I like Beck’s Morning Phase, the disc that earned the trophy for album of the year, although as most who’ve followed his career have acknowledged, there are other, better titles in the catalogue. For me, Midnite Vultures and Sea Change are the twin peaks. The latter does the melancholy thing more consistently for me than does Phase, while the former is an inspired amalgam of faux funk.
I realized this morning when my alarm went off I’ve had the first few seconds of “Debra” as my ringtone for so many years I’d stopped thinking of the song when it goes off. Meanwhile, just now I clicked on the video below and reached for my phone.
I remember seeing Beck do this one on teevee close to two decades ago on some show wearing a white suit and referring to it not as “Debra” but something like “I Wanna Get With You Only You and Your Sister.” I knew Mellow Gold and Odelay and was a fan already, then later when “Debra” finally found its way onto Vultures I was fully hooked, destined to keep checking in on Beck thereafter.
Beck’s been hit-or-miss for me in some respects, although he’s always intriguing. I even spent a week or two last year exploring that Song Reader release for which Beck issued an “album” of 20 songs without recording them -- i.e., just as sheet music. I learned a couple on the guitar, and watched a number of vids of others’ versions which all somehow sounded more or less like “Beck songs.”
I also saw and heard the odd-seeming rant by Kanye West about Beck’s win. That seemed to have began as a humorous, self-effacing reprise of his “Imma Let You Finish” performance at another awards show a few years back, then became less funny after West’s incoherent manifesto about Beck needing “to respect artistry” and give the trophy to Beyoncé.
American Poker Awards coming up later this month in Los Angeles could drum up some analogous controversy? Maybe I’ll try to stir things up over Twitter among the nominees for Media Person of the Year -- Nolan Dalla, Chris Grove, Kevin Mathers, and Rich Ryan -- to create conditions for something similar.
I mean, Dalla seems like a good candidate to deliver a Kanyesque rant, wouldn’t you say? He definitely provided some good Grammy-related criticism this week, reaching back through the years with his post “The Most Baffling Grammy Award Winners of All Time (i.e. “My Anti-Grammy Awards”).”
Meanwhile, I’m heading out. Gonna step inside my Hyundai and go out for a real good meal.