I have a feeling that for half my audience, a bio of who Slint are/were is going to be insulting, and for the other half, pretty necessary. In a nutshell, Slint pretty much invented post-rock, the dynamic-focused largely instrumental brand of music best exemplified today by Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and Tortoise. The band formed in 1985, releasing a debut, Tweez, in 1987, and their landmark Spiderland for Touch and Go in 1990. Not long after that, they broke up. Of the founding members, only David Pajo has had any significant degree of success in subsequent years, playing in Tortoise, Papa M, and Zwan (though it's probably worth noting that Brian McMahon played in Palace briefly, as well).

The band reunited for a brief tour in 2005, which I was fortunate enough to get to see at the TLA in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, after the tour, it seemed like they were done again for good, as news broke that they sold a significant portion of their gear. However, on the heels of the relatively recent news that Slint will be playing Spiderland in its entirety at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona in a few months, it seemed like a good time to post about them.

In some sense, they are much more conventional than what post-rock has become today. You won't find any Tortoise-esque jazz influence or any Mogwai-style programming on a Slint record. The basic elements of the genre are there though: long tracks, few vocals (and mostly spoken vocals, at that), and a strong sense of dynamics and tension.

The two tracks that accompany this post come from a recording of the band's March 2005 performance at London's Kentish Town Forum. Though I didn't intentionally choose them this way (in fact, they are the set opener and set closer, respectively), they also have happen to be the fifth and sixth tracks on Spiderland. The first is the slow, brooding "For Dinner...", and the second is the band's best known track (which, strangely enough, appeared on the soundtrack to Kids), "Good Morning Captain." Enjoy.

Slint - For Dinner... (live 2005)

Slint - Good Morning Captain (live 2005)

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