DYRT90s? // Beck: Where It’s At
No matter how often I requested it, the DJ that worked my middle school dances refused to play this song, citing its alleged offensive content. I could certainly tell the song was “weird”, with the spoken word passages and an accompanying music video full of what I later found out to be homages to William Shatner and Captain Beefheart; but as an otherwise sheltered 11-year old, I was baffled by his accusation that any of it was more inappropriate than, say, the horrific Grease medley that seemed to perpetually blare through the gymnasium’s under-powered PA system during these bi-monthly sock-hops.
It took me years to finally figure out that much of the music I, as a youth, found enjoyable but “weird” could be more accurately described as “experimental”, a characterization that certainly applied to the genre-spanning collection of songs on Beck’s Dust Brothers-produced Odelay. Even later I figured out that the difference between “experimental” and “offensive” may be hard to discern for (and/or meaningless to) a 40 year-old man who spends his Friday late-afternoons teaching disenchanted tweens how to do the electric slide.