Music Appreciation (soft skaters edition): Belle and Sebastian

It is very rare for one particular person or group to be representative of an entire culture or subculture, but for some reason if somebody asks you what kind of music you like, and your first response is “Belle and Sebastian” you really need say no more. I mean – they pretty much cover this shit in 500 Days of Summer.

Liking Belle and Sebastian, especially if you were in high school anywhere between 1995 and 2005 was a way of clarifying your identity to others, and distinguishing yourself from the masses. You were in tune with music that wasn’t on the radio, you had a more sophisticated palate, and you were just generally way fucking cooler than all the assholes that the girls you were in love with were banging.

Let me make this clear, though – if you were listening to Belle and Sebastian, you were NOT getting laid in high school. Ha ha, ohhh no, most certainly not.

You were, on the other hand, feeling some real emotional shit, learning life lessons, and actually gaining some comfort in the fact that maybe you weren’t the only person who has been lonely, had a gay sibling, had traumatic things happen to you, or a plethora of other situations that would differentiate you from the rest of your peers (AKA the reason you started skateboarding in the first place).  

I think I actually might owe it to Austin Stephens, the original hipster skater. To be honest, when I first saw this part I wasn’t the biggest fan, I mean, the next 4 parts after Heath’s you’re pretty much just recovering / thinking back / wondering if it’s too soon to just rewind and rewatch. After going back, though, this part rules. Great style, great kickflips – I mean, what kind of psycho does a kickflip back tail on a square rail?

Still too many boot-cut jeans for me, though @denimviolators.

Even after the Austin Stephens part, though, I didn’t really know who Belle and Sebastian was, particularly. It was a different time – unless you really loved a song, looked it up in the credits section, then went out and bought the CD, you weren’t hearing any other songs.

So with that said, I think the most impactful moment for me was when I saw the Crailtap, Nice Little Wednesday edit.

 

That Carroll bs one-foot. All day, baby. Such a feel-good clip, super young Olson, Rick Howard switch tre, and of course, getting that perfect shot.

This is the one that sealed the deal. Had to get this album. So I went to the store and sadly they didn’t have Dear Catastrophe Waitress :(

But they did have Tigermilk. So of course I bought it, and lo and behold – Austin Stephens’ song from This is Skateboarding. “Wow, I thought…who is this band? And why are they so popular in skate music?”. So my journey continued, and as I became more familiar with their discography, the more I would see them pop up in videos.

I think the next time I noticed them was when Boston Massacre came out. Sadly I’m unable to locate either of these sections on the internet (which blows my mind, come on people) but the way this video was made was that it was supposed to seem like each person had their own video, and for Hector’s credits, it was ‘There’s too much love’. More importantly, though, Fiske’s credits was to ‘Sleep the clock around’, one of the greatest B&S songs all time.

 

So by the time 2005 rolled around, it seemed that there was a circle of skateboarding that really embraced indie pop music – and Belle and Sebastian’s music was the cornerstone for this movement.

Blueprint, Lost and Found – Intro (Simple Things)

Bueno, Wizards of Radical – Nick Mclouth (Boy with the Arab Strap)

Toy Machine, Suffer the Joy – Credits (Rollercoaster Ride)

But let’s be honest – there had to have been some sort of deal signed between Belle and Sebastian and Crailtap. Spike? Do you have any answers here? Contact us directly, thanks.

*Also – a personal question to Spike if you’re reading this – the Belle and Sebastian / The Streets mashup in the Fourstar SF Catalog shoot…I want answers. *

Anyway – the Crailtap gang really just knocked it out of the park. Perfect example of a subtle one would be the We’re ok Eurok – Credits.

 

But perhaps the most well-known use of all time, you guessed it, the Crail Couch theme. Has a more contagious and unforgettable guitar riff existed, and has there been a better use for it than to get you in the zone for a great interview? The answer, folks, is no.  

...if you really want to go down the rabbit hole…

So how do we wrap this up? I think first and foremost with a thank you to Belle and Sebastian for not only providing us with great music over the years, but also filling the soundtracks of some of the greatest skate videos made to date.

Lastly – we should remember that though they’re beloved by many, they’re not for everyone.