Day Three: A Song that Makes You Happy
Beck – “Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs.”
Beck gets better with age, it’s true, but I love Old Beck. This is from his first major album, 1994’s Mellow Gold, which also brought us the indispensable alt-rock anthem “Loser”—a song so ingrained in the public consciousness that the public recently had to endure an awful cover version from Glee that made absolutely no sense in the context of the show. And this is because the lyrics of “Loser” make no sense.
“Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs” has a fascinating history that basically involves Beck’s creepy neighbors getting in violent fights (perhaps one cutting the other’s arm off even?). The song is more or less absent from Youtube, which is why I have included this weird animated version. Sadly, it cuts off the opening two seconds of the song, which doesn’t begin with the neighbor (it’s actual recorded voice!) saying “put your clothes on” but begins with an extra slur of “Come on, motherfucker!”
The link above to Whiskeyclone.net has it that this is a four-track song—two guitar tracks and two vocals. And other than the hilarious fight recording and the even more hilarious lyrics (example: “whiskey-stained buck-toothed backwoods creep / grizzly bear motherfucker never goes to sleep”) , the listener gets the benefit of Beck self-harmonizing in a falsetto and a bass voice. He might have had a career in the Crash Test Dummies. Although perhaps the most excellent feature of this song is the complete deadpan tone. I have no idea how Beck can use two different ranges to sing sarcastically, but my god it is absolutely genius. Whenever the falsetto says, “Oh my goodness” and it’s echoed by the bass, I nearly always have the urge to lol.
In conclusion, this song brings me great joy.