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October 3, 2014 / bloggenstatt

B is for The Beatles,The Beach Boys and Beck. B is not for Blanche Blanche Blanche.

Much like Lil Wayne’s criteria compared to mine, the letter B just isn’t fair.

The Beatles and The Beach Boys were always going to take two out of the three slots available for this letter. The Beatles are probably the best band in the history of modern music, and The Beach Boys have put out the only album to truly rival prime Beatles. There isn’t much I can expound upon or add to the literal books that others, and me, have already been written about the legacies of both bands, their members and their incredible albums.

Although, I will remind the general public that Smile was finally assembled using original recording sessions, and it is fantastic. It belongs in the same discussion as Rubber Soul, Revolver, Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is exactly as weird and orchestral as the successor to Pet Sounds would be expected to be, but its scope is absolutely massive. It’s a dithyrambic, meandering exploration of the United State of America with a little less of its predecessor’s underlying wistful melancholy.

If Leaves of Grass was an album, it would be Smile.

It’s a true challenge to pick a single best song from either band, but here are my two favorites:

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/PUhIEEwSSSo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/chtmIJ1wYc4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

 

After getting those two b-themed behemoths out of the way, it’s time to talk about Beck.  Beck started out as a goofy, slacker-rapping unofficial spokesman for Generation X.

Since then, he’s probably the closest thing his generation has to a David Bowie. He’s genre-hopped, changed looks and somehow stayed relevant for two decades with a string of hits and rewarding album cuts.

Also, like Bowie. Beck had an awesome funk period. Bowie’s Thin White Duke phase gave us “Fame”. Beck’s funky album, Midnight Vultures, is criminally underrated. It is best album and a blend of everything he does best.

It’s the genre appropriation of “Loser” with the sincerity of Sea Change and the fun of some of his strongest singles(think “E-pro” and “Gamma Ray”). Often times,  Midnight Vultures reminds me of a super accessible Of Montreal album, and I love every second of it. It’s an entry in the Beck oeuvre that gets besmirched or overlooked a lot, so the entire thing is embedded below.

 

 

I didn’t have a ton of awful B-bands in my iTunes collection, but I did have Blanche Blanche Blanche, who I find pretty annoying. They’re like an even lower budget version of Ariel Pink blended with a couple of healthy scoops of The Bird and the Bee. I like both of those things separately, but together they are lofi-synth music with its edges sanded.

To me Blanche Blanche Blanche sounds like ’80s pop music with a lot of manufactured murk, but if you’d like to check them out for yourself, a video is embedded below.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. video slots / Jan 13 2015 9:55 am

    Hi admin of this site, do you allow guest posting
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    • bloggenstatt / Jan 22 2015 1:49 am

      I’d want to take a look at the submission first, but I could give a contribution a shot.

      Thanks

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