If you were worried that your shameful sight-reading skills would mean you'd never get to properly hear Beck's new "album," the McSweeney's-published Song Reader, a collection of sheet music that only existed on the printed page—worry no more. The Portland Cello Project have recorded the collection in full, committing it to tape at Type Foundry Studio in a few short days following their recent December concerts, which saw them performing these new Beck compositions for a live audience.
There are numerous guests on the record as well, including Jolie Holland, Lizzy Ellison and Patti King of Radiation City, Adam Shearer of Weinland and the Alialujah Choir, Chanticleer Tru, Nate Query of the Decemberists and Black Prairie, Dan Hunt of AgesandAges, Damon Boucher, Matt Berger, Sam Howard, Brian Wright, and Dave Depper. Portland Cello Project Play Beck's Song Reader is currently a digital release, available at the usual places like iTunes and Amazon, but you can hear it in full right now, for free. The whole album is streaming over on NPR and you can also hear it over on Soundcloud.
Portland Cello Project is about to kick off a tour with the Alialujah Choir, and while no Portland dates are scheduled, they'll be playing in Corvallis, Oregon, on January 24 and Sisters, Oregon, on February 15.