Beck has lined up 10 dates for the first leg of his fall tour, on which Oklahoma City oddballs the Flaming Lips will serve as openers as well as his backing band.
Supporting his fifth major-label LP, Sea Change, due September 24, the two-week trek begins October 17 in Minneapolis, according to a Geffen Records spokesperson. With the Lips' stage props and bunny costumes in tow, the jaunt hits auditoriums and theaters in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit and Boston, among other markets, before the confirmed dates conclude in New York on Halloween. A second New York show, October 30 at the Beacon Theatre, is a possibility, but wasn't confirmed at press time. Additional dates are expected.
Beck was the first to admit that his coupling with the Flaming Lips is a strange combination, and even the band was shocked when he approached them with the proposition (see "Beck's Plan For Keeping Everyone Awake: The Flaming Lips").
Although he offered up a taste of Sea Change on an acoustic tour last month (see "Beck Gets The Giggles, White Stripes' Jack At Michigan Gig"), fans who caught Beck on one of those 15 dates are in for a completely different experience. Beck promises that each show will be unique, depending on the crowd.
"Even if you come to each night, you'll see different things," he said. "I'm trying to keep the shows fresh and spontaneous and improvised. I work off the audience."
Like its name implies, Sea Change reflects a departure from the funky, party vibe of 1999's Midnite Vultures, but then Beck was never one to craft two albums from the same mold.
"There are threads of what I've done before," he explained. "If you listen to my earlier B- sides, you'll hear this record. I have been wanting to make this record for years. I've been edging towards the idea, and so it just took a while."
Considering its shift from previous albums, in retrospect the album title seemed obvious. However, deciding on a name proved somewhat perplexing.
"It's a lyric in one of the songs," he explained. "It was really, really difficult to find a name. Something that wasn't too touchy-feely, because the songs are kind of emotional but then something too clever wouldn't have fit either ...
"I like giving the album an identity," he continued. "It's a good image. It's kind of poetic, kind of reminded me of those Patti Smith album titles. They are kind of poetic but not too pretentious."
With their opening set, the Flaming Lips are supporting their latest LP, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (see "Flaming Lips Battle Pink Robots, Convention On Yoshimi"). Even those unfamiliar with the Lips' brand of eccentric compositions will want to get to the show early in case they roll out their interpretation of Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head," a tune the band has been playing on recent dates.
Beck/ Flaming Lips tour dates, according to Geffen Records:
- 10/17 - Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theatre
- 10/18 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
- 10/20 - Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
- 10/21 - Detroit, MI @ Opera House
- 10/22 - Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Theatre
- 10/24 - Columbus, OH @ Mershon Auditorium
- 10/25 - Cleveland, OH @ Palace Theatre
- 10/26 - Syracuse, NY @ Landmark Theatre
- 10/28 - Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
- 10/31 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre