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Love Letter To A Record: Private Function On Sleater-Kinney’s ‘One Beat’

Written by Joe Hansen on August 21, 2019

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Joe Hansen, Private Function – One Beat by Sleater-Kinney (2002)

Dear One Beat,

It’s been a long time since we first crossed each others paths and I felt it was the perfect time for a catch up to renew our vows. As a stock-standard millennial – growing up on a steady diet of Malcolm in the Middle and The War On Terror – voices of reason and dissent against the powers that be always stood out to me as being imperative and resonant to a world further torn apart by discord and division. Emerging from this mess of a world with no reservations about pointing the finger directly at those who continue to divide us all, you arrived at an important time in 2002 to speak loudly and clearly about a world that had very recently changed overnight.

When you came into my life several years later, you encountered a nerd on a quest to listen to as much music as possible, and if it was loud punk rock I would love it more than anything. Yet as much as I loved fast and loud staples like Minor Threat and Black Flag, I always felt as though a lot of punk bands remained limited in their scope, be it musically, socially or simply being another group of the same kinds of people doing the same kind of thing. You were one of the first records to prove to me that the intensity of punk rock could just as easily be balanced with pop hooks, REM style guitars and even your centrepiece Combat Rock with Janet’s killer marching-band drum beat.

Even though your greatest strength has always been a vocal supporter of the marginalised and the oppressed – which unfortunately may be more needed than ever right now – my fondest memory of us is still riding my skateboard as fast as I could with the sugar-coated chorus of ‘Oh!’ blasting through my headphones. It takes a lot of skill, power and creativity to be able to inspire a listener to think, understand and assess the world around them, but to also be able to provide an escape from it is perhaps the greatest gift of all.

I love you One Beat and I hope you continue to give to others what you gave to me,

Joe Hansen, Private Function

Private Function’s debut LP ‘St. Anger’ into the wild via Disdain Records, grab a copy here.

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