Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 4:58 p.m.
Artist: Belle and Sebastian
Title: Write About Love
Release date: October 12
Sometimes, after a hard day spent arguing with co-workers about which records people who write about music should be exposed to, you just want something breezy, something feel-good. Enter the new record by longtime indie darlings Belle and Sebastian.
Write About Love is pure bubblegum, all floating synth lines, cute-girl vocals, non-aggressive guitars and drums, and expertly crafted melodies. There's an appealingly cheeky '60s pop vibe that's difficult to not be swept away by.
Belle and Sebastian are one of those bands I'd heard a lot about but never listened to. You know what else I've never listened to? OK Computer by Radiohead. Or damn near 70 percent of Pitchfork's top 10 records of the 2000s. Does that make me unqualified to write about music? Perhaps it does. One of my co-workers thinks you need to be well versed in "the canon," a not-quite-clearly defined list of records (culled from the big four of rock writing: Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, New Music Express) that every rock writer need listen to in order to know what the hell they're writing about. You know, records like Sgt. Pepper, Exile on Main Street, Nevermind, Pet Sounds, Never Mind the Bollocks, etc. In other words, are you qualified to write about pop music if you've never listened to Pet Sounds?
Best song: "I'm Not Living in the Real World," a sentiment I share when engaged in heated debates rock music.
Deja Vu: Characters in independent films, especially romantic comedies starring people like Michael Cera or Zooey Deschanel.
I'd rather listen to: The new record from former Belle and Sebastian member Isobel Campbell (along with Mark Lanegan).
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
The "Nothing Not New" Archives
September 28 -- No Age: Everything in Between (A-)