Often a young musician is shaped by a singular performance that clicks a switch inside her, a switch that says: “I could do that, too.”
For Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, that moment came at the WOW Hall.
“When I was in high school, it was Fugazi and Mecca Normal and Beat Happening,” says Tucker, who grew up in Eugene and now lives in Portland. “That show pretty much changed my life. Seeing those kinds of shows live can bring you into the realm of, ‘I really want to do that.’”
Tucker returns to Eugene behind her latest project, Filthy Friends, a supergroup featuring Peter Buck of R.E.M., Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows and The Minus 5, the Fastback’s legendary guitarist Kurt Bloch, as well as drummer Linda Pitmon of The Baseball Project and The Minus 5.
The band’s debut album, Invitation, is out Aug. 25 on Kill Rock Stars, and the record is a mix of rock styles from classic to punk.
“It’s a really eclectic,” Tucker says. “A Television influence. A T. Rex thing.”
Tucker wrote all the words and vocal melodies, while Buck provided the music. And Tucker says her words are inspired, in part, by America’s “troubled political times.” Album-track “Any Kind of Crowd” is so R.E.M. it’d fit nicely on the Athens’ band’s classic Life’s Rich Pageant, only with Patti Smith on vocals.
“It’s a different style,” Tucker says, contrasting Filthy Friends with her better-known work with Sleater-Kinney and Carrie Brownstein. “This is the songwriter from R.E.M.,” she adds. “You could say R.E.M. helped invent indie rock. Getting to work with him is something I really enjoy. There’s a lot of room for experimentation.”
Filthy Friends play alongside terrific Seattle indie rockers Wimps 10 pm Friday, Aug. 25, at Hi-Fi Music Hall Lounge; $15, 21-plus. — Will Kennedy