I have been a fan of Belle and Sebastian for many years now. They are a really solid band that is basically perfect to make out to. Their sound is very sweet and melodic with whispery voices singing poetic narratives that really work. When I was a little kid, my mom would sometimes hang out and video us kids as we played, to get more authentic footage. While that sounds creepy when said aloud, it actually provided some really awesome videos that I still cherish. For some reason, Belle and Sebastian and their story-songs remind me of those moving images–deceptively simple yet intensely emotional and gut-wrenching for the children playing. They’re also a band I wish I had gotten into earlier than 5 years ago, because then I would have caught them when they’d be touring the stuff that I like the most.
OK, with this being said, I have conclusively decided that as cool as it might seem, I would not want to be friends with the band. Honestly, this isn’t anything personal against them as people. I’m not some crazy stalker that has gone and frequently updated their wikipedia page, I don’t know any of them by name (in fact, is there a Belle or a Sebastian actually in the band? I could find out by actually reading the link I just posted, but I won’t), etc etc. It’s nothing against them, per se. The reason I wouldn’t want to be friends with them is simple.
Look at their songs. They’re all great, but they’re all pretty tragic stories about humans who more or less struggle in life, and generally are unhappy, medicated, and, to repeat myself, tragic. Judy and the Dream of Horses is a great example. If you listen, the girl was basically a slutty rebel in high school who was deeply unsatisfied with where she stood in life. Those people exist for sure, but I don’t think I’d want my lasting footprint on popular culture to be the inspiration of a Belle and Sebastian song that immortalizes me in such a hauntingly sad way. In other words, the real Judy, the one that someone from the band actually knows, is still running around out there somewhere with this song hanging over her head. There are tons of other examples of this. There’s Lord Anthony who was bullied at school and becomes a cross dresser, the inconsolable Boy Done Wrong Again, and the dominatrix of a boss featured in Step Into My Office, Baby. I wouldn’t want to be remembered as any of these people. Would the song be “Mark With The Patchy Beard” and about my inability to grow up? Or maybe “Smelly-Footed Mark,” which I just thought of now since I definitely need to wash the Sanuk Sandle/Shoes that I’m currently wearing.
So in conclusion, Belle and Sebastian is a great band. Check them out one of their albums if you haven’t already, and start with either “If You’re Feeling Sinister” or “The Boy With The Arab Strap.” However, stay far far away from getting to close to any of those people in the band. Otherwise you might end up with a song written about you that laments your disappointments as a person.