“Bury Our Friends”: On Sleater-Kinney
By Lindsay King-Miller
Lindsay King-Miller’s previous work for The Toast can be found here.
I don’t remember why I asked for a Sleater-Kinney CD for Christmas the year I turned thirteen. I didn’t know anyone who listened to them; all my friends that year were rocking out to guy groups like Nirvana and Green Day. In the throes of my generic adolescent angst, I loved those bands for their noise and their rage, but they didn’t speak for me. I liked that Kurt Cobain called himself a feminist, but my own burgeoning feminism demanded something else – a female voice I could relate to. I don’t think I expected Sleater-Kinney, the standard-bearers for political woman-driven rock in the post riot-grrrl era, to be the musical idols I’d never had, but on Christmas evening, sitting in my tiny basement bedroom listening to All Hands on the Bad One on my turquoise CD player, I fell in love for the first time in my life.
As Corin Tucker’s voice wailed, slightly fuzzy, from that cheap little speaker, the inside of my own throat buzzed in recognition. Her voice didn’t pour like honey; it ripped, it clawed, it howled. It was un-beautiful, risky, wavering on the high notes in a way that was almost painful. She sounded like vulnerability and sex and loneliness and rage and a slightly terrified sense of her own power. She sounded like everything inside my chest that I didn’t know how to put words to. I was enthralled.
November 18, 2014 at 12:00PM
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