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Sleater-Kinney Week – Day 5: Video Vault: “Get Up”

TO CELEBRATE THE RECENT RELEASE OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  DIG ME OUT, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE FIFTH AND FINAL INSTALLMENT OF SLEATER-KINNEY WEEK BY AUTHOR JOVANA BABOVIC!

Sleater-Kinney’s The Hot Rock was released in 1999 as the follow-up to Dig Me Out. Up until that point, the band had primarily reached fans through touring and word-of-mouth networks. As the new record was hot off the presses, the band’s label Kill Rock Stars elected to devote more attention to promoting radio and television play in order to increase sales (Dig Me Out, for instance, had sold 56,000 copies by early 1999). “This campaign [for The Hot Rock] is the most complex we’ve ever assembled,” KRS owner, Slim Moon, told Billboard Magazine early that year. First and foremost, it consisted of pushing a single, something the band had not done up to that point. They picked “Get Up” to be sent to college and commercial rock stations in advance of the album’s release. Additionally, the label commissioned filmmaker, performance artist, and the band’s friend Miranda July to produce a music video that would launch the single on television.

The video for “Get Up” was a collaborative effort between the producer, the band, and their fans. The vision for the video, as guitarist Carrie Brownstein explained, “was Miranda July’s interpretation of our song.” The band invited friends and fans to star as extras and, on the day of the shoot, everyone assembled in a field outside Olympia. The band’s publicist Julie Butterfield remembered that filming stated early in the morning, around seven, while it was still cold and frosty outside. For drummer Janet Weiss, the experience was overwhelmingly positive. “It was fun,” she told the zine Rockrgrl. More than that, the band was pleased with the video because, as they described it, it was provocative rather than cliché. Although Sleater-Kinney went on to release only a handful of videos since “Get Up,” it is notable that they returned to working with Miranda July in 2014 on “Bury Our Friends,” the track that announced the release of their first album in ten years, No Cities to Love.

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