Review : Belle And Sebastian - LateNightTales, Vol. 2
PitchforkBelle and Sebastian sometimes seem like the kind of people who like to have friends over and play them one record after another for hours-- "but have you heard this Lovin' Spoonful track? Oh, you have to! Here, I'll put it next in the queue after the Stan Tracey Quartet's King Crimson cover and-- okay, hold on, let me fade out this Pop Group instrumental, you kind of get the idea..." They also seem like the rare people from whom that behavior would not result in silent pleas to just put on an Al Green album or something and leave the stereo alone, because their ability to dig up amazing, not-overexposed music defies the Dunning-Kruger Effect by being as good as they think it is.
Hence, Stuart Murdoch and company have been invited back for their second volume of the LateNightTales series of "here's a bunch of not particularly dancey stuff a well-known artist likes, plus a new cover by that artist, and a spoken-word piece" compilations. (Their first came out in 2006.) As expected, their taste is superb; as you might also expect, they lean heavily on the 1960s and early 1970s, with occasional glimmers of modernity (Gold Panda, Toro y Moi) and the odd touch of naff-and-obvious just for contrast. (Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel"? Srsly?) Not a lot of this set sounds much like their own music, although the Wonder Who?'s pop-psychedelic "Watch the Flowers Grow" sounds like the Belle and Sebastian rhythm section might have taken a few cues from it. They also include two tracks by Broadcast, the much-missed Birmingham group whose aesthetic was all about stereophilic retro-futurism, and whose admirers are probably almost entirely a subset of Belle and Sebastian's own....full text
LatenighttalesThe celebrated Scottish indie pop group Belle and Sebastian are welcomed back for a second Late Night Tales, the 27th in the esteemed compilation series. Belle and Sebastian formed in Glasgow in 1996 where the success of college recorded cult debut album ‘Tigermilk’ led the band to signing to Jeepster for ‘If You're Feeling Sinister’; listed by Pitchfork at #14 in its top 100 albums of the 90s and is widely considered the band's masterpiece. Following the critically acclaimed ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’ B&S signed with Rough Trade (UK) and Matador (US) and have released a further five albums, most recently ‘Belle And Sebastian Write About Love’ in 2010. Other
accolades include being voted Scotland's greatest band in a poll by The List in 2005, their own Bowlie Weekender festival, a Brit Award and Mercury Music Prize and Ivor Novello Award nominations. The current line-up is founder Stuart Murdoch, Stevie Jackson, Chris Geddes, Richard Colburn, Sarah Martin, Mick Cooke and Bobby Kildea.
Their scene straggling 2006 Late Night Tales included pure pop, 60s psyche, 70s rock, West Coast harmonies, beat groups, folk balladering, punk, indie, girl groups, bossanova. This new selection only delves deeper into their shared influences and inspirations, along with a subtle nod to digging for rare sampled beats: not perhaps an trait usually associated with B&S. World-wise psychedelic breaks thread the mix together; significantly so with two tracks from Broadcast bookending a first half that includes late 60s dreamers The Wonder Who? and Joe Pass, father of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke, harpist Dorothy Ashby and the 21st century beats of Gold Panda....full text
HmvBack for their second round of this long-running curated megamix, indie pop superstars Belle & Sebastian spin a characteristically warm and exciting cross section of pop-informed sounds from all over the map on Late Night Tales, Vol. 2. As is a tradition with the series, the selectors record an exclusive cover and include it somewhere in the mix. Belle & Sebastian's take on the Primitives' high-speed '80s hit "Crash" transforms the song into a comparatively woozy midtempo jaunt. Despite the somewhat saloon-ready reading, this slightly lethargic rendition retains the bright, beaming quality of the original even when stripping away the urgency and energy. The rest of the mix is a pleasant patchwork of eclecticism, ranging from '70s deep-groove funk instrumentals from Dorothy Ashby and Roland Vincent to 2010s indie dream pop electro from Gold Panda and Toro y Moi. The entire mix is strong and widely varied, but some standout moments include the pre-industrial piano crunch of the Pop Group's "Savage Sea," an aggressive dub mix of Buzzcock Pete Shelley's solo hit "Homosapien," and several bursts of '60s sunshine pop taken directly from 45s. Broadcast make two appearances, opening the set and again in the middle with the moody instrumental "Chord Simple." It's one of many instrumental cuts that bridge the other tunes over the mostly well-flowing continuum of the mix. In the extensive liner notes by B&S bandmembers, they talk about their inspirations or memories about some of the selections, generally nerding out pretty hard about the lineage of way-out pop sounds that they themselves have become mired in...full text
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