Ten Sleater-Kinney Songs That Make Them the Best American Punk Band Ever. Really.


Thank you for the music, Sleater-Kinney. This gang of three was the best American punk rock band ever. EVER. (No disrespect to the Ramones--S-K called one of their best songs "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone," cleverly swiping the riff from the Ramone' 1992 non-hit "Tomorrow She Goes Away," itself based on the Shadows' "Apache.") They stayed true to the Pacific Northwest riot grrrl ideals that inspired them, but they didn't waste time critiquing the mainstream--instead, they seized their own independent vision of freedom, acted it out, lived it out, gave that vision a sound. That's why they never sounded like anybody else, and that's why their music remained intensely moving while other bands ran out of gas.

That's also why they kept such a tight connection with their fans. "tt's like a game of Marco Polo," Carrie Brownstein told Rolling Stone in 2003. "There's all these people with their eyes shut trying to drown out the cacophony of bad music. Searching for each other in the dark."

In twelve years, they never made a weak record. Which was the best, Call The Doctor or Dig Me Out? Or The Woods, which was last year and a whole new heavy sound? Nobody expected Sleater-Kinney to stick together this long, least of all themselves â€" but here are ten crucial reasons to be glad they did. Farewell, Sleater-Kinney — go easy, step lightly, stay free.

"The Day I Went Away," Sleater-Kinney (1995) "More Than A Feeling," b-side (1995)
"I'm Not Waiting," Call The Doctor (1996)
"Call The Doctor," Call the Doctor (1996)
"One More Hour," Dig Me Out (1997)
"Start Together," The Hot Rock (1999)
"Get Up," The Hot Rock (1999)
"You're No Rock & Roll Fun," All Hands On The Bad One (2000)
"Jumpers," The Woods (2005)
"Modern Girl," The Woods (2005)

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Rob Sheffield

Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he writes about music, TV and pop culture. He is the author of two books, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran and Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time.

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