I’ve seen Sleater-Kinney play three times, and all three shows rank as highly memorable concertgoing experiences. It was in support of The Hot Rock that I saw them play the second time, in 1999. During the spring tour someone in the band got sick and they had to postpone a bunch of dates, including the original NYC date, which I had a ticket for. They came back a few weeks later, in May, and because of the catch-as-catch-can nature of rescheduling a bumped date at the last minute, S-K was forced to schedule their show for 2 p.m. on a Saturday in late May. The experience made me wish that more rock gigs took place in the afternoon. Sweaty and galvanized, I emerged from the darkened cavern of Irving Plaza around 5 o’clock—the sun was still shining! It was such an odd experience, I remember that my chums and I made a snap decision to see Rushmore, which was playing around the corner (third showing for me).
TL;DR: Sleater-Kinney kick ass live.
2017 will see the first official live album from Sleater-Kinney. It’s called Live in Paris, and it comes from the band’s triumphant reunion tour of 2015, recorded at Paris’s venerable La Cigale venue on March 20, 2015.
All three members of Sleater-Kinney are veterans of the D.I.Y. movement of the Pacific Northwest of the early to mid-1990s, so it makes sense on some level that someone involved with the project came up with the clever idea of designing the album’s cassette edition to be an utterly perfect representation of a dubbed cassette. Believe me, if you love music and you were born before about 1980, at some point you bought 60- and 90-minute cassettes by the dozen and made mixes for your friends—but even more centrally and importantly, you dubbed entire albums off of your friends because you were too fucking cheap to pay full price for that goddamned .38 Special album. (Sometime in the mid-1980s, I made a cassette with Revolver on one side and Rubber Soul on the other, and they will never not be pretty much one long mega-album in my stupid head.)
Live in Paris is slated to be released on January 27, with the LP priced at $16.98 on Amazon—you can pre-order it here (it’s slightly cheaper from Sub Pop). The CD is $12 and the brilliantly designed cassette is just $7 direct from the label.
More after the jump…