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It’s been four years since Beck’s last album, Modern Guilt, and patient fans finally have word of a new album from the Grammy winning musician. The album, called Song Reader, will be release in December of this year. The catch? It will be available as sheet music. Yes, sheet music. The 20-song album will also have an introduction by Jody Rosen (from Slate and the New York Times), a foreword by Beck, and some pretty spiffy artwork. McSweeney’s, Beck’s new label (if you can call it that), says the following on their website:
Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012 — an alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track, and that’s as visually absorbing as a dozen gatefold LPs put together. The songs here are as unfailingly exciting as you’d expect from their author, but if you want to hear “Do We? We Do,” or “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard,” bringing them to life depends on you.
This sheet music release is equally exciting and upsetting. Is Beck taking a stand against MP3s and the constantly leaking tracks people so willingly illegally download? Maybe he wants to actually pick up that instrument they’ve been dying to learn. Did he consider how many listeners may not play instruments and are devastated over not being able to take part in the fun? Besides, it would be nice to hear the man play his own songs.
For those who want to hear Beck himself playing new tunes, there’s still hope. Inspired by a conversation between composer Philip Glass and Beck, a remix album of Glass’ works will be released on October 23rd to celebrate the composer’s 75th birthday. The two disc CD will include reworks of Glass compositions from Beck, Dan Deacon, Memory Tapes, and more. While it isn’t his own music, Beck will be covering “NYC: 73-78″ for our eager ears!
Read more about Beck’s Song Reader here and keep your eyes peeled for his work in the Philip Glass collaboration.