Thursday, August 1, 2013

Beck Is NOT Dead

In honor of Beck's upcoming mini-tour (and the fact that it, hopefully, indicates new Beck music is incoming within the next five years or so), I've put together an album's worth of random Beck tracks that have cropped up in the past few years. Some are b-sides, some are internet exclusives, some are random leaked tracks and so on.
I'll be seeing this son of a bitch in Prospect Park on Sunday, August 4th...maybe I'll ask him why he's been so reticent...

1. Defriended
The first of two(?) songs Beck released as singles on 12". He's said it has nothing to do with any potential upcoming album. It's just...a song. I don't love it, but it's new Beck and it proves, sort of, that...say it with me...Beck is not dead.

2. I Just Started Hating Some People Today
Recorded and released on a limited edition 7" along with another song on his last day in Nashville, this is...weird. It's fucking pure country and then kind of metal and then smooth jazz.
It's Beck.

3. Bonfire Blondes
A b-side from 2008's Modern Guilt. Quite frankly, I think it could have replaced "Walls" or "Volcano". Solid, boppy, beach rock Beck.

4. I Won't Be Long
The second of two(?) brand new out of fucking nowhere Beck songs. This one is a lot better than "Defriended" (or so think I) and, although it is also completely unconnected to any upcoming releases by Beck, hopefully it indicates that he's gearing up to do fucking something that doesn't involved producing or screenwriting or fucking basket weaving or other shit that isn't writing and recording and releasing his own god damn music.

5. Bloodless
This one...just kind fo popped up out of nowhere; no attached to any album or release and Beck never said anything about it. If this is what his next album sounds like, I'm fucking in.

6. Looking Out For A Sign
A sweet little song Beck did for the Jeff, Who Lives At Home soundtrack. For some reason, fans seemed to dislike this, saying it was commercial crap and so on and so forth. Fuck them, it's a solid Sea Change-esque song and I think it's nice.

7. Feel Good Time
This is a great Beck cover of the Pink song, right? WRONG. This was originally written and recorded by Beck and, when Pink wanted to cover it, he gave it to her. The silly bastard.

8. Vampire Voltage No. 6
Another b-side from Modern Guilt. A bit moody; I love what's going on here. The ending is just as filthy and grungy as the 60's. I also feel that this could have replaced "Wals" or "Volcano".

9. Sound + Vision
Sadly, the audio quality of this does not do it justice, so here's the original performance.
Just because it's mono doesn't mean it isn't amazing.
This is the second Bowie song covered by Beck, if you can tell me the first, I'll give you a candy, if you can tell me which Bowie song Beck remixed, I'll give you another...

10. Bad Blood
Dirty Beck sex in a swamp. And the swamp is full of sweat. In the South.
Grind on this.

11. Half & Half
The last b-side from Modern Guilt worth listening to. This has a kind of electro-doo wop feel to it. The chorus has something that I enjoy but can't put my finger on.

12. Ramona
A fully orchestrated version of Scott Pilgrim's song for Ramona Flowers. Thing is, it would be funny if it weren't so vulnerable and beautiful. The strings and harmonies are just perfect.

13. I Only Have Eyes For You
The final song of my wedding. Just as beautiful as the original, but four thousand times as creepy. When Beck reverbs the words "I only have eyes for yooooou", you can picture him wandering through the fog, holding out a pair of eyeballs in your general direction.
His eyeballs.
Or yours.
Whatever is creepier, that's what it is.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The New Totnes

Almost four months in the making, it is here at last...The New Totnes.
One track from every album Chris and I purchased on our honeymoon, the majority of which was purchsed at Drift Records in Totnes and the rest which were purchased at Rough Trade East in London*.
There is some good stuff, some great stuff, some stuff you'll hate, some stuff you'll...probably not hate as much and a lot of stuff you've probably never heard before.
And, obviously, some Nine Inch Nails.


1. Joe Meek and the Blue Men - "Valley Of The Saroos" - from I Hear A New World
I...this might not really dig this, but I can almost guarantee it'll be the most interesting thin you hear today.

2. John Grant - "GMF" - from Pale Green Ghosts
It was tough to just pick one track of this amazing album. Yes, yes, I went with the easy choice.
It's still a great song though.
See if you don't find yourself humming this while you're not paying attention.
If you enjoy this, I recommend "Ernest Borgnine", "It Doesn't Matter To Him" and "I Hate This Town".

3. Herve - "Gold (feat. Maria Minerva)" - from The Art Of Disappearing
Nothing to add, really, it's just a nice, mellow song, one of my favorites from the album.
4. Young Magic - "Slip Time" - from Melt
There were some unique tracks on this, but this one stands out above the rest. There's a lot of cool textures and depth to this one. If you like this, then you'll probably dig the album as well.

5. DJ Mink - "Hey Hey! Can U Relate?" - from Warp 10+2 Classics 89-92
This album was my only musical regret (not including Dirty Beaches, that was Christina's mistake to make). This is the ONLY track that stands out in any way and it's a remix. The idea that THIS was the label Aphex Twin was on...mind boggling...
But, on its own, this is a pretty fun track. It just might make you move your ass.

6. Damon Albarn - "The Apple Carts" - from Dr. Dee
I love the way things evolve and come together on this. If would fit perfectly into any Gorillaz album...about 15th century alchemists.

7. Serge Gainsbourg - "Chez Le Ya-Ya" - from Initials S.G.
This guy fucked.
A lot.
I don't speak French, but I assume this song was made to listen to before, during and/or after some fuckin'.
The title, literally, means "The House of Ya-Ya".
Take from that what you will.

8. Steve Mason - "Fire!" from Monkeys Mind In The Devil's Time
One of the only tracks that really jumped out at me. It didn't jump very far, but it isn't bad.

9. David Bowie - "Dead Against It" - from The Buddha of Suburbia
Although the intro might be a tad on the long side, it's David Bowie, and therefore you will sit quietly and listen.
Unless you don't like David Bowie...which would be...just weird.
Seriously though, I dig the brightness and warmth in Bowie's voice on this track. If someone had noticed this album had been released, this may have made it onto a Best Of or three.

10. Atoms For Peace - "Dropped" - from AMOK
This whole album is amazing, but this one stands out; the way it unfolds is what really does it for me. It's like walking through a garden of robot flowers as they blossom before you. And then Thom Yorke is singing.
Just like that.

11. Dirty Beaches - "Good Bye Edmonton" - from Water Park OST
I picked the shortest and most interesting track off this sleepy little turd that I could and tucked it between two really good songs. Don't worry, it's almost over.

12. Deptford Goth - "Guts No Glory" - from Life After Defo
This is the best song on a really solid album. It deals with loss in a soft and beautiful yet persistently tragic fashion. I highly recommend the album, as it all shares vibes with this track.

13. TV On The Radio - "Shout Me Out" - from Dear Science
I like where this starts and I love where this goes. Join in the celebration.

14. David Bowie - "I'd Rather Be High" - from The Next Day
The open and airy feel of this belies the anger Bowie is expressing about the war efforts.
Just thought you should know that. Still a solid track from the latest Bowie album.

15. Purity Ring - "Lofticries" - from Shrines
A beautiful and spooky track with some pretty unsettling lyrics. They make things a bit chilly...

16. Gary Numan - "Dead Sun Rising" - from Dead Son Rising
Unless you're a fan of Gary Numan, you're probably going to hate his voice. That plus the epic, dusty nature of this track...well, this is not for everyone. But I love the story here, and I'd love to know more about the narrator. "I've watched gods bleeding / I've watched worlds burn / I've watched stars falling / and I watched the dead sun rising."

17. Nine Inch Nails - "Right Where It Belongs v2" - from With Teeth
While a version of this is on the domestic release, this version was only available on UK copies of the album. I think this is tolerable for those not balls deep into Nine Inch Nails.
I think.
As always, I'm way too close to tell for certain.

18. Washed Out - "A Dedication" - from Within and Without
The perfect ending. Or not.

19. The Flaming Lips - "All You Need Is Love" - from The Terror
This is sort of a hidden track off the album (even though it's not technically on the album) and I know it's a bit of a cop out, but you've earned something familiar.

* Except for The Next Day, which was purchased at the last open HMV on Earth, located in Cardiff, Wales.