Woke up this morning, and stuck my tape of last night's Conan O'Brien show on right away.
Sleater-Kinney sang "Step Aside." It was good enough ... I doubt anyone seeing them for the first time was saying "damn, Steven's right, this IS the greatest band!", but it was fine. They left out the canned horn section. Mostly it was just a blast because here's these musicians I've seen eight times over the past 4+ years (heck, I've seen them three times in 2002 alone!), and they're such indie queens of rock and roll that they always seem like "real" people and not rock stars ... shoot, I've had dinner with Corin! ... and there they were on teevee! Even Robin, who isn't much of a fan even though I've made her go to two S-K concerts herself, was all "dang, look at that!" in that same kind of "they're on teevee!" way. Reminded me of some months ago, when Sara called me on the phone to tell me that Sleater-Kinney and Bruce were both in the latest issue of Rolling Stone ... turned out she hadn't ever really realized that anyone except her dad was actually listening to S-K.
Corin didn't do any hip-shaking stuff, but she did do the back-and-forth-hair-swing thing with her head. For those of you who might have watched and were seeing them for the first time, those little moves constitute a huge step forward for someone who used to just kinda stand there belting out tunes. Carrie did a coupla patented leg kicks. Janet (sigh) had on a long-sleeved black shirt for a change (the change was in the sleeves, not the color ... I've never seen her play in anything but black tee-shirts, although in pix where she's not drumming she wears actual colors). Being the Janet Geek that I am, I almost wish they'd played "Hollywood Ending" for the drum solo, but she was great in any event.
Conan came out after the song to thank them, and WOW! Conan is a pretty tall guy, it's true, but still ... after four years of seeing the three of them together and thinking they were all pretty much as tall as the next person (which they are, it's not like they're short, but when Janet has stood next to me, she was a few inches shorter than me, for instance), here comes Conan, all 6'4" of him, and MAN did he tower over the grrls or what? They went to commercial, and when they returned, the show was over, but the women were all sitting on the couch and when they rolled the credits, they all waved at the camera and you could see Corin mouthing "hi Marshall! hi Lance!" which was pretty cute.
All in all, it was pretty inconsequential in a lot of ways, but in the one most fundamental way it was huge: Sleater-Kinney on teevee!