I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to know one R Checka – a long-time DJ and all round niceguy. He also came up with the ingenious “Periodic Table of Hip-Hop Elements” and runs a fantastic hip hop blog connected to it. Just recently he came out with his Modern Dylan mixtape; a high-concept Beck mix. Seeing as he’s got quite a way with words, I’ll let the man himself explain:
Beck has been one of my favorite indefinable artists since 94, my hazy college years. I’ve religiously bought every album and single I could get my hands on since that time. Anything that had his name on it really, his bluesy funky style always struck a chord with me. This is probably the third best of beck mixtape I have created (the first one I made was on cassette tape) and it may not be the last. I call it Modern Dylan, because like Bob, Beck is a story-teller, so in a lot of ways he’s my generation’s Dylan. Coincidentally Beck even toured with Dylan interestingly enough.
I used to be a club DJ for years, and I got very sick of Loser after playing it for countless years. It was at a point, the only Beck song I didn’t like. That was too bad, because it’s a good song, but I was sick of playing it every Saturday night. When I made this mix, I felt obligated to play it, but I knew I could spice it up a little bit without detracting from the original so I decided to remix it. Not to mention that made it easier to mix in the process. I didn’t have any a Capella to work with, so I called the remix what it is, “Rchecks Extended Overlap”. I overlapped on top of the original recording looping the first 2 guitar bars at times. I extended the intro and outro using that guitar loop. Hopefully I did the original justice, nothing worse than a bad remix of a track that people consider a one-hit-wonder song.
All songs on this mixed compilation are from my personal collection of Beck’s original CDs, LPs, EPs, 12”, and 7” recordings. This uploaded mix is the modside (modern). The second side dylside is his slower, more serious country and folk music, not nearly as palatable for a lot of people unfortunately. That side will remain on CD format only for friends and family. However, for serious Beck fans that contact me via email and live within the continental US, I’ll gladly send a hard copy of both discs at no cost. My email can be obtained here. Hope you can dig it. Most importantly, I hope this mix can help you appreciate Beck’s music more.
Spotify is good isn’t it? You can be listening to a track by, say, Todd Rundgren:
And you notice that said track is on a compilation called The Old Grey Whistle Test along with such pumping club bangers as Warren Zevon’s Kid Rock sample fodder Werewolves in London; Dumb and Dumber singalong special Mockingbird and Joe Walsh’s proggy, AOR, reggae-pop-rock THINGIE Life’s Been Good:
I think James Taylor might have been on something in that last video. Anyway, the compilation looked so good that I was almost tempted to do something I have only done twice before – pay for digital music. Unfortunately the download was £8.49 for some lossy files so I’m going to download them for free instead, which is illegal. I hope Amazon’s proud of themselves! I suppose I could always buy the CD for a bargainous £15, or get a used CD from Play for £6.99!
I’m catching up on the enlightening, educational and hilarious Proopcasts by wit and raconteur Mr. Greg Proops – better known to most as a regular on Who’s Line is It Anyway? during the 90s. In one of them he mentions a film (of which he can’t remember the name) featuring Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and The Band touring across Canada on a train. One Google later and I find out that he’s talking about Festival Express.
From an extremely thorough Wikipedia article (detailing, amongst other things, ticket prices per venue both in advance and POTD), this film was shot on the train that was chartered to ferry the entire touring party from venue to venue over the course of the two weeks. Due to a number of reasons, two cities – Montreal and Vancouver – were dropped leaving just three concerts in Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary. The tour was a financial flop and the footage, which was intended to be made into a film, was canned.
Fast forward 30 years and the footage is rediscovered after having spent some time in garages and being used as hockey goals. It’s released to a limited run in some cinemas before being bunged out on Region 1 DVD only. It also has what appears to be the worst poster/cover design ever.
“Er, hey, since we’ve really gone to town finding, editing and releasing this incredible footage, shall we put some effort into a poster design that reflects the status of the musicians involved and which gives a flavour of the unique and tumultuous era during which it was shot?”
“No. I’d rather have a model dressed like she’s from 2001, airbrushed to within an inch of her life and slung on a background that looks as if she’s about to be run over by a lorry.”
I’d never heard of this until yesterday, nevermind seen it. Has anyone else?
Derby’s grand pappy of smooth grooves DJ Wax On has didn’t go out for new years, he spent it in his sumptuously appointed lounge sipping a fine Japanese whiskey on a soft leather beanbag while twiddling knobs to make this smooth jazz-fusion mix.
I listened to this and when I woke up I was having sex with EVERYTHING.
In these times of reduced means, one must find pleasures in the small luxuries. That’s why I armed myself with 25p and a large stick and hit the sordid streets of Soho to find a bargain 7 inch. I mean a cheap thrill. Uh, I mean I want to look through some bins and find a dusty old relic I can take home and slip out of its plastic casing and – [that’s enough tedious sexual references, ed.]
Music and Video Exchange has several branches and most have a proper bargain basement full of
absolute tat they can’t shift hidden gems.
So what did I go for? Well I didn’t choose one of the dozen or so copies of Alphabeat’s Big in Japan (because I already have the 12″) and I didn’t go for a cracked copy of Heart’s Alone but I did see something I liked the name of: the A-side is called Slip and Slide and the reverse has tune called Cajun Kick and the band is called Medicine Head. My zydeco side convinced me to lay down the quarter pounder on this baby and I wasn’t disappointed. Observe!
Whatever happened to tapes? Oh yeah, they were superceded by the more convenient and better sounding CD format in the early 1990s. Anyway, many humans made their own mixtapes for their cars, containing their favourite songs. My dad had such a tape, complete with meticulously copied tracklisting on the card insert and its memory lives on in my current tastes. I say this as if it’s a choice but I never stood a chance. These songs were drilled into my head during the annual 7-hour trips to Devon to see our grandparents.
I’m not complaining though. Who can resist a bit of:
Graham Nash sez: WAR BAD
Roy C – Shotgun Wedding
Amazing ricochet sound effect intro there
Neil Young takes Frank Zappa’s advice and sings in a high voice for fun and profit
The Beach Boys with Sloop John B., now co-opted into an unlikely terrace classic by football clubs up and down the land
“Beatin’ motherf*ckers like Ike beat Tina”. Domestic violence is not funny. As a young kid I found this tune deeply, deeply melancholy for some reason.
And a Smiths video for good measure. This is possibly one of my funeral songs.
Interestingly, my mum’s car tape was the equally fabulous but less DIY Love II Rock. It was a selection of ballsy power ballads not featuring Don’t Stop Believing, which means I don’t officially recognise that song as being a classic. So there.
So I’m listening to this mix by DJ Supermarkt (check it out it’s ace) and all of a sudden this song pops up and I’m like “Hello?! Who the heck is this guy with the super soulful gentle voice?!”. What’s that all about?
This is apparently what it’s all about: Browning Bryant was a teen idol in the 60s who went to ground for a few years before popping back up aged 16 with a self-titled album of soul songs produced by Allen Toussaint and with The Meters as a backing band. Liverpool Fool was written by Toussaint and is so beautifully sung it makes me want to rip out my own vocal chords in a jealous rage because I can’t sing it.
The LP in question seems borderline raer. I’ve never seen it and the staff at my local second-hand record stores hadn’t either. It occasionally appears on eBay US around the $30 mark. I’m watching eBay UK for it like a hawk.