Friday, July 02, 2010

album of the day: Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Whiplash, much? Straight back into chamber pop! Hah!

Belle and Sebastian (who famously took their name from a French children's TV program) are just about my favorite current indie band. (I probably say that about a different band every four days, but you know what? They can bite my...)

Well, that didn't set the right mood at all, did it?

Then again, I'm not sure what the right mood would be for Belle and Sebastian. Their lead singer and chief songwriter, Stuart Murdoch, has a disarming manner of performing both of those tasks, leading Belle & Sebastian to have, in turn, a most disarming manner.

Again, there's perversion, as in the first track on the album - and my favorite - "Step Into My Office, Baby," which is a cutely sung sing-songy song about sexual harassment, and accepting it as a means of advancement in the workplace. Sung by a guy, about a female boss, this just stomps all over a particular kink button of mine - you know, the one labeled "The Nubile Paperboy Delivers For The Bored 30-Something Housewife..." (You know about that one, right?)

If that's not your thing, then perhaps you'd enjoy the sweet sad longing of "If She Wants Me"

If I could do just one near perfect thing I’d be happy.
They’d write it on my grave, or when they scattered my ashes.
On second thought, I’d rather hang around and be there with my best friend,
If she wants me.

No? Well, how about "I'm a Cuckoo"?

I'd rather be in Tokyo
I'd rather listen to Thin Lizzy-oh
And watch the Sunday gang in Harajuku
There's something wrong with me, I'm a cuckoo

Any band that refers to Thin Lizzy (and yes, the song quotes the guitar line from "The Boys Are Back In Town") is worth at least some of your attention. Belle & Sebastian may be altogether too precious for some, but in the right mood, at the right time, generally mornings about 10, you could do a hell of a lot worse.

I think they're a very self-aware band. Murdoch's lyrics and angelic voice are postured to create a surreal effect. It works very well, and although it's clearly an effect, it's a delightful effect.

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