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

Pretty self-explanatory
Hawksmoor
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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby Hawksmoor » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:13 am

sweetest punch wrote:No. 6
Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)

“In time you can turn these obsessions into careers
While the parents of those kidnapped children
Start the bidding for their tears”

From “Mighty Like A Rose”

I'm really enjoying this so far. Not least because the tracks chosen are not singles, and for the most part they haven't been part of the regular live set for a while, and they rarely feature on 'Best Of's. But they're still choice cuts, and that reinforces the sheer depth and quality of EC's back catalogue. I think this is a fun project!

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

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:57 pm

No. 7 - All This Useless Beauty

“Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
While our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they're the gods of antiquity”

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.

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

Postby Hawksmoor » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:25 am

sweetest punch wrote:No. 7 - All This Useless Beauty

“Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
While our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they're the gods of antiquity”

From “All This Useless Beauty”

The near-rhyme of 'stupidity' and 'antiquity' is lovely. Not quite up there with 'wild, just like some/childish tantrum', but still brings a smile.

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

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:32 am

No. 8 - Brilliant Mistake

“He thought he was the King of America
Where they pour Coca Cola just like vintage wine
Now I try hard not to become hysterical
But I'm not sure if I am laughing or crying”

From “King Of America”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:35 am

No.9 - Less Than Zero

“He said he heard about a couple living in the USA
He said they traded in their baby for a Chevrolet
Let's talk about the future now we've put the past away

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.

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

Postby sulky lad » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:09 am

sweetest punch wrote:No.9 - Less Than Zero

“He said he heard about a couple living in the USA
He said they traded in their baby for a Chevrolet
Let's talk about the future now we've put the past away

From “My Aim Is True” -


Still comes across as the most amazing deut single -
Oswald Moseley, Black Shirts, Oswald and his sister ( probably his sister-in -law with whom he had a long term affair before the death of his first wife) - putting it all down just before the re-surfacing of the National Front and extreme right wing policies
and then , early 1978, the even more ominous Dallas Version - a genius right at the outset. Still love this song

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

Postby jardine » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:08 am

Whew. As this goes on, I double down on my comments about why he regularly sings PLU. Perhaps why he has to to set myself right. This lyrics are amazing, utterly amazing over and over again, but the depth of incisive insight into the worst of things...my. :|

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

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

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:47 am

No.10 Withered & Died

“This cruel country has driven me down
Teased me and lied, teased me and lied
I've only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams have withered and died” - Richard Thompson

From “Out Of Our Idiot” -
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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

Postby Hawksmoor » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:00 am

sweetest punch wrote:No.10 Withered & Died

“This cruel country has driven me down
Teased me and lied, teased me and lied
I've only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams have withered and died” - Richard Thompson

From “Out Of Our Idiot” -

The first cover. When he wrote, in the introduction to this, 'lyrics written over the last 50 years - most of them my own' I did wonder whether he was going to include a few tracks actually recorded by other artists, but I guess he simply meant that there will be a few covers.

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

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:30 pm

No. 11 - Shut Him Down (with @MichaelLeonhart Orchestra & @jswisshere )

“Say something once
Does it make a true?
To me
To you
And everyone you knew”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:05 pm

No. 12 - Tokyo Storm Warning

“So you look around the tiny room and you wonder where the hell you are
While the K.K.K. convention are all stranded in the bar
They wear hoods and carry shotguns in the main streets of Montgomery
But they're helpless here as babies 'cause they're only here on holiday”

From “Blood & Chocolate”
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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verbal gymnastics
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Re: 50 Songs For 50 Days - Elvis Costello's October Surprise

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:59 pm

What do we care
When the world is a joke.

Poignant.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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

Postby Hawksmoor » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:27 pm

'They say gold paint on the palace walls comes from the teeth of pensioners,
They're so tired of shooting protest singers that they hardly mention us'.

Another gloriously forced rhyme that I can't imagine anybody else having the audacity to do. Genius.

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

Postby Top balcony » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:18 pm

This is a great song, I've always admired these lines :

So they flew the Super-Constellation all the way from Rimini
And feasted them on fish and chips from a newspaper facsimile

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

Postby bronxapostle » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:18 pm

One of his best songs EVER!!

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

Postby jardine » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:26 am

yep, even better than I Want You 8)

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

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:22 am

No. 13 - REFUSE To Be Saved

“They're hunting us down here with Liberty's light
A handshaking double-talking procession of the mighty
Pursued by a T.V. crew and coming after them
A limousine of singing stars and their brotherhood anthem
The former dictator was impeccably behaved
They're mopping up all the stubborn ones who just refuse to be saved”

From “Wise Up Ghost”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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

Postby jardine » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:16 am

Well, these lyrics really are amazing, but I am a bit surprised at how utterly, articulately woeful they are about our circumstances and our chances of survival, about how deep the wounds are, about how exactly hopeless reading them makes me feel, and so on. It is not just that I hadn't noticed before, but that current circumstances make it hard for me to read these, one after the other after the other. reading them makes me feel like someone parsing and reparsing a Trump speech and going on and on about how awful, how awful...beautifully said every time, but. . .

i don't know what to do with all this useless beauty. is it useful, helpful...maybe I won't buy clockface after all. i can't stomach it much more right now.
Last edited by jardine on Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby sulky lad » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:16 am

jardine wrote:yep, even better than I Want You 8)



:D :D :D

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

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:08 am

No.14 - No Flag

“No time for this kind of love
No flag waving high above
No sign for the dark place that I live
No God for the damn that I don't give

From “Hey Clockface” -
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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

Postby jardine » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:01 am

sweetest punch wrote:No.14 - No Flag

“No time for this kind of love
No flag waving high above
No sign for the dark place that I live
No God for the damn that I don't give

From “Hey Clockface” -


it sure does sound sometimes like he's saying "place that I love."

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

Postby Lester Burnham » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:37 am

jardine wrote:Well, these lyrics really are amazing, but I am a bit surprised at how utterly, articulately woeful they are about our circumstances and our chances of survival, about how deep the wounds are, about how exactly hopeless reading them makes me feel, and so on. It is not just that I hadn't noticed before, but that current circumstances make it hard for me to read these, one after the other after the other. reading them makes me feel like someone parsing and reparsing a Trump speech and going on and on about how awful, how awful...beautifully said every time, but. . .

i don't know what to do with all this useless beauty. is it useful, helpful...maybe I won't buy clockface after all. i can't stomach it much more right now.

I'm with you. The past few weeks I've become increasingly despondent over the nature of the American landscape, and I've had to shut myself off from it completely or else I will go down very dark paths in my head. At the risk of sounding incredibly dramatic, I don't have a good feeling about November 3rd, so I'm going to try to enjoy myself as much as possible before then.

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

Postby fred darden » Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:24 am

Wow dudes, have a little more faith. The radical republican right and all their boogaloo bois are a bunch of weak pussies. In Portland, Oregon, 20000 of them were supposed to show up for an anti BLM/antifa rally. 200 were there. They are mostly bluster. I believe decency will prevail precisely because of art from people like Elvis. Keep stoking the flames, don't give up. Already ordered clockface, looking forward to it. Murica will fade, America will return.

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

Postby jardine » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:21 pm

I'm not giving up on anything, don't worry. But I do realize that I cannot stand in the current whirlwinds of bullshite and maintain myself properly and not become frazzled and spent and distracted -- the whirlwinds are designed to do this, I know this in great detail. Elvis' lyrics simply are, right now anyway, harping on things i know full well, things I've written about and published. I don't need to subject myself to it. It is like trying to parse the latest speech or latest whatever and feeling the scattershot of "oh my god did you hear what happened?" again and again without anything new but the frenzy itself. I don't find it, right now, to be any sort of relief nor any sort of cueing me into something I missed.

Make no mistake. As far as I'm concerned, his lyrics brilliantly lay out the mess we're in. But I'm not either gaining or maintaining any ground by hearing about it over and over and over again. Look at these 50 lyrics so far. They do show how insightful and accurate his work has been for a long time before the latest bilge. I'm glad for anyone who can maintain themselves without exhaustion right now. That is what I'm trying to do as well.

That there might be such a discusison on a fan forum AT ALL -- now THAT is heartening. Here's to peace, love and understanding and all the tough work that that requires --including breaking the spells of distraction.

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

Postby Lester Burnham » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:58 pm

fred darden wrote:Wow dudes, have a little more faith. The radical republican right and all their boogaloo bois are a bunch of weak pussies. In Portland, Oregon, 20000 of them were supposed to show up for an anti BLM/antifa rally. 200 were there. They are mostly bluster. I believe decency will prevail precisely because of art from people like Elvis. Keep stoking the flames, don't give up. Already ordered clockface, looking forward to it. Murica will fade, America will return.

Thanks, fred – I desperately hope you're right. I'm not giving up; far from it. I have my moments of weakness for sure, but I believe that common sense and decency will ultimately prevail. For me, it's just a matter of when. Murica can't fade soon enough.


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