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Sleater-Kinney at Music Tastes Good 2017 10/1/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Sleater-Kinney at Music Tastes Good 2017 10/1/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.


Long Beach, CA- It wasn’t a surprise that the largest crowd for any act at Music Tastes Good belonged to Sleater-Kinney. As soon as the Music Tastes Good rotating stage revealed Janet Weiss seated behind the kit, cheers erupted as Carrie and Corin joined “Janet Fucking Weiss” (a quote that was printed on a handful of fan’s t-shirts at the festival) on stage to imbue Long Beach with their kick-ass, riot grrrl sonics.

Sleater-Kinney is a kick-ass band. A seriously kick-ass band. I remember stumbling onto their discography while in undergrad during the late 90’s and having them introduce me to the whole riot grrrl music scene and the concept of music pushing socio-cultural and even political themes. Sure, I listened to (and owned) tons of “political” music, but I distinctly remember the time-period when one of their albums came out (I think it was “Dig Me Out”). Following the album’s release, there was a controversial news article that outed Carrie and Corin’s then secret romantic relationship. Then there was a huge political uproar with a Clinton (Bill) appointment who was gay, which led to heated nation-wide discussions on the morality of same sex relationships. Sleater-Kinney, a trio of strong willed women who played some of the most bad-ass music of the time, were, whether they wanted to be or not, the “poster band” for that time-period that had a focus on gay issues.

Sleater-Kinney at Music Tastes Good 2017 10/1/17. Setlist.Flash forward to now, and I believe that they and their music are needed now more than ever.

Look … I’m a straight male, but in a world filled with Harvey Weinsteins and President Trunps, women … no, the world … needs more Sleater-Kinneys and less Fifth Harmonies. We need minority voices to speak and sing out in strong voices to tell us that we are capable of change (“One Beat”) willing to move forward without fear or regret (“Bury Our Friends”) despite the cost (“What’s Mine Is Yours”) or how long it takes (“Price Tag”). We need voices like theirs to raise a call to arms (“Get Up”), hand in hand (“A New Wave”), despite what people say (“Youth Decay”) and despite the sacrifices that need to be made (“Fangless”). We need voices to tell use that rules can be both broken and made (“Surface Envy”) and voices to warn us of the other voices that may lead us astray (“Entertain”).

Maybe I’m reading way too much into their setlist than I should- and who knows … I could be hearing their music totally different than how you hear it … but to me, as far as I’m concerned, they and their music are just extremely relevant right now. For women. For the LGBTQ community. For men. For the disenfranchised. For everybody.

We need more Sleater-Kinney. Good on Music Tastes Good for having them close out the festival.

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