Archive for the ‘The Pop Group’ Category


In Stuart David’s book, In The All-Night Café, he lists the songs on a mixtape that Stuart Murdoch gave to him when they first met.

Although I’ve been a fan of Belle & Sebastian for a long time, I knew almost none of the songs on this mixtape.  So, much like Stuart David, I’m listening to them for the first time trying to see how they inspire Stuart Murdoch.

In the book, David writes how much he does not like “rock,” especially music based around bluesy rock.  Most of these songs, accordingly, do not do that.  In fact, most of these songs are (unsurprisingly) soft and delicate.

I have thought that a few songs did not fit on this mostly mellow mix, but if ever there was one that stands out, it is this one.

I am unfamiliar with The Pop Group who formed in 1977.  They released two albums, then broke up.  Then they reunited in 2010 and have put out two more albums.  The Pop Group has been described as extremely influential (which inspired the reunion).  I have to assume that no one sounded anything like them at the time.

“Savage Sea” opens with a quiet piano twinkling and then a whispered voice starts speaking.  After about a minute noises start swirling and in adding discordance.  The spoken words get a bit more intense and the song gets spookier even as the piano melody remains mostly the same.  Around 2 minutes some deep moaning voices are added and then a squeaky violin spears the song with high notes.

With about fifteen seconds left, the piano starts to play a conventional series of chords, but just as it’s about to turn into something, the song ends.

I haven’t listened to the whole of Y, but of the few songs I did listen to, “Savage Sea” seems like the most listener friendly, as most of the other songs are quite noisy with screams, chants, wild guitars and all kinds of free jazz.  There’s even some funk and dub bass all played around the same time.  It’s chaos.

The name of the band is pretty hilarious

[READ: February 3, 2021] “Blushes”

I anticipate reading a  lot of stories about the pandemic in the next few months.

This one was interesting because although it was set during the pandemic, the story itself has nothing much to do with it.

Dr. Cole is a retired physician, a specialist in respiratory diseases.  But with the pandemic raging, he has volunteered to help out wherever he can.  Of course he is nervous, but he doesn’t have a lot left in his life.  The love of his life (his second wife) died recently and they had no children. He’s not depressed or anything, but he doesn’t have the familial concerns that some might have in this situation.  Honestly doing the work takes his mind off of things.

As he drives in, he marvels at the emptiness of the roads–and the re-arrival of nature (he saw six foxes the other day). (more…)

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