Crystal Clear (Beer)
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Alternate Titles:

a.k.a. Plain Wrap

Versions:
  1. Crystal Clear (Beer) (2:29)
    Available on Stereopathetic Soulmanure and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Rusty Cusick: Engineer
    Beck Hansen: Guitar (Acoustic), Producer, Vocals
 
Lyrics:
Crystal Clear (Beer) [Version (a)]:

Plastic doughnut, can of spam
There's no kindness in this land
Better not let my good gal catch you here
She's gettin' all juiced up with a bottle of plain-wrap beer

Coffee clothing pasted on
Clean my gravestone when I'm gone
And you better not let my good gal catch you here
She's got a whole pile of things you don't want to hear

Hitch my horse up to the town
I got my toenails painted brown
And you better not let my good gal catch you here
She'll cut you down and put the blame on me

Just a muscle in a bag
Roll my baby don't let her sag
And better not let my good gal catch you here
She's gettin' all juiced up with a bottle of plain-wrap beer
 
The Song:

This blues song shows off Beck's obsession with the finger-picking style of the blues. With "Crystal Clear," Beck finally wrote his own Mississippi Delta song.

The opening lines of "Crystal Clear" are a classic, famous Beck couplet. He simply and effectively sums up the struggle:: "Plastic donut, can of spam / There's no kindness in this land."

"Better not let my good gal catch you here" is straight from Mississippi John Hurt, from whose records Beck learned the blues. In his "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor," Hurt sings a verse:
Don't you let my good girl catch you here
Please don't let my good girl catch you here
Or she might shoot you, might cut and stab you too
No tellin' what she might do


In Hurt's song, the line is sung to his mistress as a warning. Beck uses it more as an indication of his surroundings.

Further blues absorption is evidenced with "clean my gravestone when I'm gone," a reworking of the old blues adage "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." Beck takes all these older sentiments, twists in his own sense of humor ("Hitch my horse up to the town / I got my toenails painted brown") and history, and the result is a terrific, modern blues.
 
Live:

Played live once:
February 20, 1994

Beck played this on 120 Minutes in February 1994. It's a nice relaxing performance. Over the familiar acoustic picking Beck sings:
Plastic donut, can of spam
There's no kindness in this land
Better not let your good gal catch you here
She's gettin' all juiced up with a bottle of plain wrap beer

Hitch my horse up to the town
I got my toenails painted brown
And you better not let my good gal catch you here
She's gettin' all juiced up with a bottle of... crystal clear... new age beer

Festival, fast cut, fast paced haircut police
Uptight, scraping off the attitude off the floor
Burn it up and load it up into the smokestack
'Cause it makes you want to smoke crack


He sort of half-sings the last line, like how he used to do "Bogusflow." The last verse then is just way too short.  :-) "Scraping off the attitude" is a common Beck phrase from back then. It's really cool to finally hear a live version of this song!

Watch it!

 
Notes: