Friday, December 30, 2005


Herman D√ľne "Not On Top" (Track & Field)

when i first heard belle & sebastian's "if you're feeling sinister" i wanted to play it for everyone i knew, and i did. in the car, on my college radio show, on mix tapes, in the painting studio, and everyone always loved it. i have a similar feeling about "not on top." my friend (and Saint) Thomas Hansen enthusiastically brought these guys to my attention in the spring while i was on tour w/ him playing banjo, and every set we played included at least one of their songs.

only since they've been compared to belle & sebastian by others, i'll try to make sense of that (although i've never committed much mental space to b&s). brothers david-ivar and andre do have fragile and shy-sounding tenor voices, with an accent you can't really place. both have written about a million songs, i think, for the band and for their separate solo projects. their lyrics don't always rhyme and come straight from the heart and are often about rather mundane subjects like ketchup stains, random encounters, living in greenpoint, love. . .

the instruments are played w/ amazing economy and creativity, and the singing is often done by two or more people (julie doiron and lisa li-lund both sound perfect on harmonies), and the whole thing is recorded in mono. thomas says it sounds best played through a guitar amp, and i would agree.

but the real kicker that cemented this band a place in my heart (and brought a tear to my eye the first time i saw it), three words that appear at the very end of the liner notes: REMEMBER STEVE LACY


Blogger ben said...

good pick and nice commentary!

4:07 PM  

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