Traffic Jams: Beck - 'Uneventful Days'

Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams.

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It’s time I addressed a pretty big oversight on our daily jams column. OK, really, there are two oversights I need to address, but we’ll get into why there’s no Jamiroquai some other time. First, I gotta plug this hole in our catalogue that’s shaped exactly like Beck. None other than fucking Beck, the goofball and icon who reluctantly gave us the self-deprecating anthem that would define the ’90s.

Beck’s “Loser” was a stream-of-consciousness stumble that was somehow self aware. And yet, it was just scratching the surface of Beck’s genre-defying talent. Two decades, eight Grammy awards and a dozen studio albums later, Beck made Hyperspace, which has the song featured here, “Uneventful Days.”

It’s pretty much a break-up album but it’s not as melancholy as you’d think. At least, not on the surface. And it also happens to have a 1983 Toyota Celica on the cover that Beck chose because it’s unremarkable, as he told the Current:

It’s a very humble kind of aspirational kind of car. It’s not a super luxury Lamborghini, and that was sort of the point. Pharrell actually asked me, ‘what do you see when you see the cover’, and I say, I just see a @#$% Celica, just like a rundown old car, like that’s not anything fancy or glamorous or anything. But in a way it is sort of like this dream machine, with that thing in that sort of everyday kind of car that — where we can still — it’s still our spaceship, you know, it’s the thing that sort of lets us transcend the everyday.


Yeah. Beck gets it.

Even though “Uneventful Days” is the second track on the album, you could say it’s an overture that previews its major themes. The song’s message is sullen, but is buoyed by a deceptively airy sound. Wide layers of synths and auto-tune vocals blunt the restlessness and heartbreak. This is sad Beck, but an older and wiser Beck, too. Decades later, this loser has been in and out of love. Oh, and if you want to see more of that awesome Toyota Celica, it features prominently in the “Dark Places” and “Everlasting Nothing” videos.