PIONEERS OF ALT FEMINIST ROCK, NEO PUNK, AND RIOT GRRRL GENRES, SLEATERKINNEY HITS KINGS THEATRE ON THE HEELS OF A NEW ALBUM
BY EVAN MONROE
Occasionally referred to as the West Coast’s Athens, Georgia in terms of being a relatively small community producing a disproportionate number of amazing bands, Olympia Washington counts among its musical wonders Bikini Kill, Bangs, Abigail Williams, Beat Happening, Tree house, and a trio of women that constitute one of the most important bands of the Gen X and Y generations…and counting.
Sleater Kinney was founded in 1994, and comprised Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar,) Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals, and costar of the IFC series Portlandia), and until earlier this year, Janet Weiss (vocals, drums, and harmonica) its name derived from Sleater Kinney Road, in Lacey, Washington. Declared in 2015 by Stereogum writer Tom Breihan the greatest rock band of the past two decades, they were pioneers in both the riot grrrl and indie rock scenes and gained national attention after the release of 1996’s Call the Doctor, their second studio album.
Sleater Kinney’s raucous yet tuneful pseudo punk was and remains wonderfully infectious, occasionally mellowed though never diminished over the course of seven albums before the three went on hiatus in 2006. Since reuniting in 2014, there’s been one studio and one live album, and, as of August 16, a second full length new tracks disc, The Center Won’t Hold (seen below), produced by none other than indie goddess St. Vincent. One of its earliest preview singles, “Can I Go On,” debuted at #9 on August 1’s New Alternative 40 Chart. Brownstein, Tucker, and Weiss all are featured on the album (the first two are seen above), which offers a characteristically unvarnished take on new era fatalism, digital isolation, and the often whisper thin nature of 21st century personal connection. Yet musically, the result isn’t gothy dread, but catchy and atmospheric.
The band plays Kings Theatre on October 30 (Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom the next night). Ambassador Club Premium Seats, sold directly by Kings Theatre (doors open at 7:00), include expedited access to both the venue and its Ambassador Club Lounge (with pre show Happy Hour), an exclusive balcony box seat, and food and beverage service.
1027 Flatbush Avenue kingstheatre.com