Beck Hansen and his deft live band will kick off the 40th season of PBS live music series Austin City Limits on October 4th with an hour-long set showcasing his eclectic discography. In the meantime, fans can preview the performance with this full version of “Loser,” Beck’s 1994 breakout single.
Dressed in a more businesslike attire than the slacker hipster style of the mid-1990s, Beck leads the band through a sturdy take on that genre-blurring classic. The frontman nearly runs out of breath as he raps his way through the surreal one-liners (“Time is a piece of wax falling on a termite that’s choking on the splinters”), but he makes up for it by scurrying around the stage. (Bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen steals the show, though, with his impressive running man dance moves.) Beck ends the tune with the shoutout, “I got tofu the size of Texas” – a reference to a different Mellow Gold track, “Nitemare Hippy Girl.”
Prior to Beck’s hour-long premiere, PBS will air Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years, a primetime special celebrating the show’s four-decade run; that program will air on Friday, October 3rd, from 9 to 11 p.m. ET on the network’s Arts Fall Festival.
Beck isn’t the only high-profile performer booked for the series’ 40th season. The October 11th episode will feature pop sensation Ed Sheeran and Memphis singer-songwriter Valerie June; Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails will bring their electro-heavy art-rock on October 18th; Jeff Tweedy will perform a mix of Wilco tunes and tracks from the Tweedy project with his son and other “special guests” on October 25th; Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will make their ACL debut with a career-spanning set on November 1st; roots-rockers Los Lobos will make their fifth appearance on November 8th, alongside folk-rock act Thao & the Get Down Stay Down; breakout country star Eric Church will perform on November 15th, along with southern rock outfit J. Roddy Walston & the Business.
The November 22nd episode will be “ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014,” which features performances from the 2014 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Ceremony, held September 17th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
The full lineup for the 13-week season (including new episodes set to air in January) will be revealed at a later date. More information can be found at the series’ official website.