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… :)