This is awesome on multiple levels. I love the fact that this is unironically experimental when taken within the context of popular music, but taken at the larger scale of music in general, you realize that Beck has just published his first song cycle - a musical form that’s existed for centuries.
So many pop musicians have been engaged in a race to deconstruction in recent years, it’s delicious to see someone one-upping them with something so traditional and constructivist.
I hope this catches on. Kids will demand to learn how to play piano or guitar, just to hear their favorite pop artists’ songs.
Wasn’t this from 2 or 3 years ago?
Yes, but that doesn’t make it less special. I like it. I just wish I had the motivation to get good enough at reading music to play these.
That’s a beautiful thought, but other than Frauenfelder’s incredible kids and their ilk, I don’t think this will happen.
Now I feel like the overly-earnest latecomer to the party, and that’s not nice.
Had the post read:
…Kanye West recently felt the need to protest, but Beck’s Song Reader (from Dec. 2012) is so beautifully conceived…
I would have waxed just as ecstatic, and even expressed my thanks for showing me something I missed back when.
But now the narrative that was implied is broken, and I’m grumpy about it. This sort of thing makes me less likely to click through on the next Wink link and is therefore self-defeating.
I’ve a copy. I can’t read music, but I lubs it. Great design + writing.
There’s also a CD that came out last summer with 20 selections from the book by Beck, Nora Jones, David Johansen, Jack Black, Jack White and others.
I always chicken out as my mouse is hovering over the click-to-buy button.
Maaaaybe tonight I’ll finally pull the trigger…
Kudos to Unplugged70 for covering every last song in the Song Reader, and pairing them with interesting videos. Check out his Youtube channel. It’s worth a visit.
He also covered almost all of iamamiwhoami’s songs, which is how I discovered him.
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