As we await the release of Beck’s repeatedly delayed new album (that Beck says is coming “very soon” and, according to co-producer Greg Kurstin is “in the final stages of the mixing”), old Beck recordings aplenty are surfacing online. The latest recording from Beck’s past to appear is the song “Curfew” from the 2011 movie I Am Number Four. Though snippets of “Curfew” have circulated via the film (it plays during the scene “at the house party as John goes to find Sarah and say goodbye” according to what-song.com), the full song has never previously been publicly heard. The film’s director D. J. Caruso leaked it on twitter at the request of Beck fan Pierrick Falmon. Watch the scene the song appeared in courtesy of another Beck fan, Danny Goulter, followed by the full track. What’s more, Caruso also leaked an instrumental (title unknown) presumably created by Beck for the film. That’s also below.
I Am Number Four’s leaks come just a few days after never-before-seen 1992 footage of Beck surfaced on YouTube, and a month after an entire 1993 cassette. The recently surfaced super 8 film shows Beck and his director friend Steve Hanft goofing around in California 25 years ago. Hanft is best known for directing Beck’s early videos – “Loser,” “Pay No Mind (Snoozer),” “Beercan,” “Where It’s At” – though he’s also behind videos for Primal Scream, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Zakk Wylde, Spoon and Chuck Prophet, among others, and both directed and stars in “Sunglass Catch,” one of YouTube’s first viral ads. Beck and Steve became friends around the time the newly surfaced super 8 footage was shot, after Hanft requested Beck write music for his first feature film Kill The Moonlight, after which they formed a band together called Loser. In turn, Beck’s breakout hit “Loser” was inspired by Kill the Moonlight. “Loser” also samples Kill The Moonlight (“I’m a driver, I’m a winner…”). Also note the name of Spoon’s 2002 album was also recycled from the film. Sympathy for the Record Industry originally released the film’s soundtrack – including rare early Beck tunes (“Leave Me On The Moon,” “Last Night I Traded My Souls Innermost For Some Pickled Fish” and “Underwater Music”) – and Kill the Moonlight’s Plexifilm DVD re-release added tracks by Beck and Steve’s band Loser (“Born Of Whiskey,” “Dad Came Home” and “Fish Bait”). The super 8 footage of Beck and Steve concludes with Steve shooting Kill The Moonlight.
Coincidentally this newly surfaced footage comes just weeks after Steve himself uploaded an unreleased cassette “album” of early Beck songs called Bogus Flow (not to be confused with the Beck song of the same name – not on this tape – originally released on the 1994 various artists comp DGC Rarities Vol. 1). Labeled “dec 93,” the tape features Beck and Steve’s duets and recordings made by another of their bands, Liquor Cabinet (“from the Sasquatch Sessions,” Steve notes in the upload’s description, “with Lisa Dembling on drums and backup vox, Clare Crespo on bass, Martha Atwell on bass and back up vox on the last track, Leo Le Blanc on pedal steel”). Recorded with a 4 track cassette recorder, these songs were all previously unheard by the public with three exceptions: the title track from Steve’s movie short Feel The Bunny, and Liquor Cabinet’s “Mile High” and “Razario” (both released on a single in 1994 with slightly different mixes than heard on the recently surfaced tape, though those are the two tracks on the Bogus Flow tape that Beck himself is not on according to whiskeyclone.net).
Above watch The Future Heart’s mock music videos of “United Whiskey Man” and “Bologna” – edited from the silent super 8 footage with songs from Bogus Flow. Below listen to Bogus Flow in full and watch the complete, unedited super 8 footage. Bogus Flow may be a bit hard to get through if you’re accustomed to Beck’s more polished stylings, but is not without gems, like pedal steel-graced closing track “Bringin it Back” (linked directed here).