I heard Bettie Serveert for the first time on the TV Series “My So-Called Life”. Later, the same week I heard it on the show, the album Lamprey was playing in the backroom at Tower Records, early in the morning, while I checked in and unpacked boxes of CD Singles. It was the mid-90’s. I was in my late-20’s. And like any other time in my life, music was my obsession. Working in a record store helped feed the obsession. Access to music, new and old, and to shows, big and small, as well as time spent daily with other music obsessives. Some days it didn’t feel like work at all.
I kept Bettie Serveert and Lamprey, along with the albums Palomine and Dust Bunnies, long after I left Tower to go on to a “real job”. The kind of job that I could pay rent with, but had to sit in cubicles and suffer through small talk, gossip, and obsessions over diets. Music became more than obsession to me then. It became my sanity. It was what got me through the day, that along with stacks of books, and writing every day.
And now, years and years later, I sit in an office at my “real job”, or “real career”, whatever the hell any of that means, and the second track of Lamprey plays. “Ray Ray Rain”. Music is still an obsession. It is still my sanity. It is also my muse and my lucky charm. I found the love of my life through sharing our music obsessions. We still share them every day. We text songs to each other. We take turns picking albums at night, lying in each other’s arms, listening, sharing not just our music obsessions, but pieces of ourselves. Music is part of our intimacy. It is part of our love story. It is part of us.
I don’t know why today’s Song of the Day, Bettie Serveert’s “Ray Ray Rain”, brings all this to mind. How a quick memory of a 90’s TV show and the backroom of Tower Records can bring out bits of my lifetime music obsession, and my gratefulness to it, but it does. Music is magic that way.
“Ray Ray Rain” by Bettie Serveert
from the album, Lamprey (1995)
Song of the Day
“I watch your right-hand shifting gear,
wondering what I’m doing here,
’cause both our minds,
are occupied by memories.”
Bettie Serveert is a Dutch indie band that came up in the 90’s, led by singer and guitarist Carol van Dijk, along with guitarist Peter Visser, bassist Herman Bunskoeke, and drummer Berend Dubbe.
The band’s name translates to “Bettie Serves” or “Service to Bettie”, which is the title of a book written by Dutch tennis player Betty Stöve, who made it to the Wimbledon ladies singles final in 1977. (from Wikipedia)
In 1995, the group released their second album, Lamprey, which was well received, and this aided them in obtaining tour slots alongside the likes of Belly, Dinosaur Jr, Buffalo Tom, Superchunk, Come and Jeff Buckley. (from Wikipedia)