They named their band after an exit just outside of Olympia, WA where the used to practice, and now the world's greatest live band has decided to exit stage left. Why the break-up? Was it Corin's motherhood? The bludgeoning that they took at the hands of Dave Fridmann as they recorded their magnum opus "The Woods", or did they simply want the time off to hone their trivia skills in order to take out Stephen Malkmus and Joanna Bolme at the neighborhood watering hole? Endless battles over whether the correct answer is Moors or Moops. We will probably never know. There have been rumblings about break-ups and commitments for awhile. I believe that the band who made the term 'riot grrrrl' actually palateable, chose the perfect time to call it quits. How could they have possibly followed up the ball tightening turgid tumult of "The Woods"? By taking it up a notch? That notch would involve disemboweling Sally Struthers for a mere 88 cents a day. For the price of one cup of coffee, you can have your head bashed in by Brownstein. Words and Guitar. The only other viable option would be to release an MTV unplugged album. Instead of Meat Puppets and David Bowie covers, it would consist of Polly Styrene and Exene. Bonus tracks include: an acapello version of "Oh Bondage, Up Yours". Retirement was the only viable option. Cash the 401k in.
There will still be Sleater sightings in Portland. They will be spotted at the gigs, Powells Books and Tuesday night trivia. I will refrain from slurring insipid questions at them like I drunkenly did while Janet Weiss was in the spectral presence of Elliot Smith at a Death Cab for Cutie/Maroons show at EJ's circa '98. They will be around. They just won't play anymore. It will sink in at some point.
They have announced one more show for Portland. Tickets were impossible to get with my dial up settings. The $12 face value tickets are now going for $300 on Ebay. I will continue to check Craigs List. Too dismayed to speak, I went on a journey to Jackpot records and picked up the only Sleater product I could afford, copies of Dig Me Out (my initiation to them, obscurely enough it was a Rob Sheffield review in Details magazine that turned me on to them) and Hot Rock (my personal favorite) on vinyl.
Ten years down the road they will announce a reunion tour, and like the Pixies and Dino JR they will sell out venues that were impossible before. However, unlike the Pixies show, I will not be surrounded by douche bags in Audioslave t-shirts with old skool ball caps on backwards with their only reference point to the band being that scene in Fight Club when the buildings crumble. Words and Guitar.