Best Non-Music Blog by Musician: Beck's Irrelevant Topics
In honor of this week's 'Best of Los Angeles' issue, West Coast Sound is offering a week's worth of items that haven't been included in the print issue. Expect a string of additional Bests throughout the week.
When it comes to music blogs, the internet is teeming with sites that are good, bad, and, in some cases, ugly. In the bottomless bucket of blogs some are well written and insightful and some are annoying guilty-pleasure snarkfests. Then there are the musicians who blog for themselves. Most are unfortunate: Kanye West curates a daily dose of product placement, Billy Corgan runs a God blog, and , Courtney Love's Myspace blog is basically written in hieroglyphics.
But when it comes to musican's blogs, only one is as equally bizarre as it is interesting: Beck's Irrelevant Topics. Launched in July, the site barely feels like a blog: there are no dates, seemingly no order to the emergence of a post, and each entry is an extended conversation with someone of note. Ok, just three people of note, Tom Waits, Will Farrell, and a guy who looks like Will Farrell. The conversations are long and sprawling, a veritable macroblog as opposed to the questionable quality of muscian's microblogs (Bootsy Collins, yes. Neil Diamond, maybe, JohnCMeyer, no). Sure, it barely qualifies as a blog, but the excitement garnered by the discovery of a new Beck post, far outweighs the pleasure of reading what flashback is haunting King Crimnson's Adrian Belew .
Here's some snippets of Beck's greatest hits from the blog:
Excerpts from an interview with Tom Waits:
BH: I'd always heard that when they drained the Echo Park Lake they found an amateur submarine.
TW: Oh, my God.
BH: I don't know if that was lore.
TW: You mean a homemade submarine?
BH: Yeah, I think it was older too, from the early days of "home submarine building." I don't know if that subculture still exists?
TW: Japan is the home of the $700 orange.
BH: It's the best orange you've ever had. It's gonna be a religious orange experience. (Laughs)
TW: It's supposed to be. Yeah, you...you'd want a room. Just with you and the orange, I think. (laughs) They take all the blossoms off the tree except for one, and that's the one that becomes the orange. All the nutrients are going to one orange. And they have a square watermelon, you know? It matures inside a wooden box, then they cut the wood off and they have this square fruit. Slice it like bread and stack it in a warehouse.
Excerpts from a conversation with Will Farrell
W: ...You know I was driving home in anticipation of this phone call thinking about when we did the benefit for the Tsunami Relief (benefit at the Wiltern Theater in 2004), and I came out in the middle of your song, gyrating against a---- what's that instrument?
B: The harmonium?
W: The harmonium. Yeah. And that might be, our little exchange, might be one of the highlights of my career right there.
B: I was definitely impressed by the pneumatic motion of your lower extremities towards my harmonium.
Interview with a Shannon Theule, a man who looks like Will Farrell
Beck Hansen: When were you first aware of Will Ferrell?
Shannon Theule: Actually not until I first moved here about a year ago.
BH: Had you seen his movies?
ST: I had, but it really didn't dawn on me who Will Ferrell was. Somebody said at Applebee's, "There's Will Ferrell." I moved here about a year ago and now I can't go through the mall without people following me.
BH: At first did you think they were following you for no reason?
ST: I didn't understand at first. When I first moved here a friend of mine had told me, "You know what? Just go to central casting and just sign up, because I was looking for some work. So I'm sitting at central casting and I walk in there and sit down and everyone in there is looking at me, driving me nuts, making me feel really weird and eerie. I stand up and I look up and there's this poster of Will Ferrell sitting right above me where I was sitting. And I look at it and am like "Oh my god."
BH: When you saw one of his movies did you think, "He really looks like me."
ST: Yeah, Semi-Pro. Talledega Nights was the first one I think. It just kind of hit me.
BH: Has he since then become a kind of unspoken, invisible presence in your life?
ST: Maybe a little bit. I'm not called Shannon anymore. I'm called Will.
BH: ...you could just do a remake of Face/Off.
ST: (laughing) That'd be funny.
BH: Or you could just have a face off.
ST: Like a stare down?
BH: Whoever loses the staring contest has to abdicate ownership of the face.
BH: In a stare off who do you think would win?
ST: Oh, definitely me man.
BH: You've got an iron gaze?
BH: Is it like an ocular headlock?
ST: Exactly, it pins you down.
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