Day 265: Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister

20 Nov

Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying

So I was flipping through the Chicago Tribune today…

Hahaha, just kidding.  So my dad was flipping through the Chicago Tribune today, when he stumbled upon a poorly written and nonsensical article deep within the Arts+Entertainment section.  While pieces of this nature have become commonplace in this dying newspaper, my father believed that the subject matter of this particular article would give me something to get angry about.

Can we stop the sweet? by one Christopher Borrelli, is supposed to be an exposé of “twee culture,” which has apparently seen a burst in popularity in recent months. First off, I’d like to point out that “twee” as a description has become almost meaningless. You can call anything sickly sweet and over-the-top if you try hard enough.  But that’s not the only problem. The article’s info-graph, which takes up two-thirds of the piece’s full-page spread, lists The Decemberists as “Insufferably Twee.”  Last time I checked, those guys have released songs about the following: a father killing his children, a young mariner seeking revenge on the ship captain who destroyed his life, male bus stop prostitution, and a double cliff-jumping suicide.

What’s clear to me is that Borrelli is incapable of distinguishing between what is “twee,” and what is “hipster,” another term that has made its way into the widespread vernacular, and lost most of its meaning by being applied to almost anything.

Anyway.  I noticed that Belle and Sebastian is on Borrelli’s moronic list.  As a band that I’ve been intending to listen to, I figured that this was a sign from the Swole Gods.  Now, I have to figure out how to turn this rant into an album response.

If we’re going by Borrellli’s definition, then yeah, Belle and Sebastian is twee.  Who cares if it is, though?  Something that I’ve learned is that you’ve just got to listen to what sounds good.  Forget the trivial labels that may be associated with it, and when all of your peers start calling you a hipster for it, years after the word has ceased to mean anything, you can just laugh at them.

Belle and Sebastian’s low key, mellow, sometimes jazz-influenced indie rock sounds good.  For that reason, and for that reason alone, I suggest that you give If You’re Feeling Sinister a listen.


2 Responses to “Day 265: Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister”

  1. Yuanny Dollar November 21, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    A former journalist I know is always suspicious of the “trend article”. He says he had an editor who would assign the “trend article” any time anything happened in pop culture or the news more than twice. The “trend article” is the ultimate filler. Sounds like this “journalist” had a page to fill and decided to find a “trend” where there was none. He didn’t even manage to pull it off, so he used a graphic to fill most of the page. Lame.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY — did the Swole Gods also mention that you have 100 days to go? You are in the home stretch. It is a long home stretch, but it is the home stretch. Mark the occasion. Have a Fresca.

    • Dave Chops November 21, 2011 at 3:34 am #

      Personally, I think that 265 days of S.E. without missing a beat is worthy of at least a premium brand pop – say a Stuart’s Root Beer.

      I am sometimes surprised how much I like Belle and Sebastian. I avoided them for a long time because of descriptions like the one in that Chicago paper and the rant in Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity” by the character later played by Jack Black. Then I heard them interviewed on some year-end NPR thing a few years back and that was it for me. I am a fan.

      B&S’s recorded output is of pretty consistently high quality so if you like this you will find plenty more to enjoy.

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