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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

292. "The New Pollution" by Beck

I'm spending this week working as a camp counselor and band coach at the Burbank Music Academy, where my task is basically to organize a group of 10-14 year old kids (all boys, as it turns out, just to keep things out of my real of child-management experience) of wildly varying levels of musical experience into bands and teach them to play at least one cover song at a performance for their parents and other assorted worshipers on Friday. And indeed one would think that at this point I would be fairly qualified to teach people how to make cover versions of rock and roll songs. Unless, of course, you've listened to enough of my recordings to decide that I'm one of the least qualified people to do so on the basis of not having been able to do so myself. However, if you do feel that way and you are still reading this, you have bigger problems than I have time to address at the moment.

One of the songs we've been working on (and which is sadly unlikely to make the final cut) was George Harrison's Beatles classic "Taxman". The band who chose that one doesn't have a proper bassist, so I'm playing bass for them, unless, as hoped, Miranda gets back from her holiday travels in time to step in. But I have been messing around with that awesome "Taxman" bassline, which is up there with "Why Can't I Touch It?" as one of my favorites. The Jam seems to have agreed with me, famously borrowing it for "Start!", and I was thinking for obvious reasons of that one, too, but for some reason, when those two songs melded together in my mind, what I heard was not one song or the other, but instead "The New Pollution". During my lunch break today I lined up the Beatles and Jam songs, grabbed samples of similarly -pitched parts, and crammed them together like a sandwhich just for fun. Then I checked them against "Pollution", which was in yet a third key. By this time I had a pretty solid plan on how to re construct the Beck song out of the pieces, although for sanity's sake I put the whole thing in yet another key. Then there was much mirth to be had. Always fun to write fake Beck lyrics just to see if anyone notices... I really liked the ones I came up with here, "waxworks of the willing" being a favorite. I've just decided, thought, that I wish I'd sung "coalition of the clothed" instead of "clothes".

Personnel: Rex

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