Mojo - December issue on sale November 1st

Pretty self-explanatory
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:12 am

Reading the interview made me irritated at first but I suspect Elvis was just in the mood to vent his spleen on a journalist for an English magazine.

There's probably as much truth in what Elvis said as there is in the secret CD story...
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:57 am

Oh, goody - the trashiest 'paper in Britain is annoyed by this -

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/244 ... th-Britain


COSTELLO'S HAD IT WITH BRITAIN

Daily Express

Wednesday November 7,2007


Chart-topping former new wave pop star Elvis Costello has launched a blistering attack on the country of his birth, declaring that he never wants to play in Britain again.

London-born Costello, 53, whose hits in the Seventies and Eighties include Oliver’s Army, Watching The Detectives and Alison, is now based in America with his jazz pianist and singer wife Diana Krall and their two ­children. He last played in the UK at Glastonbury two years ago and now says: “That was f****** dreadful.

“I don’t care if I ever play England again. That gig made up my mind I wouldn’t come back. I don’t get along with it. We lost touch. It’s 25 years since I lived there. I don’t dig it, they don’t dig me.

“A lot of good new bands still come out of England but I just don’t feel part of it. British music fans don’t have the same ­attitude to age as they do in America where young ­people come to check out, say, Willie Nelson. They feel some connection with him and find a role for that music in their lives.â€

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:34 am


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Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:36 am

Was there any need to put this paragraph into the Independent article:-

"He had to salvage his reputation in the US at the end of the Seventies after details of a drunken argument in a Holiday Inn in Ohio were leaked. Having apparently described the soul legend James Brown as "a jive-ass nigger", he summoned the New York media to a press conference to apologise, but for a short time his album sales in America were significantly hit".

(especially as they get the wrong soul legend :roll: )
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Postby so lacklustre » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:17 pm

The 6 Music breakfast show (Shaun Keaveny) picked up on the Independent story and used it to get their anthem of the day (or something like that where they use the age old radio thing of getting listeners to suggest songs that match a news story). I didn't get a chance to hear many before I left for work but the track listing reveals Letter from America to be the winner. The good news was that they also played Red Shoes, fantastic to hear it on the radio first thing in the morning. If you're so inclined you can listen again here. (the story runs in the first hour of the show.) http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/shaun_keaveny/
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:09 pm

The Independent also felt the need to editorialise -

http://comment.independent.co.uk/leadin ... 138332.ece


Leading article: Beyond belief
08 November 2007

These are turbulent times for the music industry. The old structures are disappearing so fast that even pop practitioners are having trouble making sen se of what's going on. A world in which Prince releases an album free via a Sunday newspaper, Radiohead invites people to pay what they like for their album, and the whole raison d'etre of record labels is called into question is one in which, to misquote Led Zeppelin, the song does not remain the same.

It's against this background that one must consider the disgruntlement of Elvis Costello, an artist at the forefront of change when he came on the scene in the new-wave era of the late 1970s but who now dislikes what he sees. In questioning the worth of record-making at a time when downloading individual songs is the modern way of music consumption, the man who brought us My Aim Is True should not be accused of firing off indiscriminately. The concept of the album as an artistic whole is seriously threatened when record companies are not there to help shape them and listeners are urged to bother with only this or that track.

But Costello's attack on England as a whole is much more scatter-gun. "I don't dig it, and they don't dig me," he says. Well, tough – he just sounds like a man out of time. Whatever else might be said about the music scene it is nothing of not vibrant – a healthy mix of contemporary creativity, cultural cross-fertilisation and strong awareness of what's gone before.

We trust Costello is just feeling a little blue. This country would be a poorer place without the author of some of the most savagely political songs of our age. But accidents will happen, won't they.

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:50 pm

From the letters page of todays Independent ( they really will print any old shite ) -

http://comment.independent.co.uk/letter ... 143232.ece

Elvis has left the country

Sir:

As a long-time Costello fan I'm glad to see you've
"bought" his latest comments about not liking England
etc ("Goodbye, cruel UK", 8 November). As always, he
knows just the right thing to provoke a reaction and
once again it's worked treat.

In a way I'm glad he doesn't perform much this side of
the Atlantic. In the past few years I've engaged in
"Costello tourism", travelling to see him in the US,
Denmark and Holland. Besides great shows, I've also
seen some lovely locations and met lots of new people.
Just last week I saw him in Chicago and he was just as
acerbic and truculent as ever.


John Foyle

Dublin


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More coverage -

http://comment.independent.co.uk/commen ... 143233.ece

Terence Blacker: Elvis Costello is right about England
Published: 09 November 2007


The grumpy English expatriate tends to cut a faintly ludicrous figure. Usually male, invariably middle-aged, he takes a bilious view of the country where he was born and, with an unattractive combination of the sour and the smug, sounds off about the many ways in which it is in decline. Modern Britain is ill-mannered, over-crowded, boorish, violent, cynical, he says. It lacks the quality of life which expats like him are lucky enough to enjoy in their adopted countries.

Of all the Brits abroad, the most annoying are those actors, writers, musicians or comedians who, unwilling to admit that their real motive for decamping from these islands involved their dealings with HM Inspector of Taxes, come up with a variety of excuses. Some blame excessive attention from our famously beastly press. Others maunder on about how they are not taken seriously enough. Some (thank you, Tina Brown) blame English politics, or (take a bow, Salman Rushdie) the bitchy, uninspiring character of our culture. The Duchess of York felt insufficiently loved, while our latest celebrity, the racing driver Lewis Hamilton, has, rather enterprisingly, complained that too many people recognise him in Britain.

When Martin Amis made a brief bolt for freedom, he gave his defection an artistic spin. "The novelist is trying to get a taste, a vignette of the future, and America is the place to be for that," he explained. "English genteelism can be inhibiting, and British writers are gravitating towards America."

Most of these people soon gravitate back and the bold, ungrateful remarks they made on their departure become something of an embarrassment. But this week a long-term exile has delivered a snarlingly negative view of England which should be taken more seriously. Elvis Costello, for some years a resident of New York, has told Mojo magazine that he would be quite happy never to play to another English audience.

Costello is famously grouchy, and it is tempting to put his words down to an attack of long-distance pique. On the other hand, he is not just another bolshy, ageing rocker. One of the most interesting and radical English musicians to emerge in the past 30 years, he has written songs that are thoughtful, politically engaged and hip. His work, deft and perceptive, has been celebrated in novels by, among others, Jay McInerney, Nick Hornby and Bret Easton Ellis.

His view of contemporary England and its attitude to music is more interesting than it first appears. "I don't dig it, they don't dig me," he told Mojo. An appearance more than two years ago at the Glastonbury Festival was apparently the final straw but bad reviews from British critics had not helped. "The truth is that every time I do something different, there's a small – and totally untalented – group of people who jump up and down and make a fuss about it," he has complained in the past. "Five years later, the same people are kissing my arse about the same piece of work."

But lurking behind all this huffiness is a real argument. Music fans in England, Costello claims, have a different attitude towards music and its history from those in America. Here musicians of previous generations, representing different styles and genres, are seen as alien from the hip young bands and songwriters of today. They are irrelevant to modern music, embarrassing. If, say, Dylan, Willie Nelson or Stevie Wonder were English (a difficult concept, admittedly), they would be seen by young fans as oddities, at best, representatives of a lost age of music who have not had the good sense to retire.

Yet music should be the great unifier. In most other countries in the world, it brings together those from different generations and from different backgrounds. If, in an Irish pub, an old man sang an old song, he would be listened to; in England, he would be ignored or laughed down. We are living through a time which is rich in new songwriting but, mysteriously, there is little interest in the roots of the new music, where it came from.

It is odd, this lack of interest in the past. At the MerleFest bluegrass festival in North Carolina, musicians of all ages, from ten to 80, gather in "picking tents" to play together: the whole point of the occasion is to unite old and new music. The idea of anything comparable happening in England is unthinkable.

Perhaps age snobbery has always been part of the English music scene. In the Sixties, the new wave of music defined itself by its difference from all that preceded it. By contrast, the folkies who were breaking through in New York's Greenwich Village in the early 1960s unashamedly declared themselves to be part of an old tradition. Costello was himself part of a later wave of re-invention and newness. Only when he began to explore different types, eventually performing with such resolutely unhip oldies like Burt Bacharach, did he discover how small and excluding the English musical sensibility can be.

Sadly, the same kind of blinkered snobbery, a lack of interest in the past which amounts almost to fear, is to be found elsewhere in our culture. When a British political party had a leader who was in his 60s, we quickly discovered that, while it is unacceptable to mock someone for the size of their waistline, it is just fine for lazy sketch-writers and giggling television satirists to bring out the Zimmer frame jokes.

The literary world is every bit as edgy about age as the music scene. Publishers quietly cull authors over 50 from their lists. In America, there is an impressive line-up of writers who, in their 70s and 80s, are still regarded as being part of the cultural mainstream – Roth, Updike, Pynchon and others. Where are our Grand Old Men and Women?

As a nation, we have become uneasy about recognising a debt to those who have gone before and are still alive. We prefer to deal jokily and dismissively with age. England is the country of grumpy old men, of old farts. To contribute seriously to music, art, writing or politics, anyone over 65 is obliged to play the part, to become self-parodic and clownishly doddery.

So Elvis Costello is probably wise to live in America. There he can play concerts with Bob Dylan without the press making silly jokes. He can top the bill at Hillary Clinton's 60th birthday party, making the event, we are told, "younger, hipper, more fun".

Now imagine Gordon Brown or David Cameron throwing a well-publicised birthday party and inviting this prickly, talented man to play there. Think of their publicists announcing straight-faced that they had needed Elvis to make the event hip and fun. And envisage the press headlines the next day. Costello was right. Age snobbery is alive and well and living in England.

terblacker@ aol.com


http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic ... 89,00.html



Bridge burning

John Harris
Friday November 9, 2007

Guardian


Imagine this. You are male, somewhere between 38 and 55, your recent purchases include recordings by the Hold Steady and that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss album, and you like to think you know about new world wine and the rough outlines of global warming. For nearly 30 years, your aesthetic universe has been constructed around a bandy-legged, bespectacled man who seems to have an innate sympathy with you and your lot, and though he has regularly tested your faith, you have clung on. You are, of course, an Elvis Costello fan.

Now, Costello's supposed brilliance has always rather escaped me, though I quite like his elemental 1986 album Blood and Chocolate, his Falklands war cri de coeur Shipbuilding and one or two of those early singles (such as the celestially gonzoid Pump It Up). There again, in a desperate and successful attempt to begin a conversation with Noel Gallagher, he and his then-wife once rudely barged me out of the way at a music industry party, which inevitably sullied my already lukewarm appreciation of his art - and besides, what with sporadic and decidedly unspectacular forays into classical music and a generally smug disposition, he has always struck me as someone who sums up the essential difference between clever and clever-clever. "Self-conscious pub-rock," was one friend's memorable verdict, which is surely as bad as it gets.

Still, my own indifference-cum-hostility to Costello is not really the issue - because this week's column is intended to sound a sympathetic and genuine note of emotional support for his thousands of British disciples, who have presumably foregone solid food and sleep in response to his latest move.

To get to the point, then. In this month's Mojo magazine, Costello - long resident in the US, let us not forget - is reminded of his performance at 2005's Glastonbury ("Fucking dreadful," he reckons), which prompts big news. "I don't care if I ever play England again," he fumes. "I'll say that right now. That gig made up my mind I wouldn't come back. I don't get along with it." On and on these brittle, angry sentences go: "We lost touch. It's 25 years since I lived there. I don't dig it, they don't dig me."

So there you are, Elvis-lovers. You might have tried, but the affair is over, and you never put the loo seat down, either. Who cares if you stuck with him through collaborations with the Brodsky Quartet, the opera queen Anne Sofie von Otter and Wendy James out of Transvision Vamp? What does it matter if you bought and tried to love such barren and fairly charmless works as Spike: The Beloved Entertainer and Kojak Variety (Kojak Variety!)? To paraphrase one of his own tunes, he would rather be anywhere else but here today. When it comes to his chances of selling significant numbers of future records on his home-turf, it all rather puts one in mind of a phrase common in the street-markets of the west Midlands: "Never make a mug of your punter."

Still, from CD-lined loft conversions across the country, wails of anguish are presumably still echoing down the stairs; so by way of restoring sanity and order, I can only suggest that his fans think a few very sobering thoughts. Remembering the aforementioned collaborations may do the trick. So too might dwelling on the exemplary lyrics from 1989's Deep Dark Truthful Mirror: "A stripping puppet on a liquid stick/ Gets into it pretty thick/ A butterfly drinks a turtle's tears/ But how do you know he really needs it?" (That's right, Elvis). For the clincher, try this: our man performed at Hillary Clinton's recent 60th birthday party, which surely encapsulates a stinky journey indeed - from playing All You Need Is Love at Live Aid to endorsing the Democratic hopeful most likely to endorse the bombing of Iran. Brilliant!

Much like the Dave Matthews Band and the occupation of Iraq, the other Elvis may actually be best left to the new world. The Costello hardcore should take note and brighten up: as a slightly superior songwriter once put it, now ain't the time for your tears.



http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 832854.ece

The Times
November 9, 2007

Elvis Costello: 'I'll never play Britain again'

Pete Paphides

What sort of slight would it take to get someone annoyed with 65 million people? For Elvis Costello, it takes a poor Glastonbury set. Talking to Mojo, the singer, now resident in America, reveals that his show there two years ago has prompted him to sever links with Britain.

So, what happened? Well, I was there: it sounded brilliant, he looked happy and everyone said it was ace. But somewhere along the line, Costello got it into his head that it was “f***ing dreadful . . . That gig made up my mind I wouldn’t come back . . . [British audiences] don’t dig me.â€

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Postby so lacklustre » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:02 pm

John Foyle - As featured in the Independent. Nice one John.
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Postby John » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:25 pm

I find Elvis' comments about England annoying. Just because he doesn't sell many records here anymore why the constant sniping?

I wonder which BBC interview he is referring to? The one I recall on the local BBC here he did solo and seemed happy enough. The interviewer was obviously a big fan and the whole piece came across really well.

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Postby lostdog » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:43 pm

More here at Observer Music Monthly.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/observermus ... _need.html

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:22 am

Kelly posts to listserv -

Top 10 headlines on the Costello/Britain breakup

10-Costello Snubs Britain

9-Costello: Glasto Ruined the UK for Me

8-Elvis Costello: Still Grouchy After All These Years

7-Elvis Costello: I'm Not Bothered about Playing England Again

6-Costello and England Not Returning Each Other's Phone Calls

5-Costello Turns his Back on Britain

4-Costello Slams English Music Fans

3-Costello on England: F**king Dreadful

2-Goodbye, Cruel Britain: Elvis Costello Turns His Back on His Native
Land

... and the best one by far, w/a pic of him under the Stars &
Stripes:)

1-Elvis Costello Hates Britain, Loves Hillary Clinton

http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/art ... costello_h
ates_britain_loves_hillary_clinton

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:39 am

http://comment.independent.co.uk/column ... 146426.ece


David Lister: The Week in Arts

10 November 2007

(extract)


I once spent an afternoon with Elvis Costello, and found him to be an unusually charming, polite and thoughtful rock star. So I was taken aback this week by the bitterness of his invective against Britain, his insistence that he would never return here from his present home in America, and his accusation that fans and critics here are ageist about music and bands.

I didn't see much evidence of this prejudice at the Ray Davies concert I attended the other week. The age demographic for the former leader of the Kinks was wide, and the critics were unanimous in their rave reviews. The reunion of Led Zeppelin hasn't exactly received a bad or indifferent press. Every Bob Dylan concert I attend has a large percentage of students in the audience. I don't recognise the country, the fans or the critics that Costello derides. Come back, Elvis. It must have been a bad dream

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Postby pophead2k » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:57 am

I don't live in the UK, but from what I've seen on this board for the last few years, this is by far the most press EC has received there in many moon. Mission accomplished?

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:25 am

Absolutely spot on. His grouches have given him press in the broadsheets. I was expecting to see the words "Elvis Costello's deluxe version of his 1977 debut My Aim Is True is released on 1st October" at the end of these articles.

I saw the footage of Glastonbury 2005 and he didn't look unhappy. Indeed he looked the opposite.

What is odd here is that Elvis played on the Friday (first day) in an early evening slot (6pm or so?). It's difficult to know what he was expecting. But from the footage there was a very good crowd who seemed to "dig it" so I don't know what Elvis is complaining about. I think this should also be qualified in that Elvis played the V Festival a few years before at about 5pm and vowed never to play it again because the crowd was, I think he said, comprised of bored disinterested students. Was Elvis expecting something different by playing early evening at Glastonbury? If he had played a later set things might have been different.

The other thing that galls me here is that Elvis has decided to put a lot of effort into playing America and introducing his music to new age groups (and let's face it, even some of this wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the good folks at Visa). Why doesn't he try this in the UK? There are many new bands who must have been influenced by him - people like Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys. Instead we are treated to mini tours with the Imposters or one off exorbitantly priced shows in London (I'm not including the Picket show here). He could even ring Noel Gallagher to provide a quote for the press.
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Postby lostdog » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:00 am

johnfoyle wrote:Elvis has left the country

[i]Sir:

As a long-time Costello fan I'm glad to see you've
"bought" his latest comments about not liking England
etc ("Goodbye, cruel UK", 8 November). As always, he
knows just the right thing to provoke a reaction and
once again it's worked treat.


But what I fail to see is why you think this a good thing. Where does it get him apart from giving everyone the chance to see him look ignorant and bitter? It's not like the old days when he was considered relevant - now it just sounds like a washed up old man venting spleen.

Saying stupid things to get in the press is hardly worthy of applause, is it? - And Elvis should know that better than most.

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:02 am

lostdog wrote:
johnfoyle wrote:Elvis has left the country

[i]Sir:

As a long-time Costello fan I'm glad to see you've
"bought" his latest comments about not liking England
etc ("Goodbye, cruel UK", 8 November). As always, he
knows just the right thing to provoke a reaction and
once again it's worked treat.


But what I fail to see is why you think this a good thing.


John's not saying it's a good thing. The words are plain "...he knows just the right thing to provoke a reaction..." The word right does not mean "good" in this context. Or am I missing something?
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Postby lostdog » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:50 am

VG, writing to a paper to suggest that they have been foolish enough to fall for a stunt that has worked "a treat" suggests a certain admiration for EC's words.

I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth - I'm just amazed at the amount of slack a lot of you cut Elvis. I think he has embarassed himself. After all, saying words to deliberately wind people (if that is what he is doing) is child's play.

IMHO, it all smacks of someone quitting a job after they've already been fired.

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:44 pm

Thanks Lostdog for your thoughts.

My intention in writing the letter was to comment on the Independent's shoddy and facile handling of the story. If they had bothered to consider the entire Mojo interview, including Elvis' comments about how he knew he was contradicting himself and how he was making it up as he went along, they would have realised that these were the words of someone just tossing around ideas. Of course that would be too subtle for those numbskull's. On the other hand it's perfectly possible Elvis knew the effect he would achieve and why not if it brings attention to his work.

In case anyone thinks writing to a 'paper is a tortuous process , let me assure you it is not. I read the Indo's coverage on my lunch break. With ten minutes to go I dropped into a 'net cafe. In about five minutes I trotted out this ( my original text , somewhat edited when published and they still managed to leave out a 'a' before their use of 'treat' )


Sir,
As a long time Costello fan I'm glad to see you've
'bought' his latest comments about not liking England
etc. As always he know just the right thing to provoke
a reaction and it's worked again.

In a way I'm glad he doesn't perform much this side
of the Atlantic. In the past few years I've engaged in
'Costello tourism' , travelling to see him in the U.S.
, the U.K. , Denmark and Holland. Besides great shows
I've also seen some lovely locations and met lots of
new people. Just last week I saw him in Chicago and
he was just as acerbic and truculent as ever.

Yours etc,

John Foyle





You better speak up now/It wont mean a thing later/Yesterdays news is tomorrows fish and chip paper

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Postby lostdog » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:00 am

"If they had bothered to consider the entire Mojo interview, including Elvis' comments about how he knew he was contradicting himself and how he was making it up as he went along, they would have realised that these were the words of someone just tossing around ideas. Of course that would be too subtle for those numbskull's."

But it's not really the media's repsonsibility to try to fathom whether Elvis is playing some kind of sad game or merely free-associating. You say something utterly stupid, you get called on it. Seems fair enough.

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Postby manoutoftime » Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:47 pm

johnfoyle wrote:Kelly posts to listserv -

Top 10 headlines on the Costello/Britain breakup





1-Elvis Costello Hates Britain, Loves Hillary Clinton

http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/art ... costello_h
ates_britain_loves_hillary_clinton


Happy birthday Mrs President..That clip is so embarrassing . :oops:

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:33 am

Mojo, , Jan. 08

Theories , rants , etc ( letters page)

A warped frustrated old man

[i]Reading Phil Sutcliffe’s interview with Elvis Costello (MOJO 169), we might he forgiven for mistaking Mr Costello for the miserable ghost of Tony Hancock: “never play England againâ€


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