Episode 303: One Foot in the Grave, and the Other on the Dance Floor

On the TFT Podcast we listen to and discuss 2 albums by Beck: 1998’s “Mutations” and 1999’s “Midnite Vultures.”

Ryan and Matt return once again to the music of their youth, and find that it is also the music of their middle age on Beck’s Mutations (1998) and Midnite Vultures (1999).


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Syllabus: Beck, Mutations and Midnite Vultures

4 Comments on “Episode 303: One Foot in the Grave, and the Other on the Dance Floor”

  1. JHaas #

    Your discussion made me consider a perhaps side question – is Beck the Muppets? His party-to-sadness ratio, as described by you, made me think of this, perhaps as best reflected in this short: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38yBYqEDOpE To the degree that there are teams, maybe it’s the Chaos v. Order dichotomy (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/low_concept/2012/06/what_kind_of_muppet_are_you_chaos_or_order_.html). The Muppets could do tropicalia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPaKWihFs_Q), the weirdest American Songbook (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrBAnWdjINY), Paul Simon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9VYKqRXfHg), soul (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt056fQX2RU), and throw a pretty chaotic/psychedelic party (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAPxsaRB30M). The Muppets never rap, but I think if you look at what is on offer when you google “Muppet rap,” there’s soupcon of Beck there (https://www.google.com/search?q=muppets+rap&oq=muppets+rap). In the way that Beck kind of doesn’t care for the laws of men or at least has an anarchic spirit BUT ALSO has to PLAY the adultsexyman more than he can actually Be that guy (looking in through sex painted windows, as it were), I think there’s something here…


    • JHaas #

      Also, there’s a pretty straight line from the Beatles and Revolver’s experimental serious play to the Muppets as there is to Beck.


      • Ryan Sheely OTI Staff #

        This is excellent. I’ve never made the Beatles–> Muppets–> Beck connection before, but it is there. I actually see lots of connections between the Beatles movies (Hard Days Night and Help) and a lot of the Muppets vibe and sensibility, and a through line there to a lot of Beck’s music videos, especially Odelay era.

        Stay tuned for a shout out (and a question about time signatures) in the upcoming episode.


        • JHaas #

          Jesus Christ. I went and looked at some Beck videos from Odelay! and Midnite Vultures and there’s an incredible Buzzfeed quiz of “Is this Still from the Muppets/Sesame Street or a Beck Video?” for the taking.


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