By Huntress Thompson
Renowned boundary fiddler/cultural experimentor Beck has revealed the direction of his 2012 album, Song Reader.
It includes a bunch of really gorgeous original artwork by a series of visual artists, and an introduction by New York Times writer Jody Rosen, and a foreword by Beck himself.
What doesn’t it include? Any recordings of Beck performing the songs whatsoever.
Song Reader is being released this December, exclusively in sheet music. If you buy the album, you will receive the sheet music for all 20 songs, and the opportunity to record them yourself.
Song Reader comes replete with an original piece of album art for each of the 20 songs, by artists including Marcel Dzama (who worked on Guerro).
An unorthodox format was possibly not unforeseeable for Beck, who debuted in 1993 with the single MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack.
Here’s a taste of his headspace right now – I Just Started Hating Some People Today. This is off Beck’s other 2012 offering, a 7″ featuring Jack White (released on White’s label).
In the vacuum between dark and light, Siouxsie Sioux and Emmylou Harris, Amelie and Travis Bickle, Huntress Thompson is an idiot lost, and reporting from the field. If you’re after irrational, impassioned rants about cupcakes and Johnny Cash (and you probably aren’t), she’s grumpy, but she’s your girl.