I woke up this morning with “Palomine” in my head. A song that brings me back to the mid-90’s, to working at Tower Records, to watching repeats of ‘My So-Called Life’ on MTV, to falling for a boy with curly hair and bluer than blue eyes and a girl who wrote letters in green and purple ink. It was that time in my life where I was finding my way to friends that would be a part of changes in me, and my life. It reminds me of connection, of loneliness, and of those coming-of-age struggles in our twenties that aren’t talked about as much as the teen years coming-of-age.
I wrote letters a lot back then. Made mixtapes to mail along with them. Bettie Serveert made it on to so many of them. This song was one of my go-to favorites. “Kid’s Alright” and “Tomboy”, too. I cut my hair short, wore mostly black baby doll dresses with oversized shirts or sweaters, boots, always boots, and matte black tights. I was a young mom who was still trying to grow-up herself. I’d sit outside in the middle of the night, smoking Marlboro Lights and writing in composition books, or reading VC Andrews, Henry Miller, and Tom Robbins books.
I wanted to leave California, but I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to leave to. Somewhere else. Somewhere new.
I played this song a lot. It reminded me of a girl who lived by the ocean who made the best mixtapes and wrote letters to me on the back of cereal boxes, and old postcards.
“Well, I wish I had known you then.
Well, who knows,
I might have been a better friend.
But now the senselessness within the air,
paints it’s words almost everywhere.
How come life sometimes,
makes you feel so scared?”
“Palomine” by Bettie Serveert
from the album, Palomine (1993)
Song Of The Day – June 7, 2021
Bettie Serveert is a Dutch alternative/indie band whose name translates to “Bettie Serves” or “Service to Bettie” which is a title of a book written by Dutch tennis player, Betty Stöve. (source: Wikipedia)
Palomine is Bettie Serveert’s debut studio album. It was released in October of 1992 by Brinkman Records. In the UK it was issued by a 4AD subsidiary label, Guernica in November of 1992, and in the US on Matador Records, also in 1993. (source: Wikipedia) I discovered the band, and album, a few years later, in 1996. A coworker at Tower Records put the album on in the backroom as we were unpacking and stickering new stock. I remember asking who it was that he was playing, and buying a copy of both Palomine and Lamprey, their second album.
“Palomine” was one of the many 90’s songs featured in the short-lived series ‘My So-Called Life’. It played in the pilot, in Angela Chase’s bedroom. I’m sure I noticed it then, too, as it was the same year that I was devouring episodes on MTV that I heard the album, and song, in that Tower backroom. Bettie Serveert always reminds me of the show, and of my record store days, and of the friends I would later meet in a online mail-list group devoted to ‘My So-Called Life’.
Bettie Serveert is made up of Carol Van Dijk on vocals and guitar, Peter Visser on guitar, Herman Bunskoeke on bass guitar, and Berend Dubbe on drums. They had originally formed in the late 80’s, and then split up. In 1990, they came back together, and in 1992 released their debut album, Palomine. (source: Wikipedia)
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