Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Hidden Vagenda – Kimya Dawson [#585]

HiddenVagendaFormer Livejournalist, Goddess of lo-fi, mother of tweecore and sometime member of the Mouldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson, released her fourth album Hidden Vagenda in 2004. A time when lo-fi folksy tweecore was grabbing the youth underground via the internet at the time, the youth rejecting corporate created plastic bands in favour of unknown kids in their bedrooms chucking out tunes via the internet.

What a different sound and time that was.

I remember going to see Dawson perform tracks from this album in Liverpool during her European tour. The cosy venue had a sizable crowd for its size but it wasn’t rammed. Instead one could easily reach the bar without battling through a wall of people. Indeed, at the back of the venue, near where the bar was, one could see Dawson furiously knitting while the support acts did their bits. Eventually, when Dawson finally came to the stage to perform her part, there followed 90 minutes of the most enchanting mix of protest song, tragedy and tweecore punk folk.  Most of which featured on today’s album.

Some years later Dawson featured on the soundtrack for the hit GenX film, Juno. This was the only time I felt like a true hipster. I had seen Dawson, I had read Dawson, I had heard Dawson, long before all these new “fans” before the mainstream. And by that time the enthusiasm for the genre had started to fade.

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Boy with the Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian (#216)

Boy with the arab strapBoy with the Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian are another band I was told I would should like. I hate that. I hate being told I should like something.

Anyway, as it happens I should have liked them and I do. Should have because had I been into Belle and Sebastian earlier I might be able to wear a soul patch, ponce about with a beret and call myself a hipster. As it happens I’m way too cool for all that and besides, Belle and Sebastian are so last year and a poor shade on what they used to be like when Stuart was in the band.

See. I know all the hipster talk.

Besides, there is no one in the band called Belle and I’m buggered if I can remember anyone called Sebastian being in it either.

Anyway, this unremarkable album tries to recapture the momentum started by If You’re Feeling Sinister by being extra quirky in sound (it fails) and the sixth form bandishness achieved through Lazy Line Painter Jane in It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career (and failing again). John Peel once said about Belle and Sebastian “Who?”; a sentiment held by many today too. However there are some memorable tracks on this album and you could say that all the albums following this release are shite. That way you too can start to grow that goatee and affect those charity shop tweeds.


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