The Beta Band - The Second Best Band You Never Heard
My all time top five rock and roll movies are (starting with number five) Eric Idle's The Rutles: All You Need is Cash, then The Talking Head's Stop making Sense, followed by The Beatles' A Hard Days Night, in the number two position we find The Who's The Kids Are All Right, and finally my number one favorite rock movie is John Cusack's High Fidelity.
The answer is obvious as to why I love High Fidelity -- I identify with the central character, Rob Gordon. We're both really into music, we work(ed) in record stores, we're DJ's, and we hang out with people who are just like us: music geeks. During the movie Rob is talks about his record store:
"...(my store) gets by because of the people who make a special effort to shop here on Saturday - young men, always young men, who spend a disproportionate amount of their time looking for deleted Smiths singles and "original not re-released" underline Frank Zappa albums. The fetish properties are not unlike porn. I would feel guilty taking their money if I wasn't, kind of, well, one of them."
One of my favorite High Fidelity moments takes place on a busy Saturday afternoon in Rob's shop:
Rob: I will now sell four copies of "The Three EPs" by The Beta Band.
Dick: Go for it.
[Rob plays the record]
Beta Band Customer: Who is this?
Rob Gordon: The Beta Band.
Beta Band Customer: It's good.
Rob Gordon: I know.
I can understand why Rob was able to sell four copies of "The Three EPs" by The Beta Band. Their music is incredible. Their sound blends Pink Floyd, Gomez, Stone Roses, Radiohead, and funk, rap, and some in-yo-face rock and roll.
The Beta Band formed in 1997 and released three EP's. In 1999 they released their self-titled first album; their sophomore effort, Hot Shots II was released in 2001; and last year saw the release of their final album, Heroes and Zeroes. The Beta Band announced late last year that they were breaking up citing, "...the frustration of much critical praise but no commercial impact."
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