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Beck Show Is Where It's At

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#1 Jmj/David/Me


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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:17 AM

Hard to believe it's been 12 years since "Loser" hit alternative radio and introduced the shaggy-haired "slacker" rapper cowboy called Beck.
And it's hard to believe what the musician and his band can do with a dinner table nicely set onstage at the Riviera. In a unique creation called "Clap Hands," glassware, silverware and even food transformed into musical instruments in a tune that captured the cowboy-rapper sound that Beck has made his own.

Welcome to the alternative edge.

The concert at the Riviera Theatre showcased Beck's March album release, "Guero," the artist's sixth major label recording, his eighth in all. "Guero" has grabbed attention with two chart hits this year, "E-Pro" and "Girl."

A metal trash-can drum took abuse for the single "Girl," conjuring the sound of every boy's dream girl one with a "fist pounding on a vending machine."

Percussionist Ryan Falkner serves as designated robot dancer for the "Guero" tour, sometimes shadowing Beck's well-known moves, often launching into his own breakdance style that complements the funky sounds of "Guero."

It all works the weird keyboard effects of Brian Lebarton, the band playing the dinner table bassist Dan Rothchild "playing" the rim of a glass into a mike a slacker Dionysis in a white shirt-and-tie turned loose on stage, and a sweet-faced cowboy dude with a quiet dark side standing out front. It gels oddly as Beck's creations do; it doesn't really make sense, and who said it should?

The three-time Grammy winner Beck politely thanked his audience for being at the Riviera on Tuesday night, when there were "a lot of things to do in Chicago they could have been at U2. They could have seen Franz Ferdinand." But everyone seemed glad to be where they were.

Beck and band cranked out "Devil's Haircut," and "Where It's At," the hits from "Odelay" that flagged him in 1996 as artist of the year for Rolling Stone and Spin magazines, and for two Grammys the next year. In 2000, the album "Mutations" grabbed a third Grammy. Anyone at the show knew why.

Those who aren't tuned in to Beck Hansen's world might think it sounds a bit strange. Yes, and he likes it that way.

Rolling Stone lists "Odelay" on the 500 greatest albums of all time. Uh huh.

Multi-talented Beck is not just a musical artist. His odd head-jerk song lyrics reflect the disjointed experience of a generation, strings of words that fall together in the John Cage tradition.

The Los Angeles-raised artist who skipped high school to follow the music scene is also a painter and as of a year and a half ago a husband and father.

"E-Pro" wrapped up the Riviera show. It was obvious the audience had been anticipating it things got a little wild for a crowd in antique opera seats.



#2 hagan311


    Mouldy Crouton

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 11:34 AM

he should have talked about get real paid because it was the last song of the night and one of the best ones he played!

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