16.6.09

SLINT : Live In Chicago 1989

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Hey, you know Slint, right? Of course you do. Tight with Albini & partially related to Squirrel Bait, they were an astonishing mid-80s outfit with a fetish for King Crimson's Red who accidently invented post-rock. Or something. They split in 1991 & have since gone onto to become deservedly influential but hideously over-rated (oh, admit it). They inexplicably reformed in 2005, for no reason other than to (creditably) blow their mystique, then disappeared again just as quickly - just as well on the basis of humdrum new composition, "King's Approach". I played my Jennifer Hartman copy of Tweez this morning before work & have been itching to listen to some live guff by their original incarnation all day. Chicago 1989 is what popped up when I Googled 'em (possibly recorded on 3rd March but don't quote me). Being a Brit, I never managed to catch 'em live first time 'round. The nearest I got was seeing Will Oldham on his first Palace Brothers tour here, upstairs in a tiny room above a long-demolished pub, with most of the original Slint line-up as his backing band. Twas a great night, trust me. Will was cleanshaven & had a full head of cherubic blonde curls (imagine). Ethan Buckler went on to form King Kong & I can't think of a bigger, better "fuck you" gesture than that...

Cortez

8 comments:

  1. Overrated? I'm not sure Slint, in their original incarnation, could be overrated. But their reformation, seemingly because they all fancied an easy payday but had very little interest in being a band together again, didn't so much destroy their mystique as hopefully destroy the mystique of those tours where a late 80s / early 90s band just plays a classic album in its entiretuy.

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  2. Hmmm, I guess I mean "overrated" posthumously - Slint have become The Band That Must Not Be Disssed (generally by folk who heard their records years after they were first released) so are fair game as far as I'm concerned. Personally, I have a REAL problem with bands getting back together generally (you might've noticed!) - fortunately, the recent Cabaret Voltaire "refromation" seems to have stalled, otherwise I'd really be spitting blood...!

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  3. maybe you got some King Kong for share? never heard 'em; it would be most appreciated

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  4. Er, I don't think I do actually! I heard some KK a long time ago & was rather surprised, there's virtually no trace of Slint in their music, they're much closer to the B52s in fact!
    This is the LP I heard:
    http://forestroxx.blogspot.com/2010/02/king-kong-old-man-on-bridge-1991.html
    & here's some very recent live footage:
    http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/nashvillecream/2010/01/king_kong_tonight_at_bettys_fe.php
    ...let me know what you think!

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  5. Saw them in Dublin in 2005 and it was amazing. Was already a big fan. Maybe they are overrated, Tweez is not a good album. But Spiderland is a masterpiece and seeing that band play that stuff live was pretty amazing. Apart from te huge applause that every song received I've never been at a gig where the audience has been so silent. At one point cheeky Dublin accent piped up from somewhere and shouted 'play some AC/DC' which was a pretty funny poke at the hushed reverence that the crowd was showing I suppose. Everybody laughed anyway, including the guys onstage. It was a great show. They even played a sfew songs of Tweez and the EP and they sounded great.

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  6. Well, being an old fart, I actually heard Tweez before Spiderland came out, so I've always maintained a bit of a soft spot for it. It sounds like an Albini-fronted King Crimson (Red-era) in places, which can't be a bad thing, can it?

    I'd love to hear some tapes of those Will Oldham/Slint performances I mentioned above, they were absolutely terrific when I saw 'em!

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  7. Anonymous6.12.11

    their first album sucks dick, but spiderland cannot be dissed.

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  8. Well, you're the expert...

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