Video: Beck – “Up All Night”
From Colors, out October 13 on Capitol Records.
Speaking of Beck, hooray, he’s fun again!
This is the third song released from Colors (after “Dear Life” and “Wow”) and all three have been upbeat. While I love some melancholy Beck — my all-time favorite Beck album is One Foot in the Grave — I think he can pull off the dancey jams more convincingly these days than the Gordon Lightfoot numbers. His voice and personality are more suited to bangers than bummers.
“Up All Night” is a grown man’s plea to get back to the good life, shaking booty, making sweet love all the night. “See the colors and all the kids going home / Night is crawling up to the day” but Beck just wants to “stay up all night with you.” The video’s great, too, with a teenaged superhero/transformer rescuing a boy from the worst (or best?) party ever.
Beck: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Beck video: Up All Night
Video: Liars – “Cred Woes”
From TFCF, out now on Mute.
Reminds me of weird, early Beck. Remember when he used to sing about washing dishes and blowing leaves and stuff? Good times. Now we’ve got Liars singing about his “minimum wage routine” and sampling a bit of “My Sharona.” What year is this? Is Carl Stephenson involved?
I like the taste of cola on ice
In the employee lounge
Kick back in comfort, fearless
Regardless, this song is pretty cool. Especially if you like Mellow Gold-era b-sides and deep cuts.
Liars are playing Riot Fest at 2:15 PM on Friday, September 15.
Liars: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
YouTube: Beck – “Wow”
Three months after Beck released the song, he’s finally made a video for it. “Wow” is easily the most fun Beck song I’ve heard since “Hell Yes,” which came out over a decade ago. And he’s apparently “putting finishing touches” on his forthcoming album on Capitol Records with co-producer Greg Kurstin. Hard to believe it’ll be his 13th studio album.
I can clearly remember the first time I saw the “Loser” video, cracking up that they let a slacker like that on MTV. He was like a better-looking, California version of me and all my dopey pals. And by the time I heard “Beercan” I was a fan. My goodness!
I still wish Beck would hook back up with Karl/Carl Stephenson, who co-wrote and produced all the best songs on Mellow Gold, recorded the brilliant Forest for the Trees album, had a nervous breakdown, and dropped out of sight. Could potentially be cool. Or terrible. Who knows? And whatever happened to the Dust Brothers? Now I’m just rambling…
Continue reading New Beck video: Wow
I maintain a playlist called Golden that pulls together a bunch of songs that give me fall shivers and nostalgic heartstring tugs. There’s loads of Beck’s Sea Change, Kurt Vile’s Walking on a Pretty Day, Steve Gunn’s Sundowner, Elliott Smith, Damien Jurado, Lord Huron, and now…Chris Staples.
Staples’ new album, Golden Age, shares more in common with those songs and that feeling than its title. There’s a type of sadness, without being maudlin. And maybe that’s to be expected. After a rough patch where Staples was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that resulted in pancreas failure, a bike accident that required surgery, and the dissolution of a long-term relationship, Chris Staples is afforded some sad bastard time.
But that’s what’s great about this record: it’s not sad bastard music. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some of that. But Staples’ album maintains a bit of pop bounce with lovely melodies and simple production. It’s been described as a “subtle” record, which I guess is as good anything I would come up to describe the production. Because subtlety implies hidden complexity, and this record has that in spades.
Give a listen to lead off track “Relatively Permanent” and tell me you aren’t ready to sit down with Chris, have a beer, and talk about where you grew up.
Continue reading Chris Staples – Golden Age
If you’ve seen A Hard Day’s Night then you know George was definitely the coolest Beatle. If you’ve seen any clip of him you know it. And so it’s fitting that we celebrate George Harrison Week with Conan O’Brien and a cast of friends, family and admirers.
Beck Kicks it off with “Wah Wah” and the influence of All Things Must Pass on Beck’s sound become so obvious now.
Next is George’s old pal, Paul Simon with a tasty cover of “Here Comes the Sun.”
Contrast that with this version of the George Harrison and Paul Simon playing it together in 1976 and you can FEEL the years wash over you.
Continue reading All the Videos From CONAN’s George Harrison Week
Video: Record Club: Skip Spence "Dixie Peach Promenade"
Another one from Beck‘s latest “Record Club” project where he and his musical pals are covering Skip Spence’s Oar (previously). This one has Tweedy on vocals.
Beck: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki
Wilco: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki
Skip Spence: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki
Video: Record Club: Skip Spence “Broken Heart”
I did a quick search of the archives and I’m surprised to see we haven’t covered Beck‘s “Record Club” project at all. It’s a cool idea where a bunch of musicians get together and cover an entire album in one day. Beck then releases the songs on his web site and Vimeo channel. He’s already done The Velvet Underground and Nico (ft. Nigel Godrich, Giovanni Ribisi) and Songs of Leonard Cohen (ft. MGMT, Devendra Banhart), and now he’s halfway through Skip Spence‘s Oar (ft. Wilco, Feist, Jamie Liddell).
“Broken Heart” features a duet with Jeff Tweedy and Leslie Feist, and it’s really nice. A few more of my favorites from this installment after the jump…
Continue reading Jeff Tweedy, Feist, Beck cover Skip Spence
MP3: Beck – “Harry Partch”
Good old Beck has released this new song, a ten minute long tribute to the avant-garde composer loved by Tom Waits and other musicians who like to bang on shit. Beck’s jam uses Partch’s “43 tone scale” and it sounds more adventurous and crazy than anything he’s done since 1993.
watch your back
and stack your hack
your mailman is punching back
your train goes click click clack
Beck: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki
Beck has started a new thing on his website called Irrelevant Topics that features “conversations between musicians, artists, writers, etc. on various subjects, without promotional pretext or editorial direction.” To kick it off, he offers “Tom Waits x Beck Hansen : Pt. 1,” and it’s a great read. Talking about songs disappearing over the years:
BH: There’s sort of a planned obsolescence or something. That’s just part of it.
TW: Yeah and we have every generation making a whole bunch of new ones. Even though the generation before says, “What’s wrong with these tunes? We’ve got plenty of good tunes lying around here. What are you making new songs for? We’ve got cool songs about everything you’re writing about. We’ve got plenty of songs about girls.” “No, no. That’s all right, Dad. We’re doing something else, something cooler over here. You go ahead.” And the dad says, “Do you know Jimmy DURANTE? Have you ever heard of Jimmy Durante?”
Looking forward to Pt. 2, and upcoming interviews.
MP3s: (courtesy of Anti-)
• Tom Waits – “Hold On”
• Tom Waits – “Alice”
• Tom Waits – “Another Man's Vine”
• Tom Waits – “How's It Gonna' End”
• Tom Waits – “Road to Peace”
• Tom Waits – “You Can Never Hold Back Spring”
• Tom Waits – “Bottom of the World”
In celebration of Record Store Day, Warner Brothers (via imprints, etc.) is releasing limited number vinyl pressings from Wilco, Sonic Youth, Beck and others.
Warner Brothers has already announced a complete slate of Wilco reissues from A.M. through Summerteeth, all 180-gram RTI pressings with CD included (just like Sky Blue Sky, Ghost Is Born and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) and now Pitchfork breaks the news about 7-inches from Sonic Youth, Beck and Jay Reatard, plus another previously-unreleased Pavement live LP.
More at the Fork.