Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss introduce new musical project Wild Flag

Wild Flag

Although many of us that came of age in the ’90s and early 2000s can point to several riot grrl and dyke punk influences, few bands that celebrated queer women’s music made it to the mainstream. Sleater-Kinney was one band that was able to cross that divide. So when they played their last shows in August of 2006, we all mourned their indefinite hiatus.

The three ladies have not been idle of the past four years, either concentrating on family or non-musical projects, but finally two-thirds have reemerged with a new band with former Helium member Mary Timony. Out singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss are members of the new supergroup Wild Flag, which also features the Minders’ Rebecca Cole.

In an interview with Pitchfork earlier this year, Brownstein hinted at a new project she was pursuing but wouldn’t confirm that it was with Weiss or give any additional details.

Now the band is ready to say this about themselves:

“What is the sound of an avalanche taking out a dolphin? What do get when you cross a hamburger with a hot dog? The answer is: WILD FLAG.”

Janet and Carrie’s former work together means that this new project will have certainly be able to reference the style of earlier project, but the half decade of time apart should provide ample new infusions to this quartet’s musical repertoire. And yet, for as much as Brownstein has grown as a vocalist and performer, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for a punk rock scream once in awhile.

We will get to find out soon enough, as the band has already signed with Merge Records and has several west coast shows scheduled for November.

As a music writer, Brownstein has the opportunity to let the public know directly about her upcoming projects and she reflected on playing music again and the desire to start Wild Flag in the NPR Blog All Songs Considered.

Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss

“After Sleater-Kinney broke up in 2006 I had very little desire to play music. It took well over three years before picking up a guitar meant anything to me other than an exercise. In fact, it was writing about music for NPR — connecting with music fans and experiencing a sense of community — that made me want to write songs again. I began to feel I was in my head too much about music, too analytical. I felt an emotional tie with my readers and with the bands and songs and scenes I was writing about and sharing, but ultimately it was not the same as playing or being inside of the song.

“I have no desire to play music unless I need music. And as readers of Monitor Mix might know, I have very little desire to even listen to music by players who don’t seem to need it, to want it. Otherwise, what is the point? About a year ago I started to need music again, and so I called on my friends and we joined as a band.”

But so far my favorite description that comes from the band is hidden at the very end of their description: “Apt adjectives for describing the band’s music: wild. Also: flaggy.” Let the double entendres begin.

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