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Sweet 'N Sour

Sick of Sarah

In the continuum of all-female bands, Sick of Sarah falls somewhere between Sleater-Kinney and The Go-Gos. Their music isn’t the raw, shuddering post-punk of the former, nor is it the lip-glossed pop of the latter. It’s little bit of both. With their lo-fi edge and mainstream melodics, the Minneapolis band’s music is as prickly as it is catchy. Bittersweet is a shuffling, plaintive pop catharsis. It’s rough around the edges, but that’s part of the charm. With its jagged guitars, rioting drums, and breakneck pace, Not Listening,” is a rebellious, in-your-face tongue lashing. But our favorite fit comes by way of Breakdown, a strident, percussive folk tempest that sounds like the product of an Ani DiFranco and Tommy Tutone collaboration. Once all the unbridled aggression has run its course, vulnerability sneaks in with acoustic ballads like Paint Like That and Common Mistake. Enjoy the calm while you can. With Sick of Sarah, another ass kicking is always around the corner.

Girl Power-Punk: Wild Flag

A few weeks ago, we told you about the ˜90s comeback on MTV and Nickelodeon”how crowd favorites like 120 Minutes and Pete & Pete would soon be returning to the airwaves. Well, it turns out there’s another holdover from the ˜90s that’s making a reappearance, and we might be even more excited about this one. They’re called Wild Flag, and they’re being hailed as music’s first all-female supergroup. With members from Sleater-Kinney, Helium and the Minders, they’re reminding us why female-fronted nineties alt-rock bands ruled so hard.

The foursome”made up of former Sleater-Kinney members Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, Mary Timony of Helium and ex-Minders keyboardist Rebecca Cole”began touring together in late 2010, and did their best not to get anyone’s expectations too high. But since then the band has headed into the studio with producer Chris Woodhouse to work on their as yet untitled debut full-length. The first concrete product of this collaboration is “Glass Tambourine,” a 5-minute jam that will be released on vinyl this Record Store Day. It’s not exactly what we expected from Wild Flag; the track is a little more shoegaze-y and psychedelic than anything from the female’s previous projects, but we’re still jonesing to hear more.

Of course, we’ve got a bit of a bone to pick with those who call Wild Flag the first all-female supergroup. Hello? Ever heard of The Breeders? Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses? Yeah. They’re kind of a big deal. But if you’re talking in terms of permanent female lineups and recent releases, then Wild Flag are your girls.

Which brings us to our next point: how is 2011 the first time in years that there’s been an all-girl supergroup? It seems like the band is filling a void that’s been empty for a long time. Don’t get us wrong, we’re psyched that these women have decided to join together and make more killer music. But with all the female musicians have been kicking ass for ages”the Runaways, the Distillers, Sisters Grimm”it seems impossible that The Breeders and Wild Flag are the only all-girl supergroups. And men certainly haven’t hesitated to join forces; you’ve got Monsters of Folk, Them Crooked Vultures, even Velvet Revolver has had two successful album releases.

Will Wild Flag inspire other chick-rockers to join forces? Will Monsters of Folk and Them Crooked Vultures soon find themselves joined by Mom-sters of Folk and Femme Crooked Vultures? We can’t say for sure if other musicians will follow suit, but we’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein debuts sketch comedy Portlandia with SNL’s Fred Armisen

Carrie Brownstein may have stepped away as singer/guitarist for seminal rock band Sleater-Kinney in 2006, but that doesn’t mean she’s through with entertaining. Brownstein’s comedic chops are on full display in IFC’s new sketch comedy series Portlandia, which also stars SNL’s Fred Armisen. The show uses the city’s socially conscious, granola-guzzling population as inspiration for hilarious skits on organic farming, adult hide-n-seek leagues, and public bathrooms laws. The series debuts tonight, but if you can’t wait that long you can see all 22 minutes below.

Cee Lo Green interviews Cee Lo Green

Taking makeup cues from the Wayan Brothers in White Chicks, psychedelic-soul singer/rapper Cee Lo Green transformed into James Lipton to interview himself for Spinner. Is he as creepy as the real James Lipton? We’ll let you decide.

The Bad

Broadcast’s Trish Keenan dies

This week brought sad news for fans of British electronic band Broadcast. Singer Trish Keenan passed away due to complications arising from pneumonia. She was 42. To see a collection of Broadcast videos, head over to Pitchfork.

Kanye makes joke, joke bombs, Kanye is saddened

You know when you tell a joke and you get stony silence, then someone else tells the same joke and the audience roars? Kanye West feels your pain. Despite the fact that everyone in the Twitterverse was plundering West’s infamous Imma let you finish sound bite, when the rapper tried to reclaim the quote for himself, tweeting Yo Britney, I’m really happy for you and Imma let you be #1, but me and Jay-Z’s single is one of the best songs of all time! LOL, some folks didn’t see the humor. Soon magazines like Us Weekly were accusing West of starting a war with Britney Spears. I thought LOL signified a joke, he grumbled in a long Twitter rant. Sorry, Yeezy. Forget trying to be funny and stick to writing the best songs of all time.

The Ugly

Vince Neil busted for drunk driving

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was arrested at 11:15 p.m. on Sunday for drunk driving after being pulled over in his Lamborghini on the Las Vegas Strip. Sounds about right.

Christina Aguilera passes out in Jeremy Renner’s bed?

In an epic party foul, Christina Aguilera reportedly crashed Jeremy Renner’s 40th birthday party and then passed out drunk in his bed. This makes us feel infinitely better about anything we’ve ever done.

Miscellany