Archive for May, 2008

Beck’s Friends

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

1. First, and most intriguingly, Beck’s long-time musical director/bassist/friend, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, has reported that he will not be in Beck’s bad on the upcoming Modern Guilt tour. Only Brian Lebarton, the keyboardist, from the Guero/Info tours remains. If you’ve seen Beck live at all since 1996, you’ve probably seen JMJ and his fro–the only times he wasn’t in the group was on (some) of the Sea Change tours. There were 4 Sea Change tours: Beck toured alone, with the Flaming Lips, with JMJ in Australia, and then with a new band without JMJ for the summer of ’03. Also during 2005, JMJ was not in the band, but he rejoined them in 2006. JMJ’s bass mastery, leather outfist, and general bad-assness will be missed, but really, new bands = new sounds = exciting new shows.

No word yet on who else is joining. One rumor is that one of the members of Islands was asked to drum (Beck’s been a fan for a few years, they have a remix on Guerolito), but he said no. More info on all that as we find out.

2. Next, and I find this absolutely fascinating. Over on Beck’s myspace page, recently his Top 8 Friends were changed to 8 ancient Greek figures: Alexander The Great, Archimedes, Protagoras, Aristotle, Sappho, Archaenus, Socrates, and Pythagoras. And, on their myspace pages, their only friends are Beck and Tom (the Myspace guy). So clearly, Beck (or at least his marketing team) had something to do with it. But why? Is it some indication of what the album marketing will be like? Maybe someone’s just being random? Is it some play on the ancient figures with modern guilt? A quick Google search indicates that “modern guilt” may have some connection to Greek philosophy, and/or existentialism (my thoughts on Beck and existentialism are a constantly growing list, but that’s another post). Hopefully more clues about what’s behind all this is forthcoming, or maybe it’s just a bit of random nonsense, I dunno.


Monday, May 19th, 2008

Chemtrails” is the first song from (what appears to be called) Modern Guilt to hit the webs, and you can listen to it on the music player, or (I’m told) over on his myspace.

It is definitely a trippy song, with, as mentioned before, Stagecoach Joey Waronker’s mad drumming skills on display. Danger Mouse and Beck cooked up some nice changes and moments, and Beck sings it all in a hazy falsetto.

Enjoy! says the album is still untitled, and will be out “early summer.” More info on all that coming soon…

Modern Guilt

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Rolling Stone has more info, if you haven’t heard already, about the new album. To sum: it’s got a mix of songs, a good 60s vibe, was played mostly just by DangerMouse and Beck, and may be called Modern Guilt. Four songs include “Modern Guilt” (sounds like The Zombies, who Beck has covered before), “Beggar’s Shoes” (“twangy guitar and uptempo beat”), “Chem Trails” (epic with Joey Stagecoach Waronker on drums), and “Walls” (melancholy with Cat Power).


Here’s the link.

new Beck album on XL in UK

Friday, May 9th, 2008

newt (10:29:35):

bebo (10:32:58): sounds dumb

bebo (10:33:05): i’m supposed to care?

newt (10:33:06): heh

newt (10:33:23): i think it’s interesting that he’s branching out to another label. i think his interscope contract is done

bebo (10:33:33): i don’t think it means that at all

bebo (10:33:45): he just needs a new distributor for the UK

newt (10:34:13): no i mean i think he had an agreement to do a certain number of albums with interscope, and i think that’s been completed. i’m not saying i think he’ll leave them

newt (10:34:26): but maybe he’s curious and now experimenting with dating other labels

bebo (10:37:53): but

bebo (10:38:06): was that not an agreement for distribution only?

bebo (10:38:14): and how do we know he’s almost donw with interscope?

bebo (10:38:19): where did you get that info

newt (10:38:52): i don’t know if it’s for distribution only, but xl is a label, right? not just a distribution company?

newt (10:39:15): and about the interscope thing, i kinda remember people talking after info came out, saying that was the last album he was committed to doing for them

newt (10:39:21): and if he wanted he could leave after that

newt (10:39:29): but i’d have to look it up, i don’t actually know for sure


New Album Summary

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

OK, yesterday’s article was followed by a little bit more information on the new album, so I thought I’d sum up what we know. This could very well be out-of-date by tomorrow morning, but let’s see:

– Earlier this year, Beck told Rolling Stone, “We’re not going to get sidetracked. This one might be coming out sooner than people would think — definitely this year.”

– In that article, Beck refused to name who he was working with as his producer (some initial reports said it was Nigel Godrich). We have since learned that Beck has teamed up with Danger Mouse! How’d that happen? Beck’s longtime friend/band leader/bassist, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, worked with Gnarls Barkley, and set them up.

– An article about Danger Mouse in Rolling Stone said he had been tirelessly working on the new Beck album in early March.

– As I said yesterday, some news leaked out that the album was imminent, a quick release in the next month or so.

– Now we’re getting little hints that the album is full of collaborations, including one with my future girlfriend, Cat Power. There were earlier reports that Beck was in the studio (prior to Danger Mouse getting there), messing around with Jamie Lidell. That, I guess, is another possibility for a collaboration. Anything else is just pure speculation at this point.

– Beck’s touring band (i.e., Wounded Cougar) helped out a little on this record, but not much.

– And finally, Beck’s first quote about the album from here: “Beck describes the new set as the most concise collection of music he’s ever created. “The goal was 10 songs, 30 minutes, every song over before you want it to be. No fast-forward material. Anything that gave us any trouble was scrapped. There’s no fat on this record whatsoever.”

Stay tuned for more!

Beck Album Coming… Soon?

Monday, May 5th, 2008

The Rolling Stone magazine is reporting here that Beck’s album could drop sometime in the next month. I have no idea how reliable this news is, but it is Rolling Stone. And Beck is of course friends with Radiohead/Nigel Godrich (who put out their last album quickly online) and Jack White (who dropped his Raconteurs album a week after it was announced). Also, even better, Danger Mouse–the producer of this album!–released the last Gnarls Barkley a few weeks earlier than planned. He’s also drawn a picture of Trent Reznor:

So, yea, more info should be coming very soon. Get excited now!

Let us know if you hear anything: