Tropicalia - Beck & The Flaming Lips 10.14.02 - Bridges Auditorium, Clermont, CA
This is an interesting one…
When Beck announced he had hired the Flaming Lips to be the backup band/opening act for his latest tour, it seemed like the coolest marketing ploy of all time. The buzz was that Beck’s latest record, the brilliantly somber Sea Change, was something of a snoozer — hiring a psychotic carnival like the Flaming Lips to back him up would not only liven up the gigs, but open up ticket sales to an entirely different audience. Gradually, though, a new perspective began to emerge. Maybe this was a chance for Beck’s longtime fans to hear his songs reinterpreted through the hands and feet of an incredibly gifted and strange group of musicians. And maybe this was also a chance for these freaks from Oklahoma City to prove they could crossover if they wanted to, that they were as eclectic and flexible as any band working in popular music. The performances by Beck and the Flaming Lips on this night proved this second set of hunches right.
“Beck had a way of guessing what I was thinking and feeling without my telling him,” she said. “We never discussed these things explicitly. He asked me what I wanted the album to sound like, but I didn’t want to close myself in. So I didn’t give him too much direction.”—Charlotte Gainsbourg: A Gainsbourg Moves Beyond Her Legacy
“He gives the impression that he’s constantly thinking about music. He has a guitar that seems to be sewn to his arm. I was trying desperately to write a couple of lines, and in a few a minutes he had a whole song. I suggested some of the song titles, wrote a line or two here and there. But really, Beck did everything.”—Charlotte Gainsbourg: A Gainsbourg Moves Beyond Her Legacy
beck’s new round. I generally try to avoid this song when i’m in class or on the bus because it is the loveliest lullaby of sorts. one of the highlights on the information (horrible fanfare / lanslide / exoskeleton creeps the ~living fuck~ out of me though)
smaller than a stone bigger than a road farther than an ocean closer than a soul
via whiskeyclone.net/ghost - The Greatest “Debra” Ever: On November 28, 1998, Beck stopped in for his annual KCRW appearence. It was right after Mutations had come out, and he had already been working on Midnite Vultures for a few months. I believe it was the first time in awhile that he was playing with his regular band, and their chemistry during the whole show was just incredible. At the end of the show, a spontaneous, unplanned “Debra” busted loose. There was still the familiar bass, horns, and falsetto, but Roger’s piano really filled the song out, and Smokey’s acoustic guitar was a gorgeous touch. The whole thing seems to me to be the perfect mix of humor and sleaze, structure and feel, tight but loose. At various times in its life, the song has leaned towards one side of these dualities?but tonight, it really rode the fine lines between them. At the time, a lot in this version was a surprise, but it turned out to be a preview of the Midnite Vultures arrangement. Unfortunately, the acoustic guitar and piano didn’t last. “Is this the same song?” Beck remarked afterwards.
I totally agree. I listened to this version today, waiting for my train, and the piano is just killer.