Music

41 Things Beck Has Done Since He Stopped Making Albums

He’s designed sunglasses, put on art shows, covered classic records and collaborated with pretty much everyone. And someday, maybe, he’ll make a new LP.

1. June 2009: Record Club Cover The Velvet Underground’s Debut Album In Full

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/6086674.

The first in Beck’s series of full-album covers was done with members of his live band along with his frequent producer Nigel Godrich and actor Giovanni Ribisi, who happens to be his brother-in-law.

2. July 2009: Released An Acoustic Version Of The “Modern Guilt” Album

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/5656862.

Here’s the stripped-down rendition of “Gamma Ray.”

3. August 2009: Collaborated With Charlotte Gainsbourg

Beck co-wrote most of her 2009 album IRM, and contributed even more music to her 2011 rarities release, Stage Whispers.

4. September 2009: Record Club Covers “Songs Of Leonard Cohen”

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/6861236.

Beck was joined by Devendra Banhart and members of MGMT and Wolfmother for the second Record Club project.

5. November 2009: Record Club Does Skip Spence’s “Oar”

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/7580419.

The third Record Club featured Leslie Feist, Jamie Lidell and all of Wilco.

6. November 2009: Designed A Shirt For Every Record Club Album

Here’s the shirt for The Velvet Underground & Nico, the first in the series.

7. December 2009: Began Curating Digital Art Shows On His Website

The Colorspace section of his site has hosted virtual gallery shows for seven artists.

8. February 2010: Wrote A Song for Harry Partch

Beck created a piece of music utilizing a a 43-tone scale to pay tribute to the experimental composer’s innovative work with non-traditional tonalities.

9. February 2010: Started An Interview Series

Beck conducted informal interviews with people like comedian Demetri Martin, to Will Ferrell, and even a Will Ferrell look-alike who was working as an extra in a Charlotte Gainsbourg music video.

10. February 2010: Began The “Planned Obsolescence” Mix Series

Beck’s DJ series had a total of 23 (!) mixes, either by Beck himself or from guest DJs. They’re intended to be ephemeral, and are now mostly quite hard to find.

11. March 2010: Wrote Most Of The “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” Soundtrack

Beck wrote all of the material for the title character’s band and collaborated with Japanese musician Cornelius for other music used in the movie.

12. March 2010: Record Club Takes On INXS’s “Kick”

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/10823047.

This time around, he was joined by St. Vincent’s Annie Clark and members of Liars.

13. May 2010: Wrote A Song For “True Blood”

Appropriately enough, it’s called “Bad Blood.”

14. May 2010: Recorded Songs With Tobacco

Here’s the video for “Grape Aerosmith,” one of two songs they did together.

15. June 2010: Teamed Up With Bat For Lashes For A “Twilight” Soundtrack

Their song, “Let’s Get Lost,” was on the Eclipse soundtrack.

16. June 2010: Record Club Does A Yanni Album

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/14496250.

Beck teamed up with Thurston Moore and the post-rock band Tortoise to cover Live at the Acropolis, which is by far the strangest Record Club project to date.

17. August 2010: Co-Wrote The Theme For Todd Solondz’s Movie “Life During Wartime”

The song “Life During Wartime,” recorded with Devendra Banhart, is an original and not a cover of the famous Talking Heads tune.

18. November 2010: Hosted A Mercedes Helnwein Art Show

Helnwein was also featured in Beck’s Colorspace gallery.

19. December 2010: Remixed A Lykke Li Song

Here’s Beck’s version of “Get Some.”

20. May 2011: Collaborated With Lonely Island

He produced and appeared on the song “Attracted To Us.”

21. May 2011: Produced Jamie Lidell’s Album “Compass”

He also remixed the track “Completely Exposed”

22. May 2011: Produced A Thurston Moore Album

Beck helped the Sonic Youth guitarist create Demolished Thoughts, the most delicate album of his career. He’s the video for “Circulation.”

23. June 2011: Designed An Issue Of Francis Ford Coppola’s Magazine “Zoetrope”

24. August 2011: Produced A Stephen Malkmus Album

Mirror Traffic was Becks first collaboration with the former Pavement leader. “Senator” was the first single.

25. August 2011: Performed At A Serge Gainsbourg Tribute In Hollywood

26. September 2011: Recorded A Song For A John Martyn Tribute

He did “Stormbringer.”

27. October 2011: Designed More T-Shirts

This one is a nod to his amazing Midnite Vultures song “Debra.”

28. January 2012: Remixed A Feist Song

View this embed ›

Here’s his take on “How Come You Never Go There,” from Metals.

29. February 2012: Designed These Sunglasses

The shades, called the “Double Helix”, were designed in collaboration with Oliver Peoples and inspired by Beck’s own collection of vintage frames.

30. March 2012: Wrote A Song For The “Jeff, Who Lives At Home” Soundtrack

He recorded “Looking For A Sign” in collaboration with the band Jeff, the Brotherhood.

31. April 2012: Recorded A Cover Of “Corrina, Corrina”

The cover was commissioned for the Every Mother Counts benefit compilation.

32. April 2012: Covered “I Only Have Eyes For You”

View this embed ›

This was recorded for Doug Aitken’s “Song 1” installation at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, DC. The installation projected a short film on the museum’s exterior every night for a month and featured contributions from Tilda Swinton and James Murphy.

33. May 2012: Released A Single On Jack White’s Third Man Records

Beck recorded the two tracks on this single, “I Just Started Hating Some People Today” and “Blue Randy” at the Third Man Studios in Nashville, TN. Third Man pressed a special edition of 100 three-color records (black, white, and gold) for “Blue Randy“‘s namesake, Randy’s Records in Nashville.

34. July 2012: Dropped A Verse On A Childish Gambino Mixtape

Beck doesn’t rap much these days, but he contributed a verse on “Silk Pillow.”

35. August 2012: Wrote Songs For The “Sound Shapes” Video Game

Stereogum / Via stereogum.com

He contributed three new tracks to the game, which allows players to create original music to complete levels.

36. August 2012: Produced Karen Elson’s Fleetwood Mac Cover

The model/singer’s rendition of “Gold Dust Woman” appears on the Fleetwood Mac tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, which also features contributions from The New Pornographers, Best Coast, and The Kills.

37. September 2012: Covered Caetano Veloso

Here’s his version of “Michelangelo Antonioni” to commemorate the Tropicalia legend’s 70th birthday.

38. September 2012: Taught A Synthesizer Class In Marfa, TX

The free synthesizer class happened over four days in 2012, and was co-taught with Beck’s longtime keyboard player, Brian Lebarton. According to Beck’s website, the class was open to synthesizer programmers of all ages and covered, “alternative recording and sound design techniques and introductions to looping and sampling” and required no previous experience.

39. September 2012: Produced A Track For Dwight Yoakam

Here’s “A Heart Like Mine” from 3 Pears.

40. October 2012: Remixed Phillip Glass

His remix is part of a tribute album he assembled called “REWORK_” with new remixes from Dan Deacon, Amon Tobin, and more. Beck’s track, “NYC 73 - 78”, features parts of 20 compositions by Glass.

41. December 2012: Will Release A Book Of Sheet Music

He will release a collection of sheet music for 20 all-new songs as a book in collaboration with McSweeney’s.

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