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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 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… :)

Upcoming Works

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Hi, Beck freaks. Every once in awhile, I like to summarize the upcoming releases and news. As I’ve said on here before, we’re not really a news blog in a normal way, but like to keep you up with everything (and especially the things, say, Pitchfork may not know about).

The last couple of years, we know Beck has been extremely busy. And since there’s been no shows, that means lots of records! While there’s nothing concrete about any new Beck albums, there are a lot of upcoming things to look forward to. In no particular order:

1. Jamie Lidell Compass: A few years ago, Jamie opened a tour for Beck, and they’ve done some unreleased tracks together (and Record Club 3). When he was starting his new album, Beck called and asked if he needed production help, and they spent a number of sessions working on tracks. The album is done, will be released on May 18, and Beck is on about half the tracks (producing, writing, playing instruments).

2. Tobacco Maniac Meat: The lead guy of the cool electro group, Black Moth Super Rainbow, has a few solo albums. His new one is out on May 25, and Beck added vocals and lyrics to two tracks: “Fresh Hex” and “Grape Aerosmith.” Here’s a story about the collaboration.

3. Scott Pilgrim soundtrack: A movie is being made of the comic/graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim. I haven’t read it, but it concerns a lot of bands. Beck has provided the music for one of the bands, apparently recording a ton of two-man garage band rock tracks with Brian LeBarton for it. The movie is out in the summer, not sure what’s planned for the soundtrack, which was compiled by Nigel Godrich.

4. “Life During Wartime”: Beck and Devendra Banhart perform the title track to the upcoming Todd Solandz film, Life During Wartime. (It is not the Talking Heads classic of the same name.)

5. Record Club 4: The great third Record Club just finished, and says that the fourth will return in a couple of weeks (and with “big surprises”). Keep checking for that!

6. 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, 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 once from this sessoin). I have no other info about when the album will be released.

7. The full cover of Sonic Youth’s album, Evol seems to have been forgotten. I wonder what happened to this? Last April, a vinyl single came out from it (“Green Light”), but nothing else has been mentioned since. Some reports said it was to be on cassette only. Where is this, I’m dying to hear it!

8. Beck was in the studio recording last November or so, according to No mention on what exactly.

Those are the ones worth mentioning–there’s other old recordings that seem to have just been for fun (direct-to-vinyl studio experiments and stuff), and are probably long-gone.

If anyone hears anything else, or recalls anything I’ve forgotten, let us know!

UPDATE: Thanks Scott, I don’t know how I forgot about this! About a year ago, we got a free mp3 saying it was from the lost 2nd K Records album, and a promise that more was coming. This hasn’t happened yet, and nothing else has been heard from it or of it! How frustrating.