Monday, May 27, 2024 
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  


edited by michael goldbergcontact

Sleater-Kinney Working With Lips Producer

"This is…," Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein said, pausing to exhale a half laugh and shake her head. "This is a little like if you were watching us in our practice space."

The post-punk, post-riot grrrl trio was playing a secret show at Portland's Slabtown (named for its location below a huge slab of freeway) on October 20, trying out some of the new material — including "Let's Call it Love" and "Nightlight" — that they've just begun to work on in a New York recording studio with former Mercury Rev member/current Flaming Lips producer David Fridmann. The resulting album will be the group's seventh; Sub Pop will release it next year.

It was a surreal experience, watching the women of Sleater-Kinney — one of the best contemporary rock bands — play to fewer than 100 folks in a crummy club with a makeshift stage and a so-so sound system. It felt like I had been transported back in time, back to Sleater-Kinney's basement days, before anyone knew who they were.

Course I wasn't. Still, I had the opportunity to hear a few of their new songs before most anyone else. Wedged in between such classic cuts as "One Beat" and "Dig Me Out," the harder-rocking new material overflowed with intricate, mesmerizing guitar work that seemed to travel for miles, hovering above the sort of powerful, pummeling drumming that gives rock 'n' roll its soul. Allowing the instruments rather than the vocals to take the lead, the new songs felt a little like beautiful jam sessions with subtle background harmonizing.

Of course, much has changed since Sleater-Kinney first got together a decade ago. It's not about them being "girls" anymore. It's not even about them being "riot grrrls" or "trailblazing riot grrrls." It's as if, finally, we can altogether dismiss the fact they've got ovaries and dainty fingers, and look at them as simply musicians — great musicians, but nonetheless musicians, period.

After 10 years of being girls with guitars and brains (gasp!), 10 years of calling Kill Rock Stars home, Sleater-Kinney — though y'all surely know by now — are taking their fierce rock 'n' roll sound to Sub Pop, the label best known for signing Nirvana, and more recently for its success with Postal Service.

"I was neither confused nor hurt by their decision to choose another label," wrote Kill Rock Stars owner Slim Moon in an email. "We respect our artists, including their right to work with whoever they want to, for whatever reasons they might have."

Surprising though the news was to some, the group's decision to switch labels — moving to a larger indie — seems to be strictly business. "They were looking for a place that had an in-house staff of people they could work with," publicity director Steve Manning said. "Kill Rock Stars was a wonderful home for them but just didn't have a staff."

According to a post on the band's site (www.sleater-kinney.com), Sleater-Kinney were simply ready for a change. "We parted amicably with Kill Rock Stars last year," wrote the band. "After a decade of playing music we decided that we wanted to try something new. We will always consider KRS to be part of who we are and have much love and respect for them."

And the feelings are reciprocated. "It has been great working with Sleater-Kinney over these years," Moon wrote. "They are brilliant, and also very professional, even, and decent. A joy to work with."

"People really believe in Sleater-Kinney more than any other band I've ever worked with," Manning said.

You could feel the years of experience driving the new songs at the Slabtown show. You could see the confidence of lead singers/guitarists Corin Tucker and Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss as they tested out new, harder-rocking material on the small crowd, even while their songs escaped muffled, crackling speakers.

Complex and intricate, the new songs feel as if they started from a vastly open mind where no boundaries exist and anything is possible. Possibly rooted in '70s psych-rock, or even heavy metal, the new songs have less structure and melody, leaning instead toward experimental freedom while still rocking out.

"The new songs are fantastic," said Manning, who attended the Slabtown show. "They're more straight rock, with a little bit of a garage edge."

The new material is still being worked out, certain to grow in different directions, especially once it's messed with in the studio. That's what Sleater-Kinney and Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann are doing right now at Tarbox Studio in rural New York, perhaps moving away from the cleaner approach of John Goodmanson, who worked with the band on most of its albums, including 2002's One Beat.

"We'll have to wait to see how [the new songs] flesh out in the studio," Manning said. — Jenny Tatone [Wednesday, November 10, 2004]

Alejandro Escovedo's Joyous Rebirth

John Vanderslice Kicks Genre

Paul Duncan's Elusive Pop

Stephen Yerkey's Wandering Songs

French Kicks Complete 'Two Thousand'

Spazzy Romanticism: Love Story In Blood Red

Brain Surgeons NYC Rock The Big Questions

Jarboe's 'Men' Charts Turbulent Emotions

Delta 5's Edgy Post-Punk Resurrected

Blitzen Trapper Spiff Things Up

Minus Five: Booze, Betrayal, Bibles and Guns

New Compilation Spotlights Forgotten Folk Guitar Heroes

Chris Brokaw's Experiment In Pop

Old And New With Death Vessel

Silver Jews: Salvation And Redemption

Jana Hunter's Beautiful Doom

Vashti Bunyan Finds Her Voice Again

Nick Castro's Turkish Folk Delight

Katrina Hits New Orleans Musicians Hard

Paula Frazer's Eerie Beauty

The National Find Emotional Balance

Death Cab For Cutie's New Album, Tour

Heavy Trash's Rockabilly Rampage

Help The Wrens Get Their Albums Released!

Devendra Banhart, Andy Cabic Launch Label

Lydia Lunch's Noir Seductions

Bosque Brown's The Real Deal

PDX Pop Now! Fest Announces Lineup

Sarah Dougher Starts Women-Focused Label

Jennifer Gentle's Joyful Psyche

Mountain Goat Darnielle Gets Autobiographical With 'Sunset Tree'

Mia Doi Todd's Beautiful Collaboration

Return of the Gang of Four

Martha Wainwright Finds Her Voice

Brian Jonestown Massacre's Acid Joyride

Solo Disc Due From Pixies' Frank Black

Heartless Bastards' Big-Hearted Rock

Mike Watt's Midlife Journey

The Black Swans Balance Old And New

Nicolai Dunger's Swedish Blues

The Insomniacs' Hard-Edged Pop

Yo La Tengo Collection Due

Juana Molina's 'Homemade' Sound

Beans Evolves

Earlimart's Songs Of Loss

Devendra Banhart's 'Mosquito Drawings'

Negativland Rerelease 'Helter Stupid'

Alina Simone Transforms The Ordinary

Sounds From Nature: Laura Veirs

Octet's Fractured Electric Pop

Sleater-Kinney Working With Lips Producer

The Cult Of Silkworm

The Evolution Of The Concretes

Devendra Banhart's Exuberant New Songs

Catching Up With The Incredible String Band

Gram Rabbit's Desert Visions

Three Indie-Rock Stars Unite As Maritime

Remembering Johnny Ramone

Jarboe's Many Voices

Phil Elvrum's Long Hard Winter

First U.S. Release For Vashti Bunyan Album

Incredible String Band To Tour U.S.

New Music From Lydia Lunch

Le Tigre Protest The Bush War Presidency

Joel RL Phelps: Bleak Songs Rock Hard

Time Tripping With Galaxie 500

Patti Smith Wants Bush Out!

Sharron Kraus: A New Kind Of Folk Music

The Fiery Furnaces' Psychedelic Theater

Harder, Heavier Burning Brides

Sonic Youth's Ongoing Experiment

The Dt's Do It Their Way

Poster Children Cover Political Rock

Rare Thelonious Monk Recordings Due

Uneasy Pop From dios

Beck, Lips, Waits Cover Daniel Johnston

Understanding Franz Ferdinand

The Truly Amazing Joanna Newsom

Mylab's Boundary-Crossing Experiments In Sound

Have You Heard Jolie Holland Whistle?

The 'Magical Realism' Of Vetiver

The Restless, Rootsy Songs Of Eszter Balint

The Sun Sets On The Blasters

Devendra Banhart To Tour U.S.

The East/West Fusion Sounds Of Macha

Destroyer Gets Mellow For Your Blues

TV On The Radio Get Political

Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse To Play Lollapalooza 2004

New Music From The Fall

Apocalyptic Sound From The Intelligence

Fast And Rude With The Casual Dots

'Rejoicing' With Devendra Banhart

New Album, Tour From The Polyphonic Spree

Shearwater Take Wing

Sleater-Kinney To Tour East/West Coasts

Resurrecting Rocket From The Tombs

Visqueen Want To Get A Riot Goin' On

Lloyd Cole Makes A Commotion

Funkstörung's 'Cut-Up' Theory

Waiting For Mirah's C'mon Miracle

Electrelane Find Their Voice

The Television Is Still On!

Experimental Sounds From Hannah Marcus

The Ponys Play With Rayguns

Ex-Mono Men Leader Returns With The Dt's

Mountain Goats' Darnielle Adopts A More Hi-Fi Sound

Sun Kil Moon To Tour U.S., Europe

Nothin' But The Truth From The Von Bondies

Sultans Survive 'Shipwreck'

Sebadoh Reunite For Spring Tour

Xiu Xiu's 'Reality' Rock

Meet The Patients

Beth Orton, M. Ward Make Sadness Taste Sweet

Oneida's Pathway To Ecstasy

Radiohead, Pixies, Dizzee Rascal To Play Coachella

Young People Tour Behind War Prayers

Pixies Tour Dates Announced

Ani DiFranco Tells It Like It Is

Deerhoof Back For 2004 With Milkman

McLusky Set To 'Bring On The Big Guitars' Again

Pixies Reunite For U.S., European Tours

American Music Club, Decemberists To Play NoisePop 2004

Damien Rice Set To Tour U.S.

The Frames Accept Your Love

Punk Rock's A-Frames To Re-Record Third Album

Finally! Mission Of Burma Record New Album

A Solo Detour For Ladybug Transistor's Sasha Bell

Return Of The Old 97's

Spending The Night With Damien Rice

Tindersticks Reissues Due This Spring

The Evolution Of 'A Silver Mt. Zion'

Neil Young Rocks Australia With 'Greendale'

Poster Children Back In Action

'The Great Cat Power Disaster Of 2003'

Chicks On Speed's Subversive Strategies

Oranger At A Crossroad

Peaches On Tour And In Control

Jawbreaker's Complete Dear You Sessions To Be Released

Belle & Sebastian + Trevor Horn = Sunny Pop Nirvana

Von Bondies' Pawn Shoppe Heart

Descendents Are Back!

Modest Mouse Touring; Album Due in 2004

London Suede Take A (Permanent?) Break

Saul Williams Wants You To Think For Yourself

The 'Zen' Sound Of Calexico

Elliott Smith Dead AT 34

Debut Due From Mark Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon

The Hunches: Music That'll 'Fucking Live Forever'

Vic Chesnutt Speaks His Mind

90 Day Men Cancel Tour

Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor Highlight SF Jazz Festival

For My Morning Jacket, It's The Music That Matters

EP Due From The Polyphonic Spree

Bright Eyes, Neva Dinova Collaborate On EP

The Rise & Fall & Rise Of Ben Lee

Catching Up With Cheerfully Defiant Tricky

Hanging Around With The Polyphonic Spree

Sophomore Album Due From The Shins

Noise Rock From Iceland's Singapore Sling

Death Cab To Tour U.S.

Rufus Wainwright's Want One Is 'Family Affair'

Death Cab's Transatlanticism On The Way

Heartfelt Rock From Sweden's Last Days Of April

The Minus 5 Get Down With Wilco

Tywanna Jo Baskette's Southern-Gothic Rock

Xiu Xiu's Stewart Takes On 'Gay-bashing'

Portishead Producer Resurfaces Behind New Diva

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire, Primal Scream On Buddyhead Comp

Yeah Yeah Yeahs To Tour West Coast

Sonic Youth, Erase Errata Kick Off 'Buddy Series'

The Locust Are One Scary Band

Damien Rice In The 'Here And Now'

Remembering Karp's Scott Jernigan

ATP-NY Postponed 'Til At Least 2004

The Soul Of Chris Lee

Gits' Frenching The Bully To See Re-Release

Stephen Malkmus Is In Control

Superchunk To Release Rarities Set; Teenage Girls To Swoon As A Result

Summer Touring For The Gossip

Babbling On About Deerhoof

Irish Song Poet Damien Rice's O Released In U.S.

Chatting With ATP's Barry Hogan

Former Digable Planets Frontman Surfaces With Cherrywine

ATP L.A. Festival Rescheduled For Fall

Freakwater's Janet Bean Takes A Solo Turn

Lee's 'Cool Rock'

Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Highlight YES NEW YORK

Mark Romanek's 'Hurt' Revives Johnny Cash's Career

The Rapture's Post-Punk, Post-Dance Sound

R.E.M., Wilco, Modest Mouse Highlight Bumbershoot Fest

Set Fires To Flames' Sleep-Deprivation Sound

Southern Gothic Past Shadows Verbena's La Musica Negra

The Subtle Evolution Of Yo La Tengo

Spring Tour For Jolie Holland (Plus A Live Album)

Liz Phair Still Pushing The Limits

Gold Chains Wants You To Dance And Think

Young People's War Prayers On The Way

peruse archival

-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC