Entertainment Monday: Belle and Sebastian (Monday August 10, 2015)
With bands being so numerous and popular music flooding our daily lives it's often easy to "move on" from a band that might have inspired a certain point in your life. There comes a recollection of a few bands who bring back memories and illuminate the past, even if they were not an omnipresent part of your musical enjoyment over the years. One such band for me is Belle and Sebastian a Scottish Band that formed back in 1996 while I was attending college in central Pennsylvania. My opening description is perhaps not overly complimentary by it belies my true feelings for the band. They are one of those bands that have stood a good test of time and keep churning out great music. It's just that there is so much music to take in that sometimes Belle and Sebastian have become something of an undeserved after thought in my life. They do not get an extreme amount of exposure here in the United States either which contributes in part to those stretches when I might have forgotten about them. While I've never purchased one of their albums whenever I've heard them over the years I've always really liked their music. They are consistently producing quality music and several of those songs over almost the last 20 years now pull me back to memories of good times with friends and even just recollections of simple, relaxing, long drives in the car, which incidentally is where I listen to music most often.
The times and places in which we live can etch certain music into our memory. Belle and Sebastian are far more worthy of a place in my music library then some of the bands that have made their way into my music database over the years. As such I wanted to write about them here and try to give them some of the credit I might have denied them over the years, and also remind myself at the same time about what I have been missing out on by not listening to them more regularly.
They have a great story behind their formation as well as Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David formed the band https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_and_Sebastian when they worked together on a project for their music business class at Stow College in Glasgow, Scotland. It's amazing how fate and circumstance ended up bringing so many talented people together in a fashion not typical of successful band formation.
On the Wikipedia page about Belle and Sebastian I noticed that there is a picture of them performing at the 9 30 club in Washington, D.C.. Knowing how much my sister and brother in law enjoy alternative music and knowing that they have been to the 9 30 club several times to see bands perform I hope that perhaps Belle and Sebastian might return there at a time when I might be able to visit with Heather and David and go to a concert with them (assuming they are fans as well). I'm guessing they have heard of Belle and Sebastian, even though we've never discussed them before, given the band's longevity and success. I hope to ask them about the possibility when next I speak with them. Of course there are several bands they love that I would enjoy too, and any of them would be awesome to see live with them. With Belle and Sebastian's new album I will have to check out if they are on tour and maybe the stars will align?
One of the earliest songs I heard from Belle and Sebastian came from the movie Juno. I was a and am a tremendous New York Mets baseball fan. The song is named Piazza, New York Catcher. Mike Piazza caught for the Mets from 1998 until 2005 after coming over in a blockbuster trade from the Miami Marlins in 1998. He is one of the iconic figures in Mets baseball history.
Piazza, New York Catcher
Another Sunny Day one of my favorite Belle and Sebastian songs
The State I Am In is another song of theirs I've always liked. They have an older sound to them. Not necessarily more mature, I mean as if they were performing back in the 1960s or an earlier decade.
The Party Line is a single released off their new album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
So many of Belle and Sebastian's songs tell stories about ordinary things, which is something that really appeals to me. Not all of their songs are about making a political or social statement. Sometimes they just tell an everyday story that connect to people on a personal level like I Want the World to Stop off of the album Write about Love.