Saturday, April 23, 2016

Child: Bettie Serveert's “Kid’s Alright”

Purchase Bettie Serveert's Kids Alright

Back in the bushes we find a cat
Beat him up with a baseball bat
And grandma says we’ll turn out bad
And go straight to hell just like dad

I grew up in a sweet neighborhood where I could almost touch the window of the house across from me. But when you live that close, you can hear all the fighting and crying on the block. The loudest kids are seen as the worse. I remember listening to my quiet and boring neighbors next door try to make my mom crap on the loud boy across the street who ran out of his housescreaming at his parents. Shouldn’t we be more curious about the quiet houses where nothing seems to happen?

In “Kids’ Alright” Bettie Serveert has some fun with adults who get off on predicting doom for kids. Well these kids ain’t so nice actually, beating up cats and all with Louisville Sluggers and yet you cheer for them against their grammie through the line “But don’t you (grandma) get your hopes up high, The Kid’s alright.”

Bettie Serveert is from the Netherlands but played a lot more like an alt-country act from Missouri with some Dinosaur Jr guitar worship thrown in. Carol Van Dijk’s mumbles and snarls, the guitar twangs. “Kids’ Alright” is the fastest tune off their 1991 debut Palomine. In fact, you have trouble listening to this slow album straight through because “Kid’s Alright” is so catchy you want to hear it again and again. Yeah, maybe like a nude scene in a slightly above average film.

Bettie Serveert caught a good buzz early on, even opening up for Counting Crows on a leg of their tour (which made me respect Counting Crows a lot more) and then they fell. I thought Bettie Serveert had broken up shortly after their second album “Lamprey” and the Crows tour but I learned they made another 8 albums. So I dove into Youtube and came across a lot of playful pop which is pretty good but neglects the guitar chops of Peter Visser. Listen to them live and Visser’s work comes through.

Living in Istanbul where you can reach into the house next to you and grab the spoon out of a person’s hand, I always find it eerie how few kids I hear and see.

Posted by LaRay Gun, for Mr. Becker

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