20 August 2011

I bought this on Amazon for less than a pack of cigarettes

Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out (Kill Rock Stars, 1997)
The other day at work, I drank a lot of coffee. More so than normal. Two cups before I left my apartment, another while I waited at the station, and then I poured one more before I sat down at my desk. By about 9AM, I was bursting. My heart was pumping faster than I was comfortable with, and my thoughts were racing. I already had a lot on my mind going, but now my reservations, hopes, concerns, and yearnings were accelerated. The soundtrack to the chaos? "Turn It On", track three off of Dig Me Out. It takes the wind out of me. Guitar and drums are something I'm equipped to handle, but I have no formal training for vocals like this. There's a real guttural quality to Corin Tucker's vocals. Not to suggest that they're lacking in anyway or of a poor quality, but rather it quite literally sounds like there is a fire coming up from her belly. The way she breaks the words into chunks of syllables, and then drags them out , that's what lingers in my head. "It's just that when you touched me. I could not stand up."
There's no fucking around on this record. There's a focus, like this is all a part of a plan or better yet a code. It reminds me of Omar from The Wire. Sleater-Kinney aren't knocking heads in and murdering detractors without good reason. They're merely trying to right the wrongs that exist in their culture. They're trying to survive. Whenever I have to explain why I listen to hip hop, the answer is always the same. Hip hop, to me, is this grand form of storytelling depicting events, emotions, and experiences that I conceivably will never experience. I kind of get the same feeling listening to this. As a white male, I really have no clue what its like to be oppressed or held back based on something so trivial as gender or sex. That being said, I can at least empathize with the frustration that comes from such a predicament.
Given the fact that this record came out in 1997, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there may be some feminist themes and thoughts spread out through this album. I'm also going to stand firm, and say that I am not the one to dissect and discuss them.
This is what I have gleaned after after some listening sessions. There are words and guitars on this album, and those sounds make me want to push forward.

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