Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Music Library: Beck, Bedbug, Bedhead



  • Mellow Gold: I listened to this constantly when it came out, but it sounds pretty uneven to me now. Still some greatness and some filler.
  • Odelay: The weird little Scientologist's magnum opus to my ears.
  • Mutations: Os Mutantes is awesome, yes, but I don't hear their influence that strongly on this album, despite the way the majority of the reviews honed in on the song "Tropicalia" and declared the album was Beck doing Brazil. It's good, but a lot more folk-rock-pop (I do hear some Love on a few of the songs), and nowhere near as groundbreaking as Odelay.
  • Midnite Vultures: Ah, Prince is awesome, yes, but again with the yada yada his influence not that strong despite the reviews yada, okay. I mean, there's always going to be something cold and alien about Beck, right? That's one of his strengths, really, that intellectual approach to sound. So his take on sex music sounds like puppets fucking.
  • Sea Change: Some Beck fans consider this one of the all-time great breakup albums. I know from great breakup albums. While this isn't a bad mopey album, it's not up there with the major league hitters like Shoot Out The Lights and Blood On The Tracks. The touchstone here is Serge Gainsbourg, with at least one track ripping off the guitar and strings from Gainsbourg's amazing Histoire de Melody Nelson album.
  • The Information: I've listened to this quite a few times and still have no opinion on it. I can barely recall any of the songs, although none annoyed me, either. One track steals the drums from another Serge Gainsbourg song, but only for a little while. Just a lot of blah, which is disappointing from the guy.
Bedbug - "Big Day": Local band doing the indie-rock noise+hooks thing. It's not a world-changer or anything, but I like this song.

  • What Fun Life Was: So much of the Bedhead sound is there right at the beginning. There's cymbal-heavy drums, layers and layers of clean guitars, melancholy melodies, sleepy vocals. Great stuff
  • 4-SongEP1910: Recorded in one take live in a church, this one is similar to the debut album, although with maybe a little bit more Sterling Morrison than in the later works.
  • Beheaded: Sounds like a statement of purpose from the opening notes. I don't know how Bedhead does it. They make music that sounds like it should be an overwhelming squall of noise and yet it somehow sleepy and restful and almost ambient in places (and although I never saw them live, I have seen the Bedhead outgrowth The New Year, which performs the same trick while actually squalling like a damn noise factory). My favorite track is "The Rest Of The Day," which has an amazing cumulative effect after n repetitions of the same coda over and over again.
  • Dark Ages EP: Three songs with increased use of feedback and dynamics. The cumulative effect is especially on display in "Inhume," one of my favorite Bedhead tracks.
  • Transaction de Novo: Utterly brilliant. Transcendentally beautiful. Indie rock at its finest. My favorites are "More Than Ever," "Half-thought," and "Lepidoptera."


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