If you’re just now recovering from an extensive summer convalescence that forced you to be bedridden for six months, or freshly released from a secret military facility after suspicions arose you might be an alien, you’re undoubtedly pissed about a lot of things—but probably none more so than the fact that you’ve missed Beck’s brilliant summer tour. However, you may be in luck—the four-time platinum artist has just announced four new shows (three in California and one in Texas) in support of his new album.
On Morning Phase, Beck’s first LP since 2008’s Modern Guilt, the LA-born songwriter collaborated with several of the musicians with whom he worked on his critically acclaimed album from 2002, Sea Change. His latest effort recaptures the delectably languid pace of the artist’s groundbreaking record, as well as the amicable lushness that helped make Beck so ubiquitously adored.
And that’s not the only project recently unveiled by the Austin native—he’s been a busy dude. July 29 marked the studio release of Song Reader, the expansive book of sheet music he composed and released in 2012. The collection features 20 songs and 100 pages of art, but was released as an album rather than as a book of sheet music; in fact, Rolling Stone named it the 50th best album of 2013.
Beck has been performing songs from Song Reader in his live performances, despite the fact that he appears in only one track on the LP. The realization of Beck’s compositions has been largely delegated to other prolific artists.
"Like a kid getting a special package in the mail and opening it up with anticipation, these interpretations of songs from the Song Reader book have surpassed what I could have imagined when putting the book together," Beck said in a statement. "The book addressed the idea of a song in its most elemental form, letting others give it a voice. It amazes me to hear how these musicians have made the songs their own and in the process revealed that the interpretation is the living breathing soul of the piece. These interpretations have made the book something new, something better."
So, why don’t you use these great tidings of more Beck to turn that awful luck around. "Say Goodbye" to that "Blue Moon" lingering on the periphery of your ill-fated summer. This is a new "Morning"—turn toward the "Waking Light" and go see Beck; he makes everything better.
9/19 - San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
9/20 & 21 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Orpheum Theatre
10/09 - Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Note: It is recommended to go see Beck even if your summer has been inimitably excellent.