the times finally remembers their job

perhaps the last s-k post for awhile

I'm still stoked, so here I go again, but this might be the last one for awhile.

Sleater-Kinney keeps a tour diary going on their website, and here's what someone (it sounds like Carrie, but it's unsigned) said about our show:

Sunday's show felt like a Sunday show until the end of the set. Everyone was friendly and attentive up until then, which is always rewarding, but things were also pretty low key. Then something shifted during the last few songs, a momentum was gained, and the encore was played to one of the most frenzied crowd of tour.

There was much jamming in the set, and there will continue to be. We're sure this comes as good news for some and bad news for others, which is exactly the point. The best kinds of shows and the best kinds of records are ones that people either love or hate; they bring about discussion and argument. In concert, the songs will always be the songs, with parameters inside of which we explore. But the moments in between, the interstices, are the places where the sonic mapping and communication occur, those are the moments that we live for. Songs bleeding into songs, blurring everything that before felt certain.

Here's the thing. As you read their tour diary, or interviews with them or whatever, you know that Sleater-Kinney is a band that takes audience response seriously. They believe it's our contribution to the concert, that we have fun and exchange energy with the band. If nothing else, they're aware of the difference between "low key" and "frenzied."

Well, they've been extending their jamming time over the last few years ... at first they never did it, then they snuck in a minute or two, now they're up to three or four jams a show, some of them quite lengthy. The first time I saw them jamming, I felt like they were bonding with each other ... Corin and Carrie would turn towards Janet, with their backs kinda 3/4 turned away from the audience, as they searched for a musical bliss. Musically, it was often exciting, and there was also an almost voyeuristic feel, unlike the usual crowd-watching-band-watching-crowd ambiance, as if for a few moments they were playing for themselves instead of for us. As the tour diary says, those were the places where communication occurred, "the moments that we live for." I would suggest that no matter how much we in the audience might also treasure those musical jams, the communication in those moments isn't flowing from band to crowd and back again ... the audience is much more the spectator.

And that's fine ... I'm for anything that encourages Sleater-Kinney to explore their muse. But I have to think that over time, an increase in jamming will result in a decrease in audience frenzy. Because the jamming seems to serve a purpose for the band that doesn't necessarily include or need an audience.

Which leads me back to Jillian's thoughts about last night's show, that the band is truly awesome, but that she missed the interaction with the crowd. Specifically, she missed the parts between the songs, when Janet would tell a dumb joke, or Carrie would offer an anecdote about something that had happened a few nights ago on the tour. Perhaps those "interstices" are taken up now with jamming, with "sonic mapping."