Beck gets the award for maintaining the best artist's website for these two amazing programs that he has come up with:
1) An interview series, in which his first two guests have been Tom Waits and Will Ferrell.
2) A program called the Record Club where Beck and his buds (including Devendra Banhart, and the guy from Little Joy) chose one album to cover from first song to last in a single jam session. The first album they covered? The Velvet Underground and Nico. Then the master-stroke: release it all one track at a time to keep people coming back.
Verrrry smart, Beck. These things are newsworthy (and numerous) events, causing Beck's name to pop up everywhere on heavily trafficked pulpits like Pitchfork. The kind of publicity that would cost SERIOUS bucks from the Label (which hardly pays for anything anymore).
Interesting as far as the music business is concerned. He's building his site into a virtual variety show -- and it's at little cost to the artist. Hit-makers have hit-maker friends. Call them up -- and record it. Jam with them -- and record it. I would not be surprised to see other musicians jumping on the band wagon. No pun intended. Aknowledged, nonetheless.
Here he is, at Pitchfork, talking about the Jam series:
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