Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beck’s Record Club – Never Tear US Apart (INXS Cover)

Record Club: INXS "Never Tear Us Apart" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

There are very few things that can be universally agreed upon, however Beck’s undeniable awesomeness is one of those universal truths. One of the first albums I ever owned was Beck’s Odelay. I remember buying it used in 7th grade from a friend of mine who was getting rid of a few CD’s for 5 bucks. Fortunately for us, Beck hasn’t slackened in his ability to make mystifyingly good music throughout his career. While he hasn’t released a solo album since 2008’s Modern Guilt, he’s still been a busy bee releasing an album with Charlotte Gainsbourg, appearing on tracks with Bats for Lashes, Devandra Barnhart, and of course starting his Record Club, one of the coolest things I’ve come across in a while.

The concept for his Record Club is simple: Beck invites his awesomely talented musician friends to re-interpret an entire album in a single day and then they release the results one song a week. The nice thing is that these songs are pretty raw and unrehearsed, so it’s mostly watching a bunch of insanely talented musicians fooling around and playing these songs for the first time. Notable guests to be invited to record include Devandra Barnhart, Leslie Feist, MGMT, Binki of Little Joy, and Annie Clark of St. Augustine. So far they have covered The Velvet Undergrounds’ “The Velvet Underground and Nico,” INXS’ “Kick”, and Leonard Cohen’s “Songs of Leanord Cohen”.

Out of all these amazingly talented covers, I have to say that I’ve enjoyed their cover of INXS’ album “Kick,” the most. For this recording session, Beck got the Liars, Annie Clark and Daniel Hart from St. Vincent, and Sergio Dias from Os Mutantes. The crazy thing is that they managed to do the whole album in about 12 hours. Since, the whole thing was a bit rushed not all of the tracks are amazing. However, there are certainly a few inspired standouts. Their cover of “Never Tear Us Apart,” featured above, is one of those unbelievably awesome covers that come around every once in a while. Annie Clark’s voice is absolutely gorgeous in its sexy sensuality and the addition of the soaring violin accompanying the piano adds a great fanciful quality to the whole song.

Also be sure to check out their cover of INXS’ New Sensation. It’s an amazing track that starts off with all of them sitting around listening to the record and figuring out how to play the song. It’s amazing to see these talented musicians at work.

You can download the complete album here.

On a random note, I just randomly stumbled across some odd tidbits about Beck. For instance, I had no idea that Beck was a Scientologist. Apparently, his father was a Scientologist for 35 years and so he basically grew up around it. I also had no idea that his wife is Giovanni Ribisi’s twin sister and they are both Scientologists. Who knew?!

On another random note, is it just me or does Annie Clark look like a young Teri Hatcher from the Adventures of Lois and Clark days?

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