Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pop Culture Event of the Week

...(in my universe) is the release of Beck's new album, "The Information." I haven't picked it up yet, but have heard several tracks on the internets.

The single "Nausea" is kind of a bore, but other songs, including "Soldier Jane," "Strange Apparition," and "1000 BPM," sound intriguing.

Some of us thought last year's "Guero" was a bit lackluster, and I'm having trouble getting this out of my head (seems to be hereditary), but dammit, it's too early to give up on Beck just yet.

More on this later. The NYT weighs in here.


  1. Those who don't wish to play along with my pop culture musings can instead lay odds on the KU game against TX Agricultural & Mechanical University this weekend.

    Not having followed Big 12 football much this year or bought the Beck CD yet, I'm totally underqualified to discuss either. But ignorance has never stopped me before.

    A&M is unranked but obviously can play, given that they took TX Tech, who is ranked, down to the wire last week. But we'll be amped up as well, and the Homecoming factor, plus excitement over the YHD/EHD/DL visit, should put us over the top. KU 27-24.

  2. How about this: we'll buy the Beck album to listen to on our drive down to Lawrence today; I'll have comments so very soon. (One advanced comment: Nigel Godrich produced the album; he's Radiohead's producer, and Radiohead is terrifc; also, he produced Beck's Mutations (which I like quite a bit) and Sea Change (which I could take or leave, to be honest)--what's that information good for? Not much, I suppose, but it adds up to "promising" at least, I'd say.)

    On the football, all I know is that we win, by at least a touchdown.

  3. I agree with you on "Mutations" but not "Sea Change;" I think both of those are right up there with "Odelay" as his best. No disrespect to the Dust Bros., but ... All glory to Godrich.

    More promising news: the Onion review is positive, saying the album is better than "Guero." However, their objectivity might be compromised by the fact that they also interviewed Beck this week.

    Those who don't like paying for music can sample some of Beck's new songs here and here.

    Plus, more exciting music news from the Onion here.

  4. the pop culture event of the week in my universe is THE DEPARTED. Very good - a little too much JACK, but very fast and funny. I haven't seen THE AVIATOR, but this is the best Scorcese and DiCaprio film I've seen in a long time. Baldwin and Wahlberg stand out, as well. Damon is great, but to me, that's no revelation.

    the nytimes review of the new beck intrigues . . .

  5. i just listened to the beck stuff and the songs sound good. one quibble - the vocals sound limp. i don't think he's a great singer, and that really stood out on these tracks. he sounds bored. but the music is great, especially motorcade.

  6. Looking forward to seeing "The Deported" myself. Or "Departed," whichever.

    I finally got "The Information" (thanks, Haley) and am enjoying it so far. It does seem to be stronger than "Guero," not that that album was terrible by any means.

    Having seen Beck live a few times, I can attest that he actually is a good singer, if unorthodox. But you may be onto something, CR. Since "Sea Change," it does seem as if his vocals on record have been sort of strangled, like he's in a Scientology-induced stupor.

    We had a great weekend in Lawrence, and hardly even noticed that Mangino and co. blew it again. However, the fact that we lost by only three means that I win the pool this week -- due mainly to a lack of participation. Come on, people!

  7. Is it just me or have the last three Beck albums also been really bass-heavy? The new one, for instance, cribs the synth-bass line from Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon" on two different tracks (3 and 15).

    Still, I'm enjoying almost every song so far except "Nausea." There are some sleepers on Side 2, esp. the title track and "1000 BPM." Yow!