Although there’s still no release date set for Beck’s Danger Mouse-produced album Modern Guilt, the eclectic rocker’s 10th disc is inching ever closer to completion: Beck sent cover art to his label at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. And despite rumors of a rushed or surprise drop (a la the Raconteurs or Gnarls Barkley), Beck tells that he’s had the same release date for “four or five months, even before the record was done.” (The first track, “Chemtrails,” can be heard via MySpace.) In fact, he says, “it was supposed to come out next week… [but] I blew it. But you know, you have to live with a cover forever, and you’ve worked on the songs forever — why ruin the record at the last minute with the wrong cover?”

So what art turned out to be so right? “The photo’s really funny,” Beck says. “I was just messing around with some friends about a year ago. We were trying to get a photo for this Timebomb song I put out on the internet. My engineer, who’s also a photographer, was just testing the camera and took a picture of legs. I think it’s me, and somebody else who was there. And the floor. Everything else was so album cover, you know what I mean? I love throwaway covers. Seems like they did that a lot more in the ’70s. There’ll just be a shot, like, in the corner of the room. You know, it so obviously isn’t a cover that it just makes it a great cover.”

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