50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

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Man out of Time
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50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Man out of Time » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:12 pm

Elvis has posted this on his Facebook page:

"Elvis Costello’s October Surprise

“If you’re tired of the lies of politicians and of preachers
You can place your trust in me, help me be your brother’s keeper
If you pay too many taxes, think salvation should be cheaper
Just say “Blood and Hot Sauce”

These lines come from a campaign song that I wrote for a musical adaptation of the Budd Schulberg story, “A Face In The Crowd”, which would have been coming to the stage quite soon, had it not been for the present contagion.

“Face” is the tale of Lonesome Rhodes, a lying, cheating, pill-popping double-talking no-good, who is discovered in jail by, Marcia Jeffries, a radio producer who sees potential in his silver tongue and common touch.

The story sees him rise through the broadcasting world until Lonesome gets such good ratings that he believes that he holds sway over, “The Ordinary Man”, who he secretly despises.

But that story is for another day.

In the meantime, I have created this installation of “50 Songs For 50 Days”, presenting lyrics written over the last 50 years - most of them my own - and heard on recordings made between 1977 and 2020, including several that will be issued here for the first time.

These songs were written in response to events over these many years but it strikes me that you may find something useful in them at this present moment; a joke, a motto or even a couple of dance steps to keep the blood pumping and the hot sauce at hand.

I hope these songs will amuse, console or even infuriate, because passive indifference is hardly the way forward.

From September 15th, we will bring you a different song every day for the next 50 days via the miracle of your favourite streaming service and the wonder of the internet. Please stay tuned.

I hope you get what you wish for or what you really deserve and that we can all find a way to forgive those who trespass against us.

One day I will see you again in the stalls or in the stars. Love from your friend in the future. Elvis Costello"

The list of 50 songs starts on his website. The first song is ...This Town.. and the lyric is:

“(You’re Nobody “Til Everybody In) This Town (Thinks You’re A Bastard)”

"It was a song with a topical verse which I’m
Afraid he then proceeded to sing
Something about the moody doomed love of
The Fish-Finger King”

-From “Spike”

MOOT

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby jardine » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:38 pm

problem is that at the end of the whole mess, i had to "subscribe" and THEN found out i had to join spotify. NO! i know i'm old. "via your favourite streaming whatever." Nope. I don't really even know what a streaming service is. Ah well. no cellphone either! :shock:

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby sulky lad » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:17 pm

No doubt someone will list them all at the end of the 50 days :wink: and we can make a compilation - if we want.
The text will probably be of most interest apart from any new material and I eagerly await that in the form that makes easy reading in one
place! :oops:

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Top balcony » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:30 pm

jardine wrote: spotify. NO! i know i'm old. "

I admit to technophobic tendancies, but If you can join and post on this Board you're deffo not too old for this caper.
Should be able to sign in via a PC, don't need another device.
The reward for pushing through this particular pain barrier is 50 hand picked nuggets ( which admittedly you've probably got 4 different of already) chosen for you by a master of his craft...

Best wishes
Colin

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby jardine » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:35 pm

deleted

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby bronxapostle » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm

i want....FAR FROM THE PRIZE!!!

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Fishfinger king » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:59 am

Aaah, it’s nice he thought of me first!!
Is that so surprising nowadays?

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby sulky lad » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:07 am

Fishfinger king wrote:Aaah, it’s nice he thought of me first!!


:D :D :D :D
Could have been "Always On my Mind""

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:19 am

Fishfinger king wrote:Aaah, it’s nice he thought of me first!!


Is that because he thinks you’re a......
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:31 am

jardine wrote:problem is that at the end of the whole mess, i had to "subscribe" and THEN found out i had to join spotify. NO! i know i'm old. "via your favourite streaming whatever." Nope. I don't really even know what a streaming service is. Ah well. no cellphone either! :shock:

Top balcony wrote:I admit to technophobic tendancies, but If you can join and post on this Board you're deffo not too old for this caper.
Should be able to sign in via a PC, don't need another device.
The reward for pushing through this particular pain barrier is 50 hand picked nuggets ( which admittedly you've probably got 4 different of already) chosen for you by a master of his craft...

Agree. I'm not a fan of Spotify or streaming services generally. But on the strength of this, I just signed up. Did it on my PC, it was free, and it took me...less than a minute. I'm hoping - from the wording of the article on EC's newspage - that a few of these '50 nuggets' will be previously unreleased things. Whether as printed lyrics or as new recordings, difficult to say at this stage. But fingers crossed. And if the price to pay is zero cash and a minute typing my email in...sure, go for it.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby John » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:41 am

I quite like Spotify actually. It was good for parties back in the days when we could gather.
It’s a shame When I Was Cruel is missing for some reason.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby jardine » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:31 am

I wasn't suggesting that it was simply too difficult to sign up. Two things:

1). Spotify CEO To Artists: “You Can’t Record Music Once Every Three To Four Years And Think That’s Going To Be Enough” (https://consequenceofsound.net/2020/08/ ... -comments/). "A mid-sized indie label earned just $0.00348 per stream." (and so on).

“There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough,” said [CEO] Ek.

2). Plus, what exactly do they do with your email address? I don't know the answer, but i know it is not "nothing." My not signing up isn't going to make one whit of difference one way or the other. And EC chose this platform (I guess??). There we go.

A while back, I was checking my book stats on amazon.ca (eh?) and a couple of hours later, when looking at an American political news site, there were ads for my own books surrounding the articles. I suppose the small print would have told me that this background mechanism was at play, that my own activity was being bought and sold, that I was, in this case, [i]literally[i] the product being sold and sold to all at once. But -- especially in this slightly funny instance of being marketed my own books because of my own slightly unseemly self-curousity -- I didn't know I signed up for this sort of thing. Just naivety on my part, of course. But again, there we go.

And I am Canadian, so i feel compelled to end this way. Sorry.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:39 am

jardine wrote:I wasn't suggesting that it was simply too difficult to sign up. Two things:

1). Spotify CEO To Artists: “You Can’t Record Music Once Every Three To Four Years And Think That’s Going To Be Enough” (https://consequenceofsound.net/2020/08/ ... -comments/). "A mid-sized indie label earned just $0.00348 per stream." (and so on).

“There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough,” said [CEO] Ek.

2). Plus, what exactly do they do with your email address? I don't know the answer, but i know it is not "nothing." My not signing up isn't going to make one whit of difference one way or the other. And EC chose this platform (I guess??). There we go.

A while back, I was checking my book stats on amazon.ca (eh?) and a couple of hours later, when looking at an American political news site, there were ads for my own books surrounding the articles. I suppose the small print would have told me that this background mechanism was at play, that my own activity was being bought and sold, that I was, in this case, [i]literally[i] the product being sold and sold to all at once. But -- especially in this slightly funny instance of being marketed my own books because of my own slightly unseemly self-curiosity -- I didn't know I signed up for this sort of thing. Just naivety on my part, of course. But again, there we go.

Agree with all of that. But it is a real minefield in the modern world. In terms of getting our heads around how musicians and songwriters make money from writing and recording music in the 21st century, David Byrne's 'How Music Works' is a fascinating read, I can highly recommend it.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby jardine » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:27 am

Thanks for this ref. hawk. I'm not sure, though, whether I want to read a book about how modern entanglements have co-opted ME without my knowing it. My son works on 'dark web' stuff, but i find the regular web's nature equally potentially dark. I realize this sounds too conspiratorial and is far way from where the thread started, however....wanna buy a book? :lol:

[not to worry. ill stop now] :wink:

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:43 am

jardine wrote:Thanks for this ref. hawk. I'm not sure, though, whether I want to read a book about how modern entanglements have co-opted ME without my knowing it. My son works on 'dark web' stuff, but i find the regular web's nature equally potentially dark. I realize this sounds too conspiratorial and is far way from where the thread started, however....wanna buy a book? :lol:

[not to worry. ill stop now] :wink:

Heh. Stop if you want to, don't if you don't, it's all interesting discussion. But seriously, I can recommend the David Byrne book for anyone who's interested in music. The first half is all about the ancient origins of music and how it evolved, the second half is all about the politics and finances of 21st century music and how it is marketed/sold. Financially it's not going to sock you on the jaw - you can get it on kindle for not much more than a fiver. But it will take a few hours to read. Stick it on your Christmas list - I can think of worse ways to spend Boxing Day! :D

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby jardine » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:22 am

But a political website said i should buy my own books!?!?! :| Again, thnks. for the byrne ref...will check it out.

In the end, I really do hope this EC thing is spectacular and fun and enjoyable for all concerned....

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:40 am

So...50 songs for 50 days, the 15th was '...This Town...'

Where's today's? Am I doing something wrong that I can't find it? :?

ETA: It just dropped. 'Waiting for the End of the World'. Bugger must be listening to me. :D

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:14 pm

No. 2 - Waiting For The End Of The World
“Hiding from a scandal in the national press
They had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress
You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach
But don't throw out the lifeline till they're clean out of reach”

From “My Aim Is True”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Top balcony » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:32 pm

Interesting to contrast the vocal delivery on this with Hey Clockface....

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:42 pm

Top balcony wrote:Interesting to contrast the vocal delivery on this with Hey Clockface....


Two songs, a mere 43 years apart!
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:42 pm

https://www.brooklynvegan.com/elvis-cos ... -election/

Elvis Costello launches “50 Songs For 50 Days” series leading up to U.S. election

In addition to gearing up to release new album Hey Clockface, Elvis Costello has launched “50 Songs For 50 Days," which is "a-song-a-day rollout of 50 songs and couplets (mostly) from his catalog leading up to and including Tuesday, 11/3 (Election Day)." He introduced the series on Tuesday (9/15) with the following lyrics:

“If you’re tired of the lies of politicians and of preachers
You can place your trust in me, help me be your brother’s keeper
If you pay too many taxes, think salvation should be cheaper
Just say “Blood and Hot Sauce”

Elvis noted that those lyrics are from a song he'd written for the musical adaptation of Budd Schulberg's classic story "A Face in the Crowd" (which was adapted for Elia Kazan's 1957 movie starring Andy Griffith) which "would have been coming to the stage quite soon, had it not been for the present contagion."

He went on to say Face "is the tale of Lonesome Rhodes, a lying, cheating, pill-popping double-talking no-good, who is discovered in jail by Marcia Jeffries, a radio producer who sees potential in his silver tongue and common touch. The story sees him rise through the broadcasting world until Lonesome gets such good ratings that he believes that he holds sway over 'The Ordinary Man,' who he secretly despises." If you're getting where Elvis is going with this, he stops there, saying "But that story is for another day."

With that, expect the lyrics offered up in "50 Songs For 50 Days" to have some correlation to our Election Day lead-up climate. The songs will be added to a growing Spotify playlist, and a few of those songs "will be issued here for the first time."

Elvis wraps up his intro with "I hope you get what you wish for or what you really deserve and that we can all find a way to forgive those who trespass against us." You can read his full "50 Songs for 50 Days" statement below.

For today's Day 2 entry in the series, it's "Waiting For The End Of The World" from his 1977 debut, My Aim is True: "Hiding from a scandal in the national press / They had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress / You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach / But don't throw out the lifeline till they're clean out of reach."
(...)
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:22 am

I find the whole thing fascinating, and intrigued to see where it goes from here.

Main upside: it continues EC's current mania for dreaming up new projects and finding new ways to get his music into the public arena (or indeed, new ways of 'throwing a bucket of fish into the river', as he engagingly puts it). Too many of my musical idols seem content now to recycle their old hits and, maybe, treat you to a new LP every four or five years. EC shares both of those traits, to a certain extent (set lists are 90% pre-1986 material, and the gap between LPs has become longer in the last decade). But the EC I fell in love with back in 1978 is the guy who's' always itching to play you the new song he just wrote. When, in concert, he shouts 'you want to hear a new song?' I appreciate that three-quarters of the audience are thinking 'not really, I came tonight in the hope that you'd play 'Oliver's Army'. But I'm the one cheering and applauding at that point - I want to hear a new song. I feel a renewed sense of that enthusiasm from EC in 2020, and it warms my heart.

Main downside: it's partly a way of getting you to sign up for Spotify. But I can live with that. The days when you could make a living from selling records is long-gone, so for professional musicians/songwriters, I guess you have to find new ways of getting people to pay you for what you do. So I can't really blame him for that. I downloaded Spotify, which I swore I would never do, and I did it because of EC. On the other hand, maybe it's time for me to grow up and accept that the days of getting the bus into Llandudno to buy a new EC single in WH Smiths, for 49p, have gone.

Main point of interest, for me: any new/unreleased stuff (see above). I'm genuinely intrigued by 'the lyrics offered up in 50 Songs For 50 Days' (rather than 'the songs offered up in '50 Songs For 50 Days') but I assume they will all be presented as recorded songs, and not as printed lyrics (although that would have been good fun too). But this 'a few of those songs will be issued here for the first time' does imply that, yeah...new songs! Bring it on, and those are the ones I'm most keen to hear. It's always great to hear '...This Town...' but then, I have the Spike CD sat on my shelf, so all I'm gaining from its inclusion here is the amusement of seeing which (previously available) tracks EC has chosen.

Ultimately - I think it's a fun idea, but in all honesty, any of us who frequent this forum could spend a happy fifty days swapping 'fifty best EC tracks', couldn't we? All I'm really hankering for is...new songs! :D

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Ymaginatif » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:20 am

Sounds like a very slow way to put up a playlist on Spotify :)

I hope that it will be something more than just that - dragged out over 50 days.
More about me (including some Elvis Costello covers): http://ymaginatifandmusic.blogspot.com/

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:49 am

No. 3 - Why Can’t A Man Stand Alone?

“Must he be burdened by all that he's taught to consider his own?
His skin and his station, his kin and his crown, his flag and his nation
They just weigh him down”

From “All This Useless Beauty”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:12 am

Ymaginatif wrote:Sounds like a very slow way to put up a playlist on Spotify :)

I hope that it will be something more than just that - dragged out over 50 days.

Well there is that! But - even though my acquaintance with Spotify is only 24 hours old - I assume that any artist can put a playlist on Spotify, or any user can make their own?

However, if EC had simply created a playlist of 50 songs, most of us would have looked at it, been vaguely interested or amused by it, and then listened to perhaps four or five of the songs, thinking 'gosh, I haven't heard that in a while - maybe I'll listen to Spike tonight'?

And that would be the end of it. At least this way, it gives something amusing to talk about for five minutes each day?


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