Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An after-dinner Beck mint

Alright, now that the big election posts are out of the way, it's back to the random connections that inspired this blog in the first place.

I discovered last week that Beck's song "E-Pro," from his album Guero, samples the drum beat from the Beastie Boys' "So Whatcha Want," from way back on Check Your Head. In fact, Beck gave the Beasties a songwriting co-credit on the track. Both songs are good, especially the original. Incidentally, both songs are in Rock Band 2; once that comes out for the Wii, I'll have to investigate whether the drum parts in the game are tracked the same. Here are the videos:

[E-Pro: Universal Music Group are jerks for disallowing embedding of YouTube videos]

[So Whatcha Want: The Beastie Boys are not jerks

This provides me with an opportunity to state that Beck's last really good album was Midnite Vultures in 1999. I'm probably biased, since this came out when I was in college and I listened the hell out of that album for about a year and a half, and even drove 5 hours in a snowstorm to see Beck in Kansas City during that time but dammit, he hasn't been the same since. There are a few cuts on Guero I liked, but the biggest problem I have is that you can't understand his insane lyrics anymore. I mean, what's the point of stringing together bizarre turns of phrase and clever wordplay if you're going to mumble your way through it? I may not know what "Norman Schwartzkopf / somethin' tells me you wanna go home / champagne bottles / custom clothes you own / calling up from special area codes" means, but I could understand the words and it is funky. I'll have to give Modern Guilt a listen, and see if he's cleaned up his act and his diction.

For the record, Odelay was Beck's best album and I wish I could dance like Beck.

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