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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Beck
Hell Yes EP
Geffen Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


February 15, 2005
Looking around my room, I realize how much I like Beck. The giant Odelay poster on foamcore, the Sea Change computer desktop image and the Midnite Vultures disco ball all speak of the affinity I feel with a musician that I discovered and learned to appreciate by myself.

I didn't get Odelay at first, but as I slowly transitioned from The Smashing Pumpkins to The Pixies, "Stealing kisses from the leprous faces" started making sense - at least the cool harmonica part in "Devil's Haircut" made sense.

I later picked up the earlier albums and loved them as well. One Foot In The Grave was a secret I kept from other music-savvy kids in high school, while I listened to Mellow Gold on my way to work - as my friends talked about Creed or Metallica, this was my first taste of snobbish self-satisfaction. For as long as I've cared about music, Beck's cocktail of rock, funk, fun and junk always pulls me in, and I'm always curious to see what genre he'll conquer next.

In that spirit, I promptly downloaded the Hell Yes EP from the iTunes Music Store, hoping to get a preview of the upcoming Guero. The rumors about the new album being a return to the days of garbage rock excited me in ways I didn't know possible, but the EP isn't giving anything away just yet; the songs are remixes of the album tracks by 8-bit and Paza, and are so heavily Nintendo-ed up (the cover art is an Electric Warrior spoof with a headbanger rocking a Gameboy instead of a Gibson) so much that it is hard to tell what the original version will sound like on March 29.

Nevertheless, "GHETTOCHIP MALFUNCTION (Hell Yes)" is a fine track, independent of any alternate versions - if your old Nintendo cartridges got a band together, moved to Brazil and took peyote in the bathrooms of the most exclusive clubs, "GHETTOCHIP" would be their breakthrough hit.

The remix of "Hell Yes" is the most likeable track, but the rest of the EP is noteworthy as well. "GAMEBOY/HOMEBOY (Que 'Onda Guero)" finds Beck practicing his Spanglish over Castlevania beats, and "BAD CATRIDGE (E-PRO)" sounds like the best Bubble-Bobble game you ever played. "BIT RATE VARIATIONS IN B-FLAT (Girl)" is the most promising-sounding song of the bunch; through the Excitebike bleep-blips, you can hear a classic Beck track waiting to burst out of its 8-bit box.

Though it doesn't offer many clues to what Guero will sound like, The Hell Yes EP is interesting and fun enough to keep you occupied while you patiently wait for the end of March to roll around. It will also imbue you with the uncontrollable urge to pull out the Atari 2600 or the Sega Master System, and reminisce about the glory days before Playstation 2, when life was a little simpler.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown

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