Hear Stephin Merritt Cover Beck’s “Old Shanghai” From Song Reader

As James Jackson Toth noted in our Premature Evaluation of Beck’s new Song Reader, lots of musicians (as well as some of us for whom the name “musician” is truly too generous) are performing, recording, and sharing versions of songs from the sheet-music “album,” but none of those people are Stephin Merritt. Well, one of them is: On yesterday’s Soundcheck, Merritt performed a rendition of Song Reader’s “Old Shanghai,” which Beck himself describes as “fantastic” and “beautiful.” You can check it out below — skip to 10:38 to get straight to the song itself, or just start at the beginning and listen all the way through to hear both Beck and Merritt discuss the project, sheet-music in general, and the state of the recording industry, plus numerous other recorded versions of songs from Song Reader. It’s worth your time.