Friday, August 11, 2006

No More Rock n' Roll Fun

I love music. All kinds of music. All kinds of good music. I love everything but bad pop and bad country. Rock, punk, jazz, classical. Most of the time, I have trouble playing favorites. That's how much I love music.

But I have no problem playing favorites when it comes to Sleater-Kinney, and it saddens me that after their last show in Portland tomorrow night, they'll be on "indefinite hiatus," and we all know what that means: gone. Probably the worst part for me is knowing that I'll never get to see them live. They'd been around a good long time and I knew who they were (hm...I distinctly remember watching an interview with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and he was wearing one of their t-shirts), but for some reason, it took me a while to get around to listening. And once I did, I could not stop.

I appreciate that people have different taste in music, and what's really great to one person might sound just awful to another. A few days ago I said that celebrities can't sell me anything, and for the record, critics really can't either. If I love something, I'm going to love it, no matter what anyone says. But the critics do love them, and their fans love them, and many people will be sorry to see them go.

On many blogs you'll see people getting tagged with lists of questions from their blogger friends. As I read, probably like lots of people, I answer the questions in my own mind. It's a fun way to test yourself, to really think about what you like or want or would do in a certain situation. One time on someone's blog I saw the following question: If you could sing like anyone, who would it be? If I could sing like anyone, it would be Corin Tucker. (I think the person on the blog said Janis Joplin, which is also a fine choice.) I don't think I've heard many other voices with that much raw power. Some people think she's shrieking, but I find her voice covers a range of emotions that's simply incredible.

And not one to blah blah about the feminist thing much on the blog, I have to say they impress the hell out of me for playing the way they do, for refusing to compromise, for being three women playing two guitars and drums and having no bass player, and for being able to rock the fillings out of your teeth. I'm a 37-year-old woman, but they turn me into a teenager, they make me have to jump up and down, they've made my days a little bit brighter when I need something to pick me up. And while I know I can always listen to them--the music that already exists doesn't go away--it makes me a little melancholy to know they won't be out there working on the next album.

And so my heart's a little heavy as I say: Thank you Sleater-Kinney for having existed at all, and at least leaving us with your music. All the best to you. (They aren't going to read this, of course, but it's out there in spirit, so it counts.)

*all photos from The Sleater-Kinney Archives