Wednesday, April 21, 1999

Or Maybe She Ain't All That

Posted By on Wed, Apr 21, 1999 at 12:00 AM

As much as I’m all for the young feminist voice, I’m more than a little resistant to letting the superlatives rip about the critics’ hottest rock babes who demand respect. Whether they’re being accused of being revolutionary poets or ripping out jugular veins with their angst-driven musical superpowers, I wonder if even they can take all the drooling seriously. Hey, nobody’s waking up in an East Bloc bathtub full of ice missing a kidney, and there’s nothing sophisticated or very political about Sleater-Kinney’s appetizer defiance. So let’s leave the mythology right there.

At best, they’re neato, keen stuff – like the penny loafers of punk rock. Corin Tucker can wail, but I don’t think she’s changing anybody’s world – except maybe Ken Tucker’s (same last name is sheer coincidence). It’s hard not to draw a comparison here to Kathleen Hanna’s latest reinvention of the truly badass female self, Julie Ruin. Now there’s a real conundrum that’ll draw anyone who’ll listen into a tangled web of female identity, varying shades of socialist thought and personal politics without rules. Sure Sleater-Kinney blow off the major labels, but even Ani Difranco can do that. Via "God is a Number," they’re also rebels against the future, hitting the technophobic panic button eons too late to even be relevant. If the machines really are going to rise up and eat us, I hope they get you guys first.

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