Broken Social Scene has probably played their last show. I was in the crowd at their way grimier/dustier second-to-last show at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, where I bitched about the hippies and the crowd and how i’m dressed wrong for a fucking hike. That is, until BSS started playing.
It is really, really difficult to call Broken Social Scene your favorite band, because they’re a different band at different times, and their albums don’t come from the same artists. Each album is a capsule of the band at that point in time; of course, you could say that about every album any long-standing band has put out, but this point LITERALLY applies to Broken Social Scene. So I tend to think about their impact on my life not as artists, but as albums. And my favorite? You Forgot It In People
How can anyone ever get over You Forgot It In People? Its a sprawling upbeat indie pop album that is delightfully hard to put into words. I remember the first time listening to it and being completely mesmerized by ALL THAT NOISE. There’s people whooping in the background, songs that are loud, songs that are quiet, songs that you can predict and songs that defy reason.
I can’t quite remember how I found out about this album. I was 15 or 16, I may or may not still have been in my first (and incredibly short) relationship. What I do remember is putting the album on in a class during the final exam in my digital graphics class. The noise is just enough to drown out the world, but not enough to drown out your thoughts. As I nudged margins and made text boxes, I was bopping my head, drifting deep. I remember my teacher looking at me and telling me that I look like I’m concentrating incredibly hard; I didn’t have the heart to tell him that its probably not InDesign that’s doing that to me.
Honestly, it was one of the first truly interesting albums I encountered as a teen. My favorite album before YFGIIP was Brand New’s Deja Entendu. (Seriously, was there ever a more tortured teen pop-punk album?) It was also my first foray into music that was complicated and noisy and whisper-y. For someone who is still crazy about nudging margins, chaos can only come in doses, but BSS is such an exception. Every song on this album is beautiful! Beautiful!
So, am I sad that they’re possibly never gonna record another album/play another show? Yes, I suppose so. But I am way more glad that You Forgot It In People exists, and that I heard it when I did. BSS’s grandeur might be replicated by other bands, Almost Crimes’ noisy prettiness can probably be heard in other songs, but no other album will ever be able to conjure up the same emotions in me.