July 12 — “Ordinary Guy” by Me & Stupid

Me & Stupid

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Ordinary Guy” by Me & Stupid (2011, from the album In a Cabin With… Me & Stupid).

Me & Stupid is a project of Bettie Serveert band members Carol van Dijk and Peter Visser. The band is rounded out by some Australian musicians. The whole thing is part of a pretty cool (and confusing) project called “In a Cabin With”. In a Cabin With is a non-profit project that works in conjunction with Music Center The Netherlands to promote Dutch music around the world. They set up sessions all over the globe, and they’ll send some Dutch musicians to collaborate with established local musicians. In the case of Me & Stupid, the recording session was in Australia, so The Betties went down there and worked with Russell Hopkinson from the Sydney band You am I and Ben Salter from the Brisbane band The Gin Club. A couple of other Australian musicians also pitched in.

After the specially formed band records some songs, In A Cabin With promotes each “album” by giving it away as a free download from their website. They encourage donations and “subscriptions”, and they also sell physical copies of the albums, but they give digital copies away. They ask for tweets in exchange for free music. Not a bad exchange, if you ask me.

Bettie Serveert has been one of my favorite bands since I first laid ears on them 20 years ago, and I like their new stuff (almost) as much as I like their first album. When I first heard about this In A Cabin With Me & Stupid project, I was naturally all over it.

The only reason that I haven’t featured the Betties yet is that I mistakenly thought that their debut record Palomine was released in the summer of 1992, and I wanted to wait so I could do a “20 years ago today” feature on one of the songs from that album. My memory isn’t as razor-sharp as I wish it was, and it turns out that it wasn’t released until the spring of 1993. One day in the near future, then, I’ll do a feature on a Bettie Serveert song.

Back to the task at hand. Today’s song. It’s misspelled as “Ordinairy Guy” on the website and misspelled that way in the digital file tagging. I don’t own a physical copy (yet), so I don’t know if that’s the way it actually is and/or if the misspelling is intentional, or if it’s simply a misspelling in the digital world. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t matter.

“Ordinary Guy” by Me & Stupid

I love that for the first 1:05, it sounds like it’s going to be a mellow ballad. If you know the Betties at all, you know that it’s probably a trick. And it is. It turns out to be a little noisy. Not as noisy as most Betties songs, but noisy nonetheless. And there’s some of the brilliant textbook Peter Visser screaming guitar solo stuff. After the vocals drop out at 2:25, it’s pretty much all Peter from there. Carol is still playing the jangly part. The bass and drums are still playing, but it seriously might as well just be Peter. I especially like the short bit from 2:55 to 3:10, but really that entire two-minute coda is pretty great. And well worth the price of free admission.

The Betties have a new record scheduled for release in late 2012. Keep your ears open for that one.

Grab the free download of the In a Cabin With… Me & Stupid here. Use their “pay with a tweet” function to grab the album here. You can also buy a physical copy of the cd here. The packaging on that CD looks pretty sweet, so I went ahead and ordered one myself.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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