Friday, June 21, 2013

Video Of The Week: Sleater-Kinney

With their slots opening for Pearl Jam and their own tours, I must have seen Sleater-Kinney live more than 10 times. The Portland, Oregon indie band is a bizarre beast, both over-hyped (Rolling Stone magazine would usually put their every release on the year's top-10 best, and when it came time to rank the top 90 albums of the 1990s, I think S-K had three in the top-20...) and devoid of mainstream (read: radio) commercial success, with my opinion of them ranking somewhere in the middle, closer to the top: they're a very good band.

Active 1994-2006, it will soon have been twenty years that they've made it into the regular rotation of bands I listen to on a regular basis, but when I have my fill, I do put them aside for a bit, unlike, say, Queens Of The Stone Age, who remain in my Ipod despite periods where I just skip them when they come up.

This video if from their final record, The Woods, their lone record on Seattle label Sub Pop after associations with Kill Rock Stars and Chainsaw Records. It was made on the cheap, is imaginative and fun, and is a pretty good representation of Sleater-Kinney's sound, at times dirty, riff-heavy, melodic and quirky:

The video was directed by Matt McCormick, who also directed a couple for The Shins. If you didn't know Sleater-Kinney but think you recognize lead singer Carrie Brownstein for someplace, you probably do: she is co-creator and lead actress in Portlandia with Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen, which lead to a few SNL cameos of her own.

Like QOTSA and Pearl Jam (and The Ramones, Spinal Tap as well as my own band...), S-K have gone through a good number of drummers over the years, four of them full-time, with the longest-serving (and final) one being Janet Weiss, who was born in 1965 and was therefore not named after the Rocky Horror Picture Show character of the same name.

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