The Friday Morning Listen: Sleater-Kinney – Call The Doctor (1996)

Me and TheWife™ have recently become quite fond of the Independent Film Channel’s tee vee show Portlandia. I forget exactly how I found out about it. Since we don’t have “regular” tee vee — we’re what they call “cable-cutters” — it probably wasn’t from an IFC ad, though I suppose one of them could have been running on Hulu. More likely would have been some article or another that I happened upon. The funny thing is that the first time we tried to watch, I was kind of turned off to the show…and I remember exactly why: the sketch was a little musical bit and my innate hatred of musicals caused me to ignore the rest of the scene. My fault.

So a short time after this (it could have been as much as a couple of months) we gave the show another try and boom!…hooked. I honestly know nothing of Portland or how weird it is or any of that, but there’s certainly some common ground between those earthy-crunchy types out there and the ones back east. We’ve now caught up on both previous seasons and are looking forward to season three.

I love these kinds of unexpected finds. Whether they come from a magazine article, Web page sidebar ad, or just word of mouth, it’s always fun to have your universe expanded a little. Even better is when the discovery of something new leads to other areas of exploration. This is exactly what happened post-Portlandia. I knew that Carrie Brownstein was in Sleater-Kinney and was reminded that I knew of them, but had never really listened, despite their huge reputation. I did own a copy of The Woods, but nothing from their early years. Time for more investigation. Oh, and completely unrelated to all of this, I stumbled onto Carrie’s new band Wild Flag a few months ago.

If you watch the video below of Brownstein and Fred Armisen chatting, you’ll see why I picked Call The Doctor. Carrie had a student teacher in high school who gave her the album All Mod Cons by The Jam (My story is that my high school psychology teacher loaned me David Bromberg’s Out Of The Blues. OK, maybe not as cool.), which leads into Fred talking about the first time he heard Sleater-Kinney. Nothing profound here, really. Just some friends yakking it up about music.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he writes several weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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