My Top 1000 Songs #194: Tom Boy

Yes, this single off Dutch indie rockers Bettie Serveert's 1992 fantastic debut, Palomine, is a great tune in its own right. You've got the band's rough yet sweet sonics, a blend of poppy post-punk and a more traditional Neil Young/Crazy Horse, almost grunge-rock vibe; fronted by Carol van Dijk's warm, husky vocals. The lyrics feel like a rousing proclamation yet humbly aspirational--"Call me a tomboy, and I love it. 'Cuz only a tomboy would stand above it. And simply change it"--and particularly timely, accompanying the early/mid-90s triumph of indie/alt.rock women from Liz Phair to Kim Deal to Juliana Hatfield.

But the song is more meaningful to me as a proxy for everything I was listening to at the time. After a late 80s/early 90s relative dry spell (some shoegaze aside), this was when bands like Superchunk and Pavement and Guided By Voices and Luna started taking over my life, and, while they don't necessarily get the same credit these days, Bettie Serveert were right in there for me.

Live in 1995 (with bonus jam):