On the Beat Blog
Posted by David Menconi on July 24, 2014
Earlier this year, Beck released a lovely album called “Morning Phase,” which showed off the downcast-troubadour quadrant of his multi-faceted identity. Based on that, you might have expected the singer’s current tour to focus on his “Sad Beck” side. And you would be wrong.
Wednesday night at Red Hat Amphitheater, it took Beck about five seconds to shatter that expectation. Blasts of metallic fuzztone guitar and the star’s mock-heroic poses on the show-opening “Devil’s Haircut” established that there would be minimal amounts of moping.
Even though he’s well into his 40s, Beck’s music still seems steeped in a sprightly sense of adolescent make-believe, as he invents his own world where super-dorky translates to super-cool. Wednesday’s set ranged from egghead progressive-rock to Ramones-style thrash-pop, leavened with blue-eyed hip-hop, surreal gospel preaching and (yes) folksy melancholia, all of it woven together with impressive seamlessness. Prince is an obvious reference point, but I’ve always thought of him as Frank Zappa with pop sense and without the smug smarter-than-thou pretensions.
Posted by David Menconi on July 23, 2014
Further details of the IBMA Awards show, nominations for which will be announced Aug. 13.
Posted by David Menconi on July 22, 2014
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s new album parodies the earthy roots-rock of Southern Culture on the Skids with “Lame Claim to Fame.”
Posted by David Menconi on July 21, 2014
This past weekend saw the Triangle's club population contract, with the closing of Papa Mojo's Roadhouse. Local bluesman Mel Melton, leader of the band Wicked Mojos, had run the club for the past seven years on Highway 55 in Durham.