Beck knows how to stay busy even when he doesn’t have a record or tour on the schedule.
First, the omnipresent songwriter collaborated with members of Wilco, Feist, Jamie Lidell, Jeff Tweedy’s son Spencer, Bill Withers drummer James Gadson, Brian Lebarton and engineer Danny Kalb this June on “Little Hands,” a song by Skip Spence, as part of Beck’s Record Club series.
Watch the video of the song and recording process below.
“Little Hands” was culled from the Jefferson Airplane/Moby Grape singer/songwriter’s solo album “Oar.” Beck & Friends have covered other albums and songs from artists like Leonard Cohen and Velvet Underground & Nico.
Which leads us to ask: what has Feist been up to? Stay tuned…
Meanwhile, Beck can also be seen in Charlotte Gainsbourg’s totally absurd video for “Heaven Can Wait.” He produced the French actress/songwriter’s forthcoming effort “IRM,” due internationally in December.
“The video was filmed over the summer during a particularly intense recording breaking 105º+ heatwave, as evidenced by the weary delirium of the imagery in the clip,” says Beck on his website. That still leaves a lot of ‘splainin to do.
Watch that video below, too.
Then, there’s the matter of this one story we’ve ignored on purpose, up until now.
Radiohead, as you’ll remember, released the song “Harry Patch,” in rememberance of the last remaining British WWI soldier who died recently. However, Matt Friedberger from ADD indie band Fiery Furnaces thought Thom Yorke was misdirecting the honor toward experimental musician Harry Partch — like he just didn’t spell it right or something — and sayeth, “Fuck you! You brand yourself by brazenly and arbitrarily associating yourself with things that you know people consider cool.”
As symptoms of the foot-in-mouth syndrome continued, Friedberger acknowledged his mistake, though thought he’d go a step further in a statement:
Matt has not heard the Radiohead song about Harry Patch, but if he did, he is sure he wouldn’t like it. No doubt Radiohead and their fans can ignore his opinion of this matter and continue with their triumphant artistic interventions. Matt would have much preferred to insult Beck but he is too afraid of Scientologists.
Oh! Snap! Zing! Now you’re just throwing foam stones without direction or intention!
Beck, then, thought he’d write an actual tribute to Harry Partch (instead of moo-mooing on the internet) called, well, “Harry Partch” and posted it for free, without direct reference to Friedberger. Beyond that, he serves to explain Partch’s legacy through a series of posts, noting “A thruway from the external to the internal, in tribute to California bred composer Harry Partch’s concept of ‘Corporeality’— the integration of the body with all art forms. The song uses a 43 tone scale in reference to Partch’s innovations with alternate tonalities. A peregrination across disparate territory to ascertain an unassumed frame of reference.”
Look at that arbitrary co-optation of the Cool! How meta! I’m gonna look for a shrill one-man review from Friedberger soon.