To be honest, I was completely unaware of this this Beck song at first.
I could be forgiven though, seeing as how the song appears on Beck’s second studio album, “Stereopathetic Soulmanure“ (God, I miss the 90’s) which was released — get this– a whole WEEK before his first big studio album, “Mellow Gold“.
“Lo-fi” and “demo” are nice ways of describing the songs on this record and “Puttin It Down” is no exception. It does, however, completely encompass that early 90’s Beck style of songwriting: self-effacing, sometimes corny dad jokes mixed with wit and heartbreak.
I mean, “Will you put me inside your TV tonight? ‘Cause you’re treating me like a rerun.” That’s classic dad. #dadjokes
So, when Unknown Mortal Orchestra came to KCRW for their Morning Becomes Eclectic session, we knew they had a cover for us. After all, it had been one of the tracks that we’ve been playing on air over the past few weeks. An acoustic version of Dirty Projectors “Swing Lo Magellan” which is really, really good.
But upon arrival they pulled a fast one and brought out this cover of Beck’s track. Not as if by accident or happenstance however, this track along with the Projectors cover and two other acoustic versions of songs off of their “II” album will be featured on an upcoming EP called Blue Record.
Either way, any chance to revisit classic Beck lines like “I’ll be better at kissin’ when my teeth are all missin” is reason enough for me.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra — “Puttin It Down” (Beck cover)
Watch/Listen: Unknown Mortal Orchestra Live on Morning Becomes Eclectic
Editor’s Note: This MBE session also includes the acoustic version of “Swim and Sleep“.