February 26th, 2015
Episode 408 of 429 episodes
The last time Sleater-Kinney played the 9:30 Club, a transformer threatened to blow in the midst of a summer heat wave. Or maybe the Washington, D.C., club just couldn't handle Corin Tucker's pipes. That was nine years ago, on a goodbye-for-now tour that caught the trio at the top of its game. The show was rescheduled and taped for NPR Music, and we had our closure, crossing fingers that it wouldn't be the last we'd hear from Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss. In the intervening years, all three put their energies into other projects, musical and not, sometimes even with each other. But Sleater-Kinney has an electric chemistry of its own. As Brownstein says, "I really think Sleater-Kinney is a singular band with no clear predecessor or successor, so I don't think we started out creating music that you could see the palette of colors that we were using, and maybe draw a lineage." On the first night of a two-night gig at the 9:30 Club, Sleater-Kinney went all-in with its set list. Tracks from the band's monster of a new album, No Cities To Love, felt natural alongside songs like "Oh!" and "Words And Guitar," obliterating the band's timeline by demonstrating a catalog that's always present, always on fire.