1990s Dutch indie rocksters with the knack for getting no radio play and ruffy, scruffy, luminous singles. Bettie Serveert popped onto the 120 Minutes Axis of cool with 1992’s Palomine. Today’s songs are from their second and third albums, Lamprey and Dust Bunnies, respectively. If you only know Bettie Serveert from their having their later catalog shit on by Pitchfork, don’t even consider what those coked-out* out 20-year chunkwagons have to say, just consider these great, messy, wonderful songs. The second is a total heartbreaker.
The final nail in my coffin of god damn obscurity and loserdom (no sillies! not having a blog, that was the penultimate nail). It was hearing about a band with a nice sounding song from TBogg. Yes, the BDSWLF known as TBogg. Like a particular Pink Floyd song+Interpol+Deadpanish Magnetic Fields, plus talking about post-rock, plus they are from Boston. I really, really am putting this one on UC. The depth of his hatred for me is unfathomable.
I think the song is pretty good. Maybe it will wear eventually, but I think it is worth a Song of the Day, listened to by noone!
I’ve been pimping these guys for a while to no avail. I first saw Mazarin when they opened for Rogue Wave (along with Irving) at the Troubadour in Los Angeles about a year ago. I dug into some of their stuff, realized I liked it, then saw them again in Chicago at Schuba’s with about 90 of my closest friends.
The track selected is, in my opinion, the best track off of their 2005 album “We’re Already There”. It was the 36th best track of 2005 according to Darren Viola, and don’t fight me on that, because that dude has forgotten more about music than you or I will ever know. Some of you may know it as the last track off the latest Walkmen album “A Hundred Miles Off”. The Mazarin version is not only the original, but it’s better.
The thing is, don’t try looking for new stuff from these guys. Apparently there was some Long Island band called Mazarin that sued them and they decided to stop recording under that name. No word yet on what Quentin Stoltzfus will call the new version. It’s one of those bands that’s really one dude with some session musicians, and he gives the band a name instead of naming them after himself.
Similar to Earlimart, another personal favorite, this is a band that you have to listen to at about 100x normal volume to get an idea of what they sound like live. They are very loud. You’ll just have to listen to it to find out for yourself. Sorry, no video this time. They’re that freaking obscure.
PP adds: Song coming later when I can get into the 3B server. Seitz adds: Don’t bother. We can use that embed thing that Plover used over at 3B. Check it:
Both of these are bands that I saw a couple times while I was in college, and then saw again a few years after college, and both songs are probably my favorites from their respective catalogs. And both songs illustrate what I really like about each band. There becomes a point in guitar oriented music where technical ability can only take you so far. The hair metal bands that were contemporaries of each of these groups may have had guys that could play 800 notes per second, but there’s something to be said for restraint, and both Dave Schelzel and Dave Gavurin seemed to know how to say it.
Pay close attention to the bridges/guitar solos in these songs, and you’ll hear some serious repetition, especially on BSAN. Both solos sound like they don’t require a great deal of digital dexterity to play. But both solos are really the high points of their respective songs, that part of the song that you can’t wait to hear when the track starts, but you can’t fast forward to it when the song starts or you lose the payoff.
I’m not going to speculate as to whether or not he was a major influence on either or both, but the real master of this “repetition as perfection” technique is Will Sergeant. Listen to the solo work on Echo and the Bunnymen’s “New Direction” or “The Killing Moon” sometime and you’ll see what I mean.
Also, Harriet Wheeler was really hot.
PP adds: The Ocean Blue song was always one of my faves, and a secret mixtape weapon, not too big of a hit, but the ladies sure did appreciate. I think it took me years to get around to listening to the lyrics, which are not as good as the rest of the song. Both are super quality, though.
Probably the most underrated SFA song (assuming there are people that actually rate SFA songs), it’s also probably my favorite. It doesn’t appear on any proper album, and it wasn’t widely available until it was released on the Songbook compilation, and it’s rarely played live, or so says my unscientific sample based on the last five shows they’ve played in Chicago (they’ve played it once, and I was stoked).
As with most good SFA songs, it really combines all of the elements brought to the table by each musician. It’s got a great bass line. It’s got Gruff on the crazy mic. There’s some solid harmony, though not as good as one might find on “Rings Around the World”. The only problem with this version is that it cuts out about the first 20 seconds, and it cuts out the bridge at around the three minute mark. It’s not a big deal, but it’s a little jarring when you’re used to hearing the studio recording.
Apparently they got the title from a 3rd division soccer player in Sweden, as I doubt the mullet is referred to as “hockey hair” in Wales. Also, it makes me think of the MST3K episode “Final Sacrifice“, in which the bots all contract hockey hair. Mike is spared, as he already had the disease as a kid (he does, however, contract grisled old prospector hair later in the episode).
And since I may have whetted your appetite for MST3K, here’s the relevant section from Final Sacrifice: