The Show: Wednesday, November 07, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Backed by the Flaming Lips

By Jimmy Fowler

A word of warning to the casual Beck fan — he’s amassed a body of recordings eclectic enough to make him moody. A ticket purchased for his concert is a lottery bet on which of a million possible whims might strike him after he takes the microphone.

If you’re willing to indulge the boy wonder, the element of surprise works in Beck’s favor. Folks who caught his summer show at the Granada Theatre in Dallas might’ve thought they’d been invited to a demo recording session. The mopheaded Mr. Hansen remains the unlikeliest showman to have emerged from the late ’80s neo-folkie scene in Los Angeles. Depending on the evening vibe, he can slam instruments like Pete Townshend, launch into incomprehensible vocal rantings a la Sid Vicious, or execute a hips-and-arms groove train around the stage in a move purloined from countless Prince jams. But any of those antics in the small art-deco environs of the Granada would’ve looked epileptic rather than flamboyant. Accompanied by one guitarist, Beck mostly played at one-quarter tilt and remained stool-bound, strumming tunes from Mutations, his woefully ignored 1998 psychedelic folk delight. Except for the occasional goofy strut, he barely seemed aware of the audience and probably consciously ignored the Odelay hits. The result was less aloof than playfully elusive.

A venue the size of the Will Rogers would seem to dictate a more egalitarian approach from Beck. But the new album Sea Change is a devastatingly hushed, direct, and ethereal collection that owes more to Leonard Cohen (lyrically) and King Crimson (instrumentally) than George Clinton. Let’s hope the back rows are filled with broken hearts, ’cause Beck’s newest sonic tales are designed to bring you to your knees, not your feet.

Backed by the Flaming Lips, Thurs, Nov. 14, at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, 1 Amon Carter Square, FW. 817-871-8150.


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