Beck’s New Album Is Unlistenable. It’s A Book Of Sheet Music
Excited for the new Beck album? In between his dalliances with Donald ‘Childish Gambino’ Glover, making music for a new Sony Playstation game and teasing us with a single a little while back recorded with Jack White at his Third Man Records studio – we don’t blame you!
But if you’re gagging for Beck’s newest record in four years (since 2008′s Modern Guilt) you might want to start taking music lessons in preparation…
When it comes to the impending Harvest Festival headliner, expecting the unexpected has become the status quo, and his latest venture is no different. Beck’s new album will be released as individual pieces of sheet music under the title of Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, a 108 page collection of sheet music, illustrations and commentary from the chameleon musician.
Due in December from publishers Faber and Faber, …Song Reader will consist of musical notation for 20 unrecorded and unreleased Beck compositions, the idea being that fans play the songs and ‘bring them to life’ themselves.
MTV News points to a statement from Beck’s representatives about the project, that reads: “Beck’s latest album comes in an almost-forgotten for… complete with full-color, heyday-of-home-play-inspired art for each song and a lavishly produced hardcover carrying case (and, when necessary, ukulele notation), the Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012.”
Even if you’re not a whiz at the ukulele, you can still admire Song Reader‘s original artwork, from the likes of Marcel Dzama (who did the cover of Beck’s Guero album), graphic novelist Leanne Shapton, graphic artist Josh Cochran and more, as well as a foreword from Beck himself.
Literary website McSweeney’s, who are helping Faber and Faber with publication in some regions, has added that they’ll be hosting fan renditions of the new Beck sheet music on their website.
Lee Brackstone, Publishing Director for Faber and Faber called Beck “one of the great maverick pop stars of this, or any age,” adding that the “the relevance of the concept struck me. It is thrilling to welcome Beck onto a music list at Faber that is already home to Julian Cope, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Jarvis Cocker, Nicky Wire and others.”
“Song Reader makes a radical statement about the value and importance of performed and recorded music at a time when these very things are under threat,” said Brackstone.
Indeed, considering music piracy is still a hot topic in the music industry (particularly given the recent news that the Record Industry Association of America may be holding out on some juicy public facts), but will enterprising downloaders still find a way to ‘rip’ the sheet music? Or will we all return to the age of the printing press rip-offs that began the whole copyright debate to begin with (a story for another time).
Either way, Beck’s latest album, Song Reader will be available for playing from December – just after his Harvest Festival appearance. Maybe he’ll give everyone a few live pointers on the new material…
We could write an entire list just of bad KISS merchandise. Seriously, Gene Simmons is the biggest marketing whore music has ever seen. But we've refrained and only included a few of the better examples from the band, interspersed with some other truly bizarre, shocking, and just downright bad band merchandise. Enjoy. Watch this slideshow »