Beck wins with '90s anthem 'Loser' on 'Austin City Limits'
Beck Hansen and his deft live band will kick off the 40th season of PBS live music series "Austin City Limits" on Oct. 4 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 LimitsCelebrates 40 Years," a primetime special celebrating the show's four-decade run; that program will air Oct. 3, 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 Oct. 11 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 Oct. 18; Jeff Tweedy will perform a mix of Wilco tunes and tracks from the Tweedy project with his son and other "special guests" on Oct. 25; Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will make their "ACL" debut with a career-spanning set on Nov. 1; roots-rockers Los Lobos will make their fifth appearance on Nov. 8, alongside folk-rock act Thao & the Get Down Stay Down; breakout country star Eric Church will perform on Nov. 15, along with southern rock outfit J. Roddy Walston & the Business.
The Nov. 22 episode will be "ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014," which features performances from the 2014 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Ceremony, held Sept. 17 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.