Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beck Radio

My favorite station so far. Artists include: Portishead, White Stripes, Eels (EELS!), Cake, Radiohead, Wilco, Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, Modest Mouse, and the Beatles. I can tell you right now that this station cannot let me down. Did you ever think of putting the Beastie Boys and the Beatles on the same mix CD? Well, I've made some crazy mixes in my day with artists from a wide range of musical genres that I believe flowed well together, but still, I congratulate the Genome Project for putting them in perspective for me.

It's really great to hear the Eels. I always respected them, but they were always floating in and out of the limelight and I never made an effort to pursue them that much. They're like a very dry, sometimes cynical, Beck, but their bouncy electronic sound makes up for their depressing lyrics. I like the lead singer's scratchy voice, and at their best, they sound just as mysterious and deep as Portishead. But that's just me. They have their own distinct style, with more of a punk/reggae influence than Portishead.

As for the Beck-Beatles connection, it makes perfect sense to me. I used to think, and still do, that Beck shared a strong connection with Bob Dylan. They both rattle off lyrics casually, as if they're speaking normally, but imbue them with sharp meaning. Beck, of course, can be more cryptic than Dylan. The problem is, I don't think Dylan would have meshed well with the other artists on this station because he's too serious and straightforward. The Beatles, on the other hand, are often playful and child-like, which matches Beck's brand of humor.

I have to say I was never the biggest Modest Mouse fan, but after letting Beck radio play for a while, I got used to their sound. I never liked the lead singer's voice much, but I really like his lyrics, and their sound is pretty unique. I still prefer Eels, but they are a little more positive-minded, I suppose.

I personally think Radiohead is the most overrated band of my generation, but the tracks selected by Pandora were good for kicking back and sinking into ("Karma Police," "Subterranean Homesick Alien"). I've never had a "Radiohead phase" in my lifetime like I have with Beck, White Stripes, and Beatles (in which I just listen to them for days; and which are still ongoing), so I was patient and really let myself get into those particular Radiohead songs, which was nice.

To summarize, my ideal station would be nonstop Beck-Portishead-Eels-White Stripes-Beatles-Beastie Boys radio. Cake annoys me sometimes, but I can stand them, Modest Mouse isn't bad, Gorillaz is OK here and there. No bad choices by the Genome Project. Highly recommended for any occasion: social, doing chores or homework, driving, even exercising.

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