Because Janet Weiss is their drummer. She is good. Live she is very good.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard them, so right there they’re better than most bands I’ve heard.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard this song.
Was just listening to The Hot Rock. I think it was Corin and Carrie’s back & forth vocals that hooked me in the first place.
Because of their power and those voices… I first saw them in 1996, Call The Doctor had just come out. That was the first song I saw them do in a warehouse type place, no stage, and I was absolutely floored.
Sounds like a trick question.
Hot Rock is also my fave. The great drumming and the intertwining “words and guitar” are what hooked me. They had so much ENERGY.
What was not to like about SK. Great energy, pure power pop and it was defying Disney Pop. Also loved the one-off side project Cadallaca. Amazing!
Two words or a name: Janet Weiss.
The harmonies between Corin and Carrie.
Three astonishing personalities indelibly expressed. Peerless majesty.
Best accounting firm I’ve ever used.
A powerful live experience. That doesn’t happen so much actually, no matter how loud the sound engineer turns the sound.
Because thanks to her American Express card, Carrie Brownstein gets to be whoever she wants.
Because they’re girls. Because they do it better than boys. Because of those relentless harmonies between Corin and Carrie that are so wonderfully abrasive. Because of Janet’s intense fluidity that drives them. Because they are so true to themselves, and so unique.
I’ve always been rather ambivalent, meself. I love Janet Weiss unreservedly, but as a band, they always felt like one of those things that I ‘should’ like, rather than something I actually got off on. I bought several albums, but they gathered dust. Maybe it’s the vocal vibrato thing that always reads as ‘canned angst’ to me? Having said that, like the new single…
Because they were a powerful rock’n’roll band who shows their power with passion and imagination. It’s a power you can feel related to, inclussive, not a pimpin’ attitude. It’s a pity that they came back like a regular band.
Because they sound like what girl music should, innit. Boys couldn’t write like that.
Because they’re noisy and I’m a bit scared of them
I’m female, have played in bands with women & men, & I really have to resist that notion of what “girl music” should sound like…
The chemistry between Carrie and Corin, their voices, their melodies, their emotional power and of course Janet’s drumming.
The whole “what a girl band should sound like” is really sexist, there is no such thing.
Oh for god’s sake, really? You really can’t hear the difference between how men and women write and create? The whole POINT of Riot Grrl as a notion is that ANYONE can do it. Girls pick up guitars, play, and it generally sounds different to when boys do it. This is not sexist. It’s just one of those things. Pointing out differences doens’t make me sexist. And also, my comment wasn’t an imperative, it’s just what I like to hear. It’s how I play, how I learned to play, and it’s quite a distinctive sound in the music of most women, if you listen. There can be no doubt that men and women create differently, for so many reasons that I can’t really get into, because I’m actually supposed to be doing my tax return.
I once saw a brilliant band called They Call Me Snail. [Great band! – ET] There were 3 girls, and they were 15 at the time of writing. A friend said, you need to see this band, you’ll love ’em. Went to see them, they sounded EXACTLY of the same ilk as s-k. As I approached them afterwards and congratulated them, I said, I see you’re s-k devotees too, right? They looked at me blankly, and said, Sleater who? It proved to me that there’s a rather definable style of playing that comes from just DOING it. Listen through the s-k albums in order: You can hear them get more streamlined, more adhesive to how one *should* play, album by album. Don’t get me wrong, I like The Woods as much as any other album that I really appreciate, but it’s Sleater-Kinney’s early stuff that makes my heart sing, because when I was little, it gave me the hope that maybe I could do it one day, too.
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. The way Colin Tucker yelps and shrieks in that way she does. Effortlessly cool. I disliked the guitar solos I witnessed them do in Brighton a few years back. 5 minutes of rock wankery. Otherwise love them.
My earlier comment was a reference to this btw:
Also The Hot Rock is one of the greatest albums ever created by humans. Best band in the world from 97-00, no qualifiers necessary.
I especially liked the Laura MacFarlane era – she remains one of the most expressive, most musical drummers I’ve ever heard. Honestly, it took awhile to get with the Janet Weiss era, and to acknowledge Dig Me Out as the great album it is.
I don’t like them. I love them. One of the best bands I have ever seen live and they are also really nice, intelligent women. I took my older daughter, as a teen, to see them at the 40 Watt with her friend. They both promptly ditched me. Her mouth dropped open when she found me talking to them in the record store next door a little later. I got a little kick out of that.
I like (respect more than go crazy for) Sleater-Kinney because everyone else here does, and whether the way they play is intrinsically female or not engenders spirited discussion! I think them being a trio w/o a standard bassist is cool, especially Janet Weiss’ response to why they didn’t: “I don’t really love low end. That big bass sound that hits you in your gut is unpleasant! Not having a bass allows allows for the drums to occupy an interesting space in the music, which I really love. Also,” she added, “bass players often make those funny faces.”
Does Brownstein’s Portlandia involvement affect your assessment of the group? It doesn’t for me. Did you guys see her Letterman interview from last March? Best comment was that she knows exactly how much of a hard time to give Dave, and it makes for entertaining viewing (on her account). And I think that may be indicative of a deeper truth about how they relate to the world on their own terms…
Because in 1999 at Bumbershoot, they said, “Hey everybody, if you wanna read a book or take a nap or whatever that’s totally cool, but playing hackey sack during our set is REALLY FUCKING RUDE”.
And…they’re intrinsically funny, and the juxtaposition between that and the intensity of their songs and performances is really appealing. I think that might be a Northwest thing…Chico’s legendary Vomit Launch were like that too….and if I daresay, Nirvana.
Massively inspiring as a three piece, equally enchanting individually. Janet is a true humble great, a luminary on the Portland music scene. I really respected Corin’s decision to take some time out “be a mum, have some kids” and thought Groundhog Day [Corin Tucker Band] was a massively underrated single. But it’s Carrie’s guitar riffs that stick out for me, that girl knows her way around a fretboard and a high kick.
My name is Everett True. I am a music critic. This is what I do. I criticise music.
The clue is in my job description – music critic. I do not consider myself a journalist, as I do not research or report hard news. I do not consider myself a commentator as I believe that everyone should be a participant. I criticise people and in return I am not surprised if other people criticise me. It is part of the whole deal of being in the public arena.
I am Everett True. Believe in me and I have power like a God. Quit believing in me and I no longer exist.