Belle and Sebastian album covers always bothered me because they would remind me of The Smiths. Both bands are morbidly precious — or preciously morbid? — and English; well, the former is Scottish but who cares. England is to Scotland what China is to Korea what Spain is to Portugal. As in no one cares. I have a friend who has this rule where she won’t fuck a guy if she finds Belle and Sebastian on his playlist. I can understand: I have Belle and Sebastian on my playlist and I wouldn’t fuck me. It bothers me that you take a photo, run it through a color filter and slap some typographically “literary” text on it and consider it an album cover because, right, like your fans are all sensitive art students with melted candles and a suicidy razor blade by the bathtub; and emphatic or compulsive design seems uncool and corporatey, and your life is all about casual. Casual sex; casual resume sending; casual cereal for dinner. Every time I see one of these album covers I want to have a vasectomy and not subject my child to this world and vice versa. I love it when there’s an acoustic guitar lying around at a party — the kind of party with salsa and guacamole in coffee mugs because everyone’s too mellow to actually cook — and always the least-laid guy needs to pick it up and start playing the four chords he knows. Then five to seven grimly codependent-ish people all reluctantly stay quiet and feign attention while he plays something out of key. Then he starts sincerely singing, which is basically a metaphor for the world: we make it horrible with our feelings. Some asshole says do you know any Wilco and all the more amicable networky people into electronic music with better clothes and skin are on the roof now drinking beers, holding the bottle against the sun so that it seems that the sun is inside the bottle, setting into the amber sea.