Where It's At
By: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson
Written by: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson

Versions:
  1. Where It's At (5:30)
    Available on Guero and 9 other releases.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Bass, Electric Piano, Guitar, Mix, Organ, Producer, Vocals
    The Dust Brothers: Mix, Producer, Turntables
    Mike Boito: Organ, Trumpet
    Money Mark: Organ
    David Brown: Saxophone
    Edy Lopez: Vocals (Background)
  2. Bonus Beats (4:10)
    Available on Where It's At and 2 other releases.
    Credits
    John King: Producer, Remix
  3. Lloyd Price Express (4:57)
    Available on Beck - Super Rare! Vol. 2 and 3 other releases.
    Credits
    John King: Remix
  4. Make Out City (3:09)
    Available on Where It's At and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Mike Simpson: Remix
  5. Where It's At (John King Remix) (3:43)
    Available on Where It's At.
    Credits
    John King: Remix
  6.  
  7. Where It's At (Mario C. & Mickey P. Remix) (3:22)
    Available on Beck - Super Rare! Vol. 2 and 2 other releases.
    Credits
    Mario Caldato Jr.: Remix
    Mickey Petralia: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
  8. Where It's At (U.N.K.L.E. Remix) (12:27)
    Available on Odelay and 1 other release.
    Credits
    U.N.K.L.E.: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
  9. Where It's At (Edit) (3:45)
    Available on Where It's At and 1 other release.
  10. Where It's At (Mix by Tim Robertson) (6:11)
    a.k.a. Where It's At (Ultimix)
    Available on Ultimix 60.
    Credits
    Tim Robertson: Remix
  11. Where It's At (X-Mix) (5:27)
    Available on X-Mix Dance Series Issue Thirty Five 1996.
    Credits
    Roonie G.: Remix
 
Unofficial Versions: [show/hide]
  1. Can I Have Beck Like Dat (5:41)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Pharrell Williams: Mashed
    Lazytramp: Remix (Mashup)
  2. Two Turntables are Ice (Where's the Game?) (5:31)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Ice T: Mashed
    Dsico: Remix (Mashup)
  3. Warning, Rush Where It's At (4:45)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Big Audio Dynamite: Mashed
    Green Day: Mashed
    DJ Peaking: Remix (Mashup)
  4. What I Got Two Turntables (4:00)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Sublime: Mashed
  5.  
  6. Where It's At (Makeout Blvd.) (4:09)
    Credits
    Count Dante: Remix
  7. Where It's At (U.N.K.L.E. Remix) (Edit) (4:41)
    Available on Def Beat Remixes Vol.5: Men From U.N.K.L.E..
    Credits
    U.N.K.L.E.: Remix
  8. Throwupvomitupchuck (3:08)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed (Where It's At)
    Van Halen: Mashed
  9. Where It's At / Where It's At (Two Turntables & A Microphone Mix) / Where It's At (Mario C & Mickey P Remix) / Where It's At (UNKLE Remix) (2:24)
    Available on Three Steps Beckwards.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed (Where It's At), Mashed (Make Out City), Mashed (Where It's At (Mario C. & Mickey P. Remix)), Mashed (Where It's At (U.N.K.L.E. Remix))
    Ian Wardle: Remix (Mashup)
 
 
Lyrics:
Where It's At [Version (a)]:

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow

Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands

Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

Take me home with my elevator bones!
That was a good drum break...


Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whipflash tones
Members Only, hypnotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with the parachute fruits
Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast
Let the man Gary Wilson rocks the most
W
here it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

What about those who swing both ways? AC/DCs?
Let's make it out, baby
Cheese


Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
We're all part of the total scene

Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Oh dear me! Make Out City is a two-horse town.
That's beautiful, Dad.
Got my microphone. . .


There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow

Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands

Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

I got plastic on my mind!
Makin' out, baby . . . let's make it . . . let's make out, baby.
Telephone, plastic, baby!
Oh it's all goooooood . . . ah yeah, let's burn it good.
Bonus Beats [Version (b)]:

Where it's at! Where it's at!
Where it's at! Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Rock the most!
Where it's at!
Rock the most! Rock the most! Rock the most! Rock the most!
Rock the most! Rock rock rock rock rock the most!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Rock the most!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Rock the most!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Where it's at!
Rock the most!
Where it's at!
That's beautiful, Dad.
That's beautiful, Dad.
That's beautiful, Dad.

Where it's at!
Rock the most!
That's beautiful, Dad.
 
Lloyd Price Express [Version (c)]:

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Take me home with my elevator bones!
That was a good drum break . . .


Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whipflash tones
Members Only, hypnotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with your parachute fruits
Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast
Like my man Gary Wilson rocks the most
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
What about those who swing both ways? AC/DCs?
Let's make out, baby . . .

Fight fight this, funk the beat
Like this, party people, it's a ??


Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
We're all part of the total scene

Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Oh honey, Make Out City is a two-horse town.
That's beautiful, Dad.

Got my microphone. . .

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

I got plastic on my mind!
Makin' out, baby . . . let's make it . . . let's make out, baby.
Telephone, plastic, baby!
Oh it's all goooooood . . . ah yeah, let's burn it good.
Make Out City [Version (d)]:

Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the jet-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whipflash tones
Members Only, hypnotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with the parachute fruits
Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast
Like my man Gary Wilson rocks the most
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

What about those who swing both ways? AC/DCs?

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the jet-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
 
Where It's At (John King Remix) [Version (e)]:

Where it's at! Where it's at!
Make Out City!
Where it's at! Where it's at!
Make Out City!


There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, Take me home with my elevator bones!

That was a good drum break


Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whipflash tones
Members Only, hypnotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with your parachute fruits
Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast
Like my man Gary Wilson rocks the most
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
What about those who swing both ways? AC/DCs?
Make Out City
California
Where it's at
Make Out City
California
Where's it's at
Hey, make out
That's beautiful, Dad


There's a destination . . . from the habitations
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

Make out
Make Out City is a two-horse town
Doo doo doo, doo doo doo
It's all good... all good
Make Out City, baby!
Make Out City
Make Out City
Where It's At (Mario C. & Mickey P. Remix) [Version (f)]:

Ah come on, start it . . . it's all good!

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, Take me home with my elevator bones!

Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whipflash tones
Members Only, hypnotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with the parachute fruits
Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast
Like my man Gary Wilson rocks the most
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
What about AC/DCs?

Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone

Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Oh honey, Make Out City is a two-horse town.
That's beautiful, Dad.


There's a destination . . . from the habitations
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

Makin' out, baby . . . let's make it.
 
Where It's At (U.N.K.L.E. Remix) [Version (g)]:

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Take me home with my elevator bones!

Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whipflash tones
Members Only, hypnotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with your parachute fruits
Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast
Like my man Gary Wilson rocks the most
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
What about those who swing both ways? AC/DCs?
Let's make out, baby . . . cheese


Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
We're all part of the total scene

Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Oh honey, Make Out City is a two-horse town.

Got my microphone. . .

There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turned low
The jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands
And just clap your hands
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at, I got two turntables and a microphone

I got plastic on my mind!
Makin' out, baby . . . let's make it . . . let's make out, baby.
Telephone, plastic, baby!
Oh it's all goooooood . . . ah yeah, let's burn it good.
 
The Song:

The first single off of Odelay "Where It's At" really set the mood for the upcoming huge success of the album. With this song, Beck came dangerously close to losing the "Loser-guy" label and becoming the "Two Turntables and a Microphone-guy." But I don't think Beck would have minded so much.

A relative of "Beercan," Beck shows everyone a good time by writing about a good time. "Where It's At" as a title is a bit of self-reference, indicating that this song is where it's at, and the listener gets to be in on it! From the sounds of a needle to a record groove to the sensuous Casio riff, Beck immediately lets you in on the secret, a happening "a little up the road from the habitations and towns we know." What is this place? Where are we going? You soon learn it's a big party with music and people ("jigsaw jazz and the get-fresh flow / Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts"). The leader of the party though is the DJ ("two turntables and a microphone / Bottles and can and just clap your hands!").

The second verse focuses on the party-goers themselves, wearing Members Only jackets, moving through the room like ambulance drivers. The action comes across brilliantly, with the "whipflash tones" and "hypnotizers" and "hirsutes" and illegal substances ("passin' the dutchie from coast to coast").

In between, Beck uses all sorts of oddly sexy samples, a number of which come from a sex-education album called Sex for Teens (Where It's At!), and is the same place he got the chorus and title of the song. Perhaps all the "Let's make out" samples come from the same place? Beck also samples "Needle to the Groove" by Mantronix (the robotic voice saying "two turntables and a microphone" at 1:23). "That was a good drum break" comes from the Frogs' song "I Don't Care If You Disrespect Me (Just So You Love Me)" though to me it sounds like Beck says the Frogs' line, and doesn't sample it, per se. I'm not sure about that. Anyway, surely, there's more obscure references in the song as well.
 
Live:

Played live 492 times:
Earliest known live version: July 15, 1995
Latest known live version: April 13, 2014

As the first single from Odelay, "Where It's At" became the centerpiece of shows from the Odelay tour. The audiences love it. The band has a good time, dancing, jamming, posing. Basically where the song changes and becomes something (or not) is at the end, with what the band does with song after that repeat of the first verse. It has been played at basically every tour show since 1996, with few exceptions (some of the less major, more acoustic sets).

Before Odelay - 1995

"Where It's At" made it's debut on stage on a few nights on the Lollapalooza tour in 1995. The one version I have from July 15 1995 is probably the closest live version to the record, because they actually do the "we're all part of the total scene"/chorus middle section. Beck doesn't do the "two turntables" chant in there, but the section is present. Beck doesn't seem to have the "shine your shoes with your microphone blues" lyric quite in place yet, but otherwise, the song is pretty much fully formed by this point.

Another version from August 18, 1995 has a couple of "horn men" (I think Beck introduces them as that), which leads to a bunch of cool saxophone all over the end of the song.

Odelay tours - 1996

Early on the Odelay tour, the song was quite straight-forward. Beck just has a regular-sized rock band. Using July 21 1996 as a guide, the arrangement of the song sounds like the record except for two things. First, the record's middle minute-long bridge with the "two turntables and a microphone" / "we're all part of the total scene" chant is not played at all. Second, there's a little improvised synthesizer jam during the coda. They used this arrangement for most of 1996. I find this arrangement to be a little boring, to be honest, especially when compared to more exciting, later performances.

Odelay tours - 1997-1998

Some where around the end of 1996/early 1997, the live performances of "Where It's At" started to get spicier. Beck started doing the "Make Out City" intro chant to start the song. There was a turntable scratch solo in the middle. The outro was extended, with longer keyboard solos, more "doo doo doo doo"s, and Beck often repeating "bottles and cans / just clap your hands" over and over. The song is much more engaging.

The February 14 1997 coda actually turns into "Make Out City," with the same horn riff and Beck starting the whole song over again! He resings the whole first verse yet again. You keep thinking the song is going to end, but the chorus just keeps returning. It's wild! It's like they played the song twice in a row: first, like the record, and second, in a funkier jam version. This would arrangement lasts much of 1997, but sometimes it would last much longer than others.

Some of the very best, wildest performances of "Where It's At" were on television. One, on September 4 1997, Beck performed the song on the MTV Video Awards pre-show, while riding on top of a bus. Rapper Rahzel joins him, and his mad beatboxing leads the song. The song is effortlessly turned into an old-school rap jam. It's a lot of fun, and the song goes in some new directions (including the "Hotwax" "I get down I get down" ending).

On September 6 1997, on Sessions at West 54th, "Where It's At" is completely rearranged, once again. It borrows a lot from Mike Simpson's remix of the song, "Make Out City." It approaches 11-minutes long, full of horns, keyboard solos, funk jams, and crowd participation. It's a never-ending exciting performance, and on film, Beck gets the whole studio audience up and dancing — they were sitting right on the stage. Looking back on this sexy funky improvisation, at the last show of the Odelay tour, shows that Midnite Vultures a few years later was not so far-fetched an idea.

Beck went on a short tour in May/June 1998, and the long jam-packed Sessions arrangement was carried over from the previous fall. "Where It's At" was used to close the show, and Beck regularly played up the crowd for close to twelve minutes of craziness.

These long "Where It's At"s were just awesome fun, and I think the song definitely peaked near the end of 1997 and 1998.

1999-2001 Mutations and Vultures tours

Of course, Beck still performed "Where It's At" after the Odelay tours ended, but only if and when he had his full band there to rock with him. The Mutations and Midnite Vultures tour versions are of normal length, but they're still energetic and jam-packed. It's cool to hear the song with a live horn section too. The song fits really well alongside the Vultures material, with the horns and grooves and Beck ad-libs. The only really different thing in the song is that the little synthesizer break before the coda seems to have a unique sound every night (I'm especially fond of the one on February 1 2000). Like it did on the Odelay tour, "Where It's At"'s end coda gradually got longer and looser as the tour went on.

2002 with the Flaming Lips

I actually am a little surprised I'm saying this, but the highlight of many of the Beck/Lips shows in Oct/Nov 2002 to me has been "Where It's At"! It's the song they use to jam, and the song varies greatly from night to night. Sometimes it's more straight-forward, other times it may be a bit of medley with Beck leading into "High 5"s "designer jean" singalong. Sometimes Beck even included bits of "Debra" or other songs. Once, on Halloween in New York, Beck even played a lot of harmonica on the song, and tacked "One Foot in the Grave" on to the end of it! I've never heard harmonica on "Where It's At" before, I don't think. The Lips have a cool handle on the coda, as well, making it a little trippy, but still danceable. Beck would use the end to go around to all the instruments and add his say too.

2002 & 2003 solo versions

"Where It's At" does show up on some setlists of Beck's solo tours, but usually only because he likes to play the riff as a tease when he sits at his piano. Sometimes, he'll toss some of it into his piano version of "Nicotine & Gravy" also.

2003 band versions

There is not much different on these versions. His band was really good, which makes the song still fun to hear. Beck still ad-libs the "designer jean" bit at the end, instead of doing "bottles and cans" (or more often, he does both). Sometimes, instead of just ending, they'd let a tape of noise play at the end.

2005

Beck and his new band have played this in 2005. Of course. Sounds like it usually does.
 
Notes: