New Beck Song Sees Trouble In the Skies


mojo-photo-beckchem.jpgLA-based singer Beck has posted a stream of the first song from his upcoming album Modern Guilt on his website, and while the album’s being produced by Danger Mouse, there’s little mashuppery or Gnarls Barkley-style soulfulness afoot. “Chemtrails” sounds, for all intents and purposes, like Dungen, or more accurately, like the psychedelic rock of the 1960s that inspired them. A rolling beat is way up in the mix, combined with a funky bassline, while way off in the background Beck himself croons in a reverb-drenched falsetto about how there’s “too many people, watching the chemtrails.” Oh, chemtrails. Somebody I know got taken in by this conspiracy theory and would get wild-eyed as they’d launch into wandering explanations of how we’re being secretly sprayed with unknown chemicals for unknown reasons. (Yes, I know I’m inviting some awesome comments. Have at it, shut-ins.) So, is Beck, like myself, concerned and saddened by a populace so consumed by fear that it’s willing to believe (and obsess about) anything, or is he issuing us a warning about the secret government cabal drenching us in brain-controlling dust? Buy my chemtrail psychic cleanser and be free from the unknown effects! Better yet, buy Beck’s Modern Guilt when it comes out next month, because if this song is any indication, it’ll sound like nothing he’s ever done.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.