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Beck Stuff 2012

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Hey, long time no post. But I figure–if Beck’s not going to do anything, why should I? Haha j/k.

Anyway, as you probably heard, Beck is lined up to headline the Sasquatch Festival up in Washington this May. Justin Meldal-Johnsen is lined up to be in the band, and who knows if it will lead to more or just be a one-off evening or what. Stay tuned!

(UPDATE A DAY LATER: Beck does have another show lined up for May 27, in Bend, OR. Still unclear if this is just a little Sasquatch run (same area of the country in the same weekend) or something more ambitious. The Bend show is with Metric, info here.

Can’t remember if I posted here on this before or not, but this Youtube user has been posting clips from a Beck show in 1992 or 1993. One of the clips is video from the actual performance of “Ozzy” that is on Stereopathetic. It’s amazing! There’s also a few unknown songs up there, like “Weak Ass Shit,” “Know I’m Gonna Make It,” and one I called “Crushing The Cantaloupe.”

Lastly, over the past few years, even though Beck hasn’t been releasing anything, he has been registering new compositions to the copyright song database. There’s a handful that remain unknown–I hesitate to imply a new album from these, but they must be from something!

“Curfew” – ended up in I Am Number Four but wasn’t on the soundtrack so we haven’t heard it

“City Of Refuge” / “Iron Horse” / “Jacksontown” / “Tournequit”: all four of these were registered at the same time; they seem blues-influenced by their titles. “Iron Horse” ended up in the TV show Sons Of Anarchy, so perhaps Beck gave them 4 bluesy songs? I’m just speculating here. A short clip of “Iron Horse” is on Youtube, other 3 unheard.

That leaves:
“She Coulda Done Better” & “Looking For A Sign” & “Constellation” (registered around a year ago)
“Cities” & “Spiral Staircase” & “Touch The People” (registered recently)

So again, I hope these are a sign that some sort of music is coming soon… :)

Beck news

Monday, August 29th, 2011

So as I like to do every so often, I’ll try to summarize what Beck’s been up to in case you missed anything. And, yes, despite the lack of official Beck material, he’s actually been pretty busy! (First, check beck.com for some current news, like Autumn DeWilde’s photo book.)

Foremost, Beck has continued with the producer chapter of his career. After the Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jamie Lidell albums last year, this year he has also done albums with Thurston Moore and Stephen Malkmus. Both of those kept Beck in the news, as much of the press around their release was focused somewhat on Beck’s production. (And even some joint interviews with Beck.) Coming up, there are some more Charlotte Gainsbourg tracks (an EP and a sort of compilation album but with new material) that Beck produced, including some songs like “Paradisco” that Beck played live a few years back. Also on the producer-front, Beck is apparently producing Dwight Yoakam’s upcoming album. (!) I’m actually really getting into the idea that Beck is a producer at the moment. It’s a great position for his talents.

Beyond the producer thing, most everything else is on hiatus: Record Clubs, new albums, everything. Beck in a recent interview with Pitchfork sounded like he’s pretty unsure how to proceed, so I guess we’ll have to be patient! (And if you haven’t read that interview, go do it, it’s fairly revelatory.)

However, Beck has started doing the occasional live thing, which after a few years away from the stage is nice to see. He did a charity concert in San Francisco in May. And last night, he was the headliner of a Serge Gainsbourg tribute concert. The show, which was apparently mostly Beck’s idea, featured many singers doing the songs of Serge Gainsbourg. The house band also included Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Joey Waronker, James Gadson, and Justin Meldal-Johnsen. Beck sang 4 songs: “Nefertiti,” “Teenie Weenie Boppie,” “Les Sucettes,” and “Ah! Melody.”

I was there and filmed the first 3 songs: sorry the video quality is poor, I wasn’t close, but it sounds ok:

My video got linked around the web on some of the bigger news sites and blogs, which is great. Hope you all enjoy it! It just goes to show though: Beck, we’re all still here. We’re all still hungry for anything you want to give us, even if it’s a shaky dark clip of you singing “Teenie Weenie Boppie.” Any bit of Beck news is pored over, from recent interviews to 10-seconds of a new song being in a movie trailer (“Curfew”). Your base, Beck, is waiting… :)

Beck on the Lonely Island CD

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Everyone’s favorite part of Saturday Night Live, Lonely Island, have a CD coming out in a couple of weeks (May 10).

Beck is apparently on it, on a song called “Attracted To Us.”

http://www.thelonelyisland.com/music

!

Demolished Thoughts and Scott Pilgrim

Friday, March 11th, 2011

demolished thoughts

So, first… the new Thurston Moore album, Demolished Thoughts, will be released on May 24. That’s the cover there. Beck produced it, and I’m quite excited to hear what the two of them did together. (Will it be half as creative and amazing as the Yanni covers?!)

Second, I’m sure you all have seen lately that some of the Scott Pilgrim outtakes hit some websites lately. To me, it shows just how much eager interest there always is for Beck material! A few of the links I’ve seen have stated that Whiskeyclone leaked the songs, and for the record, that is not so. We’ve known about them since they initially leaked 6 months ago or so, when they were played on a web radio show. Some fans grabbed them from that stream, and they’ve been around since then. What caused their recent “discovery” and thrust into the mp3-blog world this week, I have no idea.

The 3 songs that were taken from the web stream are “Disgusting Rainbow,” “No Fun,” and “Gasoline Eyes.” They were outtakes from the sessions where Beck and Brian LeBarton wrote a pile of songs to be used as Sex Bob-Omb’s songs in the Scott Pilgrim film. They did not make the final cut for the film, or the soundtrack.

A fourth song, “Indefatigable,” also leaked. It is not from the web stream. It was included in the film, but was not released on the soundtrack. The track that surfaced there was ripped from the DVD and then looped to make a slightly more complete song.

Upcoming Beck Stuff

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Hey everybody… sorry it’s been so long, but really Beck isn’t up to much at the moment. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff to talk about here! I don’t intend Paper Tiger to be a news site, but I do like every once in awhile to bring up all the things we know about on the horizon to look forward to. I’ll start with the confirmed things we know about:

1. In a couple of days, the new movie I Am Number Four comes out. Beck has a new song called “Curfew” in it. I do not have any idea if there will be a soundtrack CD release or not.

2. Sometime this year, Thurston Moore is releasing a solo album. Beck produced it! They recorded it at Beck’s house. It was initially announced that the album was called Benediction, but most recent reports say it’s called Demolished Thoughts. (No release date that I’ve seen yet though, but it’s coming this year for sure.)

3. That leads to Beck’s cover of Sonic Youth’s album, EVOL, in its entirety. Not a Record Club, but something he did for, I think, some sort of EVOL deluxe project at the request of Sonic Youth. The release of this is probably up to Sonic Youth, but it’s been floating out there for at least a couple of years now. Hopefully it’s not lost!

4. At the same time Beck registered the copyright for “Curfew,” he also registered songs called “Constellation” and “She Coulda Done Better.” I have no idea what those are.

5. Also last year, Beck produced some songs with Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks. Haven’t heard anything about this since last May, which indicated that their work would be out in 2011. Hopefully it still is coming!

6. And of course, Beck mentioned to Pitchfork last summer that he had an album done that he was trying to figure out how to release. (He thought about calling it Rococo, so that’s what fans refer to it as for now.) Nothing’s come of it yet though! (Beck also mentioned that he had some songs that he had finished before doing Modern Guilt.) And of course, there’s the millions of other things he’s probably recorded since then we’ve never heard of and will never hear.

7. I’ll copypaste this from the last “update” I did, last March, and note that I still don’t know when it’s coming:

John Martyn tribute album: Beck has covered John Martyn in the past, in the early 2000s, he used to do “Go Easy” live on occasion. Martyn unfortunately died last year [2009], and Beck is giving a version of “Stormbringer” to an upcoming tribute album. He recorded this in Nashville a few years ago, when he and his band stopped in and did a bunch of covers (he put a Lee Hazlewood cover up on beck.com once from this session). I have no other info about when the album will be released.

8. Beck.com said Record Clubs would resume, and man I hope it does soon. I loved getting a new Beck song every week! The story is after the last one, Beck tried a few times to get one together but for whatever reasons, it never really happened. So he eventually just sent it on a hiatus. He did for a short while have a voting contest, where you could vote for the Record Club tracks that you would want to have on a sort of “best of the Record Club” CD. That was last November.

9. And, as always, I have to mention the 2nd K Record. With the release of One Foot In The Grave Deluxe, Beck dropped the tantalizing note that more info was coming about the album he began for K Records after finishing One Foot. He never really finished it, but it sounded like some of the songs were still around and he was planning to drop them. To tease, he included a song called “The Way It Seems.” No new info about it since… *sigh*

10. Finally, Beck is scheduled to play one concert, but it’s not until August. It is at the Hollywood Bowl, and Beck will be part of a Serge Gainsbourg tribute concert. We all know Beck is a huge Serge fan. It looks like Justin Meldal-Johnsen will be along and a sexy time will be had by all. More special guests will probably be announced in time too.

I’m sure some little things slipped my mind here. But that’s what we’re looking at. I do strongly believe that 2011 will see a Beck album proper. But that’s mostly an educated guess, not based on anything concrete. It’s hard to believe Beck hasn’t played his own concert in almost two years now. Must he be getting as restless as we are?

The Artist’s Museum Happening Gig (updated)

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Beck, Devendra, Caetano Veloso (not in Brazil)

Beck played on a (semi-)public stage last night, for the first time since March 2009. (!)

It was a charity gig for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, tickets cost minimum $5000, and he shared the stage with Devendra Banhart and Caetano Veloso. Also the ‘band’ was Beck’s bassist, Bram Inscore, 3 violinists, and a cellist. I have no idea what they performed, but the LA Times says this: “all three performed together in a multilayered piece.”

Some of the pictures I’ve seen of the event seem to indicate that Beck & Devendra and the string section played first, and then Caetano joined them at some point. If any of you famous celebrities (Rose McGowan, hi) were there and want to email me about what went down, feel free: almostaghost@gmail.com

If I hear anything, I’ll update here too.

UPDATE: The LA Times had a fuller report of the evening (and Beck.com wrote it up too). Apparently, they played 4 songs. Initially, Devendra sang his song “At The Hop,” I’m not entirely clear if Beck was involved there (Beck.com seems to say he was, but LA Times seems to say it was just Devendra). After that, Beck and Devendra and the string section did “The Golden Age,” a video clip of which is in the comments below. Next, Caetano Veloso joined them and did his songs “Nine Out Of Ten” and “Maria Bethania.” Afterwards, there was a performance art piece by Doug Aitken called “WE” and Beck apparently participated in that somehow. The piece included drummers, auctioneers, and a guy with a whip.

Yanni Wrap-Up (Rip Off Your Mustache & Save Yr Soul)

Friday, September 17th, 2010

The final track of Record Club #5 went up today, ending an entertaining run through Yanni Live At The Acropolis.

Beck and Thurston Moore played or sang on all the tracks, while the band Tortoise was actually only on two of them (“Keys To Imagination” and “Within Attraction”). The session musicians on the remaining 8 tracks were Abraham Laboriel (bass), Jeff Babko (keys), Russell Ferrante (piano), Toss Panos (drums). On one song, “Nostalgia,” Vinnie Colaiuta drummed instead of Panos.

Perhaps because of the source material, but this album was pretty different than most anything Beck has ever done. Actually it is probably in spite of the source material, because little of this actually sounded like Yanni! In fact, Beck’s sounded more like Yanni on some of his own tracks than this stuff did (like “Acropolis Now” or “Touch Dolphins”).

Anyway, Beck hinted that there were lots of music allusions in their music on this RC beyond Yanni, like references to Stravinsky, Shania Twain, Bobby Brown. If anyone ever recognizes any riffs in the scores, let us know! (The Bobby Brown was on “Santorini” and they did The Doors on a track too.) You could tell the musicians were having fun doing this stuff. I am not sure how often I’ll be inclined to listen to this RC in the future, but I think it was a fun and worthwhile attempt. It really gets to the core of what RC can and should be; it’s not just covering something Beck and the crew likes, it’s taking a piece of music and challenging themselves with it.

No word yet on RC #6. Hopefully we’ll hear soon and it will start up next week!

Also, no more word on that new album Beck told Pitchfork about. Hopefully some news will arrive soon.

New Beck Interview

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Over at Pitchfork, there’s a new short interview with Beck. Nothing crazy new in it, but I’ll summarize:

Beck enjoys collaborating with other musicians, and working with Charlotte led him to call up people (like Jamie Lidell and Stephen Malkmus) and offer his help.

Despite all those projects, he’s still working on his own album. He did it way back in 2008, and is still kinda figuring out the songs. (And, of course, he doesn’t have a label. It could end up on his website!) He was planning to call the album Rococo but probably not anymore. He also has a group of songs from before Modern Guilt that was never released. Beck was going to get Thurston Moore to add guitar to some songs, but didn’t have time, so they stuck to Yanni.

And Beck gave 3 songs to Twilight, but they picked the one with Bat For Lashes. (And he gave one to the prior Twilight movie that didn’t get used.) THERE IS NO REASON THESE ARE NOT ON BECK.COM, BECK. Post ‘em up, say “Twilight didn’t want these, so here you go!”

Happy 40th Birthday To Beck!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Yes, Beck turns 40 today! That’s a big one!

Happy Beck’s Birthday, everyone.

How are you celebrating?

Acropolis Now

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

The new Record Club project, starring Beck, Thurston Moore, and Tortoise decided to cover Yanni Live At The Acropolis.

ENJOY at beck.com all summer long

UPDATE: As you can see on the .com, Beck wrote “To flesh out the complex arrangements, several studio musicians were brought in to read a heavily doctored score with interpolations of everything from Stravinsky to Bobby Brown (and others).” (Earlier in the day, it said Shania Twain’s name there.) Does this mean that funky riff part in the second half of “Santorini” is an interpolation of something? Does anyone recognize it at all?