Why Belle and Sebastian Are
the Most Important Band On Earth
And since when is being lightweight so terrible? Get used to it, latter-day hipsters. For nearly a decade now, Belle and Sebastian have demonstrated that there exists on this planet . . . yes, maybe even in your town, on your block . . . a vast, slowly gathering audience still hungry for clever catchy melodies, unabashedly twee lyrics and an overall atmosphere that their sensibilities might just be a little more delicate than yours or mine. It's the Bubblegum era all over again, friends, but without all the social baggage that stopped it dead in its tracks 35 years ago. Belle and Sebastian don't exactly exploit the inner-dweeb in their audience. I mean, theirs isn't a cynical exercise on the scale of so many of the so-called Alternative acts that preceded their debut on the scene or, God help us, the Boy Band cycle that followed. They've been able to outlast mass-market trends with music that, yes, goes against all grain and flies well under the commercial radar because their public (me included) basically found them. That's why their ascendence has been so slow in coming . . . and so welcome.
Few people who don't want to appear complete wusses to their peer group have ever admitted to liking music such as that which Belle and Sebastian spin out with what seems so little effort. When you think about it, it's a little bit like standing on a chair at the Filmore in 1970 with a bullhorn and testifying to one's love for The Archies. And here's where we find that a curious reversal of the phenomenon of rebellion takes place. I daresay that the really hardcore Belle and Sebastian fans have any embarassment at all proclaiming their affection for music as lightweight in virtually every respect as the most throwaway filler on a second-tier Paul Revere & The Raiders LP. To them it's unsurpassingly cool and it frees them to tell anyone who doesn't like it that they can either fuck themselves or go listen to Creed (whichever is less pleasurable).
And what isn't liberating about feeling empowered to hand out a choice like that?
This was posted by Tom Sutpen