The Great Collaboration: Beck’s ‘Song Reader’

Beck’s latest album, “Song Reader” is collection of 20 new songs unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. That’s not an excited fan’s hyperbole: The project was released only in sheet music, leaving it up to other musicians and fans to record their own versions of his songs.

NPR reports that “after making a dozen solo albums, crowdsourcing seemed like a way to make the process of releasing music a little less lonely.” Beck says: “When you write a song and make a recording and put out a record, it’s kind of [like] sending a message in a bottle. You don’t really get a lot of feedback. This is a way of sending that song out, and you just get literally thousands of bottles sent back to you.”

The contributions can be found on the Song Reader website, which was set up specifically so renditions could be shared. In addition, The Portland Cello Project performed the entire album, which I find absolutely delightful, and that recording can be listened to here or here.

If you’re curious to learn more about Song Reader, you can also check out this great interview from McSweeny’s, which published this unconventional album.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.