Corin Tucker Band

Corin Tucker Band

Corin Tucker Band

with Ideal Forms

Mercury Lounge, New York City • September 27, 2012

The Mercury Lounge, located on the southern fringe of New York’s Alphabet City, is symbolic of this live event by The Corin Tucker Band (CTB). About 20 years ago, the Mercury Lounge stood on the east fringe of Houston Street, a small and dingy, but popular, dive in the middle of a raw and gritty neighborhood where the only thing that would bring anyone there besides the great music at the lounge was New York’s famous Katz’s Deli just down the block.

Corin Tucker Band

May Terry
Corin Tucker Band

Over time, as with many neighborhoods in this area, gentrification set in, with ritzy restaurants and storefronts popping up and attracting a more mature, urban crowd. But at its core, the edginess still prevails in these streets, and the Mercury Lounge still stands as everything changes around it. It’s against this backdrop that ex-Sleater-Kinney riot-grrl Corin Tucker roared in and defiantly asserted onstage and in sound that yes, it’s possible to grow up and move on but still keep the gritty and edgy core of who you are.

Ideal Forms' Dave Grant

May Terry
Ideal Forms’ Dave Grant

Before CTB, Brooklyn psychedelic punk band Ideal Forms opened up with a set that was both musically and visually intriguing. Lead vocalist Dave Grant displays spastic mannerisms of hand-wringing, and a hand placement so high on his chest that it almost resembles throat-clutching. Grant conveys flat-lined melodies that, at times, feel more like a sung dialogue. Maybe it’s the chill in the autumn air, but there is something curiously infectious about the distanced feel of Ideal Forms’ music. They’re currently recording an album, and one that may be worth a closer listen when it’s released.

Corin Tucker

May Terry
Corin Tucker

With more original material to draw from, CTB chose a setlist that sustained an energetic performance from start to finish. Most songs were from their latest album, Kill My Blues, with the more hard-driving tracks from 1,000 Years, like “Half a World Away” and “Doubt,” pulled into this set. You won’t hear the more soppy songs like “Miles Away” (originally written for, and pitched to, the soundtrack for one of the Twilight movies, but kept on the album after it was turned down). The songs in the set instead were a steady stream of musical adrenaline to keep us riveted and engaged.

Sara Lund

May Terry
Sara Lund

Tucker’s powerhouse voice, like her lyrics, is ragingly provoking and better than ever. The band also appears more comfortable playing together than on their last tour two years ago, most notably with great drumming and backing vocals from Sara Lund. S-K fans can shoot me, but I refuse to make comparisons to Janet Weiss. Lund’s assertively syncopated drum beats clearly underscore the band’s energy on Kill My Blues. Along with Mike Clark’s rounded bass lines, and Seth Lorinczi’s keyboard and guitar melodies, CTB becomes one big ball of musical synergy. As far as I’m concerned, they should have imprinted “ctB” (with a capital B) on their merch T-shirts, because it’s the combination of all four musicians that made this live event go as well as it did.

Corin Tucker Band

May Terry
Corin Tucker Band

Set highlights included the title track, with its catchy syncopated licks, and “Groundhog Day,” Tucker’s charged wake-up call from complacency during a perceived plateau of feminism. Toward the end of the set, Tucker dedicated a song to NYC as the band played “Joey,” a tribute to legendary punk rocker Joey Ramone. “Neskowin,” the first release from Kill My Blues, brought wails of cheer from the crowd, as did the last song in the set, “Doubt.”

CTB Set List

May Terry
CTB Set List

Many fans were disappointed when Sleater-Kinney announced its hiatus in 2006. Admittedly, I was one of them, but similar to Wild Flag, as I noted earlier this year, The Corin Tucker Band is coming into its own sound. From what I hear on Kill My Blues, it’s apparent that Corin has a wide landscape of themes to express through her lyrics as she continues to enter new phases of her life. CTB also delivers a live show that is sure to please, especially in the small and intimate venues. From what I heard that night, the experience is a satisfying rush to my musical senses and I can only hope for more.

So, Sleater-Kinney fans: just drop the yearning for the Riot-Grrls of yesteryear and move forward. Think of S.E. Hinton’s coming-of-age novel, That Was Then, This Is Now. And now is a pretty good time.

Corin Tucker Band:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

From the Archives