Beck to perform ‘Song Reader’ sheet-music album with Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand

Contrary to what you might think, Beck HAS recently released new music. You just haven’t been able to hear him perform it. Until now.

The rock songwriter released “Beck Hansen”s Song Reader” last year, as sheet music-only; however, he and special guests like Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Franz Ferdinand, Joan as Police Woman, Villagers’ Conor J O’Brien, Michael Kiwanuka, the Staves, James Yorkston and more will play the 20 songs written for the collection. Ed Harcourt and David Coulter “will provide musical direction,” with Beck’s house band consisting of drummer Seb Rochford, bassist Tom Herbert and guitarist Dave Okumu.

While the concert is on an all-American holiday on July 4, Beck and his crew will actually perform at The Barbican (“Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue”) in London that night. Tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow (May 17).

“The songs” of the “Song Reader” “…are meant to come to life in a new golden age of home performance, leaving the listener, essentially, to be the performer.”

It shouldn’t hurt that its composer show us how its done.

Beck is at work on an “upcoming acoustic record,” “a self-contained work, one that came in the form of a burst of inspiration following the completion” of the sheet-music album. He’s got a handful of shows this summer, with various backing bands, at stops like at the Newport Folk Festival and Celebrate Brooklyn.

Here is the tracklist to “Song Reader,” which also contained more than 100 pages of original artwork:

    “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard”
    “I’m Down”
    “Saint Dude”
    “Do We? We Do”
    “Eyes That Say ‘I Love You'”
    “Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings”
    “Please Leave a Light on When You Go”
    “Rough on Rats”
    “Old Shanghai”
    “Why Did You Make Me Care?”
    “Heaven’s Ladder”
    “America, Here’s My Boy”
    “Just Noise”
    “We All Wear Cloaks”
    “Mutilation Rag”
    “The Wolf Is on the Hill”
    “Title of This Song”
    “The Last Polka”
    “Last Night You Were a Dream”

Here are Beck’s tour dates:

May 19 Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theater
May 20 San Francisco, CA – Song Reader event at Davies Symphony Hall
July 2 Paris, France – Days Off Festival at Cité de la Musique (special acoustic set)
July 4 London, England – Song Reader at the Barbican
July 27 Wantagh, NY – Americanarama at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (special acoustic set)
July 28 Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival (special acoustic set)
August 2 Boston, MA – Bank of America Pavilion (full band/electric show)
August 4 Brooklyn, NY – Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park (full band/electric show)