Why is Sleater-Kinney’s Dig Me Out on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
It’s the riot grrl drama you’ve been craving.
What does Sleater-Kinney’s Dig Me Out mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I love the intensity and power of Dig Me Out. Everything is done with energy, with intensity. It’s guitar, it’s bass, it’s drums, and it’s vocals at full throttle. A perfect example with a perfect song title is “Words and Guitar,” where I particularly dig how Corin Tucker’s and Carrie Brownstein’s vocal parts pass back and forth, sometimes overlapping, in a manic fuselage of riot grrl punk rock.
The guitar riff on the title track, “Dig Me Out,” gives me everything I want in terms of grungy Pacific Northwest punk rock.
I imagine the song title, “Dance Song ‘97” was intended to be a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but indeed it’s a proper head bobbing high energy alt rock tune, with a B-52s-esque organ as a nice little change up.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Sleater-Kinney’s Dig Me Out
The first time I ever drove from Southern California to Seattle was in 2016. The purpose of the drive was that I was moving to Seattle to start a new job. I drove all day Friday, stayed at a hotel in Northern California, and then drove all day again on Saturday, arriving on Saturday night. The remnant of a tsunami caused most of the drive to be pretty hazardous, so I arrived at our new temporary apartment (my wife remained in Pasadena, California for about a month to help finish moving out of our house) wet and tired, but excited. And I started my new job that Monday!
One memorable moment of the drive was when I passed Sleater Kinney Road in Washington state, my new home state, and thought, “Ooh… I bet that’s how the band got its name.” In living in Seattle, all kinds of other landmarks and place names started popping out at me based on my pop culture nerdery, some of it relating to Nirvana (Aberdeen, Kurt Cobain’s and Krist Novoselic’s home town, for example) or the grunge scene generally (turns out Green River was named after… the Green River, shocker!).
I guess I’ll tell this story, too, as I’m not sure when it’ll pop up again. The day before I drove up the west coast as part of the move, it was a super hectic and hot day in Pasadena. My wife and in-laws (who were and are always incredibly and insanely helpful and supportive) were in the house doing stuff, and I was on the street in front of my house, getting a bunch of trash and recycling tied up.
I looked up, and a guy strode toward me quickly and kind of menacingly. He said – and this is a direct quote – “You wet my dog?”
I said the only reasonable thing I could think of, which was, “What?”
“You wet my dog?” he repeated. He then tersely explained that someone had “wet his dog” and that he “didn’t like his dog getting wetted.”
I looked down and saw that there was a garden hose near me, which I think perhaps lead him to the conclusion that I was the dog wetting culprit.
It seemed like he was perhaps ready to engage in fisticuffs with me (if that’s too old school a term, let’s replace that with “throw down”) over this allegation, but in seeing my utter bafflement at what he was talking about, he settled down pretty quickly and even became semi-amiable. I think he may have advised me to be on the lookout for whomever was wetting his dog before he resumed his dog wetter-finding mission.
This odd little incident remains one of my defining memories of my final days of living in California.
Even more personal stuff that’s somehow related to Sleater-Kinney’s Dig Me Out
One of the more fascinating things about Sleater-Kinney is that singer and guitarist Carrie Brownstein is arguably more famous for pairing with Fred Armisen on the quirky comedy TV show hit, Portlandia, as for being a founding member of Sleater-Kinney.
When I worked for Tribune Publishing, a publisher of a bunch of newspapers around the U.S. (I do digital product management when I’m not painstakingly documenting the best 1,000 albums ever), my office was located in the Los Angeles Times building, which at the time was located in downtown LA. On my very first day working there, as I walked through the front door, I realized that the person in front of me was, in the very flesh, Fred Armisen.
“It’s going to be interesting working here,” I thought.
Some stats & info about Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? PNW Bands, Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Riot Grrl, Punk Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #189
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Dig Me Out released? 1997
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #696 out of 1,000
Sleater-Kinney’s Dig Me Out on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.