Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Turn off your cell phone.

Adbusters: Technoslave

I have turned off my cell phone in search of human interaction.
"New Pollution" (as described on ):

Beck was once asked what the new pollution was. His reply, "Human radios, sex with machines, mad eunuchs." Cryptic, but it makes a little sense. He is observing that in modern times, technology, information, etc. can drive you mad. It's everywhere, your senses are bombarded constantly.

The woman he is singing about in the song, then, is admirably unaffected by the new pollution, and somehow remains pure. Beck himself called it a "love song," and surely there's some admiration, if not actual love throughout the lyrics.

In Rolling Stone in 2008, it is written that Beck was "trying to evoke the Sixties glamour of femme fatales from Nico to Brigitte Bardot" in the line about having a cigarette on each arm. The ability to "throw her troubles to the dyin' embers" is admirable. The image of her being a boat alone in a "stripmine ocean" is wonderful. There's something very comforting in that. This is a slanted, but effective, portrait of the femme fatale.

"The New Pollution" is an amazing song, and Beck seems quite proud of it: "...a song like 'The New Pollution,' I mean, pollution, it's a presence in our lives. And isn't it interesting to use a word like that-something with such horrible connotations-in the context of a love song? That's where you create friction. That's where you can start to get someplace where you aren't dealing in the banalities of everyday, pedestrian rock lyrics. Not that I mean to be snobby about it, I can appreciate the good ol' song, and I still like to write that way sometimes." It's interesting to note that Beck uses this type of contrast often, including songs like "Asshole" or "Sweet Sunshine."

Integral to the song's being is the sublime sax sample. It makes the song what it is. Beck calls the song "inverted funk." He explains, "Some of the other songs are a little bit too loose. We had to pull in the reins, make it a little more tight, bring in the Mormon feel. Mormons are funky."

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