People — writers, fans, music executives — don't really know what to do with an aging female musician. I'm not talking about someone like Celine Dion or Cher, whose popularity was never based on some amorphous idea of coolness or relevance. I'm not even talking about our beloved Liz Phair, who still plasters short, tight dresses on her meticulously muscled frame and projects an image of socially desirable sexuality. I'm talking about Patti Smith, who was interviewed by Deborah Solomon in this weekend's New York Times Magazine and asked more than one question about her use of conditioner and reigning status as "the queen of split ends." And even more so, I'm talking about Kim Deal, the lead singer of the Breeders and former Pixies bassist who headlined a big summer concert yesterday in Brooklyn to support the Breeders' April release, Mountain Battles.
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