Wednesday, September 17, 2008

OCD Listmaking: Top 5 Beck Tracks

In honor of me going to see Beck at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, my top 5:

1. Earthquake Weather - I wrote about this one last year, so I'll just quote myself: "All the elements of that song come together to make it perfect for extremely hot weather. That phased-out guitar at the beginning seems to imitate the heat waves you can see coming off the road, and it gives the whole thing a hazy sound. Then the beat comes in, and it's this nice, slow, head-bobbing beat. The lyrics seem to hint at dog days--"The days go slow." All the instruments--the soaring guitar notes over the chorus, the funky keyboard over the bridge--have some kind of treated sound that removes their edges and makes them sound as if they're melting in the sun. You just want to sink into the vinyl of your car seat." This song feels like Beck finally hitting what he had been going for for years, this weird mix of hip hop and indie and folk and his own offbeat personality. When it gets to that funky breakdown in the middle, damn that's good stuff.

2. Stange Apparition - (live version here) The obvious reference is the Stones, with that Nicky Hopkins-like piano riff sounding straight off of Sticky Fingers. Sort of the same idea as "Earthquake Weather" of bringing all these different elements together, but this one feels like it has a bit more depth to it, a ragged, lived-in, soulful sound. Great beat.

3. Mixed Bizness - The whole first half of Midnight Vultures feels so unified. Beck in Prince drag (sometimes I think of it as Midnight Vultures is to Prince as Ziggy Stardust is to The Stones) crooning R&B come-ons that manage to come off as pretty sexy while still being hillarious. This one is such a great dancefloor burner.

4. Derelict/Novacaine - Both good songs, but they sound even better together (I could say the same about "Hot Wax" and "Lord Only Knows"). I felt like I ought to include something off of Odelay, but it's hard to choose. It sort of works better as a whole than as individual tracks.

5. Chemtrails - I was gonna say Tropicalia, but let's go with one from the new album. This song really amazes me. Actual comments on the video: "People wake up U.S. Airforce are killing us! Beck has the guts to sing about it! I hope Bruce Springsteen starts protesting and singing about this too!!! We need more artest making people aware that´╗┐ we are being poisioned everyday!!! This is a fact!!!You pay your leaders and they do not listen! do not vote for anybody thats not fighting this crime against humanity!!!!!! " "just listen to the god damn song you hippy"

One more for the road:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great picks. Hope the concert's a blast!

9/17/2008 3:03 PM  

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