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SXSW: Live From Austin

Wild Flag, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011

April 1, 2011 True to its name, WILD FLAG — a brand new band made up of Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney, and members of Helium and The Menders — harness a wild power, putting on a frenetic performance featuring whirlwinds of guitars.

A new supergroup featuring Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney and NPR's Monitor Mix blog), Janet Weiss (of Sleater-Kinney and Quasi, among others), Mary Timony (of Helium) and Rebecca Cole (of The Minders), WILD FLAG's only release so far is a tour-only 7" single. Which means that few in the crowd at NPR Music's SXSW day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas, had heard a note of its rollicking, adventurous pop-rock before walking in the door.

Now, objectivity isn't the watchword where NPR Music and Brownstein are concerned (for the past three years, she'd been part of our crew at SXSW), but it's virtually impossible not to be thrilled at WILD FLAG's coming-out party. Blogging for NPR didn't usually cause Brownstein's thumb and middle finger to bleed as profusely as they did after this furious set, but it also offered fewer opportunities to execute Pete Townshend-ian windmills on the guitar. All four women seemed thoroughly swept up in their joyful, propulsive sound — incidentally, how many drummers in the business can top Janet Weiss? — so joining in their glee felt like both a requirement and an inevitability.

Set List
  • "Electric Band"
  • "Short Version"
  • "Arabesque"
  • "Future Crimes"
  • "Glass Tambourine"
  • "Romance"
Personnel
  • Carrie Brownstein - Guitar, Vocals
  • Rebecca Cole - Keyboards, Vocals
  • Mary Timony - Guitar, Vocals
  • Janet Weiss - Drums, Vocals

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