Song of the Day #4,629: ‘Slow Graffiti’ – Belle and Sebastian

OK, last week’s Random Weekend gave us a weird coincidence when a song from Brad Paisley’s first album was followed by a song from his second.

A week later, we get another twofer, with yesterday’s Belle and Sebastian track followed by this one today. I won’t even bother to calculate the odds of back-to-back weekends featuring a single artist. But they gotta be high.

‘Slow Graffiti’ is the fourth song on 1998’s This is Just a Modern Rock Song EP. Back in the 90s, Belle and Sebastian would release 4-song EPs in-between their full-length albums, often featuring some of their very best material.

This one is particularly good, and was also particularly tough to come across in the United States as it wasn’t released in North America. I remember working hard to get my hands on it, probably through ebay (I don’t think Amazon was an option for this sort of thing in 1998).

In 2005, the band released a collection titled Push Barman to Open Old Wounds that collected all of their EPs on one easily-accessible CD. Now they’re all a click away on your streaming service of choice.

I don’t know… as much as I love the easy accessibility of music these days (it’s truly amazing), there is something to be said for having to put the work in as a fan. Can we dedicate ourselves as fully to something that requires no effort on our part?

[Verse 1]
There’s a portrait
In a backroom
Which I keep for days upon, which I relent
And gaze for hours on the muscle skin and bone
Of some imaginary friend

[Verse 2]
So how about it?
Show me please how I will look in twenty years
And let me please
Interpret history in every line and scar that’s painted
There in front of me

[Verse 3]
It doesn’t matter what I’m thinking
What I tell myself to do
I’ll end up calling

[Verse 4]
I stay in to defrost the fridge
Now the kid has gone to bed
A feeling of dread
At least when she’s around the trouble’s there
It’s worse to wake up with her falling round the room

Listen Johnny
You’re like a mother to the girl you’ve fallen for
And you’re still falling
Listen Johnny
You’re like a mother to the girl you’ve fallen for
And you’re still falling

And if they come tonight
You’ll roll up tight and take
Whatever’s coming to you boy

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,629: ‘Slow Graffiti’ – Belle and Sebastian

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I will always cone down on.the side of supporting more access to music over the barricades that used to be put up by record companies and retailers, though I agree there was something special about the hunt for rare recordings, cut outa, etc. I remember searching for weeks/months to get a copy of the originally recorded Cold Spring Harbor by Billy Joel after it had been discontinued because Billy understandably did not like the production error that caused him to sound like a Chipmunk. I was finally able to find an 8 track at some record store, and played it nonstop. Later, they released a remastered version of the record, attempting to lower the speed a bit, but also stripping out orchestration and instruments that I had come to love on the flawed original-most notably on “Tomorrow is Today.” Nowadays, it is easy to find the remastered album online, but the original songs are probably relegated to users uploading on YouTube.

    Here is the version you get from the reissued album:

    And here is the original version with orchestration:

  2. Amy says:

    I, too, loved the chance to become a detective in search of a song that had captured my attention. The Internet has made life infinitely easier, but it has also caused us to lose that curiosity and tenacity that was so much fun. That said, there is also something wonderful about going on Twitter mere hours after a Taylor Swift album has dropped and getting to learn all her fellow fans’ theories and insights and compare them to your own.

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