Hailed as 'American's Best Rock Band' in 2001 by Time Magazine, you don't want to miss their 2002 album! It contains an expanded repertoire of sounds such as strings, horns, and keyboards, and, as always, their lyrics remain righteous and direct.
One Beat is the sixth studio album by American rock band Sleater-Kinney. Produced by John Goodmanson, the album was recorded between March and April 2002 at Jackpot! Studio in Portland, Oregon. It was released on 20 August 2002 on Kill Rock Stars. The record peaked at number 107 in the United States on the Billboard 200 and entered the Billboard Top Independent Albums at number five. One Beat was very well received by critics. Praise centred on its cathartic delivery and political polemics.
Origins and recording
One Beat is the follow-up to Sleater-Kinney's highly acclaimed fifth album All Hands on the Bad One released in 2000. Before entering the studio, Sleater-Kinney practised in drummer Janet Weiss's basement. The band conceived the album to be "the voice in the silence" following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on 11 September 2001. Lyricists and guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein did not follow a set blueprint when crafting the songs; rather, they simply worked off each other's input and proceeded in a piecemeal way.
One Beat was produced by long-time collaborator John Goodmanson, who came from the same educational background as Sleater-Kinney and recorded with most of the acts signed to Kill Rock Stars. Weiss has stated that Goodmanson has a "unique" way of working with the band. Both parties decided to steer the album in a challenging new direction. In a later interview, Brownstein commented that "sometimes when we would want to do new things, he would be like, "oh god, everyone would freak out if we did that, we can't do that!"". After the recording sessions, Tucker indicated that she viewed the record's final mix as "a vast, sweeping landscape" that is the most fully formed release in the band's discography.
Promotion and release
In March 2002, Sleater-Kinney previewed tracks from One Beat during a series of U.S. East Coast performances and at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Los Angeles. Speaking about the development of the songs in a concert setting, Weiss has said, "The live forum is where we get the feedback from the people who we're really interested in communicating with." The album's track list was confirmed in May. Before the release, Brownstein took time off to act in an independent film, Group, which documents a group of women meeting each week in therapy sessions. At the start of August, the band posted the 12 songs as QuickTime streams on the Kill Rock Stars label website.
The album was released on 20 August 2002. Sleater-Kinney performed at a street festival in Los Angeles alongside Sonic Youth on the weekend of 25 August. They embarked on an extensive U.S. tour in support of One Beat at the start of September. The tour started with a concert at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver on 11 September—which coincided with the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks—and ended with a gig at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia, on 24 October. Sleater-Kinney continued touring with the album for two years, during which time they secured a support slot on Pearl Jam's U.S. tour.
Lyrics and composition
Brownstein has referred to the album as a "strident and pointed political record, in terms of the lyrics". The album contains some of Sleater-Kinney's most polemical songs; "Sympathy" and "Far Away" explicitly reference the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the latter track contains criticism of American president George W. Bush. Corin Tucker said that it "wasn’t really a conscious decision" to write about the attacks, but there was "just such as an overwhelming presence in our minds as we were trying to write songs, that we felt that we really needed to deal with it, and that we really needed to write about it."Ha, Anthony. "Geeky Fanboy meets Sleater-Kinney". Stanford Daily, 3 October 2002. The album's lyrics were also prominently influenced by the recent birth of Tucker's son Marshall Tucker Bangs, and according to Tucker, "Marshall is all over One Beat. The last year was definitely a difficult time for me, as he was born nine weeks premature and he was in the hospital for a while. It was the hardest thing that I've ever lived through, that fear and anxiety, and I think I was able to let go into the music.""Sleater-Kinney". Rolling Stone, 2002. The song "Sympathy" was written about the "terrifying" experience of Marshall's premature birth.Sheffield, Rob. "Sleater Kinney: America’s Answer to the Clash". Rolling Stone, 30 October 2003. "Hollywood Ending" which attacks the concept of celebrity and the mainstream female beauty standard.
Brownstein described the album's overall sound by saying, "I think of Dig Me Out and The Hot Rock as the two ends of the spectrum and it's kind of been combined on this record. And then we also pushed ourselves beyond that."Heim, Joe (2002). "An Interview With Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein". The Washington Post. Goodmanson said in an interview that "To me, it's not a record that's built for alternative radio. Yet, surprisingly, the reaction from everyone I've played it for has been like, 'Wow, these guys are really going for it.'"Mehr, Bob (2002). "A Riot Of Their Own". Seattle Weekly. "Far Away" and "Combat Rock" are both politically conscious songs. "Step Aside" references "the violence of the world outside" and the domestic responsibilities of motherhood. The track incorporates a horn section. In One Beat, Carrie Brownstein plays her guitar in the style of Document-era Peter Buck, the guitarist of alternative rock band R.E.M.. The album contains the use of wah-wah pedals, synthesisers, sing-along choruses, and hints of blues music. The song "Prisstina" features backup vocals by American musician and composer Stephen Trask.
Media response to One Beat was highly favourable; aggregating website Metacritic reported a normalised rating of 85% in August 2002 based on 22 critical reviews. Robert Christgau, reviewing in The Village Voice, explained that Sleater-Kinney aim for "defiant uplift" and seem energised by the challenge. Neva Chonin of Rolling Stone pointed out that the trio's "riotous manifesto remains the same". Victoria Segal of NME stated, "Few bands could explore motherhood and terrorism without making you want to shoot them: Corin Tucker's electric-shock voice and the adrenal guitars make them... essential pop topics." Allmusic's Steve Huey commented that Sleater-Kinney sometimes sacrifices immediacy for angular melodies and riffs that "don't catch hold", but gave One Beat a rating of four stars out of five by noting that its "musical progression is still extremely impressive". Drowned in Sound's Becky Stefani indicated that listening to the record momentarily makes one feel that "all is well in alternative music". Douglas Wolk of Blender gave the album a maximum rating of five stars out of five by indicating that the band "swagger like they never have before, eschewing the filler that made their last few records drag".
One Beat was ranked at number five in the Pazz & Jop poll run by The Village Voice, which surveyed 695 critics to find the best album of 2002, while The Boston Phoenix included it in its unnumbered list of The Best Albums of 2002. CMJ placed the record at number 6 in its Top 10 of 2002 list, while Rolling Stone critic Andrew Dansby named it at number eight in his personal list. Spin ranked the album at number 12 in its list of The 40 Best Albums of 2002; staff writer Caryn Ganz praised it as Sleater-Kinney's "sharpest statement yet". Pitchfork Media placed the record at number 14 in its end-of-year list for 2002; contributor Brandon Reid wrote, "Years at the top haven't dulled their willingness to take risks, and that's just what they do, spectacularly, on One Beat."
* Carrie Brownstein – guitar, vocals
* Corin Tucker – vocals, guitar
* Janet Weiss – drums, percussion, vocals
* Stephen Trask – background vocals, synthesiser
* Steve Fisk – keyboards
* Sam Coomes – theremin
* John Goodmanson – EBow guitar
* Mike Wayland – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
* Russ Scott – trumpet
* Jen Charowhas – violin
* Brett Arnold – cello
* John Goodmanson – producer
* Larry Crane – engineering
* Roger Seibel – mastering
ReferencesThis text has been derived from One Beat on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Sleater-Kinney was an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon in the United States, originally formed in Olympia, Washington in 1994, and disbanded in 2006. The group's name is derived from Sleater Kinney Road, Interstate 5 off ramp #108 in Lacey, Washington, the location of one of their early practice spaces. They formed in and were a vital part of the riot grrrl and punk scenes in the Pacific Northwest. The band was known for its feminist politics.
Sleater-Kinney was founded by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Tucker was formerly in the influential riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy, while Brownstein was formerly in the queercore band Excuse 17. They often played at gigs together and formed Sleater-Kinney as a side-project from their respective bands. When Heavens to Betsy and Excuse 17 disbanded, Sleater-Kinney became their primary focus. Janet Weiss (of Quasi) was the band's primary drummer, though Sleater-Kinney has had other drummers throughout its existence, including Lora Macfarlane, Misty Farrell, and Toni Gogin.
Upon Tucker's graduation from Evergreen State College (where Brownstein remained a student for three more years), she and then-girlfriend Brownstein took a trip to Australia in early 1994. Their last day there, they stayed up all night recording what would become their self-titled debut album. It was released the following spring. They followed this with Call the Doctor (1996) and Dig Me Out (1997), and became critical darlings as a result.
Their next few albums pushed the band towards mainstream listeners, culminating in 2002's One Beat. The group opened for Pearl Jam at many North American shows beginning in 2003, and the band cited the experience of playing to large arenas as part of the inspiration and motivation for the music found on their last album, The Woods. The Woods was released in 2005, and was a departure from the sound of their previous albums. In its place, The Woods featured a denser, heavily distorted sound that drew on classic rock as its inspiration. In 2006 they helped to curate an edition of the British All Tomorrow's Parties festival.
Renowned critics Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau have each praised Sleater-Kinney as one of the essential rock groups of the late 90s/early 00s. Marcus named Sleater-Kinney America's best rock band in a 2001 issue of Time magazine.
Sleater-Kinney's musical style sprang from and was rooted in Olympia, Washington's fertile punk and independent rock scenes of the early- to mid-1990s, forming around the last years of the riot grrrl movement, and with Tucker and Brownstein coming from veteran acts from the beginning of the movement. Their sound incorporates personal and social themes along with stripped-down music that was influenced by punk and the free-thinking ideals of 1980s-1990s alternative and indie rock. They experimented with this foundation by bringing in different instruments and arrangements. Sleater-Kinney have named influences such as Bikini Kill, Mecca Normal, Bratmobile, Throwing Muses and Sonic Youth. Corin Tucker's emotional vocals and the band's lyrics alternate between personal and political topics, rebelling against war, traditionalism, gender roles and consumerism from feminist and progressive perspectives. Sleater-Kinney contributed the protest song "Off With Your Head" to NOFX leader Fat Mike's Rock Against Bush compilation.
In a documentary about riot grrrl, Tucker revealed that her vocal style has always been intentionally harsh to suit the band's message and to demand focus from the listener,http and her vocals have been described by Allmusic critic Heather Phares as "love-them-or-hate-them vocals." At the beginning of the band's career, lead vocals were often performed by Tucker, though as the band progressed, Brownstein began to appear more as a vocalist. Both Brownstein and Tucker played guitar, with Brownstein usually handling lead and Tucker performing rhythm. Although Sleater-Kinney had no bass player, both Tucker and Brownstein tuned their guitars one and a half steps down ("C# tuning"), and Tucker's tone and style enabled her to fill the same role as a bass guitar.
On June 27, 2006, the band announced an indefinite hiatus, stating there were "no plans for future tours or recordings". Sleater-Kinney's last major public show was at the 2006 Lollapalooza music festival. They did not play an encore. The band's last appearance was at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, on August 12, 2006. No explanation for the hiatus was given, but it is widely believed to be because Tucker wanted to concentrate on raising her child. In a May 2005 interview, Janet Weiss stated, "Corin's hurdles were my biggest hurdles. Her pulling away from the band was the hardest thing for me as far as writing music. She said in a recent interview that she thinks about quitting every week - and that's heavy for me, 'cause this is all I want to do."
Tucker had previously hinted in interviews that Sleater-Kinney might become inactive soon. In a 2005 interview with Bust magazine, she was asked how she would handle touring when her young son started school, and she replied that she didn't even know if they would make another record after The Woods.http
In an interview from March 17, 2010, Carrie Brownstein claimed that Sleater-Kinney may reunite and release an album "sometime in the next five years."
In 1998, the band recorded "Big Big Lights", the first split single (with Cypher in the Snow) in the series of recordings dealing with women's self-defense entitled Free to Fight, and released on Candy Ass Records.
In 1999, Carrie Brownstein recorded a four-song vinyl EP titled The Age of Backwards with Mary Timony in a duo called The Spells.
In 2000, all three members of Sleater-Kinney assisted Robert Forster and Grant McLennan of the now-defunct Brisbane indie band The Go-Betweens to record the album The Friends of Rachel Worth.
In 2003, the band recorded the song "Angry Inch" with Fred Schneider of The B-52's for the Hedwig and the Angry Inch charity tribute album Wig in a Box. Proceeds for the album went to the Harvey Milk School, a school for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
Along with performing in Sleater-Kinney, Tucker also was a member of the band Cadallaca with Sarah Dougher and sts (both formerly of The Lookers). In a recent interview, however, she told the public "not to hold breath for a new Cadallaca album." Tucker also featured on Eddie Vedder's (Pearl Jam) solo album Into the Wild, where she performed vocals on the track "Hard Sun" along with Vedder. In 2008, Tucker collaborated again with Vedder on a cover of John Doe's The Golden State on Doe's Golden State EP.
*Sleater-Kinney (1995) – Chainsaw Records
*Call the Doctor (1996) – Chainsaw Records
*Dig Me Out (1997) – Kill Rock Stars
*The Hot Rock (1999) – Kill Rock Stars
*All Hands on the Bad One (2000) – Kill Rock Stars
*One Beat (2002) – Kill Rock Stars
*The Woods (2005) – Sub Pop Records
*"You Ain't It/Surf Song" (1994) – Villa Villakula Records
*"One More Hour" (1997) – Matador Records
*"Little Babies" (1997) – Matador Records
*"A Quarter To Three" (1997) – Matador Records
*"Big Big Lights" (1998) – Candy Ass Records
*"Get Up" (1999) – Kill Rock Stars
*"You're No Rock 'n' Roll Fun" (2000) – Kill Rock Stars
*"Entertain" (2005) – Sub Pop
*"Jumpers" (2005) – Sub Pop
Compilation album tracks
*"Big Big Lights" on Free To Fight 7" split 45 (1996) – Candyass/Chainsaw (USA, CDR028)
*"Dance Song '97" (live) on Yoyo A Gogo 1997 (1997) – Yoyo (USA, YOYO10)
*"I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" on All Over Me (soundtrack, 1997) – n/a (USA, TVT8110-2)
*"Banned From the End of the World" on Everything Is Nice (1999) – Matador (USA, OLE400)
*"Banned From the End of the World" (live) on Yoyo A Gogo 1999 (1999) – Yoyo (USA, YOYO18)
*"The Ballad of a Ladyman" on Turbo's Tunes (2000) – Kill Rock Stars (USA, KRS319)
*"The End of You" on After the Fair: 21st Century Women (2000) – K-Tel (USA)
*"Maraca" on Group (soundtrack, 2000) – Yoyo (USA, YOYO21)
*"What If I Was Right?" on Jackson's Jukebox (2000) – Kill Rock Stars (USA, KRS354).
*"Off With Your Head" on Future Soundtrack for America (2002) – Barsuk (USA, BARK37)
*"Combat Rock" on Peace Not War (Vol. 1) (2003) – Platinum (UK, PNW1CDX).
*"Angry Inch" on Wig in a Box: Songs from and Inspired by Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2003) – Off (USA, OFF994)
*"Oh!" on Mollie's Mix (2003) – Kill Rock Stars (USA, KRS382)
*"Off with Your Head" on Rock Against Bush Vol. 2 (2004) – Fat Wreck (USA, FAT677).
*""Entertain" on Songbook of Songs (2005) – Sub Pop (USA, SP0676)
*"Turn It On" on Whatever – The '90s Pop & Culture Set (2005) – Rhino (USA)
*"Jumpers" (live) on Live at KEXP, Vol. II (2006) – KEXP Seattle (USA)
*"Ballad of a Ladyman" (live) on Calling All Kings & Queens (2006) – Mr. Lady Records (USA, MRLR15). (Also on this CD is a cover version of Sleater-Kinney's "I'm Not Waiting", by Kiki & Herb.)
*"Step Aside" on Safe Haven (2006) – Cherchez la Femme (USA)
*"Jumpers" (live) on The L Word: Season Three (soundtrack, 2006) – Tommy Boy (USA)
*"Modern Girl" on Counter Culture (2006) – Rough Trade Shops (USA)
*"Fortunate Son" (live) and "Step Aside" on Wed-Rock (2006) – Centaurmusic (USA)
*"You're No Rock 'N Roll Fun" (live) on Metro: The Official Bootleg Series, Volume 1 (2010)(USA)
*"Get Up" (1999) Directed by Miranda July
*"You're No Rock 'n' Roll Fun" (2000) Directed by Brett Vapnek
*"Entertain" (2005) Directed by Molly & Mariah
*"Jumpers" (2005) Directed by Matt McCormick
Category:American indie rock groups
Category:Kill Rock Stars artists
Category:Sub Pop artists
Category:Musical groups from Washington (state)
Category:Musical groups established in 1995
Category:Musical groups disestablished in 2006
Category:Musical groups from Portland, Oregon
Category:1990s music groups
Category:2000s music groups
sv:Sleater-KinneyThis text has been derived from Sleater-Kinney on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0