“Loser” by Beck live at ACL with The Flaming Lips (2002)
Do you know how it feels to listen to Mellow Gold at 7 in the morning? I do and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. My father likes to listen to artists’ discography alphabetically and he doesn’t change the order for nothing in the world. He was taking me to school and Mellow Gold had to start that morning and so it did. It feels like you are starting a brand new day after leaving from a very long ironic funeral party. Because Mellow Gold is crazy, but it’s also depressing; it’s not like the music of Odelay or Midnite Vultures where Beck seems to be a never ending source of energy. In Mellow Gold he sometimes seems to be completely disorientated as if life was just too much for him.
As time went by, Beck seemed to get bored of playing his old songs. It’s undertandable, since he is constantly shifting his style and renewing himself. But in this performance of “Loser”, almost ten years later after he became extremely popular for a song that no one understands, he seems to be enjoying it. Although many people dislike that The Flaming Lips played with him for a tour, I think they were the right choice, since they cheered up his Sea Change era shows.
Thanks to Wayne Coyne interrupting this performance, we could discover that after playing this song for such a long time, not even Beck knew what he was singing. He tries to explain the meaning of the line “soy un perdedor” saying something like the word “loser” doesn’t exist in Spanish and therefore he is singing “I am lost”. Not true. He actually repeats twice the same but in a different language. “Soy un perdedor” means “I am a loser”. But maybe he was right when he said: “you can say whatever the hell you want” because maybe this song and the whole Mellow Gold was made to be misunderstood, even by his own writer.
Although “soy un perdedor” is Beck’s most celebrated phrase in Spanish, my favorite one is when in the chorus of “Hotwax” he sings “Yo soy un disco quebrado, yo tengo chicle en mi cerebro”, that in English means: “I am a broken record, I have gum in my brain”