This weekend, Kyle and I drove to Portland to see Sleater-Kinney’s last concert. The band, which is one of my favorites, is breaking up. It’s a bummer for a lot of reasons, among them:

  1. They just released their best album ever
  2. They are one of the few bands today creating music that is politically relevant, but still interesting and fun
  3. They appeal to both men and woman, a rarity for an all-women band
  4. They rock

We drove up on Friday, spent Saturday in the city, and drove back on Sunday. Since it’s a nine-hour drive to Portland, Kyle and I spent a lot of time in the car. But it was worth it. The concert was excellent and I got to go to Powell’s, where I bought several books, including a biography on Eugene O’Neill, the play Medea, and maps of Rome and Florence for our upcoming trip to Italy. I also discovered that I still get mad at Oregon drivers and that smoked trout goes really well with scrambled eggs.

(Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein)

Even though I’ve listened to Sleater-Kinney since college, I’ve only seen them three times in concert, twice in San Francisco and once in Portland. It took seeing them live to understand how good the band is. If I hadn’t, it probably wouldn’t have sunk in that Janet Weiss is one of the best drummers, ever. She’s flat-out phenomenal.

Before the band went on, Eddie Vedder came out on stage and played a folk song about the war and then sang “You Belong To Me” with Janet. He summed up the evening by saying that he always wished he could have seen The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, etc’s last shows, so he was grateful to be there to see Sleater-Kinney’s.

The band absolutely rocked throughout the show and two encores, going out with a definite bang. At the end, they played a choked-up version of “One More Hour” with lyrics like, “in one more hour / I will be gone / in one more hour / I’ll leave this room.” I left at 12:30 a.m., sweaty and tired, and feeling it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

Listen to Sleater-Kinney here.

2 thoughts on “Culture Is What We Make It, Yes It Is

  1. leona

    I can’t believe you got a surprise cameo from Eddie Vedder. Now THAT I’m jealous of.

  2. joy

    Yeah it was pretty cool. He sang this weird folk song about how he doesn\’t like the Bush Admin, but his duet with Janet was cute.

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