Notes in between SK's last 2 shows

I almost lost hope. But then, 2 songs into Sleater-Kinneys second encore they began the riff for "Joey Ramone." Though I stood in the over 21 area I jumped and squealed the same as I had when I was watching a performance of that same song when I was 16. The ticket anxiety, the waiting, this made it all worth it.

Overall Sleater-Kinney’s (second-to) last show was a faithful rendition of the musical talent of a band, a fitting final show. However, it was not their best show. The crowd was appropriately excited. The ladies gave their thanks as well as their energy and especially skilled guitar and drum playing. But it was also a sad day. And that feeling was in the air. You could tell that the older fans were distracted by the memories of smaller clubs and that raw energy that comes with a band still struggling to make it.

Personally, I had hoped they would play my personal favorite, and sadly appropriate, Good Things. When they did not, I consoled myself with the fact that I have indeed heard it live and that I would go home and listen to their full 7 albums on repeat for the next week or so. And, aside from their first album, which really was rough enough that it might not be that much fun to play from anymore, the band did play tracks from all their albums, even if the Chainsaw released "Call the Doctor" received only 2 highlights. Neither new nor old fans could complain with the performance last night and I’m sure tonight’s performance will be both as lively and as sad.

So let’s toast Sleater-Kinney, enjoy their last show with the knowledge that they will certainly have a reunion tour, and that all three members will surely pursue other creative avenues for audiences to enjoy. And lastly, I plead for pictures, just another spot of memory I hope I can post and share. […]

The time has come to say goodbye

The last days are drawing nigh. That’s right, Sleater-Kinney’s last two nights on stage will occur this Friday and Saturday in their own beloved Pacific Northwest. Though I know folks from far away are flying in to join the locals as well. It will be a weekend to remember and I am apt to cry at any song from “Call the Doctor.” I have written many times on this beloved queer-positive band that began on a street outside of Olympia, Washington over a decade ago, so there is little more to say now than, we will miss you terribly. But for more reminiscing, reviews and highlights peruse this entry from June’s announcement.


R.I.P. Sleater-Kinney?

Summer 1996 was one of the first times I saw Sleater-Kinney, so named for the now infamous road just outside Olympia, Wa. It was a festival for SPRGRL Conspiracy, and convention I helped put together and to see these 3 women on be a part of the same thing I was a part of was exhilarating, amazing, overwhelming. They were an integral part of the Portland/OlyWa queer community then and one of Chainsaw record’s flag ship bands. Girls swooned at their feet and a newly born internet was giving rise to an entire community around riot grrlz and queercore in the NW. (See what I’m talking about in this earlier post).

And though they have evolved over the course of 7 wildly diverse albums they have still maintained a top stop in my list of the best bands ever. And now I’m pretty glad I put away my “I saw them when…” hipster pride and actually attended their last Portland show this December because…

They broke up today.

According to their website they have gone on an “indefinite hiatus.” Now I have to say I am sorry that I have stopped keeping my ear to the queer rock scene gossip ground nearly as well as I used to.

I did not see this coming.

Granted Corin Tucker has kids now, and Janet Weiss keeps busy with her other popular band Quasi but neither of this is new and they seemed to be doing well. They were getting some real media attention (I even saw a video of theirs playing in American Eagle Outfitters, not that that is ncessarily a measure of sucess…) and their music is as fantasticly evolving as ever. Their latest album, The Woods (see my review last year) was odd yet incrediblyenticing. Would that I had more informtion to help explain why this travesty is occuring. I will certainly let you know more if I can ferret it out. I hope the hiatus is shorter than they think because I have been always been a fan, and this blog has continued to care for them. Goodbye SK. We’ll miss you.

More QPDX SK posts:
The Woods Album review
Sk and Ladyfest
SK on the L Word
The importance of Chainsaw records (SK’s first label) […]

SK on L

Hometown hotties Sleater-Kinney made a surprise appearance on last night’s L Word, singing their harrowing “Jumpers.” Some may have cringed at the indie band’s appearance on the commercial Showtime shock show, but I was glad to see them again taking part in something connected to the queer community. And there was plenty of focus on the more gender ambiguous, unmarried Carrie Brownstein who writhed and hopped around in her usual spastic yet sexy way. The lip close up was particularly enticing.

One can only hope all this promotion may give a boost to the summer’s upcoming Northwest queer musicfest Homo-a-gogo.

Not out of The Woods yet

While I cannot comment on whether Sleater-Kinney still identifies with, in, or about the queer community, they’ve certainly played a significant role in the northwest’s queer adolescence. But with today’s birth of their 7th album, The Woods, the girls show they are most definitely grown.

Carrie Brownstein’s lead guitar skills have become unmistakable, and The Woods doesnt seem to be afraid to throw on the reverb and let her rip. The album even includes an 11 minute anthem, Lets call it love, that keeps the jam spirit alive, combining it with a punk rock style that produces and strange but interesting child. I wander and get lost in The Woods in a way that I never have in SKs usual urgency. If each album carries a distinct message, this release seems to say, Let go And yet, then Night Light kicks in with Corins haunting voice lilting over the guitar and you lose some of not all who wander are lost peace to the calm of unnerve. And, while the sadness of Jumpers is readily apparent, it is also oddly comforting as the two voices blend over staccato electronic sounds. The albums intro, The Fox is equally weird, if more apparently so as the guitar strings bend into off-key musings.

All in all The Woods is a surprisingly psychedelic trip through the thickly forested Northwest music scene. Im inclined to let my curiosity lure me into the shade but, while enticing, entering these mind-altering woods are is also a bit risky. Not everyone will have a good trip.

Special in-store signing tonight celebrating the new release at Music Millenium (801 N.W. 23rd at Johnson). 6 pm. They’ll be giving away tix to Portland shows as well…(correction: originally this said performance. oops!)