Janet Weiss has laid low since she announced earlier this summer that she's left Sleater-Kinney. Fans of the Portland-based indie legends reacted to the news with uncertainty and confusion, given that the band is about to release its much-hyped second post-reunion album, The Center Won't Hold, produced by St. Vincent.
This past weekend, Weiss returned to the public eye, and the circumstances were arguably as unexpected as her departure from Sleater-Kinney.
On Sunday, Weiss made an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, stepping back behind the drum kit as part of the backing band for Kermit the Frog. Yes, that Kermit the Frog.
Weiss joined the amphibian folk hero for a tear-jerking performance of his immortal classic "The Rainbow Connection." About a minute into the utopian ditty, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James—whose singing style owes a lot to Kermit, frankly—also came on stage to turn the song into a duet.
Meanwhile, the two remaining members of Sleater-Kinney, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, have been diplomatically—albeit vaguely—addressing inquiries into Weiss's departure.
In a lengthy feature published yesterday in The Guardian, the band acknowledged that Weiss's decision to leave the group surprised them as much as anyone, and that they even tried "band therapy" to salvage the relationship. But Brownstein brushed off skepticism that Sleater-Kinney is undergoing drastic changes: "Corin and I started this band and we'll end it. It was a long and really special journey with Janet, but there's also something about it being Corin and I that feels familiar and very normal."
Meanwhile, watch Weiss's full performance with Kermit below: