We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Want to hear everything Sleater-Kinney isn’t? Check out the 1994 long-player from Heavens to Betsy, Corin Tucker’s old band. If you’re too old, too male, or too clear-headed to have found Riot Grrrl all that liberating, Calculated will remind you why you stopped listening. It’s naive, scenebound, and blunt, and Tucker shrieks in all the wrong places in all the expected ways. “Stay Away” marks the only time I’ve wanted earplugs while driving. Now skip ahead three years to Sleater-Kinney’s new Dig Me Out and “Little Babies,” the one thing I’ve felt compelled to crank to the peg in the car: I’m tooling up the Rock Creek with the windows down, bucking autistically in the seat, pounding on the steering wheel like a chimp, bellowing, “dum dum dee dee dee dum dum dee dum do.” Tucker’s shock-vibrato has become arguably the most important voice (and I do mean “voice”—none of that “of a generation” applesauce) in rock, and she has turned it to no higher purpose than making me do all these foolish things; hell, the song’s even about that. Now that’s liberation. With the VSS and Cold Cold Hearts (the Riot Grrrl version of Blast Off Country Style); underneath the rabid singsong on the Hearts’ 22-minute self-titled disc is the sound of a band learning the ropes of self-deprecation and clawing its way out of the scene—on the backs of the Gang of Four, Carly Simon, and David Crosby. At 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $6. (202) 667-7960. (Glenn Dixon)