There’s always been a slight B-52s influence in the Sleater-Kinney sound. It’s never been obvious or overbearing, but it’s there in things like the spidery guitar lines and in the sugar-rush hooks of tracks like “Dance Song ’97,” from Dig Me Out. And now that Sleater-Kinney have a touring keyboardist, B-52s covers are suddenly on the table, as long as they can get a serviceable Fred Schneider impersonator. Last night, they got one who also happens to be named Fred. As Pitchfork points out, when Sleater-Kinney played New York’s Terminal 5 last night, Carrie Brownstein’s Portlandia co-star Fred Armisen came out to help with a cover of “Rock Lobster,” the classic 1979 single that made the B-52s a sensation. Armisen took the role seriously, banging on a cowbell and wearing a salmon-colored sport coat and falling to the floor and pretending to swim during the “down, down” bit. It looks like it would’ve been really, really fun to be in the room when this was happening, especially when Corin Tucker starts making dolphin noises. Watch a fan-made video of the performance below.
I would never quibble with anything this awesome, but could it have been that hard to get the real Fred Schneider? What’s he doing right now, anyway? Also shout out to Transparent, the best TV show that stars Carrie Brownstein.