From How to Solve Our Human Problems, out on Matador.
It’s been almost twenty years since I first heard Belle and Sebastian. A good friend of mine had picked up The Boy with the Arab Strap. We would have house parties every weekend back then. There would be a cooler in a back yard with a case of Pabst buried in ice with a six pack of craft beer on top. This was how we rolled. Everybody brought their own beer anyway, so you’d always end up with plenty. In the late 90s my friends all lived within walking distance, or at least close enough. Dogs but no kids yet. There was music as loud as the neighbors and wives would tolerate, played on CDs in boomboxes.
A party like this is where I was introduced to these Scottish introverts, probably with a disclaimer that they were lispy and effeminate. I was totally into sixties garage punk and Neil Young and fifties rockabilly and Wilco back then, so I’m sure it was a hard sell.
There’s still nothing like a warm autumn night in Michigan. When being young and having your own place and a little bit of money and getting loaded with your friends was all you needed in life. Laughing until you cried, dancing until you were sore, arguing about stupid stuff. So fun.
This was the same friend who introduced me to the Lucksmiths a couple years later and really opened up my musical tastes to gentler sounds with clever lyrics. A lot has changed since then. Life goes in all sorts of unexpected directions. People drift apart, change. Divorces, new jobs, kids, death in the family, moves across the country. We no longer have those kinds of back yard parties.
But maybe we should. Maybe it’s time to bust out the coolers and fill them up with Pabst. Throw some good beer on top. Invite some friends over and see what happens.
We had a time
If we could have it back over again
I’d be a force…