Indie Rock Ambassador Is Winning Over Politicians With Private National, Belle & Sebastian Concerts

If it weren’t for his job, Matthew Barzun could be mistaken for one of us: his favorite album of the year is the War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream, he loves Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Chvrches … but he’s also the United States’ official ambassador to the United Kingdom. Buzzfeed accompanied the 44-year-old — who was appointed to the position last year — on a trip to a record store in London where he’s a regular. He talks about foreign relations, his views on President Obama, and recounts all of the concerts he’s put on for members of the UK government. He’s held shows with artists such as the National, Belle & Sebastian, and Damien Jurado. At the Belle & Sebastian gig, which was held at his mansion in Regent’s Park, the audience was comprised of politicians, the Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson, and a few members of Franz Ferdinand. He served a cocktail named after If You’re Feeling Sinister. It’s all very surreal, but also indicative of a new generation of politicians that are currently making their way into office. You can read the full piece over on Buzzfeed, which calls what he does “vinyl diplomacy.”

[Photo by Matthew Tucker/Buzzfeed.]