Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Belle & Sebastian

Sometimes I wonder where the hell have I been? How did I miss this? I find something great and then I realize it's been right in front of me for ages. It's taken me this long to discover Belle & Sebastian and now I'm asking these very questions again.

The NY Times once described Belle & Sebastian as music Laura Bush could love. It's brainy, insular, ambient folky music set amid complex production with bookish lyrics that you simply can not stop thinking about. This music is moody but understated, melocholic but filled with hooks that warmly reel you in. Belle & Sebastian are considered Post-Rock, the substantive supplanter of the convential 20th Century paradigm of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll now that such ambitions have proved trite and obsolete.

This music has slid right into a groove I'd been experiencing lately. The past few weeks have been filled with grey overcast skys and a damp chill that deceives you into thinking Spring will never come. At work, I've been toiling with a number crunching rut that I can only describe as a disengaging confinement. This music stimulates my brain but still feels warm and cozy.

But something else has drawn my affections. Despite the band's Glasgow roots, their primary songwriter Stuart Murdoch and I have a common mental deficiency. Murdoch (for reasons I can not identify) is a huge New York Mets fan. Some years back, when the New York Times wished to interview the band, they had to do so in the Upper Deck of the late Shea Stadium. My God, the Scots love to suffer.

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