Pop & Hiss

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Wild Flag: Members of Sleater-Kinney and the Minders, yes, but don't forget Helium

November 19, 2010 |  5:01 pm

Friday at Spaceland will mark the local debut of Wild Flag, the new Portland, Oregon-based group featuring, most prominently, two members of Sleater-Kinney: guitarist/singer Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss. Lesser known than the arrival of two-thirds of one of the great rock bands of the late '90s/early '00 is singer Mary Timony, the former vocalist of Boston band Helium. A member of the Matador Records roster from 1992 to 1998, Helium released a series of under-appreciated jerky-guitar gems, including "The Magic City" and "The Dirt of Luck," a post-Pavement/post Riot Grrrl album featuring the above song, Pat's Trick.

In Helium, Timony never had to scream; rather, her monochromatic, midrange voice conveyed myriad emotions with what seemed to be minimal effort or affect. What kind of presence she'll be in accompaniment with the swaggering guitar and rhythms of Brownstein and Weiss -- along with Rebecca Cole, formerly of the Minders -- is to be determined; the band has yet to release or leak any music, so this will be Southern California's first glimpse at the new project. The Times will be there to review the show for Sunday.

-- Randall Roberts