Playlist: 13 Degrees of Sleater-Kinney

sleater-kinney > kevin bacon

Once upon a time, I was but a humble genteel pseudo-straight southern ladyperson fumbling her way haplessly through the Texas suburbs, one Coors Light at a time — and sometimes two.

Then Riot Grrrl blipped onto my tiny radar screen. What a vast turn of vast sonic fortune! A few crackling, third wave feminism-infused listens in and I suddenly wanted to rip my life right open, turn it inside out, and wear it like a fucking animal pelt. So I did.

We were (t)here, we were queer, and we had some rad fucking mixtapes! Sleater-Kinney quickly became the nexus of all that was good and pure and pumped through a ’92 Chrysler LeBaron convertible’s speakers. If we knelt it would have been at the rock-altar of our alt-holy trinity: Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein. (I’d cross myself but I don’t ever remember if you start on the right or the left.)

Now the time has come to pay tribute to Sleater-Kinney, and we shall do so via a convoluted series of causal chains manifesting into (1) playlist. While a straight-up S-K throwback mix would be its own flavor of perfect, instead enjoy this Our Chart-esque melange of S-K adjacence. Feast your ears on these ragged intersections, former bands, side projects, evolutions and devolutions — because it’s high time you tended to that Hot Rock burning a hole in your pocket.

having a moment, brb

1. Things You Say – Sleater-Kinney

2. Forever 28 – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

3. Yeah Yeah Yeah – The Minders

4. Your One Wish – Cadallaca

5. Hot Shit – Quasi

6. I’d Rather Eat Glass – Excuse 17

7. 1,000 Years – The Corin Tucker Band

8. The Revolution Of Hearts Pts. I & II – Helium

9. Drunk #1 – Sarah Dougher

10. Axeman – Heavens to Betsy

11. The Age of Backwards – The Spells

12. 14 Horses – Mary Timony

13. Future Crimes – Wild Flag


Don’t be shy, go on and share your fondest Sleater-Kinney-adjacent memories in the comments. Do you remember where you were when you heard they broke up? I don’t, but probably I wept into my hands, right there, where I was. Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone on the team will make it for you.

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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. This is amazing. I just saw Wild Flag on monday night at the same venue I saw Sleater-Kinney in six years ago (holy shit that makes me feel old!) and it was absolutely amazing seeing Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Janet Weiss and Rebecca Cole right there in front of me. They played the whole album and encored with covers of ‘See No Evil’ by Television and ‘Ask the Angels’ by Patti Smith. During the last song Carrie was less than arms length from me and then thrust her crotch in my face. Needless to say when I am dying and my life is flashing before my eyes that will be on the highlights reel.

    ALSO, Carrie and Corin are making noises about S-K being something that could happen again. They’ve been talking. I saw it on tumblr. It has to be true. But honestly, how do you top ‘The Woods’?

      • As it was the new songs were amazing and the live versions of Glass Tambourine and Racehorse were just beyond outstanding. I would also point out that Wild Flag live is just a sexy phenomenon. Add that encore and holy jesus wow.

  2. I saw Wild Flag on tuesday and if I’d laid down I could’ve touched Carrie’s shoes. That’s all.

  3. THANK YOU for this.

    Some interesting song choices, glad to see Sarah Dougher and Cadallaca getting some love.

    In a similar vein, I’d love to see a playlist with queer bands that undoubtedly have saved a lot of queer kids’ lives: Team Dresch, Third Sex, Butchies, Tribe 8, The Need, Gossip, Tracy + The Plastics, etc.

    Also!!! Please give a shout out to Kaia Wilson’s new Kickstarter project for her new album!

  4. Ah, thanks for reminding me how much I like Quasi and that I’ve never really given SM & the Jicks much of a shot. Also, that entire Excuse 17 album (Such Friends Are Dangerous) is awfully good; I feel like they don’t get talked about nearly enough.

  5. Forehead, chest, left shoulder, right shoulder—that’s how I crossed/rolled. Sometimes I’d even add a big, showy finish to the sequence (mouth and/or point-to-the-sky), if the mood was just right—highly devout but cool and untroubled. This playlist’s mood is just right. Gracias ‘n’ stuff.

  6. Ahhhhh, I was just bitching to my friend last night about the sorrow of losing my collection of riot grrrl music when my last computer kicked the bucket.

    Thank you. So so much. <3

  7. This website has a freakish ability to read my mind.
    I spent most of today talking about and listening to Sleater-Kinney, in fact I was listening to them when I clicked onto Autostraddle and saw this playlist.
    GET OUT OF MY HEAD! (But not really, please stay there forever, you’re like that friend who buys you the presents you were too afraid to ask for)

  8. This is so perfect! Writing a paper related to third-wave feminism right now, needed this. Thanks again Autostraddle (:

  9. I SAW WILD FLAG YESTERDAY AND IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME! As has already been pointed out, Television and Patti Smith covers were excellent – two of my favourite songs, plus Carrie… what can I say? Anyway, I listened to Excuse 17 on the way home from the gig and I’m going to listen to Revolution of Hearts right now as that is the best Helium song ever.

    S-K are, and ever will be, my favourite band. Such a pivotal role in my life. A friend of mine went to their final London show and I kind of wanted to punch her in the face with jealousy when I found out. Also, my guitar is the same as the one on the Dig Me Out album cover!

  10. When I was very small and in high school, I saw these opening words to the rollingstone review of Dig Me Out: “Riot grrrl, indie rock, queer punk…” and I just knew I had to listen to all of their music. :)

  11. The last S-K show we went to was May 2006. It was amazing, but we picked up a stray who “forgot” to tell us when we passed her exit on the way home, and she ended up staying at our place. Good times. #NOTREALLY.

  12. Fun story – Sleater-Kinney was the exit we took to get to my grandparents’ house when we all lived in Olympia. No one had to tell me where the band got its name! :D

    The first year I lived in Australia, Sleater-Kinney came to play at a festival. It was such a strange moment for me. (Not that I went, because I was broke, but you know.)

    • was that big day out? that was the one time i regretted not going, and still regret not going, sleater-kinney and i’m pretty sure the white stripes played that year, RIP

      • I missed the Big Day Out that year, but I saw them at the Meredith Music Festival, which was even better.

        Sleater-Kinney, out in the bush, to a few hundred people, on their last Australian tour. It’ll be one of my favourite gigs for as long as I live, I think.

  13. Sleater-Kinney IS my favorite band. The end. And I still tell people riot grrrl is my favorite genre…

    Carrie’s fabulous high kicks whilst playing guitar make me shiver. And yes, when I heard news that they had broken up, it broke my heart. I was at their last show and man, they did not play an encore and I’m just like that Portlandia skit because it’s going on year 6 of the break-up and I’m still like… ONE MORE SONG!!!!

  14. can this post turn into official sleater-kinney fanclub meeting #1? do we have enough people for that? can i also complain about the fact that i never got to see them live, and missed out on wild flag when they came to toronto because of school-related reasons?

    • I think you can legit complain about that. Hope you manage to catch Wild Flag next time they’re in Toronto!

  15. I remember when I first heard about riot grrrl! My bestie was penpals with some girl from Washington in ’95 and she had mailed her a mix-tape and my bestie was like “eeeh I’m not really into this but you like punk stuff right?” and she gave me the mix-tape and my whole entire world changed when I heard the first song!

    Sleater-Kinney – The Day I Went Away

    I remember that I spent that whole night on AOL (shut up) looking up this riot grrrl thing and from there feminism. I wrote a history term paper that year on riot grrrl and feminism. It was called “From Girl to Grrrl: When I Grow Up I Want to Start a Riot”

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