Old Favorite Thing: Sleater-Kinney, "Get Up"

Now that it's the last year of the decade, we can start preparing ourselves for the barrage of end-of-the-'00s lists that will start cropping up any day now. ("Merriweather Post Pavilion," album of the decade! I don't even think I'm kidding right here.)

Radiohead will likely be crowned band of the decade, I'll lose my lunch, J. Freedom will make some argument for the Dixie Chicks [ed note: damn straight] -- and that'll be that.

"Band of the decade" declarations are kind of silly for many reasons, one of them being that it puts more emphasis on a specific set of years just because the third number is the same. Therefore, a band like Sleater-Kinney gets left out of the discussion; but if you took the 10-year period from 1996 to 2005 and called that the decade, well, I'd argue that your band of the decade choice would be pretty clear-cut.

This struck me as I was listening to "The Hot Rock" recently. There are probably only a handful of people who would pick that as their favorite Sleater-Kinney album -- I'd take "Dig Me Out," some might go with the big-rock onslaught of "The Woods," and others might pick the politically-charged "One Beat." But if an album as good as "The Hot Rock" isn't really in the discussion for best in a band's discography, you know they're doing something right.

If my memory serves me correctly (fat chance), Carrie Brownstein said in an interview around the time the album was released that she didn't want to play a single traditional guitar chord on the recording. And you can hear that at work on "Get Up," which turns lots of slinky guitar lines into arguably the catchiest song in the Sleater-Kinney catalogue.

By David Malitz |  January 8, 2009; 5:29 PM ET Old Favorite Thing
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Absolutely on target - it is not sleater-kinney's best, but Hot Rock is without question a GREAT record, and far superior to their (still pretty good) work that came afterwards. Definitely the top band of 1996-2005, there is no close 2nd place. Miss this band a lot.

Posted by: DC20004 | January 8, 2009 6:58 PM

A dark horse for band of the decade may be The White Stripes. They flew under the radar until '01 when Jack White became suddenly ubiquitous, and they kept the momentum up for most of the decade.

Flame out of the decade may be your beloved Strokes, although I admit if they put something out this year, I'd still probably buy it.

And my personal preference for most interesting musician of the decade has to be Damon Albarn, who had huge hits with a cartoon band, a chinese opera (or something like that), and an all-star band that actually was pretty good (even if Tony Allen was under utilitized). Plus now there's a Blur reunion to close out the decade.

Posted by: M__N | January 9, 2009 9:11 AM

I waver between The Hot Rock and Dig Me Out as their all-time best. DMO is more visceral. THR more musical. Count me among those who also believe Sleater-Kinney is without par for that "decade."

Posted by: ggw123 | January 12, 2009 2:12 PM

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