September 20 — “Pulling Pieces” by The Corin Tucker Band

The Corin Tucker Band

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Pulling Pieces” by The Corin Tucker Band (2010, from the album 1,000 Years).

The Corin Tucker Band is an indie-punk band from Portland. They’ve released two albums, including a brand new one this week. I haven’t heard the new record, and this one comes from the first record.

Corin Tucker is obviously the front of the band, and you probably know her from when she was the co-front of the seminal all-girl indie rock/punk band Sleater-Kinney. You might also know her from when she was the front of the Olympia riot grrl band Heavens To Betsy. She formed that band while she was enrolled at the hippie college The Evergreen State College.

Sleater-Kinney split up in 2006, and shortly thereafter, Tucker and her semi-famous husband Lance Bangs had their second child. The only reason I bring that up is that the child is named Glory, and I’ve seen it in print in a couple of places with a magnificently annoying exclamation point in the name. The kid’s name, according to those reports, is “Glory!”. The quotation marks are mine, but the exclamation is hers. I’m not misinterpreting excitement, either. I read a sentence that looked like:

Their daughter, Glory!, is two years old

.

I’m really annoyed by that, and I’m really hoping that I’m reading somebody else’s misinterpretation. That can’t be right. Can it? Then again, her son is named Marshall Tucker Bangs. Marshall Tucker? Seriously? It sounds like she lost a drunken bet or something. As a bit of classic rock trivia, The Marshall Tucker band was named after a guy who rented a rehearsal space before that band did. They didn’t know the guy, but they saw his name somewhere and thought it would be cool to name their band that. It turns out that the guy was a piano tuner. And he was blind.

Anyway, Corin Tucker’s second kid was born in 2008, and in early 2010, she announced that she had formed a new band and would be releasing a record that autumn. Tucker referred to it as “middle-aged mom rock”, and joked that she wanted to put an advisory sticker on the album’s cover warning people “This is not a Sleater-Kinney record”.

Some of the stuff on that first album display a big departure from the aggressive style of Sleater-Kinney. Some of it, though, sounds very much like a Sleater-Kinney record. You can take the girl out of the band, but she still plays guitar in the same, distinctive way. And she still belts out her vocals in that distinctive way. When it gets loud, it kinda still sounds like S-K.

You be the judge. Here’s today’s song, which I think has a very S-K sound after the first 1:24.

“Pulling Pieces” by The Corin Tucker Band

I love how it starts all quiet and pretty and all that good stuff, but it kicks into gear at 1:24. The chorus is quite loud. Then at 2:00, it gets quiet again. Then back to the loud chorus at 2:50, then quiet again.

I also love in that buried in the chorus is the line:

I’m just a shadow of what I used to be

Although I said that this sounds a bit S-K-ish, there’s a big, big difference. While there was no bass at all in Sleater-Kinney, there is in The Corin Tucker Band.

While drummer Sara Lund isn’t Janet Weiss, she’s a very good drummer. You may know her from being the longtime drummer in the Olympia punk/post-hardcore band Unwound. What you probably didn’t know about her is that she has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.

You guys know how much I like to encourage the purchasing of physical copies, and how I like to encouraging buying from label websites. This one has a bit of a qualifier with it. If you have the opportunity to see The Corin Tucker band in concert, buy 1,000 years and/or the new one from the merch desk. If you are lucky enough that there’s still a locally owned record shop in your town, buy it there. If you don’t have either of those opportunities, and you still want a physical copy, I’d advise ordering it from amazon instead of from Kill Rock Stars, even though it’s almost twice as expensive that way.

If you order from Kill Rock Stars, you’ll have the misfortune of having your order handled by Redeye Distribution. I would love to say that this is an awesome outfit simply because it’s a short drive from my house. Unfortunately, I can’t. I had a bad experience with them wherein I pre-ordered the new Sun Kil Moon record (in part because it came with a bonus exclusive disc). I never got my order. When two weeks AFTER the street date had passed, I fired off a “help me, customer service” email, and some guy said he would get to the bottom of my problem. A couple of weeks passed without any follow-up, and I sent another email, then another. Then another. Finally, some guy got back to me and said that my order had shipped and that the tracking info suggested that it had been successfully delivered. While that may have been true, I still didn’t have my order. Another couple of emails from me, asking for a refund or replacement. There was a vague promise to “take care of it right away, and send a replacement, or hand-deliver it”. Another two weeks passed, and still no Sun Kil Moon record. By this point it was like two MONTHS after the street date. Another couple of unreturned emails, and then the really awesome one. I got a response saying “oh, we’re out of stock on that, and there’s nothing I can do about it for two more weeks”. After I raised a lot of hell about that, I received my shipment the very next day. And the guy made it sound like he was doing me a favor. So anyway, I’m careful now to make sure that I don’t mail order anything that uses Redeye Distribution. And I always tell my friends and loyal readers to use the same caution. To be fair, my experience was probably a very isolated incident and a perfect storm of a lot of things going wrong. However, that one experience ruined it for me.

I’m done ranting. Get 1,000 Years somewhere. Check out the new one, too. And see The Corin Tucker Band when they play in your town. Their tour schedule is here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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