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‘Style Rookie’ Tavi Gevinson on Her Favorite Music


Tavi Gevinson, the 15-year-old fashionista behind the website ?Style Rookie, on the (’90s-heavy) soundtrack to her life.

What was the last concert you attended?
A Kathleen Hanna tribute show in Brooklyn last December. Kim Gordon reading the “Riot Grrrl Manifesto” was really special. It made me tear up a little bit.

Name a song you’ve listened to in the past 24 hours.
“Oogum Boogum” by Brenton Wood.

Who’s your favorite pop star?
I love Justin Bieber. My a cappella group sang “Baby” this year.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Nicki Minaj’s verse in [Kanye West’s] “Monster,” because I have it memorized and I rap it all the time. My friends know this, so there’s a personal connection.

Do you recall the first album you bought with your own money?
Jukebox by Cat Power. I ?already had boy-band stuff left over from my sister, so I was satisfied with that for a while. But, I mean, I’m not that cool. The first actual album I bought was probably Little Shop of Horrors.

Tell us the last song that made you cry.
There’s a video of Stevie Nicks backstage in 1981 getting her hair and makeup done. She doesn’t know she’s being filmed and she’s harmonizing to a recording of “Wild Heart.” She’s so beautiful and her voice is so pure.

If you were to curate a festival, who would headline?
Breeders. And if Hole would reunite — they’re my favorite band. I used to have a Hole shrine in my room.

Name a playlist on your iPod.
Bedroom Dancing, which has Sonic Youth’s “Swimsuit Issue,” the songs Letters to Cleo did for 10 Things I Hate About You, and the song at the end of Empire ?Records [“This Is the Day” by The The]. Now that I think about it, this is kind of weird dancing music.

Who comes after Radiohead on your iPod?
Thank God this isn’t embarrassing: the Raincoats.

Do you remember what was playing during your first kiss?
“Your Song” by Elton John, but because we were both obsessed with musicals, it was the cover from Moulin Rouge. I think there was a very awkward exchange like, “Your song!” “No, your song.”

That’s debatable.

Do you have a favorite band?
Hunx and His Punx are everything I want to be. And I like Girls and I like how uncomfortable people get when I say I like Girls.

What’s the most prized T-shirt in your collection?
I have a Vaselines shirt, which is gross because I wear it a lot.

Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”

Do your parents ever object to anything you’re listening to?
Neutral Milk Hotel because of that Jesus Christ song [“The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 2”]. My family is, like, really Jewish, but I love that song and I have all these crosses and assorted iconography in my room. They don’t get it, but that’s okay.

Listen: Tavi’s playlist

Read the entire September 2011 issue of SPIN, available now for iPad.