He's upset because someone misplaced his Becktionary...
Beck (a.k.a Beck Hansen, born in 1970 as Bek David Campbell) is an American Alternative Rock musician and singer-songwriter with two turntables and a microphone. He first rose to popularity with his underground works, gaining a hit with his breakthrough single "Loser" in 1993. Afterwards, he earned great critical acclaim and commercial success with the album Odelay, escaping the threat of becoming a One-Hit Wonder.Since then, he has released six more albums, his latest being 2008's Modern Guilt. During this time, he had become noted for the large variety of genres his work takes in.Please don't confuse him with Jeff Beck, Glenn Beck, or the anime.Discography:
Golden Feelings (1993)
Stereopathetic Soulmanure (1994) - these first two albums comprised largely lo-fi, country- and folk-influenced material, quite different from what he made his name with.
Creator Backlash: "Satan Gave Me a Taco" is one of his more popular early songs. When fans request him to play it live at concerts, he more often than not refuses to play and says he considers it some silly song he wrote in a few minutes that he only expected to perform once and was genuinely surprised at how many people like it.
Creator Breakdown: Averted on Odelay—Beck's grandfather had died recently and he had recorded some predictably depressing material with Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, but shelved it. Instead, he did some upbeat stuff with the Dust Brothers and Caldato.
A B-Side that dates from this shelved material, Brother, is said to be Beck's saddest song. It predates Sea Change by a number of years.
In full force on Sea Change, which was inspired by his breakup with his girlfriend.
"Fume" seems to come to a natural conclusion after about two minutes... then we get a Studio Chatter snippet of Beck's friend Steve Moramarco jokingly singing a bowdlerized version of the chorus, followed by a complete Genre Shift into Noise Rock with Harsh Vocals, which then goes on for another two minutes.
555: The number 555-4552 is seen on a payphone in the video for "Nausea."
Lighter and Softer and Darker and Edgier: Mutations and Sea Change are musically more laid back but lyrically more somber compared to their predecessors Odelay and Midnite Vultures.
Lyrical Dissonance: "Girl", which sounds like a cheery pop song unless you listen closely to the lyrics.
"Lost Cause" is a milder case, with fairly depressing lyrics set to upbeat acoustic guitars.
Mind Screw: "The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton", the final track from The Information. Starts off as a song, becomes a British-accented weather report, and ends up with Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers talking like two really baked college sophomores.
Minimalistic Cover Art: The Information... well, at first. Each CD comes with a sticker sheet, allowing you to customize the album cover as you see fit. Four different sticker sheet editions were made and randomly inserted into the CDs. Word Of God was that he wanted some kind of interactivity in the packaging, with no two covers ending up looking the same.
Miniscule Rocking: His more "indie" albums like One Foot in the Grave and all his pre-Mellow Gold releases are mostly made up of songs two minutes or shorter.
Mood Whiplash: The Mutations secret track "Diamond Bollocks" is heavier and darker than "Static" or any other song on the album. It's even more pronounced on some foreign copies on which it isn't a secret and occupies its own track after "Static" without the buffer of silence. Whiplash also occurs within the song as it changes styles abruptly.
Many of his albums (Odelay and Mellow Gold especially) end with 5-10 minutes of silence followed by a frightening "bonus noise" that can sometimes be frightening. See Hidden Track above.
Non-Appearing Title: "Rollins Power Sauce", "Whiskeyclone, Hotel City 1997", "Beercan", "Cyanide Breath Mint", "Atmospheric Conditions", "Minus", "Sissyneck", "E-Pro", "Earthquake Weather", "Emergency Exit" and "Movie Theme" among many others.
Older than They Look: Does he look like he's 42? Also, he was 23 when "Loser" was popular, but looked 19 at most.
His voice is the opposite, especially in early songs, in which he sounds like a gruff, hoarse old man.
Piss Take Rap: According to the guy himself, "Loser". The story goes like this: Beck and Carl Stephenson decided to record a song in Stephenson's kitchen. He decided to start rapping, made up lyrics as he went, and the two got a laugh out of how terrible it sounded. When they listened, Beck started sarcastically singing "I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me." The song took all of six and a half hours to record and produce, and only released it because his record label, Bong Load, pressured him to. And so, Beck got his first big break.
Rearrange the Song: "Soul Suckin' Jerk". Originally appearing on the Loser EP under the title "Soul Suckin' Jerk (Reject)", the first and second verses switched places when it was re-recorded for the Mellow Gold album. Musically, the two versions are pretty distinct too - the Loser version is slower and primarily based around drums and bass, and it's a few minutes longer due to a lengthy instrumental outro.
"It's All In Your Mind" was originally a One Foot In The Grave outtake, which saw official release as a standalone single in 1995, though the better-known version was a re-recording done for Sea Change around ten years later. The original recording was very much in the Three Chords and the Truth style of One Foot In The Grave: Just Beck backing himself up on a slightly out of tune acoustic guitar, with the only other instrumentation being a brief overdubbed guitar solo at the end. The re-recording was done with a full band and had a more complex arrangement including keyboards and cello.
The B-Side "Got No Mind" is "Pay No Mind (Snoozer)" with alternate lyrics and the acoustic guitar replaced with electric.
Recycled Lyrics: In general, Beck seems to pick a certain turn of phrase he likes and use it in multiple songs written around the same time - for instance "Ziploc Bag" and "Corvette Bummer" both include the line "yellow cat laying flat on the road", while "The Spirit Moves Me" has "Phony lady laying flat on the road". Also, numerous lines in "Diamond Bollocks" are originally from the B-Side "Erase the Sun".
Retraux: Beck's 2012 "album" Song Reader was released not as a record, or a CD, or a collection of MP3 files, or as any kind of recorded performance at all—it was published as printed sheet music. 20 tracks worth. If you can read traditional music notation and you have a piano or guitar, knock yourself out. Or you can listen on the Internet to lots of different people performing the tracks from Song Reader.
Sampling: A big part of his style, to the point that he complained that due to crackdowns and massively inflated sampling fees he would be unable to do an album like Odelay again without having to pay huge sums of money for clearance. There's a noticeable reduction in the amount of sampling on his 2000s albums compared to the ones from The Nineties.
Shrug of God: Not even Beck can confirm what the actual lyric in the chorus of "Girl" is. The official lyrics simply read "Hey, my... girl" (see Indecipherable Lyrics).
The Slacker: At first categorised as such because of the success of "Loser". Beck was quite annoyed by this, pointing out that at the time the song was recorded, he was trying to make ends meet working various minimum wage jobs and had previously been homeless trying to make it in New York.
Three Chords and the Truth: Depends on the album, as his more recent output seems more polished and albums like Odelay hide it under attention-deficit-style Sampling and genre-mixing, but his earlier albums and basically any of his folk, blues, or punk influenced songs fall under this.
Most of Sea Change fits this trope, mixing fairly simple song arrangements and direct lyrics about heartbreak.