Everyone's got to learn to read music sometime, because Beck wasn't kidding when he said he'd be releasing a new album as sheet music. Song Reader, which is being distributed in printed form via the literary publication McSweeney's, is available for pre-order now, as You Ain't No Picasso points out. The sheet music will ship in December, and a limited amount of copies signed by Beck are on sale for $50 apiece. So, Beck fans, get your instruments ready.
As previously reported, the 20-song release comes in a hardcover carrying case, complete with full-color illustations by Guero artist Marcel Dzama and others, an introduction by writer Jody Rosen, and a foreword by Beck. Sign up for the album's mailing list to hear recordings of the songs, "by artists known and unknown," and to get more information about how to contribute your own interpretation. Or, you know, just watch this space.
Beck has certainly been no stranger to unconventional releases lately, from video games and Childish Gambino collaborations to a single on Jack White's Third Man label. He has also been spending time in the producer's chair, overseeing records for Stephen Malkmus, Thurston Moore, and others. Still, Song Reader is an unusual move even by Beck standards, and we're just wondering whether he's planning to put out a version of the album for player piano.