Monday, August 04, 2008

Song of the week below, but first a special Birthday greeting!
Also, double your pleasure! I've added to my links (see left margin) that other Thomas blog, the work-in-progress known as Lockezinho. I've also linked the blog of Vagner, Thomas' boyfriend. Elsewhere in blogland, Varun's latest post is interesting.

Happy Birthday, Steve!

A big Happy Birthday Hug to my friend Steve, who is charming, witty, sensible, and an all around great guy! I met Steve through Sundance, a terrific LGBT outdoors club we belong to. Steve's birthday is indeed today, though last year, oddly, it was celebrated, very memorably, in October! Here's Steve at my own birthday party back in the chill of January..

Song of The Week: Beck Is Back!

But was he ever away?

Ask me offhand my favorite music and I am thrown for a loop, given the hundreds of artists I adore. But if one name stands out for creativity, quirkiness, and sheer musical pleasure, that name is Beck Hansen, known to the world simply as 'Beck.'

Today's Song/Video of the week is the unusual, memorable 'Gamma Ray,' from his terrific new album 'Modern Guilt.' It's a short but remarkable collection of great songs, any of which could have been a 'single.'

Beck burst on the scene in 1993 with a unique mix of languid folk-rock and frenetic sampling, hip-hop poetry, and a tongue-in-cheek, junkyard/blender approach to the last five decades of pop culture. All executed with intelligence and vision. Omnivorous, he's always absorbing new elements, a little bossa nova here, some Prince funkiness there, country-rock twang... And Beck, as you can see pictured above, is as cute as heck!

He grew up in Los Angeles and hails from a family of carnival folk.... But, on to the music...

The clip for Beck's current single, 'Gamma Ray,' is a psychedelic collage, mostly in black & white, of trippy, kinetic, engaging imagery... Notice how the song ends in mid-phrase, musically speaking.

Here's the very minimalist clip for the folksy, trippy 'Orphans,' filmed on a very basic 60s frame set....

For newcomers, a course in 'Beck 101.' First, here's the song that launched Beck in 1994, 'Loser...'

his biggest hit, the hippie hip hop anthem that IS 'Where It's At,' from the award-winning 'Odelay' album back in 1996. Here's a live version...

Finally, from Beck's previous album, a personal favorite, the funky, hypnotic 'Cell Phone's Dead..' The kind of song I wish I'd written myself...

Cartoon du Jour:

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Beck is a Scientologist, you know.
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