joan of arcadia season finale

sleater-kinney, our 10th show

Just a quick note before I go to bed. They are better than ever. Jillian rightly noted that there was very little interaction with the audience tonight, and that matters, because their relationship with their fans is part of who they are as artists. And so, depending on how much importance you put on that aspect of the show, and it is VERY important, you might rank this show a little lower than I did. For me, the band was on fire to such an astounding extent that I didn't notice they weren't chatty until I was already won over. They barely stopped between songs ... they were very much like an early punk band tonight, just buzzsawing their way through one great song after another with barely a moment to breathe.

Individual comments: Janet was Drummer Queen as usual, but this time, she was also one of the opening acts, as part of Quasi. Quasi's not the best band, but Janet Fans like me can't get enough of her playing drums, and boy, did she play drums. (And on one song, she played guitar and drums at the same time!) Quasi was pretty impressive until Sleater-Kinney came on, and you realized that now Janet was playing actual songs, while with Quasi she kinda drummed to her own drummer, if you know what I mean. Corin was in excellent voice, so "Sympathy" was properly triumphant. She also continued her transformation into an animated rocker ... gone are the days when she'd barely move on stage. Carrie was more adorable than ever ... her bangs flopped down in front of her eyes during the first song and pretty much stayed there the entire night ... as Jillian noted, the bangs gave her a real Joey Ramone look. Her idiosyncratic guitar playing was magnificent. If Janet Weiss was the MVP of the evening, Carrie was still the most popular.

Other stuff ... Geoff and Sean seemed to like the show, which was nice. Saw Greil Marcus, who talked about going to the Fillmore back in the 60s. S-K didn't play "Youth Decay," but they played so many great songs I'm not complaining. And all four of the new songs were excellent ... I have no idea what they were about, but they sound great. For me, this was the best Sleater-Kinney show I've seen so far. They have progressed as a band to the point where I just watched them with my jaw open the entire show. I never thought I'd say this, but tonight, Sleater-Kinney was as great a live band as the Clash.