Beck wins with '90s anthem 'Loser' on 'Austin City Limits'

Aug. 13, 2014 at 4:25 PM ET

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.

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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.