How/when acquired: Downloaded MP3, 2007.
I would like to pretend that I'm so cool I bought Tigermilk when it was new, but of course I didn't. I did not become aware of Belle & Sebastian until I moved to Los Angeles, and heard them on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Around the same time, they got a funny shout-out in the movie High Fidelity:
Barry (Jack Black): Holy shite. What the fuck is that?
Dick (Todd Louiso): It's the new Belle and Sebastian...
Rob (John Cusack): It's a record we've been listening to and enjoying, Barry.
Barry: Well, that's unfortunate, because it sucks ass.
Transatlantic friends refer to them as "cardigan music," which may be a reference to the fact that the second track on this album, "Expectations," opens with the sound of Stuart Murdoch unzipping his cardigan, or maybe just to the clothing preferences of Belle & Sebastian's fans.
Anyway, I was late to them, and did not acquire Tigermilk until 2007, after my friend Kevin quoted this song to me and expressed surprise that I didn't own it. An iTunes gift certificate at Christmas remedied the omission.
"Precious" is a word I've heard used to describe Belle & Sebastian, and "twee" is another, although "twee" is one of those words that seems to mean whatever the person using it wants it to mean. But if they take themselves a little seriously, even when they're joking, what is wrong with that? I have said before in this space that I often feel wistful for the days of my adolescence, when I took myself seriously and felt I had a right to do so.