Thursday, September 30th, 2004
Anyone out there still love Dutch masters Bettie Serveert? I do, and I come bearing news. The good news is that their sixth proper album Attagirl will be out in Europa on October 11. The bad news is that it won’t be out in North America till 2005 at the earliest.
If you need a Betties primer, here we go – 1992 debut Palomine was a perfect-for-the-times bit of college/indie rock with warbly girl vocals over alternately jangly and fuzzed out guitars, and the kids loved it. 1995’s Lamprey was more of the same and there was somewhat less adulation, and 1997’s Dust Bunnies sort of came and went without anyone noticing. At this point they parted ways with Matador and probably dropped off of most people’s radar, but undeservedly so as they continued to put out some good records after that.
Bettie Serveert Plays Venus In Furs came out in 1998 and as advertised, was a live record of all Velvet Underground covers, mostly faithful and done with gusto. 2000’s Private Suit was a much more sophisticated and ‘adult’ sounding record than their previous efforts, and I thought it suited them and worked well with the huskier range of Carol Van Dijk’s vocals. Last year’s Log 22 was a bit of a step back to their fuzzy rock roots and had some really splendid moments but was suffered from a general lack of focus. Van Dijk also put out a couple albums in ’01 and ’02 with country side project The Chitlin’ Fooks which I haven’t heard but would like to. I’ve no idea what to expect from Attagirl but I’m excited about it.
And there is no one in the band named ‘Bettie’. The band name is Dutch for ‘Bettie serves’, taken from a caption in an instructional book by Dutch tennis star Bettie Stoeve.
This weekend’s crazy concert lineup has provided much grist for the local media’s mill. So to speak. Let’s review:
Saturday night: Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia/The Magnolia Electric Co. brings his musical identity crisis to the Horseshoe for a rare show. Chart and NOW talk to Molina and try to make some sense of his Byzantine recent discography. Let’s see – The Magnolia Electric Co. was a Songs: Ohia release and came out in 2003 (though Molina seems to refer to it as the self-titled Magnolia Electric Co debut album). The Pyramid Electric Co was released this January as a vinyl-only release under Molina’s own name. The double-live Trial And Error (again a MEC release) is going to be available exclusively at shows this Fall and will then get a proper release on January 18 (vinyl-only still? I don’t know) and finally the new MEC studio album, still untitled, is coming out in April of next year. And we won’t even get into the reissues of his earlier Songs: Ohia albums on vinyl. No way. I won’t pretend to understand it and it’s times like this I’m thankful that I don’t own a turntable so anything on vinyl is a non-starter for me.
Finally, Sunday night brings Rilo Kiley to the Horseshoe. NOW covers the usual topics (selling out, child stardom, etc) whilst interviewing Jenny Lewis and eye doesn’t offer much insight either. NOW loses points, however, for bringing up old, played out trivia in referencing Lewis’ part in Troop Beverly Hills – everyone knows that The Wizard was the watershed moment in her acting career. And non-Toronto, The Chicago Tribune also has an interview wherein they also work the child actor angle, but from the sitcom perspective – they do finally get an answer as to where the band name came from, though (from LHB). Updated: One more article in today’s papers – The Toronto Star ran a piece, minimal child star angle.
The Ontario governement is backing off it’s no-raw-sushi law. And who said public kvetching never accomplished anything?
np – The Delgados / Universal Audio