I’ve just recently discovered Sleater-Kinney and I don’t know what I’ve been doing for the past 17 years of my life, so, in dedication to what I predict to be a life-changing band for me, I’m going to write a little about some of their songs I’ve listened to so far that are my favourites. (Side note: I’m no music reviewer/reviewer at all really, so this isn’t going to be something that would be published on, like, NPR or whatever).
The first live performance I watched of them was on the David Letterman Show, which also happens to be (I think) the first time they performed since their hiatus 10 years ago.
I love this performance and it’s the one that initially drew me into the Sleater-Kinney world. I think it’s partly due to Carrie Brownstein’s and Corin Tucker’s vocals, and also that the music builds as the song goes on — the ending with the class of the drums and guitars that turns into a quieter fall makes it feel as though you are going on an adventure, and this is something that is not just subject to this song — almost every Sleater-Kinney song feels as though you are going on an adventure, be it through their lyrics, vocals, or instruments; another good example of this adventure is ‘Entertain’.
Carrie Brownstein’s vocals are hard to describe on this track, as they’re not quite screaming and shouting, but then they’re not her normal vocals either. It’s like a mix of finally being able to trust yourself and letting all of your anger and frustration out at the world, particularly seen in some of my favourite lyrics I’ve heard by SK so far — ‘Where is the fuck you? / Where’s the black and blue’ and ‘Hey! Look around they are lying to you / Can’t you see it is just a silly ruse? / They are lying, and I am lying too. / All you want is entertainment, / Rip me open it’s free.’ From now on, this is my go-to song when I’m angry/pissed off at the world/feeling particularly angsty. Also, Janet Weiss is bloody amazing.
Last but not least: the NPR recording of one of their most recent concerts. Praise whatever higher being/power/thing there is out there for this 1 hour and 21 minutes of musical heaven.