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Born to Be 'Wild'



    Since Sleater-Kinney's breakup, in 2006, fans of the trio have held out hope for a reunion. The Olympia, Wash., band dissolved at the height of its creative powers, having just released its seventh album, the classic-rock-influenced The Woods.

    The group originally emerged out of Olympia's mid-'90s riot-grrrl scene but quickly differentiated itself through its use of sharp guitar hooks, distinctive harmonies and politically savvy lyrics. By the time of their breakup, Sleater-Kinney were more than just critical darlings -- they were fiercely cherished by fans in a way that few bands come close to achieving. Now, at long last, those fans will be treated to a Sleater-Kinney reunion -- well, sort of.

    In September, guitarist Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weissannounced that they had formed a new band called Wild Flag. It might not be a full-fledged Sleater-Kinney reunion, but, as the song goes, two out of three ain't bad. The supergroup is also comprised of Mary Timony from Helium and Rebecca Cole from the Minders.

    As of now, little is known about Wild Flag. They haven't released any recordings yet, and their MySpace page contains not so much as a demo to hint at their sound. The only descriptions the page provides is the cryptic message "What is the sound of an avalanche taking out a dolphin? What do get when you cross a hamburger with a hot dog? The answer is: WILD FLAG," and the less-than-helpful "Apt adjectives for describing the band's music: wild. Also: flaggy."

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    The mystery will be solved on Nov. 20, when the four-piece plays the Casbah. The San Diego show is the penultimate stop on the Wild Flag's inaugural eight-date tour, and we're fortunate to be privy to one of their first performances. With a pedigree like this, it's guaranteed to be a wild time. And also flaggy.

    Chris Maroulakos is a writer and managing editor for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.