Hear Beck’s Funky New Dance Single ‘Dreams’

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Grammy-award winner Beck, who beat out Kanye favorite Beyoncé for Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammy’s, released “Dreams” today, a new single from his upcoming album. He started hinting at the song last week, first in an interview with Alt 98.7, then with a Tweet showing the artwork for the single. “Dreams,” and the untitled upcoming album on which its featured are a longtime coming for the “Loser” singer. “I’ve been working on the record for a few years. We did this song a few years back…I’m really looking forward to getting it out, playing it live, having people hear it,” he said in the radio interview.

The single is a true departure from the immensely successful Morning Phase. Though Beck is known for his funky and wacky musicMorning Phase had a somber feel. Not the case with “Dreams.” The song is an upbeat dance jam with all the makings of a summer hit.

Listen to the single below and find out where you can see Beck on his summer tour here.

Beck is the Face of Saint Laurent’s Spring Campaign

Let’s see how this goes: No longer a "Loser," "Lost Cause" or "Jack-Ass," Beck Hansen has finally realized that fashion is "Where It’s At." The anti-folk hero’s "Lonesome Tears" were recently washed away when Hedi Slimane had "Golden Feelings" about him being the face of the  Yves Saint Laurent Saint Laurent Paris spring 2013 campaign. Whew. 

As Fashionista notes, this move by Slimane is a smart one, considering that the risk-taking creative director’s debut collection has been gobbled up by many of the music heavy-hitters he’s photographed in the past, like Keith Richards and Lady Gaga. 

Bonus: If you need a quick primer on all things Beck (did you know that he likes vampires, his mom delivered his wife, his daughter’s name is Tuesday and oh, he’s a Scientologist?), Grazia has rounded up some interesting facts about the dude here

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Upcoming Hurricane Sandy Benefits Shows From Aziz Ansari, Neil Young, Grizzly Bear, and More

If you still want to help out East Coasters affected by Hurricane Sandy and do so in an environment with adult beverages and high-caliber entertainment, this week, a couple more enticing Sandy benefits have been announced. So if you’re looking for something to do next week and live in the greater New York, Atlantic City, or Los Angeles areas, here you go.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform in Atlantic City on December 6th at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

On December 10th, a group of comedians you might recognize are getting together for “We Hate Hurricanes,” a night of comedy to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. The venerable Jon Hamm is emceeing the event, with headliners Aziz Ansari, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, and music from Beck along with even more acts. All proceeds from the show will go to AmeriCares, and pre-sale tickets go on sale today; general sale starts tomorrow.

One of the biggest announced shows is the 12/12/12 benefit gig for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, on December 12th at Madison Square Garden. The headliners play like an all-star Super Bowl halftime show: Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. If you still want to help out and rock out but the idea of a Bon Jovi show at the Garden sounds a bit too overwhelming, New York’s Terminal 5 is hosting a “4Artists1Cause” benefit on December 14th, featuring performances from Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Antlers, and Cults. More acts will be announced soon. Tickets are $40, with proceeds going to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

Put Philip Glass Remixes By Beck, Dan Deacon and Many More In Your Brain

The music of Philip Glass has appeared everywhere from Errol Morris’ engrossing documentaries to films like The Hours to the Grand Theft Auto video game series. He’s scored feature films and written operas. So it only makes sense that an album of Philip Glass remixes would feature a group of artists as versatile and varied as the composer, now 75, and his works. REWORK_Philip Glass Remixed, which can now be heard in its entirety at NPR Music, features a wide range of artists offering their own interpretations of works from the minimalist icon, from Tyondai Braxton’s spiraling, trippy “Rubric” to Pantha Du Prince’s trance-inducing “Mad Rush Organ” to Beck’s sonic gradient “NYC: 73-78,” an attempt at encompassing as much of Glass’ career as possible.

REWORK_Philip Glass Remixed will be released on October 23. Scott Snibbe Studio, who designed the interactive app series to complement Björk’s Biophilia, has created an app for the Glass remixes as well. In the meantime, check out the full album or individual tracks over at NPR Music, and check out Amon Tobin’s contribution below.

BlackBook Tracks #13: High School Called, It Wants Its Music Back

Maxïmo Park played in New York last night? The Killers are putting out an album next week? It’s time to reflect on the recent past. It seems like just yesterday that Brandon Flowers was perfecting his glossy pout, but that was 2005, or 16 blog years ago! Here are some other memories from my time as an entry-level alt teen, putting posters from imported copies of the NME on my bedroom wall.

Maxïmo Park – “Graffiti”

Back in the day, Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith was probably the smartest guy in British rock music. He might still be!

Hot Chip – “Over and Over”

Hot Chip had already released debut album Coming On Strong in 2004, but “Over And Over” was their breakout single in 2006, and for good reason. It’s got all the wit and tension that has led to their success since then.

The Lovemakers – “Prepare For The Fight”

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the sexed-up Oakland duo was always on heavy rotation on the alt-rock station LIVE 105. To this day, I’m not really sure how far outside the region they made it, but they had a good run while they lasted.

The Kills – “Love Is A Deserter”

The Kills have been going strong for ten years now, and “Love Is A Deserter” was the first song I remember hearing from them. They’ve mellowed out a little with age, but this cut from 2004’s No Wow shoots to kill.

Arctic Monkeys – “Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?”

Remember the halcyon days of Myspace, when bands like Arctic Monkeys could suddenly rise to international stardom? Well, now it’s 2012, and high school girls are cyberbullying each other on Tumblr instead.

The Rakes – “22 Grand Job”

The now-defunct favorites of Hedi Slimane were angular and anxious, loaded with sharp everyman observations.

Beck – “Girl”

Do you want to feel old? Guero was the Beck album that came out when I was the right age to get into his work.

The Killers – “Mr. Brightside”

Remember when Brandon Flowers wanted to be Morrissey instead of Bruce Springsteen?

The Futureheads – “Hounds Of Love”

When the Kate Bush classic got this barbershop-inspired treatment, it was a big deal, or so I read on the internet.

Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”

I’d be amiss if I didn’t include the song that completely changed my ideas about what music could be. While it hasn’t quite been canonized the way, say, Modest Mouse’s “Float On” has, there’s still plenty to look back on and love.

BlackBook Tracks #11: Summer is Ending

Labor Day approacheth, signaling the death knell of summer. It’s time to put on your finest jean shorts and seize the end of the season. Here’s the playlist for your long weekend. Wear some white shoes.

Is Tropical – “Land Of The Nod”

The London trio pairs a laid-back vibe with a driving beat to create a perfect soundtrack for soaking up the sun.

Slam Donahue – “Cmon Cmon”

This highlight from the recently released Hemlock Tea EP sums up all of the summer romances that could have been. Sure, there’s some amount of regret involved, but the Brooklyn duo stays cool and breezy.

ALB – “Brand New Start”

There’s not too much information out there about the French indie-pop artist ALB, but he’s an immensely gifted songwriter worth seeking out. “Brand New Start” is an ode to moving on that’s equal parts joy and tension. Also, there are handclaps!

TV Girl – “Misery”

True to retro-pop form, the LA duo makes a song called “Misery” that actually sounds pretty happy.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “My Terrible Friend” (Washed Out Remix)

Lovelorn shoegazers stating the facts of heartbreak get an assist from the sunbleached stylings of Washed Out.

Smith Westerns – “All Die Young”

The garage-glam trio’s been working on their third LP, and 2011’s Dye It Blonde is worth revisiting on hot, late nights.

Beck – “Black Tambourine”

Guero may not be old enough to be a part of the classic Beck canon, but it speaks of summer in a way that needs to be capitalized on right now.

Kitten – “Cut It Out”

There’s a lot to love about the current wave of young women in electro-pop, and L.A.’s Kitten capture teen longing in the airy, immediately memorable “Cut It Out.”

The Strokes – “Take It Or Leave It”

It’s a classic.

JEFF the Brotherhood – “Hypnotic Mind”

Go hard and shred forever with these Nashville bros. End the summer on a high note.

Listen To Four New Charlotte Gainsbourg Songs

The alluring chanteuse (that’s French for "ladysinger", you guys!) has been particularly active recently promoting her new album Stage Whispers, which combines both live and unreleased material and comes out on this side of the pond on December 13th. There’s currently a handful of new tracks floating around the web, which we’ve oh-so-kindly collected right here for you. 

First, there’s the fun bedroom-disco Beck collaboration "Paradisco" over on Pitchfork; the whole affair is suprisingly catchy and sounds not unlike Donna Summer’s "I Feel Love" on Ambien. 
Next, there’s the more subdued "White Telephone" – available over on Stereogum. Released to the web back in August but appearing on Stage Whisper, it’s absolutely a slow burner, reminiscent of Beck’s Golden Age era songs (which themselves owe a large sonic debt to Charlotte’s legendary father, Serge Gainsbourg).   

If you’re still after more Charlotte, head on over to this Air France Facebook page and click ‘Like’. You’ll be greeted with the charming "Out Of Touch" – and a live version of "Set Yourself On Fire", which quite frankly is one of her most adventurous offerings to date. 

‘Scott Pilgrim’ the Soundtrack vs. ‘Scott Pilgrim’ the Movie

I have precious little interest in seeing the forthcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Like a lot of people, I’ve got Michael Cera fatigue, and while Miguel Arteta’s Youth in Revolt almost proved sufficient incentive for me to reconsider, this vehicle doesn’t come even close. In it, Cera plays the eponymous hipster who thinks himself on top of the world until a pair of doc martens with bangs (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) throws him for a loop. The catch is: in order to date her, he’s obliged to defeat her seven “evil” ex-boyfriends. It’s a kind of sci-fi, comic book romancey thing that Kevin Smith has already loudly embraced, which is a sure-fire sign that I should steer well clear. The soundtrack, however, just might be another story. Pitchfork is reporting that it will feature original and/or previously unreleased material from the likes of Beck, Metric, and Broken Social Scene.

In the film, Cera’s character is bassist for the band SEX BOB-OMB, and the filmmakers tapped Beck to write the fictional rockers’ set-list. There are four new tracks included on the album (out August 10th), with Beck providing the instrumentation and the pic’s actors doing their own vocals. Additionally, regular Beck collaborator-cum-producer-cum-all-around-best-buddy Nigel Godrich has produced both the soundtrack album and the movie’s score, which is slated for a tbd digital release. The complete track listing of the former is as follows:

01 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “We Are SEX BOB-OMB” 02 Plumtree: “Scott Pilgrim” 03 Frank Black: “I Heard Ramona Sing” 04 Beachwood Sparks: “By Your Side” 05 Black Lips: “O Katrina!” 06 Crash and the Boys (Broken Social Scene): “I’m So Sad, So Very, Very Sad” 07 Crash and the Boys (Broken Social Scene): “We Hate You Please Die” 08 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “Garbage Truck” 09 T. Rex: “Teenage Dream” 10 The Bluetones: “Sleazy Bed Track” 11 Blood Red Shoes: “It’s Getting Boring by the Sea” 12 Metric: “Black Sheep” 13 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “Threshold” 14 Broken Social Scene: “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” 15 The Rolling Stones: “Under My Thumb” 16 Beck: “Ramona (Acoustic)” 17 Beck: “Ramona” 18 SEX BOB-OMB (Beck): “Summertime” 19 Brian LeBarton: “Threshold 8 Bit”

The Best Songs for Every Type of Party Imaginable

Everyone wants their party to be the best—people laughing and dancing and having such good time, that someday they’ll tell their kids about it. “It was because of that party that you were conceived, Billy.” The look of the party is important (what you serve can help). but the most important puzzle piece to the perfect party is music. But with each party being different, you’ll need a helpful guide for you to discern what will be the best song for each party type. And guess what? We’ve got one for you, right here!!

Beer Pong Party: “The Final Countdown” by Europe This song has intensity, a sense of superior importance and is super cheesy. Just like Beer Pong. It truly heightens the thrill of a man tossing a ping-pong ball into a cup of beer, or the agony of it bouncing off the rim of that red cup. The opening also lends itself to awesomely dramatic introductions to Beer Pong teams like “The Truffle Shuffles” and “Baby Seal Club.” Girls Night Out Party: “Groove is In the Heart” by Dee-Lite I have never seen a group of girls able to resist getting up and getting down to this song. They get in a circle and all sing along and dance together. Sorry guys, this is a girls only song. But if you want something to do, enjoy watching the ladies on the dance floor shimmying up and down every time the slide whistle is played. Rooftop Party: “Sexx Laws” by Beck Whether it’s for an afternoon BBQ or an after-after-party, if you are outside on a roof overlooking anything, this song will make you feel like you’re the king of the world. And the more city lights you’re looking down, on the more the garbled futuristic lyrics and sound feel like they really mean something. Vegas Party: “Hate to Say I told You So” by The Hives You’re in a limo, driving down the Strip. You’ve got a yard of Pina Colada in your hand so you’re totally blottoed, screaming out the sunroof. You may be up, but you’ve probably lost a bundle. It doesn’t matter. Play this song at full volume and I promise you the best night of your life. Hipster Party: “Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme Song” by The Fresh prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff If this song won’t get people up and dancing, nothing will. But I guarantee that at least everyone will sing along if only to prove they know all the lyrics. Expect at least one Carlton impression. When it’s over, they’ll all say how lame that just was and continue to ironically drink their 40s. That’s what hipsters do, right? Tween Party: “Baby (Ft. Ludacris)” by Justin Bieber The Bieb is the perfect non-threatening heartthrob, and playing whichever song is his most popular at the moment will give you the best chance at making your awkward basement party cool, overcoming your mom continually poking her head in to “see how things are going,” and the fact that you and the new girl are wearing the same shirt. And with Bieber, if nothing else your party will be trending on Twitter. Coke Party: Punk version of “Come On, Eileen” by Save Ferris. An 80’s drug with a fast-paced version of an 80’s song. Get it? It works on so many levels. Don’t you get it, man?!! It’s like WE ARE ALL EILEEN!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!!! I have to go the bathroom again for a sec, be right back. Don’t go anywhere!!!!11!1 I want to talk to you about something important. New York City Party: “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z A great song about NYC, plus it lists specific places in NYC, which people in New York love because they can talk about how they used to live right there and there was this amazing little breakfast place right around the corner from their place that served the best Latkes in the city. I went in all the time, they totally knew me. Los Angeles Party: “Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z. What can I say, it’s a good song? Plus everyone living in Los Angeles is either from New York, lived there at some point, or has some fake spiritual connection to its people and its “energy.” Chicago Party: anything by Wilco. I’m not sure why, but everybody in Chicago LOVES Wilco. Milwaukee Party: “I‘m in Miami Bitch” by LMFAO Just shout “Milwaukee” over “Miami,” creating the new lyrics, “I’m in Milwaukee, bitch!” A perfect and hilarious substitute. This was the hit of the reception at my friend’s wedding in Milwaukee. Late 40’s to early 50’s Wine Party: “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye Older people think this song rocks. It doesn’t, but they seem to think it does. It really gets them going, probably because it was in the movie The Big Chill, and when a bunch of old people get together they always think they’re in The Big Chill. They also talk about how they used to smoke pot until one person actually pulls it out and everyone else gets snobby and judgmental. High School or College Theater Show Wrap Party: “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey Everyone one of these kids want to be in a real life version of Glee and singing this song together is probably the closest they’re gonna get, so they’ll put their whole heart and soul into belting this one out. Live your dreams kids, Don’t Stop Believin’! But please do take off those leg warmers, you look ridiculous. Apartment Party: “Walk It Out” by Unk Perfect for confined spaces, because of it’s steady thumping bass. The smaller the place, the more your studio walls will buckle, making your sexy, soccer player neighbors say, “Wow. #302 is rockin’ tonight, let’s go get super wasted there!” Also, by the end of the song, everyone knows the words to sing along. It’s just “Walk it Outover and over. Pity Party: “Hurt” by Johnny Cash Just got broken up with? Fired? Surgery didn’t fix the problem? Grab a bottle of the hardest moonshine you can find, put this record on your turntable. and cry your troubles away. A warning: this song is so depressing, playing might cause your plants to kill themselves. Filipino Crew Bar on a Cruise Ship Party: “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee I don’t know why, but this song will make people go nuts! I know this from experience. Don’t ask why, I just do. Lots and lots of experience. They go NUTS! Stoner Party: “I Want to Get High” by Cypress Hill It’s long, bizarre siren sound intro, B-Real’s cartoonishly high voice, the lyric “Tell Bill Clinton to go and inhale.” There is nothing that stoners won’t like about this song. I’m not promising anybody will make it off the couch to dance, but it will gets some heads bobbing and some dreads swaying. Douchebag Weekend Warrior Party: “Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett The is the song that will get your drunk-on-Miller-Lite dad to hoot and holler about things you never wanted to hear him say. If you’re at a party where this song comes on and people get excited, run. Drunk day traders blowing off steam can turn dangerous fast. Also, the women surrounding you are 50-year-old moms and the guy wearing the Tommy Bahama shorts is about to piss himself. Couples Mixer Party: “Come Sail Away” by Styx It’s a slow burn at a full 6 minutes. But here’s how it works. You sit and enjoy each others company for the first 1:30 to 2:00, quietly getting to know people. By 2:30 nobody will be able to stay seated. By 3:30 everyone will be dancing and showing off their physical prowess on the dance floor. Chose your partner by 5:20 and by 5:45 you’ll be reminded why you want that divorce.

Photo courtesy of Last Night’s Party.