Monday, July 4, 2011

Fall Down on the World: The Music of Sleater-Kinney, Pt. 7--Stop When I Tell You


Those who wondered how Sleater-Kinney would handle the transition from Kill Rock Stars to Sub Pop Records had to feel like they wasted their time. A month or so after the release of their seventh record, S-K announced they would be going on "indefinite hiatus." The curtains on the cover was one early hint; the fact that this album almost didn't get made due to increasingly fractious band relations was another.

The news devastated the band's devoted fanbase; this acolyte in particular was fond of saying, for months afterward, "Music just got 63% more suck." An annoying off-shoot of this grieving, however, was the alleged dearth of worthy female bands once Portland's pride shuffled off to side projects. Like Erase Errata, Electralane, and Mika Miko didn't exist!

So far as parting shots go, The Woods is a quality one, but I'd be a flat-out fibber to say they couldn't have departed on an even higher note. There are only ten songs, and a couple of them get lost in a locked room. The decision to jack up the levels and blow out the jellies (hi, Flaming Lips producer David Fridmann!) means every song is coated thick as the sand that is quick with distortion. Madlib said "You must be out ya head if your system ain't up to the red," but for many listeners the chronic static drove them batty by "ruining" fundamentally good songs.

"The Fox"--A Timonian tale of duck/fox seduction that draws vexed circles around the mismatched combatants. A Burtonian headbanger. A Zeppelin-esque moon shot. A Robitussin-abetted night swim.

You know that delicate guitar interplay you love about Sleater-Kinney? Yeah. You shouldn't grow so attached to things. 'Cause it's gone.

"Wilderness"--Carrie and Corin trade off in this fair-minded ode to the formers parents and their doomed union. Like "Light Rail Coyote," the music shimmers sparsely with the skies and streets of the PNW, but the words tell a much more solemn story. Carrie bravely tells the tale from dual POVs, and wisely avoids the pitfalls of ornate sentimentality no matter the person. Nothing is too sweet, nor is it too bitter.

"What's Mine is Yours"--It's like "You Make My Dreams Come True" for people who appreciate how good that song is in the first place.

This one's for the freaks, who pronounce the "b" in "subtle" just 'cause they know that's not how you say it, but they hate that word anyway. "You can bleed, as long as they don't see it." Sleater-Kinney, from start to finish, never hesitated to give voice to those society shunned.

The guitars detect ghost whistles...the vocals grasp, gasp and scorch...the drums make paste of bones strong and brittle. Carrie's minute-long goddess move may have put some fans off momentarily, but as a fan of Sonic Youth, it warmed the cookies of my heart.

"Jumpers"--On the short list of "most-beloved" songs in their history. Inspired by a New Yorker article detailing the unfortunate status of San Francisco's storied Golden Gate Bridge as a Mecca for the suicide-minded, Sleater-Kinney wrote a song that is, naturally, riveting. Carrie and Corin's verse-work is somber and even soothing if you're not paying too close attention. The jam-punting that follows gives just a few seconds prep-time before Corin lets the desperation fly.

Every line is memorable, but I've always been fond of "The Golden spine of engineering/Whose back is heavy with my weight." A depression so deep, a misery so massive, an emptiness that can inexplicably be measured. Two sublime achievements of mankind (that would never know to identify themselves as such) come together for the purpose of creating a ridiculous arc in the sky plan. The best of us, the worst of us.

"Modern Girl"--A lachrymose Carrie number that waits way too long to unlock Janet from the bathroom, "Modern Girl" is like a soggy corn-chip that challenges one's ability to sing along whilst maintaining a smirk fit to fell bearded Billyburg boys right where they slouch.

It features harmonica. Yes. We get it, Carrie. Sarcasm. Your whole life is not a picture of a sunny day. No one loves you, thus you ain't really so happy. And this super-donut of which you speak defies even the greatest fantasies of Homer J. Simpson.

"Entertain"--Ah, here we go. Blunt Carrie. Brazen Carrie. Back in 2005 there was this slew of Gang of Four knock-offs that people with no sense of history enjoyed listening to. Jet, Franz Ferdinand, and where are they now? Hey, it was a righteous fight at the time. If patently unfair. As it is, "Entertain" goes a minute too long--stop it, stop it, they're already dead!--and they don't exude the sneering joy that I prefer to see in fraud-exposers.

"Rollercoaster"--The riffage is fittingly looping. What's weird is the metaphor mixture: love as rollercoaster ride with trembling start, euphoric ride, jarring stop (and gotta love how the song itself "returns" for another ride, so to speak); love as food ("We had a good time at the beginning/It tasted just like all the things I was missing"). Now, the only common ground with rollercoasters and food is they can both make you puke. And, you can find plenty of each at Dorney Park. But, Dorney Park has Snoopy. Snoopy, he would tell Corin to just hush up and enjoy the pizza 'cause there's more comin', I mean it is Pizza Saturday after all.

The food metaphor is evoked much more often, as well. Might have behooved 'em to name the song something like "Bouillabaisse Babies."

"Steep Air"--A very uncharacteristic, plundering air keeps this song from distinguishing itself.

"Let's Call It Love"--YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. This is more like it, so can we have more like it? Eleven minutes long, this one. Eleven sultry, sweaty, sexy, muggy, torrid, are you ready yes I'm ready, to falllllllllll in love, is that what this is, yeah let's call it that minutes. Metaphor this. Sex music for ant people, ant music for sex people. Don't imagine mountains where none exist. Multiple orgasms will sharpen the vision. Y'all know "The Rule of One," right? Which is? It ain't enough.

Creamy raunch and buttery roll. Don't get precious about that which we would not be without.

"Hit the floor, honey/Let's battle it out." Corin supplants Robert with every shamelessly lascivious line.

"Show me your darkest side." Upon first listen, Patrick and I really wanted to believe this line was "Snoopy/The dog is sick." When I saw them do this song live, I looked over at Corin from my cozy spot in front of Carrie's mic and could easily imagine she was actually saying "Snoopy/The dog is sick." And it cheered me.

Letting the music breathe as they do here was an unusual move, like giddy parents introducing a new sibling. Listeners accustomed to fighting for air along with the songs either cooed over the clean pink slate, or ground their teeth to the colicky red cries. Again, as a Sonic Youth fan, I was tickled to hear Sleater-Kinney stretch out. (SY weren't too displeased, either; I spoke with someone who stood next to Lee Ranaldo at SK's show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York and during "Let's Call It Love," Ranaldo could be seen shaking his head in amazement.)

"Night Light"--The sentinence of said light can be heard here in Carrie Brownstein's string witchery. Sturdy, smart, and not enough. Never enough. Shit.

A night light is there for peace of mind. But bulbs burn out, and require a replacement. A night light is generally outgrown by the one who came to rely on it. Come on, sleep in the dark. Lights out. Night.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fall Down on the World: The Music of Sleater-Kinney, Pt. 6--Protest and Survive


The American government's message to its people after the attacks of September 11, 2001 was to show the world that no tragedy could send us from knees to belly. How best to accomplish this show of strength? Buy stuff. Engage each other in meaningful dialogue about the government's repulsive foreign policies? No, go to Disneyland. Or World. Or both, 'cause more bucks is more freedom is victory is safety is family is America.

The 80s underground music scene flourished under the conservative reign of Reagan, suffered accordingly for both of Clinton's terms, so cool hunters could realistically expect a rebirth of passionate protest from the sidestream's finest.

But wow...nothing happened.

With the Patriot Act making it easier for citizens rights to be diminished for The Greater Good, artists suddenly scurried into their dark holes, frightened to raise questions and rattle cages. Sleater-Kinney were among the few brave souls, and they weren't content to offer just a protest song; One Beat is a whole damn album dedicated to the fight against fear and its many children--complacency, ignorance, hatred, and propaganda.

"One Beat"--Shakin' out the fossilized thought from second one, Corin asks "Is real change an illusion?" and the answer is...In these days and times, most likely. Real change is necessary for any body to stave off atrophy, to develop strength and wisdom, to reach ever closer to its fullest potential. If the denizens of this here globe had never at any point provoked genuine revolution, those of us alive right now wouldn't find ourselves in the world as we know it. A world where we have more information at our disposal than ever before, but too much disposal information. Hence, the unlikelihood of real change for the better.

"One Beat" sets the sonic tone with jagged, defiant guitar work, voices confident enough to slip on passion, and the march-precise drumming.

"Far Away"--With just a second to steel ourselves, we the listeners are thrown into Corin Tucker's raw remembrance of September 11th, when what should have been just another fabulous morning with her new baby boy went to hell already on fire. This recollection of watching the horror unfold on television, in a home thousands of miles away from the disaster sites, proves that tragedy is not provincial. (So much galled me about that terrible time. Nothing more so than the loss of thousands of lives. But my God, when otherwise well-intentioned people started that whole "Today We Are All New Yorkers" crap. I got no time for it. When an event of that magnitude occurs, it throws into sharp relief the silliness of boundaries, labels, barriers and dividing lines. We are citizens of the world.)

Corin gives her words the room they need to reverberate. Which they do with a power unmatched by any other song in their history.

"Far Away" is a shield against a collapsing sky. Dented, but not destroyed.

"Oh!"--Come along and ride on an onanistic voyage! After a pair of political powder-kegs, it's time for Carrie Brownstein (armed and legged with a new, sassier delivery) to bring that heart beat, oh it's a love beat. "Crazy to sane," "black to blue," it's all star power star power star power over y'all.

"The Remainder"--An abrasive rebuff of a traitorous relation. Yessir. I do not know who or what put the idea in my head that the subject of this song was Sara Dougher, Portland musician/writer/teacher and SK collaborator. The watery effect on Carrie's background vox is unnecessary, but harmless.

"Light Rail Coyote"--A tribute to Portland told with a short story writer's descriptive eye, "Light Rail Coyote" is all brown and green. This music is the new classic rock ("dirty river" is so CCR). Warm, familiar, to be blared. And based on a true story.

"Step Aside"--Canopies torn away, solar-powered sockets spark the dirt dance floor, pardon me is that a horn section? Yeah, but the breakdown is the hottest rock, so step to a side but don't stay there.

A lyrical misstep, however: "When I feel worn out/When I feel beaten/Like a worn-out shoe/Or a cake half eaten." Well shit, at least it didn't get waterlogged, so you can make it again! (Bringing up cake in songs is almost always not a good look.) Alternate lyric: "When I feel beaten/When I feel worn out/Like a used-up fuel/Or a page torn out."

"Combat Rock"--A fitting song title for the racket-gang that realistically could be called, from 1997 on, The Only Band That Matters. Carrie's terse Morse Code of Moral Cohesion is blunt and insolent and refreshing. Simply put, all the boys in all the bands weren't writing songs of this fiber. They fucking still aren't, actually.

Love is never having to bite your tongue. America the Beautiful, America the Brutal. We need to get off our knees and sing these songs at the top of our lungs.

"O2"--It's vital to stay strong. It's helpful to thrill to the wide open spaces. Elixir is hoax-milk; music is the juice of life. "O2" is always paired with "Light Rail Coyote" in my mind as sweet evocations of Portland life, foliage updates and all. Don't you just love those songs that are one continuous climax? Don't they roil all the good honest emotions up in your chest until you just laugh 'cause it sounds better than a shout or scream?

"Funeral Song"--Carrie returns to her usual semi-croon here, 'cause ain't nothin' sassy 'bout dyin'. Dead's just dead. "Nothing says 'forever' like my very own grave."

Janet is as relentless as an assassin. Here, there, everywhere. She's got more than one beat, even though one really is all you need. Beat back the hounds; don't fear the reaper, set that fucker on fire. Fill the void with rocks and sounds. Great pyro-imagery here, and if the last thing I hear before my fire is snuffed out by the coldest hand is the buzz and whine of a theremin, I can (cease to) live with that.

"Prisstina"--A tale about a bookworm gone club-bunny that sounds more than anything like a New Wave experiment. I'm not sure why this made it, but "Lions and Tigers" didn't. (I'm sure Patrick will jump in to explain the importance of mood in sequencing. Then he can jump right back out and get me a sammich.)

Holy shit, are those male backing vocals? Yes but unfortunately it's not Fred Schneider, it's Stephen Trask. Who is a top-notch individual I've no doubt. Certain crevices of the Interweb were explored and found to contain fans who were nonplussed (definition the first) over Trask's contributions. Something about the exclusively female realm being breached.

(Neat bit of trivia that will never appear on Jeopardy! and made Slim Moon think about reaching for the Tums: on the vinyl and CD tracklistings, "Funeral Song" and "Prisstina" are transposed.)

"Hollywood Ending"--Hollywood, where real change is an illusion, along with every other goddamn thing else. Sun, smog, fame, love. Everyone is doing instead of being, slick as lotion on fake skin. "You stay on till you're good and raw."

"Sympathy"--Corin's is the strongest overall voice on One Beat, and the closing salvo is a spiritual stomper. "Far Away" gave us a peek at new mother Corin fearing for the world her child would inherit; "Sympathy" tells us that it almost never happened.

On the list of things that will, almost without fail, cause even the staunchest skeptic to reach out to a God somewhere, almost losing your newborn child has gotta be top 3. I still maintain that thinking you may be about to die is number one. We are selfish creatures, us humans. "We are equal in the face of what we are most afraid of, " sings Tucker. No one has ever been too great to die. But goddamnit, the terrified parent says, give my child the chance to be great first!

To hear the selflessness of "Sympathy" is to hear the quintessence of motherhood. Mama Bear will do anything for Baby Bear, including taking a steaming bowl of porridge (just) right to the face.

If the only thing between me and a black bear is my mom, I can tell you this. Maybe that black bear dies, maybe my mom dies, but you know who doesn't die in this scenario? That's what moms do. A mother's love for her child is the purest love there is. I won't say "purest love imaginable," because it can't be imagined. It must be felt, first-hand. Heart to heart, one beat at a time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fall Down on the World: The Music of Sleater-Kinney, Pt. 5--Burning Down the Clubhouse


The final finger for the fist was the band's most accessible platter yet, crafty and clean, polished and powerful, smart and fun throughout. An additional treat is the increased presence of drummer Janet Weiss on backing harmony vocals.

This is my favorite SK album, which is not a popular opinion whatsoever. It's that record many fans say "It's better than almost any other bands best, but compared to the other Sleater-Kinney albums..." Yeah, yeah. It might not be a gate-crushing rocker like Dig Me Out, but it's more varied and controlled, and a 101 on how to challenge the parameters of patriarchal thought without coming across as sententious assholes.

The replay value of this album is off the charts. Let's go.

"The Ballad of a Ladyman"--The showtime sheet at a Japanese rock festival read: "Sleater Kinney 8:30 'Ladymen'." The showtime sheet at ATP 2002 in Los Angeles read: "Sleeter Kinney." Outdated ideas of masculinity and femininity and masculinity versus piss-poor spelling, clearly Sleater-Kinney know how to fight the real enemy.

"I gotta rock!" Compromise is fer babies.

One of the greatest lyrics in their catalog ("Boys who are fearful of getting an earful") and one of the finest breakdowns of music recorded in the 21st century. Not perfect--'cause perfection sucks and should never be yearned for--but superb.

"Get-High Cream" would stink worse than Hitler breath.

"Ironclad"--Being a resident of Western Maryland, I pop crazed mental chubbies for Civil War references. My favorite field trip was the Antietam Battlefield; I've devoured book after book dedicated to the fight between the Blue and the Grey; I live a mile from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, which is not only an educational building but haunted as well. So when Carrie namedrops the Monitor and the Merrimack, yeeeeessssss. History! No surprise "Ironclad" was a staple on their setlist when they hit DC.

The jitter-jagger of Carrie's guit plays nice with Corin's corded muscle-work. Janet plays hide and seek lackadaisically, knowing that when she's found, the party is on. Right there in the middle of the museum.

You have many songs about hero worship, but not many about hero warships. In the frequently fractious relationship between the two C's, I wonder who was which ship?

"All Hands on the Bad One"--Sleater-Kinney, the hypocritical thinkers worst enemy. The first to on snark get set go all over the two-faced sycophants. You can get to heaven on the back of these harmonies. Everyone say hello to Sarah Dougher on organ; she'll pop up again. She'll also appear on the next album.

"Youth Decay"--Less sycophants, more psycho baby elephants.

The said issue of eating disorders doesn't deserve to be belittled by sour meanderings anyway. SK know the score: 1200 calories to 500. I'd love to gather up some bricks, concrete blocks, piss balloons and wet leaves and just blitzkrieg a McDonalds with this song blaring from the getaway car.

Is there some incest happening as well in this sordid domestic scenario? "Daddy says I got my Mama's mouth"? Eww.

"You're No Rock N Roll Fun"--Arguably the best SK song ever.

Two weeks after the release of All Hands, my favorite band of all time ever the one the only the Sonic Youth put out NYC Ghosts and Flowers, to my mind their weakest full-length release. Usually SY records take over my life, but this time I kept going back to SK. It's not inaccurate to say that for the remainder of 2000, the Pacific Northwest's finest had deposed the Beasts From the East as my number one racket-gang.

With songs like this, how could I resist? A smart-not-clever jibe at the self-important rock stars stinking up the post-gig scene, "You're No Rock N Roll Fun" does the Loco-motion all over those pretentious twats. Listen to this and learn how to get down.

"#1 Must Have"--At this point--the not-quite halfway mark--Sleater-Kinney have firmly established themselves as the most confident band on planet Earth. Nonbelievers invited to commence with the fucking of themselves in 3, 2....

Noted for Corin's direct identification of herself as a riot grrrl, "#1 Must Have" is a tic-tac-toe board X'ed and O'ed out with disgust and hope. At the band's final East Coast show in Washington, DC, Tucker dedicated this song to a young girl sitting onstage who had been brought to the show by her father. It's been five years since, and I hope that young lady will never fail to refer back to that moment for inspiration.

"The Professional"--A minute and a half is all it takes. Inerrant, erratic, radical. Carrie doesn't enunciate much here but who cares. Clarity is for the professionals. The "she" is the "them" there, see? Sleater-Kinney did nothing but piss off professionals their whole life long. The chorus mimics the feeling of being rewarded with a cheesecake.

"Was It a Lie?"--The agony of women as entertainment. This song was inspired by real-life, the pathetic story of a man who captured video of a young woman being struck by a train. The video became a sick hit, a source of comedy for too many.

Fittingly, "Was It a Lie?" is reminiscent of a deserted place: useless train tracks, sleepy hollow side roads, rednecks heads. Was it an evitable situation? Yeah. But whether or not this woman was fucked up, homeless, tired, lost, that makes her violent death funny? "A woman's life got cheaper that day." Everyone's life is becoming cheaper every day.

"Male Model"--The male ideal of musicianship gets a nice swift kick here. Corin is awesome, but Carrie is for the chidren. "Show me your riffs"? Holy shit that's fantastic. Fuck you, Woodstock '99. To this day. And the greatest mondegreen in the band's history can be found within these walls, as well.

"Don't get me wrong/I'm not opposed to something big." Clearly. This band once covered Boston live and took massive inspiration from the B-52's just as much as Gang of Four.


"Leave You Behind"--This coulda been a single, with a quirky video directed by some indie iconoclast, featuring the members in mini-skirts swaying offbeat in a hideously-decorated kitchen waiting for the pancakes to finish up. Lovely but lightweight.

"Milkshake N Honey"--Dedicated to the fans at SK's final show ever. This song breaks the swag-o-meter. Corin is dripping here, people. This is a gender-fuck par excellence. "I've always been a guy with a sweet tooth/And that girl was just like a king-sized candy bar." I'm guessing Patrick doesn't rate this song highly 'cause he's one o' them boys fearful of the earful. Too bad; this is a beautifully sleazy body-full.

"Pompeii"--The partially buried, now free to see the world. Nothing too deep here. Corin goes Grape Ape, so stick around for that.

"The Swimmer"--An engrossing routine that could have been titled "The Shimmer." Breast stroke all the way, then towel off, change and relax with a night-time kite-flight while Chopin streaks the sky from your stereo. A stunner.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fall Down on the World: The Music of Sleater-Kinney, Pt. 4--Steal Away


Musically, The Hot Rock represented a drop in room temperature. To the consternation of some, the album's pace was slower overall than that of Dig Me Out; Carrie's lead lines were more abstract than before, and nearly every track features structural shifts that abruptly halt the pogo wherever it's stuck. Fans who'd fastened onto the raucous sound of the prior album may have lamented the lack of rave and bubble, but only briefly, because Sleater-Kinney's zeal is uncompromising as ever.

"Start Together"--The reason SK connected with their fanbase in a way few bands of their era could match is pretty basic: the band understood how crucial feeling connected to something is. It's a need that crosses every imaginable barrier--race, gender, age, religion, nationality.

Corin is downright sweet-sounding here (think tone, not content) over Carrie's superbly woven web.

"Hot Rock"--I've never seen the 1972 movie of the same name, starring Robert Redford chief amongst others, and I likely never will, just 'cause heist capers don't intrigue me like that. Resolutely un-punk, but hypnotizing. At a couple minutes in, Carrie's lead coaxes Janet's rolls out of the oven. MMMMM.

Trying to follow the lyrics will leave your brain scrambled, blood thickened, eyes crossed and mouth slackened. Not unlike what happens when you eat at Carls Jr., but at least Sleater-Kinney don't overload you with empty calories.

"The End of You"--Corin took her inspiration from The Odyssey, using the marine navigation metaphor to stand in for the life of a rock band.

SK specialized in introductory riffs uniquely suited to send crowds into a froth, all high-pitched shrieks and arms shot skyward. "Bless me with Athena/There's no meaner, she's the best." The goddess of war, wisdom, strength, justice and the female arts? Uh, yeah. (I'm sure Corin's partial to the Olympian version of her birth.) A tribute to talent and guts in abundance.

"Burn, Don't Freeze"--Corin and Carrie demand the listener learn to multi-task over one of the most abstract guitar patterns to bless a Sleater-Kinney wreck-hard. Carrie's saying more stuff, and although it takes some time to discern, also the more interesting stuff. Listen to this muffucka in headphones and you will agree: salient points made all round.

"God Is a Number"-- The observation that numbers and equations are insidiously replacing letters and reason as the preferred mode of communication between bipeds is so obvious that even Christians agree. It's all John 2:11 that, and Corinthians 8:22, right?

This is not the song you play to get people into Sleater-Kinney. They will run screaming from the chorus, and leap right out the nearest rattling window.

"Banned From the End of the World"--Anyone who lived through the millennial hysteria of 1999 can attest to how annoying it all was. Y2K! Computers are going to kill us all, planes will plummet from the sky and anarchy will reign! Philip K. Dick, the rumors are true! Except none of that. I thought humanity couldn't get anymore ridiculous in my lifetime but well, 2012 is only a year away. "Party without fear," ah, tis only a sweet dream. One of the happiest guitar parts they ever conjured up, too.

"If you want it, I'll come right over." Oh you do that.

"Don't Talk Like"--Sad. As hell. Except with walls of blue flame, not orange or red. Corin sounds mournful as a widow, and Carrie's playing is infused with intensely focused invention to keep the tears from abandoning their ducts and leaving tell-tale trails.

One of their most overlooked songs, and maybe the best guitar tone on any of their tracks as well.

"Get Up"--Corin Tucker is Luna Lovegood directing a Wrackspurts porno flick. Should be incorrigible and twisted, but isn't, thanks to AD Janet Weiss as Hermione Granger's insistence on logic. When the title comes, it's exhilarating not because of some key change or speed bump, but because it feels like a natural conclusion.

"One Song For You"--I'd much rather hear Carrie get sexual than Corin, for a few reasons. Even when Ms. Tucker takes over the chorus, I'm still stuck on Carrie's subtle come-on. Another neglected gem from this album.

"The Size of Our Love"--Uncomfortable, but touching, from the opening line introducing us to the cancer-ridden lovers and taking us each agonizing step to the end of all ends.

"I'll die in this room/If you die in this room."

The addition of violin is as tasteful as you'd hope with a song of this nature.

"Living in Exile"--Living a lie, more like. An Ice Queen in search of heat after a shattering abandonment. It's quite Buddhist, really. Nothingness is everything. Melt away, back into the earth. Sounds same-y by now, which is not a complaint. Most of the riffs on the album would have no trouble making Fred Schneider do the Monkey whilst gripping a cowbell.

"Memorize Your Lines"--Good grief, more love in shambles? More violin? What's love got to do with it though? Humanoids more often than not prevaricate on instinct, spew bull even when the truth would save the day. The best actors are sociopaths, and if sociopaths are people who never learned the basic societal functions, who's to say someone couldn't unlearn those functions as well?

"A Quarter To Three"--The chorus has never not reminded me of "Back on the Chain Gang" by the Pretenders, fronted by noted Riot Grrl negator Chrissie Hynde. (For all her bluster, I couldn't help but agree when Hynde voiced in an interview exactly how writing PUSSY POWER on your abdomen signalled revolution. But.) Carrie sounds like a stripped-down Chrissie at scattered points throughout SK's discography, so the evocation may not be coincidental.