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Beck Books Seventh 'Saturday Night Live' Appearance

'Big Bang Theory' actor Jim Parsons will host when show returns March 1st

Beck performs in Newport, Rhode Island.
Douglas Mason/Getty Images
February 13, 2014 5:40 PM ET

Beck will return to Saturday Night Live as musical guest on March 1st and The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons will host, NBC announced today. The appearance will mark Beck's seventh on SNL, and will provide him with an opportunity to spotlight music from his upcoming record Morning Phase, which arrives on February 25th. The album marks the musician's first proper LP since 2008's Modern Guilt, though in 2012 he released Song Reader, a collection of new material only available as sheet music.

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Beck has already dropped two tracks from Morning Phase, the lush, lonely "Blue Moon" (which also appears on volume two of the Girls soundtrack) and the sprawling ballad "Waking Light." (Fans can also check out his recent cover of John Lennon's "Love"). The album reunites Beck with the musicians who helped him make Sea Change, including his own father, David Campbell, who arranged the orchestration on the 2002 record and returned this time to help with brass and string arrangements.

In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, Beck called the record "California music," citing the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons and Neil Young as touchstones. There's something of a concept holding the record together as well, with each song set at the break of day.

Beck on his long road to Morning Phase

"It's not heavy-handed, but it's in there," Beck said. "There's this feeling of tumult and uncertainty, getting through that long, dark night of the soul – whatever you want to call it," he added, cracking a laugh. "These songs were about coming out of that – how things do get better."

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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