Song In My Head #32: “Flavor” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (remix by Beck, Mario Caldato, Jr., and Mike D)

I never understood why this Evan Bernard-directed video was relegated to a handful of showings on MTV’s 120 Minutes back in the day, since its clever concept and all-star cast made it an instant classic. Then again, as the following anecdote proves, I may have been a little too enthusiastic about it. I remember going on a blind date during my sophomore year of college, and feeling awkward during a lull in conversation. I can still picture the guy’s eyes glazing over as I started babbling: “So, Beck works at a Japanese-style steakhouse, right? But he’s also their DJ! I know, it’s crazy. Anyway, he accidentally chops up a record, which gets in the food, so then Mike D has to fire him. Yeah, Mike D from the Beastie Boys plays his boss, but you don’t really recognize him at first, and–” I think if I had paused for breath, I would have heard the sound of crickets in the background. Oh, well. Even though this video caused me to lose coolness points, I still have fun watching it. During the homage to “Walk This Way” at the end, the Blues Explosion and Beck each portray Run-DMC and Aerosmith, which makes perfect sense somehow.

The original version of “Flavor” appears on the Blues Explosion’s Orange album, but the remixed version is from 1995’s Experimental Remixes. I bought the 7-inch single in 1995, and was nonplussed to find that it had Part One (the funky band version with all the hollering) on the A-side and Part Two (the deconstructed, spacey Beck version) on the back. The video’s transition between the two was so seamless that I had assumed they were one track. Luckily, the 2010 compilation Dirty Shirt Rock ‘n’ Roll features the mix that I loved in the video. Enjoy! (Bad blind date optional.)

 

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