We're at the point now where if Beck decided to release a CD filled with digital dub reggae or stoner/doom metal, we'd be only mildly surprised at his eclecticism and more prone to dig a bit deeper into the actual core of the music. While it looked like he found a comfortable, all-encompassing meta-Beck medium in Guero and The Information, the two albums that brought him out of the bummer-in-the-summer mode that made Sea Change so startling, Modern Guilt drops Beck in yet another phase of his already-chameleonic career: the world-weary psych-pop artist who runs on propulsive melancholy. Danger Mouse's production leans on beat-heavy eeriness, and the fragile, haunted way in which Beck weaves lonely admissions of uncertainty into his lyrics makes it his best exercise in catchy ennui since 1998's Mutations. Don't expect the puppetry or pop-art spectacle of his tours from a couple of years back at this concert: If recent interviews are any indication, all the oddity is going to come from the music itself. With MGMT. All ages.
Tue., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m., 2008