Twenty Years Later: ALO Covers Beck’s ‘The New Pollution’


Following last year’s successful Songs Of Their Own video series of artists covering songs by the Grateful Dead, the Twenty Years Later video series features some of JamBase’s favorite musicians recording songs released in 1996. Looking back, the music released 20 years ago proved to be critical in both rock ‘n’ roll history and particularly within the jam band scene. The year 1996 saw seminal albums released by Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, moe., The String Cheese Incident, the Disco Biscuits, Keller Williams, Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood, God Street Wine, Strangefolk and The Slip, helping to solidify the maturing jam scene.

There were also influential records issued in 1996 by the likes of artists as diverse as Beck, Jamiroquai, Modest Mouse, Rage Against The Machine, Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam, Sting, Tool, 2Pac and many others. The Twenty Years Later video series takes a look back at those releases, with participating artists covering songs from albums turning 20 this year. For this installment, Bay Area quartet ALO cleaned up Beck’s “The New Pollution.”

The follow-up to his 1994 breakout debut album Mellow Gold, Beck’s sophomore LP Odelay earned the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance among other nominations. Originally issued on June 18, 1996 Odelay brought the quirky musician further into the mainstream of American pop culture with the help of successful singles “Where It’s At,” “Devil’s Haircut” and “The New Pollution.”

ALO stopped by JamBase headquarters in San Francisco to record their cover of “The New Pollution” and stuck around to perform a track from their latest LP Tangle Of Time. In 1996, keyboardist Zach Gill, guitarist Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz, drummer Dave Brogan and bassist Steve Adams were forming ALO out of the ashes of Gill and Lebo’s high school group Django. They spent the summer living together in Georgia, writing songs that would become part of the ALO repertoire and have continued going strong ever since. Below watch their performance of Beck’s “The New Pollution” followed by a discussion of 1996 and their original “Simple Times”:

[The New Pollution]

[1996 Banter]

[Simple Times]

Stay tuned all year long as the Twenty Years Later video series continues to roll out with new installments from a wide ranging roster of musicians. Stay on top of all of JamBase’s video content by subscribing to the official YouTube channel here.