Excuse 17

Excuse 17 was a punk rock band from Olympia, Washington, USA, that performed and recorded from 1993 to 1995. The band consisted of Becca Albee (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals), and Curtis James (drums). The band recorded two full-length albums and a single, and contributed to several compilation albums.

Excuse 17
OriginOlympia, Washington, United States
GenresPunk rock, queercore
Years active1993–1995
LabelsChainsaw Records, Kill Rock Stars, Candy Ass Records, Atlas Records
Associated actsSleater-Kinney, Heavens to Betsy, Heartless Martin, The Old Haunts, Wild Flag, The Spells, Serum Greys
Past membersBecca Albee
Carrie Brownstein
CJ Phillips (Curtis James)


Brownstein, Albee and CJ Phillips (James) came together to form Excuse 17, a band that lasted only a few years would proved to be influential. Brownstein and Albee both played guitar and sang and CJ played the drums. The band quickly recorded a demo tape and then began recording for various compilations on independent record labels. Their first full-length recording, Excuse Seventeen, was released jointly on Atlas Records (LP) and the queercore label Chainsaw Records (CD).[1] They released a second and final album, Such Friends Are Dangerous, on the indie label Kill Rock Stars in 1995, which displayed a boost in recording quality.[2]

The band often played shows with Heavens to Betsy, including touring, not surprisingly since both bands were an active part of the riot grrrl scene.[3] They also both appear on the compilation LP/CD Free to Fight. Corin Tucker from Heavens to Betsy struck up a friendship with Brownstein and they dated for a time. They decided to form Sleater-Kinney, a side project that soon evolved into their main focus as their respective groups ended. However, Excuse 17's recordings are still valued by fans of Sleater-Kinney, those interested in riot grrrl and queercore recordings, and record collectors in general: Such Friends Are Dangerous was named one of the fifty best indie rock albums of the Pacific Northwest by online music magazine Pitchfork.[4] Albee also recorded with Tucker as Heartless Martin, releasing a cassette on Chainsaw Records in 1993.[5]

Following the dissolution of Excuse 17, Albee has built a successful career in visual art. Her work has been praised by publications including Bomb,[6] Tom Tom,[7] Artforum,[8] and Aperture.[9] Her papers are being preserved by the Fales Library at New York University.[10] As of 2017 she is a photography professor at the City College of New York.[11]

As of 2017 James lives in Olympia and plays drums for the rock band Nudity.[12]





  • "Sevenwhateverteen" on Periscope, Yoyo Recordings (1994)
  • "Forever Fired" on Free to Fight, Candy Ass - Chainsaw co-release (1995)
  • "Carson" on Yoyo A GoGo, Yoyo Recordings (1996)
  • "I'd Rather Eat Glass" on A Slice Of Lemon, Kill Rock Stars (1996)


  1. ^ Jimmy Draper. "Excuse 17 Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  2. ^ Jimmy Draper. "Such Friends Are Dangerous Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  3. ^ Brownstein, Carrie (2016-10-25). Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir. Penguin. ISBN 9780399184765.
  4. ^ "The 50 Best Indie Rock Albums of the Pacific Northwest | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  5. ^ "Releases". Chainsaw Records. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  6. ^ "BOMB Magazine — Becca Albee by Rachel Reese". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  7. ^ "Artworks: Becca Albee of Excuse 17, F Is For Fake - Tom Tom Magazine". Tom Tom Magazine. 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  8. ^ Fateman, As told to Johanna. "Becca Albee talks about her show at Et al. in San Francisco". artforum.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  9. ^ "Full Color Feminism". Aperture Foundation NY. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  10. ^ "Guide to the Becca Albee Riot Grrrl Papers ca. 1992-1996 MSS 273". dlib.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  11. ^ Albee, Becca (2015-07-12). "Becca Albee". www.ccny.cuny.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  12. ^ "Artworks: Becca Albee of Excuse 17, F Is For Fake". Tom Tom. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2013.

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