Currently comprised of founding members Corin Tucker (vocals, guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar, vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums), the Olympia, WA-based indie rock trio Sleater-Kinney was initially formed as a side project from its founding members then-primary projects — Tucker was a member of renowned and influential riot grrl act Heavens to Betsy while Brownstein was a member of Excuse 17. And when Tucker and Brownstein’s primary projects broke up, Sleater-Kinney quickly became its founding duo’s new focus. And through the release of their first seven full-length efforts, 1995’s self-titled debut, 1996’s Call the Doctor, 1997’s Dig Me Out, 1999’s The Hot Rock, 2000’s Hands on the Bad One, 2002’s One Beat and 2005’s The Woods the band developed a reputation for material based around feminist and left-leaning politics — and for being among one of the more influential and beloved acts of their era. Interestingly enough, I can still remember at least reading at least one music journalist, who wrote an article expressing her devastation upon hearing about Sleater -Kinney’s largely unexpected split up back in 2006.
And upon Sleater-Kinney’s breakup, the members of the trio went on to pursue a number of creative pursuits. Weiss, who is also a member of Quasi, joined her bandmate Joanna Bolme for a stint in Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, recording two albums with the band 2008’s Emotional Trash and 2011’s Mirror Traffic. Tucker wrote and released two solo albums, 2010’s 1,000 Years and 2012’s Kill My Blues, which featured Unwound‘s Sara Lund and Golden Bears‘ and Circus Lupus‘ Seth Lorinczi as her backing band. Brownstein formed Wild Flag, which featured her Sleater-Kinney bandmate Weiss along with The Minders‘ Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole, a project that released a critically applauded debut effort before splitting up in 2014. And adding to a busy and prolific period of creativity for each of the band’s members, Brownstein along with co-creator and co-star Fred Armisen created the critically applauded IFC series Portlandia, which will start its seventh season on Thursday.
In October 2014, Tucker, Brownstein and Weiss announced that they had reconvened after several years pursuing a variety of projects to write and record their most recent studio album, 2015’s No Cities to Love, which was released to great fanfare and then followed by a tour across North America and Western Europe. Along with the release of the Start Together box set, the Pacific Northwest-based trio confidently reminded critics, fans and others of their importance, relevance and influence on a a number of contemporary band and artists.
Speaking of 2015’s North American and Western European tour, Sub Pop Records will be releasing a live album, Live in Paris on January 27, 2017 and the album consists of a live set recorded at La Cigale on March 20, 2015 — and the first single from the live album is a blistering, furious and incredibly passionate rendition of “Surface Envy,” which is accompanied by live footage lovingly shot by fans over the years. And from the live footage one thing is obvious, these ladies take names and kick serious ass.