Sleater-Kinney’s New Album and Why It Is Important

Sleater-Kinney Band PhotoSleater-Kinney或許在香港和亞洲大部分地區是個陌生的名字,但她們不只是一隊又隊的美國Punk Band。從來沒見過所有音樂媒體這麼一致的充滿熱情的期待,Pink Floyd重組沒有見過,Radiohead也沒有見過。 大概因為SK的重要性超越了音樂本身。No Cities To Love好聽,但它絕對值得我們花多點時間了解多一下。

Perhaps a strange name here in Hong Kong and most of Asia, Sleater-Kinney is not just-another-American-punk-rock-band. Never have we seen a band receiving such a widespread enthusiasm by all music media, not Pink Floyd reunion, not Radiohead nor Björk. The importance of SK goes beyond the music itself. It’s a canonical force to the society and we have the obligation to bring that force across the Pacific for you.

Grrl and Women

Sleater-Kinney於1994年組成,命名自她們起始錄音的街道。她們是“Riot Grrl”運動(第三波女權運動)的倡導者之一,主張通過音樂、藝術和文學等文化層面爭取兩性平等。自此,Sleater-Kinney的身份與“女權主義”密不可分,是反對男性主導的社會風氣的標誌。

Named after the street where they record they first album, Sleater-Kinney formed in 1994, they were the advocates of the “Riot Grrl Movement” (Third wave of Feminist movement in the West) which fight for gender equality in culture through music, art and literature. Since then, Sleater-Kinney was inseparable from “feminism”, standing up against the male dominance.

The Music

Bob Dylan等好像都沒有再寫及人們日常生活中的煩惱了,而二十年來S-K一直以來都以此為中心。她們風格上早期以Punk Rock為主,時致今日已演變成不同的形式。不同於上一張充滿即興色彩的專輯WoodsNo Cities To Love花了很長的時間作思考和嘗試,並終於用了2年多來完成。當中乾燥的吉他聲會讓你想起St. Vincent,歌詞又會讓你想起Angel Olsen那哀慟的反思。No Cities To Love絕不是享受懷舊風光的重組專輯,這是當代的,是明確的。而推出新專輯這動作意味著更多。

For 20 years, they have been doing what Bob Dylan and the folks have stopped doing – to write songs about the troubles and concerns of our as well as their daily lives. Starting as punk rock, their music has nonetheless evolved into various forms and styles. Unlike the previous album, Woods, which was spontaneous and improvised, No Cities To Love took a long time sitting down thinking and trying and it finally took over 2 years to produce.  It reminds you of St. Vincent’s guitar work. It reminds you of Angel Olsen’s reflective mourn. No Cities To Love is not a reunion album in attempt to enjoy a good moment of nostalgia. The message is contemporary and clear. And the effort to put out a new album means much more.

To mark the release of their upcoming album, No Cities To Love, Sleater-Kinney asked some of their friends to film themselves singing the title track.

The Statement

在當今互聯網世代,當我們盲目地在YouTube享受著滿屏幕的胸和Instagram上的屁股時,Sleater-Kinney 這面女權主義的大旗的復出簡直是對我們重重的一巴掌。John Lennon寫“Woman is the Nigger of the World”(女人是世界的黑鬼),那是上世紀70年代的事。然而女性的驅體在流行文化中被消費和濫用的頻率從沒有放慢,隨科技發展卻有所加劇。還記得不久以前Chvrches樂隊受到的網上攻擊?家庭暴力仍然在世界許多地方一個嚴重的問題。諷刺是,有幾多年青女子(o靚模)自豪地爭相供出自己身體作為男性慾望下消費品。Sleater-Kinney的作品超出了音樂本身。我們作為樂迷,也應當認識作品好聽之外的大意義以及和有所行動。- Brian

At the contemporary internet age, the resurface of SK – the big flag of feminism – acts as a heavy slap to face while we are mindlessly enjoying boobs on YouTube and the bums on Instagram. When John Lennon wrote “Woman is the Nigger of the World”, it was the 70’s. Yet, the consumption of the female body in the pop culture never did slow down. It advances with technology. Remember the ugly internet sexism with the Chvrches? And never forget domestic violence is still, in many parts of the world, a serious issue. Ironically, we see teenage girls are proud and happy to offer themselves as the It-girl, competing and falling comfortably under the male gaze. Sleater-Kinney comes as an Artist, as their Art has come beyond the body of work. And thus for us as music lovers, we have an obligation to know what is more than the aesthetics of the work and to react. – Brian

Album Covers

wodsSK的專輯封面不賣壯觀漂亮,但總有故事。上一張專輯The Woods是在舞台上紅幕下的樹木 – 有機和被操縱的矛盾對立。是樂隊長休前的吶喊嗎?

Always loving SK’s album covers. Nothing spectacular or beautiful, but they always tell a story. Last album The Woods shows trees put on stage with red curtains – a contradiction of being organic and being controlled and calculated. Is it a cry out before hiatus?

 

 

 

 

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No Cities to LoveA bunch of dying pale flowers. Signs of Vanity?
奄奄一息的花。象徵什麼呢?

 

 

 

 

 

More on Sleater-Kinney

Full Album Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWc6knXULsw&feature=youtu.be

Pitchfork Feature: http://pitchfork.com/features/articles/9576-sleater-kinney-a-certain-rebellion/

NME Reviews: http://www.nme.com/reviews/sleater-kinney/15874

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