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Art Sex Music

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A SUNDAY TIMES, TELEGRAPH, ROUGH TRADE, PITCHFORK AND UNCUT MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR Art Sex Music is the autobiography of a musician who, as a founding member of the avant-garde group Throbbing Gristle and electronic pioneers Chris & Cosey, has consistently challenged the boundaries of music over the past four decades. It is the account of an artist who, as part of COUM A SUNDAY TIMES, TELEGRAPH, ROUGH TRADE, PITCHFORK AND UNCUT MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR Art Sex Music is the autobiography of a musician who, as a founding member of the avant-garde group Throbbing Gristle and electronic pioneers Chris & Cosey, has consistently challenged the boundaries of music over the past four decades. It is the account of an artist who, as part of COUM Transmissions, represented Britain at the IXth Biennale de Paris, whose Prostitution show at the ICA in 1976 caused the Conservative MP Nicholas Fairbairn to declare her, COUM and Throbbing Gristle 'Wreckers of Civilisation' . . . shortly before he was arrested for indecent exposure, and whose work continues to be held at the vanguard of contemporary art. And it is the story of her work as a pornographic model and striptease artiste which challenged assumptions about morality, erotica and art. Art Sex Music is the wise, shocking and elegant autobiography of Cosey Fanni Tutti.


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A SUNDAY TIMES, TELEGRAPH, ROUGH TRADE, PITCHFORK AND UNCUT MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR Art Sex Music is the autobiography of a musician who, as a founding member of the avant-garde group Throbbing Gristle and electronic pioneers Chris & Cosey, has consistently challenged the boundaries of music over the past four decades. It is the account of an artist who, as part of COUM A SUNDAY TIMES, TELEGRAPH, ROUGH TRADE, PITCHFORK AND UNCUT MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR Art Sex Music is the autobiography of a musician who, as a founding member of the avant-garde group Throbbing Gristle and electronic pioneers Chris & Cosey, has consistently challenged the boundaries of music over the past four decades. It is the account of an artist who, as part of COUM Transmissions, represented Britain at the IXth Biennale de Paris, whose Prostitution show at the ICA in 1976 caused the Conservative MP Nicholas Fairbairn to declare her, COUM and Throbbing Gristle 'Wreckers of Civilisation' . . . shortly before he was arrested for indecent exposure, and whose work continues to be held at the vanguard of contemporary art. And it is the story of her work as a pornographic model and striptease artiste which challenged assumptions about morality, erotica and art. Art Sex Music is the wise, shocking and elegant autobiography of Cosey Fanni Tutti.

30 review for Art Sex Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tosh

    I have never been a fan of Throbbing Gristle. My sense of aesthetic is entirely the opposite of this band. First of all, I hate their name. It's funny, but I don't think they met it as being funny. It seems Chris (and Cosey's half) always hated the band's name, and I can understand why. There is something juvenile about the TG aesthetic that just makes me feel tired. Saying that I respect them for what they do and all of that, but for me, never an essential band or art group. On the other hand, I have never been a fan of Throbbing Gristle. My sense of aesthetic is entirely the opposite of this band. First of all, I hate their name. It's funny, but I don't think they met it as being funny. It seems Chris (and Cosey's half) always hated the band's name, and I can understand why. There is something juvenile about the TG aesthetic that just makes me feel tired. Saying that I respect them for what they do and all of that, but for me, never an essential band or art group. On the other hand, Cosey Fanni Tutti's memoir is a fun and gossipy read. In no way or fashion can a TG fan ignore this book. Cosey is a fascinating person. I have heard of artists being in the sex adult market before their careers in music/films, but she is the first to have a career of stripping, sex work - while making music and being in a major band like TG. Her writings about the life as a stripper are entertaining but also fascinating, with respect to her interest in making art at the same time. The one thing that becomes upsetting to me, and frankly tires me out while reading this book is the subject matter of Genesis P-Orridge. Reading Cosey's memoir, and only getting the story from her side of the world, I hate P-Orridge, her, or whatever gender he/she is or not. A terrible person. I keep yelling to the text on the page to kick Gen out of TG! She keeps coming back to him. If the narrative is correct here, Gen is not only creepy but a sadist/girlfriend beater. I have always looked at him with suspicion because I never bought his 'act.' I find Gen's work very obvious and a fan-boy-girl mentality that is obnoxious. The book is 500 pages long. It's a very long book, and I think her and the editor could have done some more editing. Beyond that, this is a book for anyone who is interested in the subject matter of Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, Coil, etc. I like Cosey a lot through this book. She goes out of the way to credit other musicians and artists, that may not be entirely known to her fan base or readers. I sense she's a generous person. But I really can't take any more of Genesis.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    It appears that the limited hardcover is sold out as of Sunday, February 19, 2017 please note: http://www.coseyfannitutti.com/ The Limited edition went on sale Feb. 1 and was sold out on Feb 2. From the publisher,

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shannon L.

    How wonderful it is to hear history in Cosey's voice. As a fan of Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey and having a fascination and respect for the ahead of its time performance art that Coum was doing, it was lovely to finally hear a complex history from Cosey. For years and years Gen has been metaphorically pulling the mic away and telling the story of Coum and TG on everyone's behalf. I wanted to hear to hear the rest of the group's story. I've always known that Gen was a strong personality How wonderful it is to hear history in Cosey's voice. As a fan of Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey and having a fascination and respect for the ahead of its time performance art that Coum was doing, it was lovely to finally hear a complex history from Cosey. For years and years Gen has been metaphorically pulling the mic away and telling the story of Coum and TG on everyone's behalf. I wanted to hear to hear the rest of the group's story. I've always known that Gen was a strong personality and confrontational, but it was disheartening to learn to what extent. I believe every word. I feel that it was necessary after years of having all of her hard work not always being attributed to her, that I was necessary to tell her story. And I thank her for it. I most loved reading about Cosey's long and impressive career in art. I knew less about it and was so amazed and inspired by what she has accomplished and her approaches to everything. She sees the art and beauty in things that others tend to overlook. I was especially moved by the piece for her friend Xeni. Finding the poetic and giving a voice to the pain. I enjoyed all 500 pages. Cosey has always been a huge inspiration and reading this during a time of great pain and artistic status personally has been further inspiring. It's the best memoir I've read in quite a long time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mason Jones

    I'd like to be able to give this a higher rating, but just can't. I'm a big fan of Throbbing Gristle and a long-time industrial/noise musician myself, and was fairly knowledgeable about the story of Coum and TG, but I was very curious to read Cosey's own perspective. Huge respect to her as an artist and just all-around person but the book is a pretty dry read, and while there are plenty of emotional moments they seem to drift by quickly amidst the day-to-day. At about 500 pages, the book would I'd like to be able to give this a higher rating, but just can't. I'm a big fan of Throbbing Gristle and a long-time industrial/noise musician myself, and was fairly knowledgeable about the story of Coum and TG, but I was very curious to read Cosey's own perspective. Huge respect to her as an artist and just all-around person but the book is a pretty dry read, and while there are plenty of emotional moments they seem to drift by quickly amidst the day-to-day. At about 500 pages, the book would have been better-served by heavy editing to allow the more personal and significant moments to expand and provide more depth. Fans and those who are already invested in her work may still find this a worthwhile read, but it can't be recommended for anyone else I'm afraid. I won't get into the question of the relationship she and Chris had with Gen, and how badly Gen comes off in the book. Especially with Sleazy gone, we'll never know the full story and that's probably okay at this point.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kiran

    Best music memoir of the year, easily.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    She certainly led an interesting life, worth finding out about. But! The book just wasn't great. Too long, too much name dropping, too many mundane details. The editor should have cut this in half by removing information about types of grants and specifics of equipment and what nots. Maybe if you're a die hard fan, then the details are relevant, but for me they were just paragraphs to skip...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    A long slow settling of scores. I had hoped for a lengthy TG section, but as with most bands it degenerates into animosity and lengthy grudge bearing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Goff

    I've been a fan of Throbbing Gristle for awhile. I haven't really listened to them much for a long time so this autobiography was a good way for me to reconnect with the band. Tutti's life has certainly not had a lot of dull moments. In piecing this together, you would assume that TG was the most important thing in her life and I felt like some things may have gotten brushed off in favor of detailing every single happening of the group. Maybe Cosey was letting the audience read what she thought I've been a fan of Throbbing Gristle for awhile. I haven't really listened to them much for a long time so this autobiography was a good way for me to reconnect with the band. Tutti's life has certainly not had a lot of dull moments. In piecing this together, you would assume that TG was the most important thing in her life and I felt like some things may have gotten brushed off in favor of detailing every single happening of the group. Maybe Cosey was letting the audience read what she thought they wanted to read. Two revelations came through in this book for me. One, what an inspiration Cosey is as a strong woman musician, artist, writer. She has succeeded in every thing she has ever tried against horrible odds and abusive relationships. And two, what an absolute maniac Genesis P-Orridge is. To be honest the draw for me in TG's music was always the music as the vocals always kept me from them being one of my favorite groups. I always thought their music was strong and experimental and the vocals were a little weak so I have never been the biggest fan of Genesis but that was just for artistic reasons. I have no reason to believe that Cosey's words are true and Genesis is rightly portrayed as a heinous, abusive, narcissistic maniac. It's amazing Cosey came out of all of this it appears for the better. A well written history and a great achievement.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adam Williams

    An exceptional book of an intriguing, boundary-breaking artist, who dealt with appalling sexism and prejudice as an artist and musician. The life lived that she describes is utterly fascinating at all points, and if you only know her from her music, there is a whole lot more to learn. It is also fair to say that other people described in her story don't come out well, either, and my view of Genesis P-Orridge in particular is now rather different. If you have any interest in the origins of An exceptional book of an intriguing, boundary-breaking artist, who dealt with appalling sexism and prejudice as an artist and musician. The life lived that she describes is utterly fascinating at all points, and if you only know her from her music, there is a whole lot more to learn. It is also fair to say that other people described in her story don't come out well, either, and my view of Genesis P-Orridge in particular is now rather different. If you have any interest in the origins of industrial music, in particular, this is an essential read, from one of the originators of it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    3.5 stars. Interesting but maybe a little too exhaustive--I would have appreciated more editing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Crippled_ships

    I was very sad that this book had to end; it was so wonderful to listen to her tell stories from her life ...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Cosey's remarkable life certainly merits an autobiography. I love her fearlessness and stepping out from the cliches and stereotypes of her time and forging her own identity despite the difficulties she faced. Her relationship with Genesis P-Orridge is painful to read at times. She certainly presents him as a self-serving duplicitous bully. I don't really understand why the TG reunion lasted as long as it did as it seemed to produce more pain than pleasure. For the earlier part of the book I think Cosey's remarkable life certainly merits an autobiography. I love her fearlessness and stepping out from the cliches and stereotypes of her time and forging her own identity despite the difficulties she faced. Her relationship with Genesis P-Orridge is painful to read at times. She certainly presents him as a self-serving duplicitous bully. I don't really understand why the TG reunion lasted as long as it did as it seemed to produce more pain than pleasure. For the earlier part of the book I think the diary format worked well but did set a pattern later on of gig/art action/gig, etc etc. I would have liked a bit more writing on exactly why TG and C&C music was so unique, more of what it sounded like and the intent behind it. Likewise her own writing on her artwork felt like it skimmed the surface and she could have written more deeply on her work and why she needed to create it. Gripe aside, it's still a great evocation of a time and particular sub-culture.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elwycke

    When I was 18 I did a painting of Ms. Fanni Tutti and sent it to her, she sent me a wonderful letter on special Cosey notepaper, I was thrilled! Years later when the internet had been invented I contacted her by email and mentioned the painting and she replied that she had the photograph of the painting on her desk.....so that's my Cosey connection. This exceptional autobiography delivers on every front. It's completely fascinating and reveals the world behind the performances, the art and the When I was 18 I did a painting of Ms. Fanni Tutti and sent it to her, she sent me a wonderful letter on special Cosey notepaper, I was thrilled! Years later when the internet had been invented I contacted her by email and mentioned the painting and she replied that she had the photograph of the painting on her desk.....so that's my Cosey connection. This exceptional autobiography delivers on every front. It's completely fascinating and reveals the world behind the performances, the art and the astonishing music. Cosey Fanni Tutti is of a generation of artists who lives their art. It's not something one goes off to do like an office job, it's lived 24 hours a day. This is what I have found so enormously inspiring and influential from my formative years to this very day. Thank you.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Had high hopes but it devolves into just a chronological list of brags and grievances.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    Lived it like a rebel, wrote it like a shopping list.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    Phew! 500 pages later... finally finished reading the Encyclopedia of Cosey Fanni Tutti. Thoroughly enjoyed this very detailed memoir.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Helm

    For all the interesting things in this book it was surprisingly boring. Kind of like reading 40 years of someone's day planners.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bethan

    I aspire to one day be as diplomatic and majestic as Cosey. Art Sex Music is a funny, moving and addictive read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nettie Grey

    Wanted to like this more than I did- a bit dry and list-filled in places. She's lead a fascinating life but it didn't quite translate to the page.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This has to be the best autobiography by a musician I've read, which arguably hasn't been very many. As a fan of Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, and Carter Tutti this had a lot of promise for me right at the start, but I was quite surprised at just how much else CFT had been up to for so long. Her story is incredible, and sometimes difficult to stomach, but told with lots of introspection and personality. Listening to Time to Tell will never be the same again, and that's a good thing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Gross

    Massively disappointing. With so much that could be written about Cosey's theory, methods, and what have you for her art and music (er, and sex), the book instead wastes page after page whinging about Genesis and other things. Gen may indeed be as toxic a person as Cosey describes, but it makes for dull reading. So much I'd love to know about COUM, Throbbing Gristle, C&C, et al, but it's not here. Cosey's editor did her a disservice by not pushing back on an obviously dull tell-all. I'm Massively disappointing. With so much that could be written about Cosey's theory, methods, and what have you for her art and music (er, and sex), the book instead wastes page after page whinging about Genesis and other things. Gen may indeed be as toxic a person as Cosey describes, but it makes for dull reading. So much I'd love to know about COUM, Throbbing Gristle, C&C, et al, but it's not here. Cosey's editor did her a disservice by not pushing back on an obviously dull tell-all. I'm sure, based on Cosey and TG's fame / notoriety the publisher will do well with the book; too bad.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    Born as Christine Newby in 1951, artist and pioneer of industrial music Cosey Fanni Tutti began her career in avant-garde music and performance art with the Hull collective COUM Transmissions under the name Cosmosis in 1969, before adopting her current moniker Cosey Fanni Tutti in 1973 – a mischievous pun on Mozart’s misogynistically-titled opera Così fan tutte (usually translated as ‘Women are like that’). She is perhaps best known for her membership of the legendary experimental art-rock band Born as Christine Newby in 1951, artist and pioneer of industrial music Cosey Fanni Tutti began her career in avant-garde music and performance art with the Hull collective COUM Transmissions under the name Cosmosis in 1969, before adopting her current moniker Cosey Fanni Tutti in 1973 – a mischievous pun on Mozart’s misogynistically-titled opera Così fan tutte (usually translated as ‘Women are like that’). She is perhaps best known for her membership of the legendary experimental art-rock band Throbbing Gristle, who are responsible for some of the most terrifying and mind-blowing music ever created. However, Cosey’s other artistic efforts – such as her daring artworks exposing the sex industry, using pictures taken of herself when working as a glamour model and porn actress – have gone largely unrecognised for almost half of her life. Now, in this refreshingly frank memoir, Tutti takes the opportunity to dispel any myths and misconceptions about her career, from her tumultuous (and at times abusive) relationship with fellow TG-member Genesis P-Orridge to the risks she took in using her body and life as art. We begin in Hull, as Christine Newby is raised by a caring mother and an emotionally distant, occasionally abusive father. Scattered throughout her childhood, there are little seeds of inspiration that inform the art that she would go on to create. At age 7, she and a friend found photographs of Belsen victims in one of her dad’s books. At age 10, the Cuban Missile Crisis hit and she was told in her junior-school assembly that they ‘could all go home early to [their] families because the world might end tomorrow.’ Years later, her band Throbbing Gristle would make Music from the Death Factory, putting up posters emblazoned with pictures of Nazi concentration camps. Growing up in the 1960s, the hippie counter-culture – a psychedelic cocktail of mind-expanding drug use and music – is what nurtures her inherently rebellious and curious nature. Then, at the end of the decade, she is approached at the students’-union by a university dropout calling himself Genesis P-Orridge (born Neil Andrew Megson). He christens Christine as Cosmosis (which she later changes to Cosey) and the pair move into a dilapidated commune known affectionately as the Ho Ho Funhouse. Alongside a cast of colourful characters and friends, the pair form the Hull-based collective of experimental artists, COUM Transmissions, whose surreal (but relatively peaceful) street performances around Hull pale in comparison to the shocking nude displays of sex acts, bodily fluids and offal that the group performed when they later moved to London in the 1970s. Obsessed with occultism, magick and Charles Manson, Genesis P-Orridge is, as Tutti describes, ‘a charismatic prankster with an intellectual bent and a great line in telling people that they needed to access and be their true selves – while not practising what he preached.’ The details of their volatile relationship makes for uncomfortable reading. At one point, Cosey comes home from a good night-out to find Genesis sat up in bed waiting for her, then threatening to throw her out. In their sex life, he would refuse to wear condoms (Cosey would later have a traumatic abortion as a result) and insisted upon an open relationship, practising group sex at his will but becoming furious whenever she went against his wishes. ‘Gen says to gain more power I am to screw each cock that I don’t want,’ reads one of Cosey’s particularly disconcerting diary entries from 1976. Mentally and emotionally abusive, Genesis would become violent towards her too, throwing everything from a breeze block at her head to their pet cat down the stairs. Meanwhile, Cosey was fulfilling her own artistic ambitions, becoming interested in exploring the 70s porn and sex industry. She obtained various jobs as a model, porn actress and stripper on London’s subculture sex scene, making it difficult for her to relate to second-wave feminism and their campaigns against the industry emerging at the time. She explains: "I was a free spirit and didn’t want yet more rules and guilt thrown at me about my actions. […] Yes, by doing my sex work I was contributing to, but not necessarily endorsing, the thing they were fighting against. But I was no ‘victim’ of exploitation. I was exploiting the sex industry for my own purposes, to subvert and use them to create my own art." Following COUM’s outrageous 1976 show Prostitution at London’s ICA, in which Cosey’s porn-magazine spreads were shown (alongside a 5ft, double-ended dildo and her own soiled sanitary towels crawling with live maggots), a Tory MP in the House of Commons branded the group ‘wreckers of civilisation’ – probably the best review they got. Then came Throbbing Gristle—consisting of Tutti, Genesis, Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson (who would later form the band Coil) and electronics whizzkid Chris Carter—a band who invented a whole new philosophy to go with their new genre of music: industrial. In the band’s synthesist Chris Carter she would find her ‘heartbeat’ – her partner in both love and music, forming the duo Chris & Cosey once TG had disbanded. As their romance blossomed in the early days of Throbbing Gristle, it provides a relieving contrast to the abusive power-play that characterised her earlier relationship with P-Orridge. The couple now live together, still regularly collaborate and have a son, Nick. Their partnership is now considered hugely influential in electronic music, most recently collaborating with Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor. So, a conventional happy ending for a profoundly unconventional life. Rock autobiographies, especially those written by men, can often appear as conventional tales of excess and egotism, from John Lydon’s relentless rant Anger Is An Energy to Morrissey’s self-proclaimed ‘classic’ Autobiography. However, Art Sex Music is the latest example in a string of unapologetically candid music memoirs written by women in rock, reclaiming their narratives in music history, refusing to be marginalised. There’s ex-Slits guitarist Viv Albertine’s book Clothes, Music, Boys, which reveals not just the glorious disorder of the punk era but also the harrowing experiences Albertine faced in her post-band career. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon addressed sexism in music with her 2015 book Girl in a Band, as did Carrie Brownstein in Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl, detailing her time in riot grrrl group Sleater-Kinney. Cosey Fanni Tutti’s story adds some more fuel to the fire, while exploring the unique career of an avant-garde artist who refused to be side-lined – a woman living and working in the spirit of creation, expression and rebellion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Why

    Here's where it all started for Industrial Music. The story of one of the oddest & controversial ground breaking bands of all time: Throbbing Gristle. This is Cosey's frank account of it all. I am in tune with her world views but I cannot understand her attraction to Genesis P-Orridge who only seems to take advantage of her. It's a no holds barred story of an unrelenting electronic artiste through art, sex & music no less.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ambrus Tövisházi

    Being a musician, its always a joy to read an autobiography that depicts the highs and lows of a band and the people in it in such a honest way. Even if this was not the probably most exciting time in the world of music (yes, it was, nothing beats the 70s actually) this is a fantastic read. I even liked this more than Kim Gordon's book last year. Throbbing Gristle rules. Make sure to check out their live videos. The studio albums are good to but the live performances... Awsome!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben Robinson

    Cosey's long-awaited autobiography is a delight. Art Sex Music is written in a breezy conversational style that fairly rattles by, and the extraordinary situations described herein make for a story that's frequently funny as hell and also endlessly inspiring.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andy Lynes

    Great read, an amazing life story told with brutal honesty. Fans of Industrial music and Throbbing Gristle in particular will love the book, this is the ultimate insider's view of the scene.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    This is the kind of biography that I love – one where the author is frank, unapologetic, and explicit in telling their story. In Cosey Fanni Tutti’s Art Sex Music she is all of the above when discussing the art, sex, and music that encompasses her life and who she is. Or in Cosey’s words: “My life is my art. My art is my life.” Since I’m a fan of Chris & Cosey more so than Throbbing Gristle (or the other groups that stemmed from their break-up), I was hoping there would be more about the This is the kind of biography that I love – one where the author is frank, unapologetic, and explicit in telling their story. In Cosey Fanni Tutti’s Art Sex Music she is all of the above when discussing the art, sex, and music that encompasses her life and who she is. Or in Cosey’s words: “My life is my art. My art is my life.” Since I’m a fan of Chris & Cosey more so than Throbbing Gristle (or the other groups that stemmed from their break-up), I was hoping there would be more about the inspiration and ideas behind Chris & Cosey albums. She does cover the inspiration behind Heartbeat, their first Chris & Cosey album; October Love Song, their most well-known single; a new technology snafu that deleted the Musique Fantastique album and forced them to re-create it; and Coolicon, their first single as Carter Tutti. Unfortunately, they were all brief asides. I was also hoping she would reveal more details about her relationship with Chris Carter. Early on in the book she mentions an ex-girlfriend of his and puts in parentheses “now wife”. Yet she never touches upon that intriguing nugget of information again. Some of the book covers her time as part of the transgressive performance art group COUM Transmissions – something I knew nothing about. While most of the performances she describes (which she refers to as “art actions”) left me scratching my head – like the actions involving urine, blood, vomit, self-cutting, and live sex acts – I can’t help but respect her daring. At times I wish there was a video companion to go along with the book. So much of her art is not only aural but also visual that I think it would have helped me understand her art more. The bulk of the book focuses heavily on her time as a founding member of the seminal genre defining band, Throbbing Gristle; her contentious and abusive relationship with front man and then boyfriend Genesis P-Orridge; and the Throbbing Gristle re-union difficulties with P-Orridge which resulted in the creation of the offshoot band X-TG. At least with Throbbing Gristle, there are plenty of performance videos online to view. I recommend checking out the live recording of their Heathen Earth album and their mesmerizing 2004 Astoria Theatre concert. The book also covers her time as a nude model, stripper, and pornographic actress. Although her approach to this work was a part of her art, at times it came across more as a means to make an end financially – especially her stripper work. It was interesting reading her take on doing this sort of work during the height of the feminist movement, and her relations with and attitudes towards other sex workers. I knew that Cosey Fanni Tutti was influential but I had no idea just how influential she is. Overall, I finished the book with a new found respect for someone I was already fond of. I was also left with a renewed musical interest in Chris and Cosey, in particular their more recent work as Carter Tutti and Carter Tutti Void. Art Sex Music is a very good and dense biography of an incredibly interesting woman. Others have mention how long it is – I wish it were longer. There was so much more I wanted to know. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend this book only for fans of Cosey or Throbbing Gristle. Otherwise, it may bore some. My only quibble is I wish there were more pictures.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David Ball

    You should never meet your heroes they say. While Cosey Fanni Tutti is not my hero, I have become awfully fond of her most recent musical incarnation, Carter Tutti Void. Most musicians peak in their twenties, so it's pretty incredible to hear somebody in their sixties producing such interesting work. So to these aged ears she's probably as much of a hero as anyone in the music business right now (excepting maybe Michael Gira). Although I have a pretty deep grounding in modern music, I knew very You should never meet your heroes they say. While Cosey Fanni Tutti is not my hero, I have become awfully fond of her most recent musical incarnation, Carter Tutti Void. Most musicians peak in their twenties, so it's pretty incredible to hear somebody in their sixties producing such interesting work. So to these aged ears she's probably as much of a hero as anyone in the music business right now (excepting maybe Michael Gira). Although I have a pretty deep grounding in modern music, I knew very little about Tutti or her seminal band, Throbbing Gristle, so I was quite excited when I discovered she'd published her autobiography. And while I learned a great deal from this book about what Tutti did as a performance artist, a nude model, an exotic dancer and a musician, I never really got much of a sense as to why Tutti did what she did, or the underlying artistic philosophy that drove her to do these things. Tutti is undoubtedly very brave for the way she put herself out, and very talented (for the reasons I cited earlier), but she seems to lack insight or self awareness, which lets the book down. This is the second alternative 'rawk chick' autobiography I've read in the past year (the other was Kim Gordon's of Sonic Youth) and the dominant theme in both books, disappointingly, is author's personal grievances with an ex-lover/co-collaborator/band member. Maybe my expectations were unrealistically high, but to me these books were wasted opportunities. Two strong, independent women, co-founders of two of the most important bands of the past forty years, have been given a forum to speak their minds; but rather than proudly expounding their artistic credo, they use their soap box to vindictively score points against ex-lovers. It all comes across a bit 'woman-scorned'. So when Genesis P-Orridge (Cosey's ex) at one point attempts to sabotage one of Tutti's gallery showings by publicly questioning the provenance of her work, I have to admit a few doubts began to creep into my own mind over whether Tutti is the artist or merely the medium used by other artists to express themselves (which I realize sounds horribly chauvinistic and unfair). Judging by the number of lectures she is now asked to give, I imagine Tutti must have some interesting things to say, particularly on the subject of art and pornography, but you wouldn't know it from reading this book. I did enjoy reading about the drama of trying to reform the band twenty years later, and the squirm inducing compromises needed to make it work. Tutti is a convincingly straight-talking (albeit one-eyed) narrator, but her (and her husband Chris Carter's) motivations for keeping TG going are not always obvious. Was it to cash in on earlier fame, to meet their contractual obligations, or because they wanted to make music together one last time? This is not to pass judgement, as one thing is abundantly clear from reading this book, the 'alternative' music scene is not very lucrative regardless of one's reputation or talent. On a separate, more pedantic point, I think it's wrong to have a 500 page biography without an index. The identity of Sleazy, one of her oldest and closest friends, referred to hundreds of times throughout the book, is a complete mystery to me. Shouldn't need Google to clarify such basic points of fact. Now I know I've come across pretty negatively here. Don't get me wrong, the world is a better place for having a Cosey Fanni Tutti in it (if for the name alone), but this book, rather than satisfy my curiosity about her and her scene, has only piqued it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I remember when I picked up a Throbbing Gristle tape from a London market along with those many other bands I had heard of, but never heard (Cocteau Twins, Danse Society etc). When I got it home and listened to it I was hooked. Hamburger Lady and all the rest were to become my musical companions for the next few years. I immediately went out and bought Second Annual Report and then carried on buying the remainder of their early albums as they were released. After the break up of TG, I remember I remember when I picked up a Throbbing Gristle tape from a London market along with those many other bands I had heard of, but never heard (Cocteau Twins, Danse Society etc). When I got it home and listened to it I was hooked. Hamburger Lady and all the rest were to become my musical companions for the next few years. I immediately went out and bought Second Annual Report and then carried on buying the remainder of their early albums as they were released. After the break up of TG, I remember buying Tainted Love by Coil and also some PTV albums and some early Chris and Cosey. I was well into this type of music. Over the years I have moved on in my musical taste. But have always wondered what became of the TG 'gang'. This is a very interesting and full explanation of what happened. So, what do we learn. Well, my take away from the whole book is that Genesis P Orridge was an A-hole of massive proportions. More than willing to take all the plaudits and as much of the money whether he did any of the work of not and he could care less if it affected his fellow band members, both financially and health wise. And as we find out, the longer the book goes on, the less he works, the more he demands and the bigger pain in the A, he becomes. I am glad that Chris & Cosey & Sleazy all produced their own Art after TG and with a measure of success. And I was very pleased that they did not bow to pressure from P Orridge to include him on Desertshore, as I am sure his toxic presence would have created a much less complete product and just as importantly, would have tainted what became a great album finished in memory of Sleazy whose concept it was.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tech XXIII

    it's true of every auto/biography concerning musician(s) that 1/ there's the bit before the stuff you're interested in. 2/ the stuff you're interested in, and, 3/ the bit after the stuff you're interested in! almost without exception. this book follows this rule for me, and does it so well that it has created much interest for 1/ and 3/, the areas i was uninformed about, as a possessor of virtually all throbbing gristle's original studio output (as well as a much prized hand written letter from it's true of every auto/biography concerning musician(s) that 1/ there's the bit before the stuff you're interested in. 2/ the stuff you're interested in, and, 3/ the bit after the stuff you're interested in! almost without exception. this book follows this rule for me, and does it so well that it has created much interest for 1/ and 3/, the areas i was uninformed about, as a possessor of virtually all throbbing gristle's original studio output (as well as a much prized hand written letter from cosey), and viewing them as one of the most influential outfits of the last century, i was very much looking forward to this account, and found i got all i wanted from it. an incredibly full and varied life story, narrated in a calm, sensible manner! most importantly in no way sensationalized or fabricated for gain or glory. in other words, as accurate as it could be, given extensive diary material was the source. as one third of the surviving members, it is quite possible this is the only realistic account of life within throbbing gristle that we'll get - that cosey chooses not to elevate this time above all other elements of the book, or go into microscopic detail regarding recordings or offer much in the way of insight into the songs and their construction or meaning, then that was her choice and that's fine by me! and if she wants to take a pop at gen p., who are we to say it's not justified? it's her story!....and that's the way i read the book. it appears that a great deal of issues here that must have been difficult to write, but in line with the challenging nature with which she has undertaken her arts, it's all in here, a great deal of material that would have remained unpublished by most. it's a very brave book, and i honestly don't know what some people were expecting, but i can't fault it, nor do i want to! strong!

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