Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle & Sebastian #606

Belle_And_Sebastian_-_If_You're_Feeling_Sinister.jpgOften seen as the quintessential gay album of the nineties, I was gifted If You’re Feeling Sinister by old gay pal Gay Jamie who, himself, had obtained it during the Great Internet Download Free-For-All of the mid to late 1990s.

At the time, I saw Belle & Sebastian as a kind of hipster bollocks band. Loved by trendies and soul patch sporting arts students and with such prejudice, I  wasn’t all that bothered by them. Of course, this was in my late, uninformed, uncultured, blinkered, pre-internet, pre-university, unenlightened, pre-millennial twenties where most of my world still revolved around Liverpool, a shit office job and regularly going to the pub with similarly minded folk and talking shite.

Of course, hipster pals were already hinting that I would like the band long before I’d actually listened to the album. Indeed, when I met him, Hipster Nick was already much of a keen fan and Telly Expert Tim, who would often talk about how he was into Belle & Sebastian before anyone else had even conceived of the idea of a band called Belle & Sebastian and that, besides which, they weren’t as good now, anyway, since Stuart had left the band, would sneer at anyone who clearly had only recently become a fan. The thing was, this time they were right; I did like the band.

Fortunately, Stuart was still in the band at the point of releasing If You’re Feeling Sinister and Tim was quite right, the band’s early albums are, in my opinion, the better ones. Much in the same way that Syd Barratt’s influenced Pink Floyd albums are distinctly different to those that come later and indeed, after, Roger Waters. Well crafted, the songs on the album have a unique sound with a lyrical poetic genius that is lacking from the majority of modern bands some of them define adolescent exploratory gay sentiment while others reflect on angst, paranoia or obsession.

A genius of an album!


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Genius of America – The Tubes [#514]

The_Tubes_Genius_of_America Fee Waybill and the guys regroup and return following a ten year hiatus and departure from  Capitol Records with their first album on the Critique label.

Despite filling the years between 1986 and 1994 with The Tubes on my Walkman, I didn’t come across this album until much later. Thing is, HMV were never any good at stocking records for non-mainstream bands, even though the Tubes were fairly mainstream at the height of their career. Trips to the HMV in Church Street, Liverpool, during my youth would see me flipping through the Ts..TUs…TUB…Oh bugger..TUBEWAY ARMY…no Tubes.

“Never heard of them mate” was the mantra from the shop staff.

And yet, it seems, The Tubes were more influential than we know with some members of the band having sessioned with Chris Isaak , and with Richard “Hazard” Marx producing today’s album.

To say Genius of America takes off from where Love Bomb ended is incorrect. Stylistically, the album is Tubesesque but it’s a far cry from Remote Control and Completion Backward Principle. Indeed, it’s almost as if the band have had a style transplant during their hiatus, because unlike other bands that have split and reformed, there is a recognisable difference in sound.

I’m still waiting for it to grow on me.

Unfortunately, I am unable to back up my conjecture with my usual inclusion of a sample Youtube video for this album. It seems that the copyright police have cleared it of any of the tracks from this release. So instead, here is one of the band’s classic songs.

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