this book is the fact, that Carrie Brownstein feelings and emotions were so well placed in her music that this book is like meeting an old friend.
You feel an instant pull towards her words, and you feel that rebellion and that need to be recognized for your own life so easily justified because you’re not fucking alone in this mess.
Carrie Brownstein’s book is written with honesty, beauty, and love for music that just cheers you up and takes you back to when that sort of love for music was almost animalistic. And if you love music, not even Sleater-Kinney or punk-rock or the journey of when girls band is simply a bloody band, then I encourage you, read this book. Becuase what it tells you one simple fact, it’s alright to be yourself and to make it through your own version of a path, no matter how long or how bumpy .
Meeting with the nostalgia from this book took me back to the time when I did everything in my power to get that music because it meant so much that I could hardly live without it. Having that and achieving that was my way of getting the recognition which at a time came from nowhere else, just music.