April 30, 2009

Beck//Where It's At

Awkward Angsty Adolescent SUMMER JAMS!!!

When I was 13 (1996 OH MY GOD), I went on this family trip with my mom, my stepdad and my (cooler, older) stepbrother Joel. I’m pretty sure we went to Massachusetts..or was it upstate New York? It’s all foggy. Here’s what I can remember from this trip:

1. Joel rented a car. It was a bright purple Neon. It was hilarious.
2. We spent a lot of time driving (and walking) around graveyards. Morbid fun! I think this may have been the best time we had.
3. We visited my 2nd cousin’s ice cream store. They let me make the bubblegum ice cream. I can remember pouring a bucket of rainbow Chiclets into a giant cold mixing machine.
4. At one point, Joel and I shared a hotel room. We were watching MTV when the (weird/awesome) video for this song came on. I changed the channel. Joel said, “Hey. Go back to that. That’s Beck. He’s cool.”

Although we’re not super close, I’ve always really enjoyed spending time with Joel, not to mention the fact that he has been pretty influential to my musical tastes. He has given me plenty of interesting albums and mixes over the years. He’s responsible for my discovery of Aimee Mann, Jon Brion, Jason Faulkner, The Greys and Ron Sexsmith. Oh, and uh…Beck?

Maybe it’s just that this song is inextricably linked to that weird ass summer (because, let’s face it, being 13 is odd), but whenever I hear Odelay (released in June of ’96, album name trivia), I literally SEE the summer. Glittery shimmery heat waves rise up off the asphalt, just like in that one part of the “Devil’s Haircut” video. The weird sonic pallet and the old school beat is crystallized as a quintessential summer sound to me.

Where It’s At.mp3

I got two turn tables and a microphone.

Summer Jam: In the summer of 1996, The Nintendo 64 video game system was released in Japan and The British rock band Oasis played the biggest free-standing concert in UK history at Knebworth, Hertfordshire.

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