Monday, August 07, 2006

Sleater-Kinney, 9:30 Club, August 2006

Such is the awesome power of Sleater-Kinney that the band's CD Dig Me Out won't stay in its case and the case won't stay in my possession. Right now I've got the disc and no case. I've been chasing this thing for about 4 days now. It's just too smart for me.

Washington Post

Saturday, August 5, 2006; Page C09


"We're very glad to be here in Washington, D.C., for the second time in three days," Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker announced to a sweltering crowd at the 9:30 club on Thursday.

That's two times but only one show: The staff evacuated the sold-out house on Tuesday at the fire marshal's request -- before the band took the stage -- because of electrical problems. But everything was cool (so to speak) on Thursday, and if the band, on its farewell tour, suffered from the detour, the members were too professional to let it show.

"Could I turn this place inside down / And shake you and your fossils out?" Tucker wailed on the opening song, "One Beat," before breaking into one of her fetching "oh-ohs." Yes, she could -- and subtly.

Sleater-Kinney's sound is raw yet accessible, passionate yet mindful of the audience. The band directed its energy outward, pulling audience emotions up and down. "Rollercoaster" demanded -- and got -- spinning green lights. "Modern Girl," sung with a tough sweetness by Carrie Brownstein, offered the unexpected counterpoint of percussionist Janet Weiss on harmonica. And "Steep Air" began with a contemplative guitar intro -- reminiscent of, of all things, Shawn Colvin's "Sunny Came Home" -- that was overtaken by the building thunder of Weiss's drums and the ominous lyrics that signaled the escape of the desperate.

Thursday's songs built slowly but didn't succumb to self-indulgent, drawn-out endings; they just slammed the door with a furious bang, ready to move on to the next thing. In other words, Sleater-Kinney knows how to say goodbye.

-- Pamela Murray Winters

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