Beck – Stray Blues

Maybe I’m just jaded and bitter, but this record is a scheme to siphon the ill-gotten money of serious fans into the coffers of Big Records inc., and that makes me sad. There’s nothing I gots against the lovely “Totally Confused” or whatever, it’s just that releasing an eight-song EP of B-sides internationally only, for $40 isn’t very nice, especially when artist in question has far more than eight worthwhile B-sides, and these selected B-sides aren’t necessarily the greatest in the history of recorded music. It’s sad, because I really like all of these songs – plus, “Brother” reminds me a lot of Sufjan Stevens’ “Seven Swans,” but who’s really going to want this other than enterprising fans who couldn’t track down all of the songs here otherwise?

There’s one song from AHMAM (only now the ten foot man is MAKING his lunch, which makes everything much better), a Jack-Ass B-side, a neat-o schizophrenic Skip Spence cover B-side of “Tropicalia,” a couple other “Odelay” era songs…look, I’m not saying it’s not good. It’s great, and Beck has put out some fantasty non-album tracks, but fuck, this is so upsetting, that they’d release this. The suburbs expand all the time, and I’m sitting here drinking vodka and looking forward to my contract expiring when I should be making money, and I’m 25 years old and it’s Saturday night. Download if you want a sampler or something I guess. Ugh. 9/10 for songs, 1/10 for being an asshole.

Song by song then? Okay. The first one is really nice and hipstery and sad. The second one is kinda all over and never sees its friends. Then there are some others. “Clock” sounds better now than it used to. “Feather in Your Cap” reminds me of my dead mother for some reason. Who cares! “Lemonade” could really have not been here – poorly produced garage overproduced drums and meaningless lyrics combined with blah like “Your Honor” but not nearly on the level. “Brother” is really nice, but the people want more than eight tracks. Kill em all. I guess if my girlfriend asks me to send her Beck B-sides I’ll send this and then like ten early songs. AMAZING GRACE ho golly gosh gosh. un. It’s not fire. You little you need to grab Mother Nature by the throat and squeeze and squeeze and squeeze. It’s stupid; there’s not much to go on. I had words. I once believed in at least that I could smoke, but I’m too agoraphobic right now to go to the store. How are you?

Mario travels to his most dangerous adventure yet. And now, with the help of his sidekick, The Niggler, he sets out to rescue Toadstool for perhaps the last time! You know what’s upsetting? I just downloaded this “indie rock February 2010 compilation” on a whim, and of the 120 or so songs it contains, maybe….5 stand out in any way? It feels like the musical infrastructure for my subculture has been set, like the subways of Toronto, and there will be no significant change to come ever again, only hope and pretense. This will be returned to.

5/10

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