Belle & Sebastian

Celebrating 10 years of walking through the park

My 10th Outside Lands began by listening to Hundred Waters close out their set on the Lands End stage. For a set at noon on Friday, the crowd was massive. They were warm and bright, perfect for getting warmed up for a day of music. These folks also curate the FORM festival in Acrosanti, AZ, one of the most intimate music festivals in America. So intimate that, historically, you needed to be invited to attend. [read the whole post]


Beautifully executed music videos wrapped inside of a disastrous framing device makes this a good film to watch on fast forward.

Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, and Hannah Murray.

Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, and Hannah Murray.

Fans of Belle & Sebastian, such as myself, have been hearing about Stuart Murdoch’s film project, God Help the Girl, for several years. From a giant online competition to find female singers to sing some songs he had written for women to sing, to a well received album of these songs, and finally a full length film musical with the same songs, now sung by the actors who appear on screen. It’s an ambitious project, a long time in the making, and it comes close to being worth the wait.

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No, it's not an album, but what you see here sure helped one album make our list.

by The Spinning Platters Staff

Unlike last year, we spent more than a month at the Spinning Platters offices (our homes) passing albums around to try to determine a staff list of the Top abums of 2010. We were going for “Top 10 and ties,” and that ended up at exactly 10. There was a nomination step, a finalist selection step, a final voting step, and then we had a list. No list is perfect, but ours is not only pretty darned good, it also manages to represent the wide variety of  musical tastes among our team here (i.e. some of us hate some of these albums). Now, read and enjoy our Top 10 for 2010. [read the whole post]



Monotonix did not get the memo on the San Francisco weather

I sent out an email to everyone from Spinning Platters that went to the Treasure Island Music Festival on Sunday. I asked them to send me back something about their favorite act from the day. From some people, I got nothing, but from nearly everyone who responded, I got the same news. Belle & Sebastian was their favorite act.  So you’re about to read mainly a Belle & Sebastian love-fest, and look at a whole lot of pictures of Monotonix. And other than the rainy, windy, cold conditions and some energetic sets from Surfer Blood, Superchunk and Rogue Wave, that’s my biggest takeaway, too. [read the whole post]

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The Vaselines are a band from a very different musical era. They are a hard-to-define band from a period of time when it was difficult to find bands that you couldn’t easily market to people. They didn’t really do punk rock, they don’t really do folk music, they aren’t a new wave band, they are merely themselves. They put out a few ep’s in the 80’s, and were supposed to fade away into obscurity. That was, of course, until a young man managed to come across some imports in his local record store, became entranced by them, and ended up covering not 1, not 2, but 3 of their songs with a little rock trio that became one of the most influential bands of all time.

They officially broke up in 1990, but played a few shows in the early 90’s supporting Nirvana in Europe. Then, in 2008, they decided to reunite at the urging of another influential band from the 90’s. This time it was Belle & Sebastian urging this band back into the limelight. After all, their blend of girl group, twee, punk and lyrics that would make Luther Campbell blush is something the world will finally be ready for. And, at the Great American Music Hall, we experienced what that band sounds like today.

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Belle & Sebastian is not the kind of band that jumps out and grabs your attention, instead they plant a seed which needs time to grow.  When my friend gave me the spectacular If Your Feeling Sinister in 1997 it was with the promise that I would listen to it at least five times in the background before I gave it my full attention.  He was right; it haunted me, it seeped into my soul, and I loved it.  So now I’ve spent two weeks with Belle & Sebastian Write about Love their newest effort, and I can’t say that same feeling of love and musical bliss has washed over me.  Though I keep waiting and hoping it will. [read the whole post]


Spinning Platters Podcast: Episode 4 – Outside Lands Festival

August 27, 2009

Episode 4 of the Spinning Platters podcast is now available below, and in iTunes.  Dakin, Gordon and D.P. are joined on this episode by Carlos Rodela of Mevio.  You can see him weekly on Rad on the Web and Press Pause, or hear him below.  This week’s topics are: What we’ve been listening to Outside […]

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Album Review: God Help the Girl

June 9, 2009

God Help the Girl is supposed to be the soundtrack for a musical that has yet to be scripted and filmed.  It is the brainchild of Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian.  Murdoch said the project was born from material he couldn’t use for for Belle & Sebastian because the songs should be sung by three […]

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