Colors sounds like someone tossed a bunch of riffs from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s into a blender and hit puree. Now, if you don’t know what you’re doing, and you throw a bunch of random shit into a Vitamix, you’re probably going to end up with a sludge that tastes like weeds. But Beck knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s not just some dude with a man bun working at the new vegan juicery. He’s been blending styles together for twenty-five years. He’s an expert at this. He can make a tasty sonic smoothie out of anything you give him. And on Colors, you can’t help but marvel at some of the concoctions he’s serving up. But there’s also something kind of awkward about a guy who’s approaching 50 making smoothies at the mall when he could just as easily be chefing a five star restaurant. And honestly, every time I put on Colors, I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m standing in line at Forever 21 drinking an Orange Julius.
(Dear Life—an obvious nod to Lady Maddona-era Beatles)
There’s a J.D. Salinger story where a young kid is out on the street playing marbles with his friends and his brother Seymour comes along and says “Could you try not aiming so much? If you hit his marble when you aim, it’ll just be luck.” And the kid says “How could it be luck if i’m aiming?” And Seymour says “Because it would be. You’ll be glad if you hit his marble, won’t you? Won’t you be glad? And if you’re glad when you hit somebody’s marble, then you sort of secretly didn’t expect to do it. So there’d have to be some luck in it. Actually there’d have to be quite a lot of luck in it.”
Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go is Thích Nhat Hanh’s translation of The Record of Master Linji, a monk from the 800s, who dropped out of traditional Buddhism to practice Zen: “As I see it, there isn’t much to do. Just be ordinary—put on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing.” His message was simple: You’re not going to find enlightenment in scriptures or sutras or dharma talks. Stop seeking and just come back to the present moment. In other words, ‘Could you try not aiming so much?’
If I could only recommend one book on buddhism, zen, and all of this mindfulness nonsense, this would be it—a book that constantly reminds you that you can’t find what you’re looking for in a book.
Moses says he’s making ‘future music’ and ‘moon-colony choirs’. Yeah that sounds about right. It also sounds like a Radiohead review … and Aromanticism sounds a lot like Radiohead if they were somehow stripped of their indie rock roots. Aromanticism is a moody, orchestral pop record, full of lush strings, a few computer bleeps and a couple of soul-lifting falsetto moments.