Posts Tagged ‘Kill Rock Stars Records’

Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out

Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Sleater-Kinney are pioneers in the riot grrrl movement. At its core, “Dig Me Out” is an album leading listeners through vigorous emotional strains — and the tension implodes on nearly every track. The record was released just barely a year after the bomb-hitting Call the Doctor, but the trio somehow managed to upstage themselves with “Dig Me Out”. This is the record where they first teamed up with Janet Weiss, and the change only did amazing things for them.

This album shows a sense of confidence. Sleater-Kinney were still an underground band when this record came out; Call the Doctor was a critical hit, but still wasn’t smashing numbers, and the band had shifted from a tiny indie label to a less tiny indie label. Dig Me Out is an album that will always push first into people’s minds when they think of the band, because it’s the record where everything first clicked for them — the record that marked their territory as a defining rock band in American history. 

“Dig Me Out” was the third studio album by the American rock band Sleater-Kinney, released on April 8, 1997, by Kill Rock Stars. The album was produced by John Goodmanson and recorded from December 1996 to January 1997 at John and Stu’s Place in Seattle, Washington. Dig Me Out marked the debut of Janet Weiss, who would become the band’s longest-serving drummer. The music on the record was influenced by traditional rock and roll bands, while the lyrics deal with issues of heartbreak and survival.

The album cover is an homage to The Kinks’ 1965 album “The Kink Kontroversy”. Two singles were released in support of the album: “One More Hour” and “Little Babies”.

Call the Doctor confirmed the band’s reputation as one of the major musical acts from the Pacific Northwest, rebelling against gender roles, consumerism, and indie rock’s male-dominated hierarchy. After the release of Call the Doctor, drummer Janet Weiss of Quasi joined the band. Previously, the band had had a number of temporary drummers, including Misty Farrell, Lora Macfarlane, and Toni Gogin. Weiss would eventually become Sleater-Kinney’s longest serving drummer. For its third album, Sleater-Kinney worked again with producer John Goodmanson.

Both Tucker and Brownstein remarked that Weiss became an essential part of the band’s sound. According to Tucker, “Musically, she’s completed our band. She’s become the bottom end and the solidness that we’ve really wanted for our song writing”. In addition to playing drums, Weiss provides hand claps and tambourine in “Turn It On”. Dig Me Out also contains more guitar and vocal interplay by Tucker and Brownstein than Call the Doctor. As Brownstein explained, “If you were to separate our guitar parts I don’t necessarily think they would fully stand on their own. Our songs aren’t really complete until the other person has put their part over it, and their vocals”. The lyrical themes on Dig Me Out deal with issues of heartbreak and survival.

The band left Chainsaw Records and decided to release the album through Kill Rock Stars, another independent record label which singer and guitarist Corin Tucker thought had better resources to ensure the band’s distribution. Goodmanson also remarked that Kill Rock Stars afforded the band a generous amount of studio time for an independent label, stating that Call the Doctor only took four days to record while Dig Me Out was recorded over the period of eight days.

The song “One More Hour” is about the breakup of Tucker and Brownstein’s romantic relationship.

Dig Me Out also features songs that show frustration with sexism and gender stereotypes. “Little Babies” is a protest against the traditional maternity role, while the title song “Dig Me Out” exposes a woman in a dominant role. The album’s title was inspired by the fact that the band had to literally dig out the recording studio after a heavy snowstorm that took place in Winter 1996 in Seattle. Musically, the song “Words and Guitar” was said to “[leap] and [skit] with the just-released repression of early Talking Heads”, while “Dance Song ’97” was said to “sport Devo-esque keyboards of a distinctly ’80s vintage”

Sleater-Kinney:
  • Carrie Brownstein – guitar, vocals
  • Corin Tucker – vocals, guitar
  • Janet Weiss – drums, percussion

Horse Feathers‘ music has always revolved around specific, distinctive ingredients, from Justin Ringle’s sandy-voiced warmth to lush string arrangements to fatalistic lyrics that undercut the surrounding swirl of sonic comfort food. The group has served as a living embodiment of beardy Pacific Northwest folk-pop, a style it’s consistently elevated through the uncommon beauty of its songs.

On May 4th, Horse Feathers will return with Appreciation, and its music has taken a turn: The fundamental building blocks remain after six albums, but the songs have a strummier, kickier quality to them. Horse Feathers‘ most recent material has sped up a bit, and Appreciation feels like the logical conclusion of that drift.

“Without Applause,” the new album’s first single: replaces Horse Feathers‘ ornate deliberation with surging folk-rock that’s suffused with soul and just a hint of country. It’s a fleshing-out more than a reinvention — an approach Ringle, describes as “a fresh take on how my songs can come across. With this incarnation [of Horse Feathers], it’s OK if what I’m doing right now is, in fact, kind of a pop song. I can have a chorus and repeat something. I’m more aware of that and enjoy it.”

R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck , Corin Taylor Of Sleater-Kinney The Minus 5 frontman Scott McCaughey, drummer Bill Rieflin, and Young Fresh Fellow’s Kurt Bloch debuted their new supergroup called Filthy Friends over a year ago at a music festival. Recently, they released their first-ever, “Despierata” which came as part of the 30 Days, 30 Songs campaign. Now, they’re back with a second track.

“Any Kind of Crowd” It’s a wonderful slice of ’90s alternative, with the instantly likable chorus finding the whole gang singing, “I’d pick you out/ Of any kind of crowd/ I’d bring you on/ With any type of song/ I’d figure out/ Any kind of love that would turn you on.”

Filthy FriendsAny Kind Of Crowd [7”] (Corin Tucker, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch, Bill Rieflin and occasionally Krist Novoselic, limited to 850, indie-retail exclusive)

 The song was released as a Record Store Day 7-inch backed with a cover of Roxy Music’s “Editions of You”.