"They were all women on stage and the guitar techs were eunuchs!" one of my road trip companions exclaimed as we skated the three blocks of icy sidewalks from Stage AE back to our hotel room after the sold-out Sleater-Kinney concert in Pittsburgh.
We had been drinking for a few hours prior to the show, you see, and we were feeling loose all night, loudly playing games like guess who's going to the show while we waited for our food at the sports bar down the street. It wasn't a hard game. Anyone who looked like a protester or an employee at a feminist book store (Dude! your ponytail gave you away!) were going to see Sleater-Kinney. Those in Penguins jerseys were there for hockey on the big screens.
Sleater-Kinney are an important band, a very important band. Their left-leaning politics and fiercely proud feminism sheltered countless listeners during the band's first run through the '90s and early-to-mid '00s. Carrie Brownstein also has one helluva rock kick. And you know that song of theirs, "No Rock 'N' Roll Fun?" Turn it around and the message becomes, Sleater-Kinney are Rock 'N' Roll fun.
Go through the band's revered discography and ask yourself when was the last time they sounded so soulful, so rambunctious and noisy, so right now? I'm not sure I would have ever described Sleater-Kinney as soulful, but from the vocals to the relentless beat, this one aims to wreck the room. And the guitars! The way Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker nasty things up with ear gouging squawks merely adds to the track's combustible nature.
Beloved, Washington rock trio, Sleater-Kinney are back, and, hot damn, are they back in a big way. First there's the matter of the career-spanning box set out tomorrow. Then, we found that career-spanning box set contained a mystery 45. The mystery 45 was confirmed to be from a new album, No Cities to Love (out 1.20 on Sub Pop). And, finally, that new album is leading to a world-wide reunion tour. Not a bad weekend for Sleater-Kinney fans, huh?