Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(OK, computer)

Maya brought this pad home from school - elementary school, mind you. Suicide is no joke, let's be clear on that, yet I'm tempted to write people cheery, innocuous notes on this stationary. "Hey! What's up? Isn't Bored to Death hilarious? I suddenly want a trench-coat and some white wine."

Media announcement: The new issue of OffBeat is ready for your digital perusal and contains my quick profile of sacred steel maestro Robert Randolph playing Tipitina's in New Orleans on Oct. 9 and the Varsity in Baton Rouge on the 11th. Editor Alex Rawls has an illuminating interview with one of my favorite contemporary blues artists, Ruthie Foster in this issue as well.

Belle & Sebastian, Write About Love (out 10/12)

Like the dog upon any arrival, I nearly yipped with excitement when the new Belle & Sebastian showed up yesterday afternoon, for they are my latest loves. I couldn't wait to catch the bus in the crisp alien autumn we are suddenly having - I suppose 85 is approaching ghastly for some but it has been a sweaty armpit of a summer here and 85 feels like an icecube sliding down the back of your sundress - because the bus is the perfect place to listen to Belle & Sebastian, gazing out the tinted windows at the houses and the trees and the people and their collective hypnotic array just as some really wry line lights a match in your melancholy heart. And in the same tinny headphones where "The Stars of Track and Field" are frequently declared beautiful people, I was having a bad first date with this new record. I could hear it sounded good even though it didn't in these headphones and the songs just weren't funny. Like not at all. They were good, but any idiot can write a good song, B&S write good, funny songs! I was heartbroken, prepared to tweet my disgust with a rapier wit I found this album markedly lacking, but this morning, on proper (OK, computer) speakers, I see it for what it is and not what I want it to be. It is a man's writing about love, not a boy's, and the sharp edges are rubbed smooth and the glow is a subtle candle and not a firecracker's spark. I'm still not totally sold on it; I got bitten by premature enthusiasm for the God Help the Girl project so I'm cautious. When Write About Love finished I had to put on The BBC Sessions to right my toppled teenage soul but my grown-folk heart is willing to give it a roll in the hay.

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