Look Now: new album announced!

Pretty self-explanatory
sheeptotheslaughter
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:46 am

I am loving what I have so heard so far, 6 songs and not one duff one. I must admit of the older songs I can only remember hearing 'burnt sugar' once at Hammersmith but I couldn't tell you anything about it bar Elvis saying this is a new song. I don't remember any of the others

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John
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby John » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:39 pm

My 2 CD set is apparently on the way (from HMV). Can’t wait.

jardine
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:35 pm

Burnt Sugar, the flat trumpet notes -- are they flat or just some lovely weird chord in the brass? fabulous. i LOVE all these songs. wow. but, as has been said, only after several listens.
Last edited by jardine on Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

bronxapostle
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby bronxapostle » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:55 pm

Might i ask here

ARE THERE 2 DIFFERENT VINYL VERSIONS? I happily have a $19.19 one scheduled to arrive the 17th. But, i now see one for $23 at amazon which alleges the four bonus cuts. AM I AWAITING THE STANDARD 12 TRACK VERSION AND MUST NOW PURCHASE AGAIN FOR THE BONUS SONGS??? thanks, ba

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Ymaginatif
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Ymaginatif » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:59 am

bronxapostle wrote:Might i ask here

ARE THERE 2 DIFFERENT VINYL VERSIONS? I happily have a $19.19 one scheduled to arrive the 17th. But, i now see one for $23 at amazon which alleges the four bonus cuts. AM I AWAITING THE STANDARD 12 TRACK VERSION AND MUST NOW PURCHASE AGAIN FOR THE BONUS SONGS??? thanks, ba


there is single disc version (with 12 songs) and a double disc one (with the bonus tracks, and, presumably, the songs spaced out differently)

My amazon pre-order (in the UK) won't reach me until next week Tuesday! That's poor ... They must be shipping it from one of their off-shore bases ...
More about me (including some Elvis Costello covers): http://ymaginatifandmusic.blogspot.com/


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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:39 am

Ymaginatif wrote:My amazon pre-order (in the UK) won't reach me until next week Tuesday! That's poor ... They must be shipping it from one of their off-shore bases ...


I agree - it’s the same when I’ve looked to order it.

I’ll have to go out of my way to find a record store!
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sheeptotheslaughter
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:08 am

Ymaginatif wrote:
bronxapostle wrote:Might i ask here

ARE THERE 2 DIFFERENT VINYL VERSIONS? I happily have a $19.19 one scheduled to arrive the 17th. But, i now see one for $23 at amazon which alleges the four bonus cuts. AM I AWAITING THE STANDARD 12 TRACK VERSION AND MUST NOW PURCHASE AGAIN FOR THE BONUS SONGS??? thanks, ba


there is single disc version (with 12 songs) and a double disc one (with the bonus tracks, and, presumably, the songs spaced out differently)

My amazon pre-order (in the UK) won't reach me until next week Tuesday! That's poor ... They must be shipping it from one of their off-shore bases ...


Yes that isn't good.

I will see if I can get the 12 inch version with extra tracks save buying the CD. I cant remember the last I played a CD.

I will be listening to Look Now via Spotify on the 6am train to London tomorrow. What with the Bowie compilation 'Loving the Alien' coming out tomorrow too. God only knows how I will find the time to listen to it all over the weekend.

Beyond excited

bronxapostle
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby bronxapostle » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:02 am

Thanks guys....is it me or is it quite rare to have two different vinyl releases???? :shock: :shock: And, that is coming from ME...one of the few that NEVER STOPPED COLLECTING LPs. 8)

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:42 am



Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Look Now album review: Suitably refined

4 stars out of 5

Always prone to dipping into the full gamut of traditional genres, Costello has ventured ever further from his snarling new wave roots

While his recent cancer scare made the rock world sit up and appreciate Elvis Costello as one of its most treasured, gifted and incisive songwriters, the man himself was busy honouring his own heroes.

Always prone to dipping into the full gamut of traditional genres – some of his greatest works have been steeped in folk, country, jazz, ragtime and classical music – he has ventured ever further from his snarling new wave roots since the Millennium: lounge piano albums, collaborations with The Roots and New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint, several solo records caked in Nashville grit.

For this 25th studio album, Look Now, eight years after the brittle Americana of National Ransom, Costello takes the 20th anniversary of his Burt Bacharach collaboration Painted From Memory as an opportunity to respark his old easy-listening flame.

With Bacharach back on board as co-writer of a clutch of sparkle-collared piano ballads (“Don’t Look Now”, “He’s Given Me Things”, the bossa nova-flecked “Photographs Can Lie”), this once angry young man comes on like the old master crooner in the corner of the cocktail lounge from Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

Costello’s peerless lyricism often mirrors his tone, and here it’s suitably refined: the lustrous “Stripping Paper” finds him pulling wallpaper from his walls to uncover the layers of a faded affair, while “I Let the Sun Go Down” could be read as the elegy of a regretful Brexiteer: “I woke up in a nightmare ... I’m the man who lost the British empire”. If it wasn’t so graceful, it could be called The Ballad of Boris.

When he isn’t summoning Dionne Warwick’s flutes and Sandy Shaw’s strings and bathing in glitterball – a pose that begins to slump in the final third – Costello emulates his own history. He claims to have reconvened his backing band The Imposters to channel 1982’s edgy Imperial Bedroom, and opener “Under Lime” is a soulful cousin to that album’s centrepiece “Man Out of Time”. But Look Now is far closer to his undervalued 1983 classic Punch the Clock, when he handed his most northern soul pop songs to Madness producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley and had them liberally coated in the sort of brass gloss with which the duo replastered “Our House”.

It’s in the funk disco shimmy of “Burnt Sugar is So Bitter” (co-written with Carole King), the synthetic Sam Cooke sounds of “Unwanted Number” and the grimy groove of “Mr & Mrs Hush”, and it all makes for an album double-dipped in pop classicism and painted perfectly from memory.
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sweetest punch
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:46 am

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... ow-735312/

Elvis Costello Explains His Great New Album, ‘Look Now’

How Burt Bacharach and Carole King helped Costello create the “uptown pop” of hist latest LP

Elvis Costello would like you to know that Look Now, his first album in five years, is not “a little-box-with-people-going-mad-in-it kind of rock and roll record,” the kind where you “put the red light on play and hope to get the magical take.” It is, instead, what he calls an “uptown pop album” a la Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis, carefully composed in advance, complete with intriguingly astringent horn parts, plus strings and elaborate backing vocals. “You work out what you’re gonna play,” says Costello, who learned to read and write music in the early ’90s, “and then you go in the studio with confidence.”

Costello is not fond of critics’ habit of comparing new projects to old ones, but he does cop to doing it himself: “When we started out, I said, ‘If we could get the scope of Imperial Bedroom with the romanticism and beauty of Painted From Memory, we would have something.’ But does this record sound like either of those? Not really.”

The title track and the ballad “Photographs Can Lie” were both written with Costello’s Painted From Memory collaborator Burt Bacharach, who even joined the Imposters in the studio – Costello, it emerges, has been working with Bacharach for years on a musical that has yet to get off the ground. (“We ended up with an accumulation of slow, melancholy, intense ballads, and I guess that just scared the proposed producers because it didn’t involve any tap dancing.”) Costello tried to get Bacharach to write a bridge for another song, “Stripping Paper,” but Bacharach told him the song didn’t need any additions. “That was a pretty good compliment,” says Costello, who did get Bacharach to suggest a small harmonic tweak to another track, “He’s Given Me Things.”

Costello also wrote a song with Carole King, “Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter,” which ends up resembling early Steely Dan, at least when the female backing singers kick in. “It never occurred to me it sounded like that,” he says. “I mean, I like that group. I particularly like the early records. People always say that! ‘I like your earlier records, the early angry ones.'”

Look Now, which Costello co-produced with Sebastian Krys, previously best known for his work in the Latin pop world, is also intended as something of a showcase for the versatility of the Imposters, Costello’s longtime backing band – which is, of course, his original band, the Attractions, with a different bass player, Davey Faragher. But forty years after This Year’s Model, their first album together, the changes don’t stop there. “This is a different group than the group I started out with,” Costello says. We have strengths in different areas than that first group, because obviously, the three of us that have played together for forty years should’ve learned something, you know?”

“We should have gathered some things,” he continues, “and maybe put aside some other qualities of music that seemed all important when we started out. If you just stay with the same playbook, it wouldn’t be very interesting. And we’re all different people than we were forty years ago. Why wouldn’t we be? This eternal youth idea in rock and roll is nonsensical, really, ’cause you should want to reflect things that have happened in your life.” Plus, Faragher is a strong singer, which opens up possibilities for harmonies. “We didn’t have any singers in the band,” Costello says. “It’s arguable whether I was a singer early on.”

Costello recently sat for a full Rolling Stone Interview, captured on video; stay tuned for the rest of the conversation later this year.
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: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:53 am

http://www.haz.de/Nachrichten/Kultur/Ue ... m-Look-Now

Elvis Costello nach der Rockmusik – „Look Now“

Eine erlesene Schönheit. Elvis Costello ist auf „Look now“ (erscheint am 12. Oktober) zu reif für Rock’n’Roll. Einfühlsame Liebesendzeit- und Ltiebeslieder von dem Soulmann mit der Schlitterstimme.

Elvis Costello ist zurück. „Look now (Schau jetzt)“ heißt seine neue Platte. Zehn Jahre sind seit „Momofuku“ vergangen, seinem vorhergehenden Album mit seiner Band, den Imposters. Das neue Werk klingt anders, entrockt – ist eine Begleitmusik für Weingläser, nicht für Bierbecher. Elvis Costello goes Lied.
Das ist prinzipiell nichts Neues, derlei Ausflüge hat der 64-jährige Meister des Genrespringens schon in den Neunzigerjahren unternommen, mit Anne Sofie von Otter, dem Brodsky Quartet und vor allem mit Burt Bacharach, dem Godfather des Easy Listening. Alles mit dem Prädikat „besonders wertvoll“. Aber wenn er mit seinen Bands, den Attractions oder den Imposters (zwei Drittel der Attractions), zusammenging, rockten die Platten doch. Diesmal nicht. „Die Leute sagen, Rock sei tot“, sagte Costello vor zwei Wochen in einem Interview der britischen Wochenzeitung „The Telegraph“. „Hoffen wir, dass es so ist.“

Elvis Costello brachte die Energie des Punk in den New Wave

Ein abgeschlossenes Kapitel also. Dabei steht der gebürtige Londoner für den Neubeginn des Rock’n’Roll. Mit den Attractions und dem Debüt „My Aim is True“ führte Costello die Energie des Punk 1977 in das melodischere Terrain des New Wave über. Der „andere Elvis“ sah dabei eher aus wie Buddy Holly oder wie Woody Allen. Und seine schlitternde Stimme entzweit die Gemüter bis heute, sie ist brüchig, spröde, stets scheint da ein Weinen unter dem Singen zu sein.
Und doch verfügt sie über eine Behutsamkeit, Seele und Andacht, die ihresgleichen sucht, die seine oft dramatischen Short Storys, Charakterskizzen, Innenansichten tief auslotet. Zuletzt war es ruhiger geworden. Ein Album mit den Hip-Hoppern The Roots war 2013 das letzte musikalische Lebenszeichen.
Eine Tour mit den Imposters sagte Costello im Juli nach nur ein paar Konzerten ab. Und verriet, dass er sich sechs Wochen zuvor einen „kleinen, extrem bösartigen Tumor“ hatte entfernen lassen und sich mit dem früh darauffolgenden Tourstart übernommen hatte. Er kündigte dann das Erscheinen von „Look Now“ an.

Costello ist ein Meister der vertonten Kurzgeschichte

Dessen erster Song, „Under Lime“, täuscht noch Rock vor, beginnt mit stampfenden Drums wie ELOs „Don’t Bring Me Down“ und mit einem E-Street-Band- Piano. Aber schon bald erheben sich im Song eine Bläsergruppe, später ein Männerchor, und brechen das Stück auf, machen es beatlesk und verspielt.

Der Song ist ein Sequel von „Jimmie Standing in the Rain“ vom Album „National Ransom“ (2010). Jimmie ist ein Sänger, der „auf dem hohen Ross“ saß und sich jetzt vergeblich abstrampelt, ein Comeback hinzulegen. Die Zyniker wissen, dass er erledigt ist, eine Produktionsassistentin wird in der Künstlergarderobe abgestellt, sich um Jimmie zu kümmern und ihn unter allen Umständen vom Alkohol fernzuhalten. Ein Fünfminuten-Melodram. Pop noir.
Costello ist auch ein Meister der vertonten Kurzgeschichten, und „Look Now“ ist eine Versammlung der Verletzungen, des Scheiterns und des Hoffens. In dem melancholischen „Stripping Papers“ ist eine Ehe kaputt. Die Frau reißt die Tapete in Streifen und begegnet anhand eines Bleistiftstrichs, der die einstige Größe ihres Töchterchens markierte, ihren schöneren Erinnerungen.

Empathisch: Costello kann sich in seine Figuren hineinversetzen

Manche Songs sind schon alt. „Burnt Sugar is So Bitter“ schrieb Costello in den Neunzigern mit Carole King. Heldin ist eine Geschiedene, die einen Ausweg sucht, eine neue Hoffnung, um im Leben bleiben zu können. Die Traurigkeit hier ist fast zum Anfassen. „Man muss das nicht selbst erlebt haben, um sich in diese Situationen hineinversetzen zu können“, sagte Costello Anfang Oktober dem „Billboard Magazine“.

Schöne Zeilen, schlichte Worte, dabei schimmert auch mal ein zarter Silberstreif. „Dishonor The Stars“ ist ein Liebeslied zum Klavier. Wenn Costello von den „Sternen“ schwärmt, das Wort „stars“ bis auf drei Silben zieht und das Klavier dazu glitzert wie einer der Himmelskarfunkel, dann ist das reine, kitschfreie Romantik.
Burt Bacharach war wieder dabei – als Komponist und Musiker

Costello und seine Imposters – Steve Nieve am Piano, Pete Thomas am Schlagzeug und Davey Faragher am Bass – erschaffen eine jazzangehauchte, sehr soulige, ziemlich ausgeklügelte Version von Pop. Es gibt auf „Look now“ mehr Orchesterparts als Gitarren, der Geist von Philly-Sound und Bacharach schweben über diesem Album. Bacharach war sogar wieder mit Costello im Studio hat bei drei Songs mitgemischt – als Komponist und Musiker.
Die meisten der zwölf komplexen Songs brauchen freilich eine Weile, um zu wirken, aber dass sie über ihre feinen Melodien zünden werden, ist garantiert. Wobei es eigentlich 16 Stücke sind. Die Deluxe-Edition enthält die EP. „Regarde Maintenant“. Bei „Adieu Paris“ versucht sich Costello auf Französisch, was in etwa so ulkig ist wie Peter Gabriels Deutsch-Versuche. „You Shouldn’t Look at Me that Way“ der letzte Song, der den Albumtitel nicht wirklich relativiert. Und wer Costellos Neuer einen Blick schenkt, besser ihr sein Ohr leiht, wird mit erlesener Schönheit belohnt.
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: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:56 am

https://www.rollingstone.de/reviews/elv ... -look-now/

Elvis Costello & The Imposters Kritik & Stream: Look Now

Es ist so anstrengend, dass Elvis Costello immer schon sein bester eigener Kritiker war – was die Kritiker nicht davon abhielt, jede seiner Platten bis „The Juliet Letters“, 1993, zu preisen. Das war der längste Lauf in der Geschichte der Popmusik: 13 Alben, eines schöner als das andere, und Costello wiederholte sich nicht. Es gibt Leute, die „Trust“ lieben und „Almost Blue“, und es gibt Leute, die auf „Punch The Clock“ und „Goodbye Cruel World“ schwören, und „Spike“ und „Mighty Like A ­Rose“ haben Bewunderer.

Der Filmkritiker Mi­chael Althen schrieb einmal: Wer wissen will, wie die 80er-Jahre waren, der muss nur die Platten von Elvis Costello hören. Das kommt natürlich darauf an, wo und wie man die 80er-Jahre verbracht hat. Die 80er-Jahre des Elvis Costello waren ein anderer Film, der neben dem Hauptprogramm lief. In den 90er-Jahren war Costello ein unzuverlässiger Freund geworden: Ach, vielleicht sollte er nicht so bald wieder eine Platte machen. Bis zu „Painted From Memory“, 1998, dem grandios gefühligen Balladen­album, das er mit Burt Bacharach aufnahm.

Und an diese Platte und das opulente, unschlagbare Hauptwerk „Imperial Bedroom“ von 1982 knüpft „Look Now“ an. Sagt natürlich Costello selbst: Mischt man diese beiden, haben wir was Feines. Vielleicht nimmt man noch „Momofuku“ von 2008 hinzu, ein Album, das in in einer Woche auf einem Bierdeckel entstand.

„Look Now“ ist auch fast so sehr gut, wie man vermuten muss. Am Klavier saß bei zwei Stücken Burt Bacharach, der auch an einigen Songs mitschrieb, und die Imposters (zwei Drittel der Attractions) lassen es knacken. Costello schöpft Stimme und Arrange­ments aus. „Unwanted Number“, eine sehnsuchtsvolle Ballade, hatte Costello 1996 für Allison Anders’ Film „Gas Food Lodging“ geschrieben, „Under ­Lime“ ist eine aufgekratzte Beatles-­Hommage mit Bläsern, das ausladende „Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter“ schrieb er mit ­Carole King (und das hört man auch). „Mr. & Mrs. Hush“ braust vor bramsiger Hysterie. „Suspect My Tears“ und „Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?“ sind herrlichstes symphonisches Bacharach-­Melodrama. Zwölf bitter­süße Songs, zwölf echte Costellos – und da fehlen noch die vier Stücke der Deluxe-Edition.

Nachdem er alle alten Meister zitierte, zitiert Costello jetzt sich selbst. Das trifft den Richtigen.
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: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:50 pm

https://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/2018 ... th-update/

Don’t ‘Look Now,’ But Elvis Costello is Back and Feeling Fine, Thanks (Q&A)


We never once thought about what audience we were making this for,” Sebastian Krys, the co-producer of Elvis Costello’s new album, Look Now, told me as we lingered in the aftermath of a listening event held by Concord Records at the fabled Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village. “We just wanted to make the best album we could make — with real scope to it — in the hopes that it would find an audience, and maybe even inspire younger musicians who might stumble on it via some playlist one day down the road.”

While Krys’ statement speaks volumes about the state of the record business in 2018, he didn’t say it with any sense of resignation or defeat. In fact, his pride in what he and Costello have achieved together with Look Now is palpable, and quite rightly so.

Look Now is an old-school, big-budget album, recorded at some of the best recording studios in the world (Electric Lady, EastWest, United Recording, etc.), and sounds it. It veers from intimate, aching ballad, to the acerbic rockers that Costello made his name with, albeit through the lens of a 60-something.

For his part, Elvis Costello is also brimming with pride, as he holds forth — here for Rock Cellar Magazine — reflecting on the evolution of Look Now (which you can purchase right now at this link) and how it’s an album that he and his Imposters could only have made in this moment.

Rock Cellar: What can you say about the scale and scope to Look Now, and how it harkens back to Imperial Bedroom, while remaining firmly set in 2018?

Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom was one of the records that was in our minds. Last year, the Imposters and I decided to take another look at the songs from Imperial Bedroom, live, because we never had the patience to play half of those songs properly. There were half a dozen songs on the record that The Attractions could turn into something wild. There were a few that we neither had the time nor the voices, frankly, to render.

I had gone crazy with all those vocal arrangements. But now I’ve got Davey Faragher in my band, who’s not only a great bass player, but he’s the perfect singer for these songs.

Rock Cellar: On how Look Now is very much an arranged album, but at the same time, is still an Imposters record.

Elvis Costello: I wanted to make both those things. All the songs were written on the piano, including the three that were written by other pianists than me, which is a relief, really, for anybody that’s heard me play the piano, I’m sure. Obviously, two of the songs were written — the music was written exclusively by Burt Bacharach.

On “Don’t Look Now” and “Photographs Can Lie,” I think you’ll probably recognize Burt’s touch. I couldn’t have imagined a scenario in which former members of The Attractions, let alone members of The Imposters, could join together in quite this way and take their cues from him. In fact, I’d never really imagined a situation in which we’d be back in the studio. But we’ve worked secretly, writing for the last ten or twelve years, for different occasions. Songs that people would maybe record, or for some stage work that never came to fruition. And the songs were just laying there, kind of like screaming at me, “You’d better record me.”

And I went to Burt about two years ago, because I’d started to think that maybe swearing off recording was a bad idea. And I asked him, did he think that maybe we could bring these songs out into the light.

But I think we needed the company of these other songs I’d written, and I needed the energy of The Imposters to set off these songs. I wrote “Stripping Paper” alone, and I think the best compliment I’ve ever been paid about a song, I have to say, is not from a critic, but from Burt Bacharach. Because I sent him the composition, maybe for him to make some changes, and he refused to add anything to it. He’s very straight in his way of thinking, and if he had wanted to, or felt the song needed more, he would’ve certainly told me, because he has before.

He won’t let me get away with anything.

On how many of the songs have a thread, “Stripping Paper,” “He’s Given Me Things,” from the voice of another person.

Elvis Costello: In having made the decision to record again, I involved my band. One of the reasons for doing it was because I wanted a record of The Imposters. Literally, a record of them, as they are now, with the accumulation between three of us of nearly forty years of work together, about how we feel and what we know about music, and what we know about our feelings about songs. I sent each of them a tape with about 35 songs that I’d accumulated over the past 25 years, many of which were written in the last nine months to a year, and some of which written immediately before we recorded. And it was surprising to me that the drummer, Peter Thomas, who in the past was normally asking me, “When do I get to hit things hard?” was the one who particularly focused in on “Stripping Paper.”

The imagery in “Stripping Paper” is about a woman who discovers her husband is being unfaithful. And in a moment of distraction, she begins to peel the wallpaper from the wall, and beneath one splendid layer of wall-covering finds another less splendid, and another behind that, which was on the wall when she and her husband decorated the room themselves during a long-ago erotic afternoon. And the piece of paper also has the pencil mark of when they’d measured their daughter’s height as she grew. It sounds like a sentimental conceit when I say it, but when you place it in music, and you have it played like this by the Imposters, and the string quartet to answer the vocal phrases, a wind quartet of bass clarinet, French horn, alto saxophone, and alto flute, because all of those instruments have a round edge to their sound, predominantly, and they sound like breathing, like you were in the room…

These are things we wouldn’t have had the patience for when we were younger. And now I’m glad to say we do. It’s not that we’re making better records. It’s just that they’re different records. Because we don’t want to make the same record again. We could do that anytime.

But what’s the point of it? You’ve already heard that one. It has to be a different record.

So what is “Under Lime,” anyway?

Elvis Costello: “Under Lime,” well, you know, they throw lime on graves. “Under Lime,” the opening song, is a long, narrative song — which is unusual, to open a record in that way. This record does mark eight years, I think, since I made a record under my own banner. So I wanted to sort of make the thread through this period of time, to have this song called “Jimmy Standing in the Rain” — that’s on National Ransom — and it was about a musical singer who was trying to sell cowboy songs to the English, which I can testify is a difficult task.

And I left him abandoned on a railway station, possibly alcoholic, definitely has the symptoms of TB, finding comfort in the arms of a woman who calls out another man’s name in a moment of passion. Like the typical feel-good hit of the summer. And I started to think, what would happen if this legend were just enough to get him onto a television show in the fifties, where they’d blindfold upscale guests, where a celebrity would be brought out, and they’d have to guess their identity?

So the idea was that Jimmy is now a barely-remembered name in show business, and he’s brought onto this TV show at Lime Grove, at the BBC, which is where a lot of the live television was made in the 1950s. And he’s about to be ritually humiliated, which is a major component of live entertainment in England. So the song picks up the story with him being placed in the charge of a young woman, a production assistant, who’s told, “Whatever you do, don’t tell him your name, and whatever you think, don’t let him drink.” Because this is going to end in tears. And so they go into the dressing room and then he starts to question her about her boyfriend. And about her family tree. And basically, he’s set this snare before, so the song is a scene that is all too familiar. It wasn’t invented yesterday. And that was the song, I thought, that was maybe the opening of this record.

On why he released the deluxe, expanded edition of Look Now at the same time as the standard edition?

Elvis Costello: I don’t like the idea of selling the record again, you know, three months later, with three or four extra tracks on it, because they’re usually not that good. And the deluxe edition, if you want to buy it, there are four more songs, and I think they’re all really good. There’s a ballad that Steve and I did, that we added a little decoration to. There’s a song which I wrote for Johnny Hallyday. Unfortunately he didn’t get to record it, but he was thinking about it in his last months. It’s very touching, and the song is written in English and French. Which is super surprising, because I don’t speak French.

On recording the album in some really legendary studios.

Elvis Costello: Yeah. At Capitol, which deserves its reputation. Well, it helps if you know where you’re putting the microphone, but it really does give you something vivid to start with. These studios are well-maintained, and they have the thing that makes going into the studio worthwhile. Because people make good records in their bedroom with their laptop. You can do all sorts of things. I made a lot of good records with a cassettes and 4-tracks. Whatever you use, it’s whatever gets it done.

The main difference now, I think, is we prepared our minds very well, so that when the red light went on and we played, it was more like a live record, even though we were adding things piece-by-piece, because all of the work was put in during the rehearsal time, away from the studio time. So when the red light came on, we just had to play it. And it felt free. And I think you hear that.

The last song, “He’s Given Me Things,” Steve Nieve arranged that song just by playing it. We had a rhythm track, which was very even and hypnotic, and he just played this thing on the piano, and that was the whole of it. And I had all these string parts written, and by some miracle they fitted together perfectly. He had no idea what I’d written. I didn’t tell him about all of it, I just told him what we couldn’t have. And with Steve, anyone can tell you that he’ll give you variations on anything for forever and a day. And it’s hard to say to Steve, “Don’t play there. Just leave that gap. Because what you have played is so memorable and takes the ear. And something else is going to carry us into the chorus.”

I mean, this is the technical stuff, but we may not have had the patience in the past, or we may have just recorded everything, and then you would have had to decode it.

Talking about one of the highlights of Look Now, “Suspect My Tears.”

Elvis Costello: Well, it’s about two people who both fake their emotions. It’s about two hypocrites, really. I wrote it as the first song — I thought about making a record of this at the time — an uptown pop record. I just mean in the sense that it has a funky rhythm section, but there’s space for voices and vibraphone and strings. This was the first song I wrote after Painted from Memory came out. I think I wrote it in 1999, so it has some of the things I’d learnt from Burt, but it’s not his work, it’s mine. And it never was a song that would have fitted.

“Burnt Sugar” was written with Carole King in 1996. And I know it sounds crazy to say, but there has never been a record that it would fit on. We had to wait for the moment, and this was the moment.

On whether he ever wonders what his angry young self would make of an album like Look Now.

Elvis Costello: No. Seriously. I don’t ever think like that. I would hope that you would gather some things as you go along. If the 24-year-old me sort of sneered at this, well, that would be just what you’d have expected of him anyway, wouldn’t it? It wouldn’t be a big surprise. You know, when I was on this label Stiff Records, we did a live record, and do you know what the two songs that we cut were?

“Miracle Man,” which was on My Aim is True, played by The Attractions, and “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself,” which was a Bacharach and David song. All I’ve got now is the keys to the cupboard. And I’ve had them before. This is just the first time I’ve made a record with this kind of scope. Imperial Bedroom was a record I mentioned only because that was the first time The Attractions and myself had the money to spend a little time finding our way to the songs in the studio.

But I didn’t write any of the songs in the studio. I’ve never done that. That’s just not my style. Other people make great records like that, but I’m not one of them. And then obviously, when I was with Warner Brothers, they gave me a lot of money to make records, which I took gratefully, to have a big adventure.

If I were to record those songs again today, I’d probably do them differently. In terms of looking at yourself, and how you would judge yourself — which way are you looking, backwards or forwards? Why look back and go, “I wish I had had a different thing there,” “I wish I had that guitar,” “That would have made that song better”? I don’t.

While it’s obvious Look Now is made up of his “lessons learned,” there’s a lot of Imperial Bedroom and Spike and Mighty Like a Rose it, too. Did Elvis reference them at all?

Elvis Costello: I sound like me. There’s only subtle variations that you’re going to get. The sound of my voice in certain keys, I’m willfully — in fact, I don’t think I’m trying nearly as hard to bend my voice out of shape, where I was constantly trying to get away from myself.

What about in the arrangements and scope of the production?

Elvis Costello: Well, I don’t know. I’m not consciously trying to mimic another record we made. The difference is not all solutions are found within the four-piece band. There probably will be, on occasion, when we play these songs in concert. We probably won’t take all of these instruments. But why have one version? The other night I was at the BBC, where they used to record Pop Goes the Beatles and shows like that, and where Bing Crosby gave his last ever broadcast. The studio is tiny. They’re about to knock it down, in fact. And I went to do an evening where I talked about songwriting and sang a few songs. And we played “Unwanted Number” and “Under Lime,” just with piano. And, of course, they were very different songs. That’s something that Steve and I have done over the years, playing together as a duo, and that’ll probably be something that we touch again.

(Regarding the cancellation of tour dates over health issues earlier in 2018) How are you feeling?

Elvis Costello: I’m feeling just great. Thank you. We’d played Dorchester — we played a week of shows in between the sessions in Los Angeles, and the four days of sessions in New York — and I was hiding in the dressing room in Dorchester, writing the string parts out, because I’d left some of them till the last minute, till I’d heard what Steve played, so I could make sure that he didn’t play in the holes that I was going fill. So I was finishing them off and I got a call, 10 o’clock in the morning on a Monday, saying “you’ve got to have an operation.”

Sharpens your wits up a little bit, I have to say. We came in here, we went in parts just while we were all sitting. And the next day we came in, we had a beautiful string section of nine players. They really played beautifully. Then we went back to Vancouver, and I knew this little event was coming up. So it didn’t influence anything about the contents of the record. I knew it was coming, but I was extremely fortunate. I had it detected. I was told I had to have it removed. It’s just something that happens.

I would’ve not said anything about it, because I didn’t want to worry my family or my friends that I don’t speak to every day. It kind of sharpened me a little bit, because you don’t know the future. But then I had it taken care of, and thought I was all back, in terms of my strength — because the operation does knock you out a little bit — and I just miscalculated. I was in the middle of a tour in Europe and I realized that I couldn’t do my best. Once I let the rest of the dates go, I had to offer a coherent explanation, rather than just be thought of as being flaky.

Unfortunately, some of the reports were twisted a little bit to make it sound like it was a much more serious situation. It was really just a question of missed timing in the recovery. So thank you for asking.

But I feel great.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


invisible Pole
Posts: 2208
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby invisible Pole » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:19 pm

http://www.showbiz411.com/2018/10/10/fo ... h-look-now

Forty Years After “This Year’s Model,” Elvis Costello Proves He Is a Man for All Seasons with “Look Now”

I can’t keep myself from plunging back into Elvis Costello’s “Look Now,” picking out favorite tracks and trying the ones that didn’t immediately hit me.

Forty years after his second, “This Year’s Model,” Elvis proves he’s a man for all seasons. Who would expect an album as good as “Look Now” in 2018 after our four decades together?

Elvis was always obsessed with Burt Bacharach. Even when he was trying out “Pump it Up” or “I’m Not Angry,” early fans will recall he was singing “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” as encores. The Bacharach-David Dionne Warwick hit turned up on his early bootlegs and was on many of my mix tapes. Elvis strove for dreamy melodies– his own biggest song was “Alison.”

Mid way through his career, he teamed up with Bacharach for the album “Painted from Memory,” which still stands as a highlight of his amazing canon. So why not return for inspiration to the land of “Promises, Promises,” combining with the Imposters (the Attractions minus one). The plus side is that Bacharach, at 90, plays piano on two of the tracks. You can’t do better than that.

So “Look Now” takes the best of the pre-“Painted” Elvis sound and warmly mixes it with the jazzy cocktail Burt. Shake, stir, however you please, this cocktail has a kick. The songs are largely from characters’ voices, with a swerve and punch that makes them memorable. You will find yourself humming couplets from “Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?” and “Stripping Paper” while rock head banging to “Under Lime” and “Unwanted Number.” You can’t help yourself. “Suspect My Tears” is a Philly soul gem. Dig that falsetto!

There are also a couple of ballads– “Don’t Look Now” and “Photographs Can Lie”– that summon Elvis’s best singing. I’ve been a fan of “You Shouldn’t Look at me That Way” since it appeared last year in “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.” Also, “The Final Mrs. Curtain,” from the run-over CD, finds Elvis at his linguistic best. You want to rock? “Mr. and Mrs. Hush” brought me all the way back to the days of “Trust” and “Clubland.” Get up and dance.

Listen to this album on a stereo– you can find one– and turn it up. And thank goodness for Elvis Costello, who’s remained a nimble musical genius for more time than we deserved.
If you don't know what is wrong with me
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invisible Pole
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby invisible Pole » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:22 pm

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/life/musi ... 605749002/

Elvis Costello returns to 'Imperial' form on first album in 5 years, 'Look Now'

It’s been five years since “Wise Up Ghost,” an album-length collaboration with the Roots. That’s the longest stretch Elvis Costello has ever gone between releases. And if that’s how long it took to get to “Look Now?,” which releases Friday, it was worth it.

The sophisticated chamber-pop arrangements suggest a return to the form he first explored in depth on “Imperial Bedroom,” a 1982 release produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. And it does so while holding its own against that masterpiece, perhaps because it was conceived after revisiting that album on the road.

Costello himself invoked both “Imperial Bedroom” and a subsequent collaboration with Burt Bacharach as helpful frames of reference in a press release, saying, “I knew if we could make an album with the scope of ‘Imperial Bedroom’ and some of the beauty and emotion of ‘Painted From Memory,’ we would really have something.”

“Look Now” ever features three new Bacharach co-writes, two of which extend the spirit of collaboration to Costello’s writing partner guesting on piano – “He’s Given Me Things,” "Don't Look Now" and a pathos-laden portrait of a daughter confronting her father’s infidelity called "Photographs Can Lie."

There are also occasional echoes of Motown and Brill Building pop, a hint of the New Orleans funk groove he worked on that album with Allen Toussaint and a bit of the sonic experimentation that made 2002’s “When I Was Cruel” such a welcome addition to the catalog.

He even tries his hand at Philly soul on the richly orchestrated “Suspect My Tears,” slipping into a silky falsetto to complete the mood.

It could be argued that there’s nothing here we haven’t heard him do some variation on before. But when your comfort zone encompasses the kind of range Costello brings to the proceedings in the course of these 12 songs, it hardly qualifies as staying in your lane.

One zone he doesn’t get to here is the more raucous side of his vocabulary. There’s no echo of the punk-inspired urgency he brought to “This Year’s Model,” “Blood & Chocolate” or even his previous album to feature his long-running musical partners in crime, the Imposters, 2008’s “Momofuku.”

Which is not to say this album doesn’t rock when it chooses to do so. Consider the bass-driven opening track, “Under Lime.”

An effervescent blast of Motown-flavored pop that veers off into “Sgt. Pepper”-flavored orchestration right on cue when Costello sings “When the band starts to play,” it’s a lyrical sequel of sorts to "Jimmie Standing in The Rain," an old-timey highlight of 2010’s T Bone Burnett-produced “National Ransom.”

“Burnt Sugar is So Bitter,” a track he wrote with Carole King at some point in the ‘90s, is even more upbeat, with punch-drunk horns and female backing vocals, making the most of the insistent groove laid down by the Imposters’ formidable rhythm section.

Drummer Pete Thomas has been with Costello since the birth of the Attractions, who had his back on a dizzying run of unassailable releases in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Bassist Davey Faragher, faced with the unenviable task of replacing the great Bruce Thomas in 2001, has rarely sounded more at home.

“Unwanted Number” rocks with real authority and boasts some great piano fills from keyboard wizard Steve Nieve, Costello’s most valuable musical foil since those first Attractions records. “Mr. & Mrs. Hush” has a swaggering funk vibe and features Costello investing the lyrics with more attitude than the prevailing tone of the album, which clearly favors more subdued material.

Co-produced by Costello and Sebastian Krys, a 12-time Latin Grammy winner, “Look Now” fleshes out the handiwork of the Imposters with woodwinds, strings and horns as well as striking group vocal arrangements.

Lyrically, he sets the tone, in “Under Lime,” with “It’s a long way down from the high horse you’re on / When you stumble and then you’re thrown.”

And it doesn’t get much sunnier from there.

“Burnt Sugar is So Bitter” more than lives up to the promise of its downbeat title, setting the scene with “She said ‘What is it that I’ve done that you want me to be punished’ when she woke up one day to find that he had started to vanish.”

In the devastating “Stripping Paper,” the album’s emotional centerpiece, the narrator is stripping paper from the walls while lost in the emotion each new layer of that couple’s history reveals.

It’s the sort of emotional payoff he’s always excelled at capturing, both lyrically and vocally. It almost feels like something Jimmy Webb would write. And there are plenty of those moments here, reaffirming Costello’s position at the forefront of his generation’s most gifted composers.
If you don't know what is wrong with me
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sweetest punch
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:19 am

https://www.demorgen.be/muziek/elvis-co ... -b1b4c74b/

Elvis Costello: "Ik zal morgen altijd gelukkiger zijn dan vandaag"

Zijn naam staat al decennia gebeiteld in de grote canon van de rock-'n-roll. Maar val hem daar alstublieft niet mee lastig. Elvis Costello blijft als zestiger bij zijn aloude standpunt: "Is het godverdomme geen tijd dat rock dood valt? Jézus. Ik kan niet wachten om dat grafschrift te kunnen schrijven."

Wie is Elvis Costello?
- Geboren als Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus in Paddington (Londen), op 25 augustus 1954.
- Onmisbare platen: My Aim is True (1977), This Year's Model (1978), Imperial Bedroom (1982), Painted From Memory (1998), When I Was Cruel (2002)
- Grootste klassiekers: 'I Want You', 'She', 'Watching the Detectives', 'Oliver's Army', '(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea'

"Niet nerveus zijn", drukt de dame van de platenfirma ons monkelend op het hart, net voor we Elvis Costello zullen spreken. "Hij kijkt écht uit naar dit gesprek." Het blijken zowaar niet eens holle verkooppraatjes. Costello zal even later minutenlang de lof zingen over België. "Ik heb de zaligste concerten gespeeld in jullie land. Echt waar. Wat een geweldig dankbaar publiek zijn jullie! Niet iedereen snapt de wilde bokkensprongen die ik soms maak op tour, maar jullie begrijpen me volkomen. En ik zal ook nooit vergeten hoe de Rode Duivels mijn voorprogramma speelden deze zomer. (lacht) Mijn concert in het Rivierenhof werd met een uur of zo uitgesteld zodat jullie het WK konden volgen. Dat was geen belemmering voor me. Als België op zijn bek ging tijdens die match, wist ik dat ik sowieso de perfecte ceremoniemeester zou zijn. (lacht)"

Luttele dagen na het gesprek zal Charles Aznavour het tijdelijke voor het eeuwige verruilen. Costello coverde het wondermooie 'She' van Aznavour voor de film Notting Hill, en maakte er een levensgrote hit van. In tempore non suspecto vertelt hij langs zijn neus weg over die song: "Dat blijft een van de prachtigste songs die ik ooit heb gecoverd. Sommige mensen dachten oprecht dat ik er een ironische versie van had gemaakt, maar dat misverstand is louter gebaseerd op de klankkleur van mijn stem. Zelfs bij de meest doorwrochte emotionele liedjes geloven mensen nog dat ik de liefde door de mangel haal. Dat ik vroeger zo'n cynische klootzak was, helpt waarschijnlijk ook niet bij al dat onbegrip."

Zelf moest Costello onlangs ook afrekenen met een kwaadaardig kankergezwel dat zijn tourschema in de war stuurde en de indruk wekte dat de dood even aan zijn deur stond te kloppen.

Waren we u bijna kwijt?

"Blij dat je meteen met de deur in huis valt, vrolijke rakker! Ik kan niet genoeg benadrukken dat die nieuwsberichten een storm in een glas water waren. Het ging om een klein, maar zeer agressief kankergezwel. Mits je permissie zal ik niet ingaan op de bloederige en gore details, maar het volstaat om te zeggen dat ik even die extra versnelling niet kon vinden. Ik zong gewoon niet goed genoeg om op te treden. Dus besloot ik wijselijk om het advies van mijn arts ter harte te nemen en even te rusten."

Eenmaal u die verklaring de wereld had ingestuurd, liep het helemaal uit de hand.

"Oh boy, it did. Er werd over me geschreven alsof de Man met de Zeis aan mijn voordeur stond. Dat heeft me woedend gemaakt, hoe de tabloids mijn statement zo grof durfden op te blazen. Een geluk dat ik katholiek ben opgevoed. Vergeven en vergeten, weet je wel. (lacht) Maar ik was furieus dat mijn lieve oude moedertje – het mens is in de negentig, for crying out loud – via zo'n walgelijke tabloid te lezen moest krijgen dat ik op sterven lag. Ik heb héél veel telefoontjes gekregen van vrienden, die ik op het hart moest drukken dat die ouwe klootzak nog lang niet onder de zoden ligt. (lacht)

"Weet je wat me nog het meest van al stoort? Ik kén mensen die vechten tegen kanker. De indruk wekken dat ik ook maar een hálf besef heb van hun strijd, is totaal oneerbiedig en melodramatisch. Godsgruwelijk waren die berichten. Ik leef nog een eeuwigheid!"

Aan de plaat is het alvast niet te horen dat uw stem te lijden had onder dat gezwel. U zingt oprecht beter dan ooit.

"Tijdens de opnames heb ik me ook boven mezelf uit proberen te tillen. Het noodlottig telefoontje kwam binnen terwijl ik met de jongens aan het opnemen was. Ik hoef je niet te vertellen dat zo'n nieuws als een mokerslag binnenkomt. Maar ik was tegelijk te druk bezig om me écht zorgen te maken. Elke noot op deze plaat heb ik gezongen na de diagnose. Vreemd genoeg had ik de indruk dat het me sterker maakte. Als dit de laatste plaat zou zijn die ik kon maken, moest het verdomme een grandioos meesterwerkje worden. Jij vindt dat ook? Wonderful. Ik geef het compliment door aan mijn makkers."

Als er al een rode draad doorheen de plaat zou lopen, dan is het wel dat #MeToo zijn weg heeft gevonden naar Look Now. Vergis ik me, of gaan heel wat songs over gefnuikte en misbruikte vrouwen?

"Die hele beweging is niet aan me voorbijgegaan. Maar om eerlijk te zijn: sommige songs lagen al een kwarteeuw op een plank stof te vergaren. Wat wil zeggen dat zelfs een boerenlul als ik toen al wist dat er altijd een scheefgetrokken situatie is geweest tussen mannen en vrouwen. In 'Stripping Paper' heb ik het over een relatie die langzaam verpulvert, geschreven vanuit een vrouwelijk perspectief. In 'Photographs Don't Lie' hoor je een dochter mijmeren over de ontrouw van haar vader. En in 'Don't Look Now' heb ik het over een model dat afrekent met ongewenste avances. Maar ik zie er zelf niet zo veel #MeToo in. Ik weiger altijd om een standpunt in te nemen. Niets ergers dan een zanger die de morele superioriteit probeert uit te dragen. Ik vertel gewoon verhalen, zoals de eerste de beste chroniqueur. Wat iemand anders uit de songs haalt, vind ik belangrijker."

Dat klinkt... een beetje makkelijk?

"Ik weet het. (lacht) Maar in mijn songs probeer ik nooit een standpunt in te nemen. Als het verhaal enigszins diffuus blijft, heb ik mijn doel bereikt. Ik ben niet de kerel die op de barricades zal staan of met spandoeken gaat zwaaien. Je haalt uit de songs wat je er zelf denkt uit te kunnen halen. Het heeft weinig zin om met de Grote Waarheid te komen aandraven. Elk verhaal in de wereld is trouwens een kwestie van he said, she said."

Ik kon me evenwel niet van de indruk ontdoen dat 'Photographs Don't Lie' een tikje autobiografisch is. Uw vader was, behalve een uitzonderlijke zanger, componist en arrangeur ook een legendarische schuinsmarcheerder.

"Hij stond alleszins niet model voor die song. (grinnikt) Ik schrijf geen songs uit wrok. Of toch niet altijd. Maar de schaamte en de schuld die in die ene song sloop, zit waarschijnlijk ook in mij. Er zijn talloze manieren om een relatie naar de verdoemenis te helpen. Zelf moet ik ook niet te hoog van de toren blazen. Ik ben drie keer getrouwd. Dríé keer. Sommige zaken had ik ongetwijfeld veel beter kunnen aanpakken."

Spelen die zaken uit uw verleden u nog parten?

"Nee. Ze vormen je ongetwijfeld, maar je kunt je eigen toekomst wel degelijk uitstippelen. Of jezelf determineren. Ik probeer zo goed mogelijk om een aanwezige en fatsoenlijke vader te zijn met de beperkte middelen die mijn genen hebben gegeven. Mijn twee jongens, Dexter en Frank (twaalfjarige tweelingbroers, GVA) probeer ik met de juiste waarden te laten opgroeien, terwijl ik hen ook genoeg vrijheid geef om hun eigen toekomst uit te schrijven."

Op het gevaar af onbeschoft in uw privéleven te duiken: hoe werkt dat eigenlijk, twee muzikale ouders? U bent al jarenlang getrouwd met Diana Krall.

"Dat is soms hilarisch. (lacht) We irriteren elkaar voortdurend door muziek te spelen in elkaars buurt. Ik aanbid Diana. Wat een uitzonderlijke vrouw. Als artiest is ze me lichtjaren voor. Ze ontdekt details in een compositie die ik in eeuwen niet zou kunnen ontdekken. Maar in de woonkamer kunnen we elkaar de duvel aandoen. We wonen nu in Vancouver en ik drijf haar tot waanzin wanneer ik muziek maak. In de ene hoek van de kamer zit ik te rammen op de piano, terwijl zij volkomen rust nodig heeft. Ik ben geen professionele pianospeler, dus missen al mijn composities de nuance die een song behoeft. Ze heeft gelukkig veel geduld met mij."

Ik denk dat heel wat fans van jullie reikhalzend uitkijken naar een duetplaat.

"Zowat vijftien jaar geleden hebben we dat weleens geprobeerd (voor Kralls album 'The Girl in the Other Room' (2004); GVA) maar het is er nog nooit van gekomen. Anderzijds beïnvloeden we elkaar voortdurend. Of zij mij toch: een hele wereld aan muziek is opengegaan dankzij haar. Als iemand me vraagt welke artiest de grootste invloed had op mij, moet ik haar naam noemen."

U klinkt als een gelukkige zestiger. Niet meer de angry young man voor wie u altijd werd versleten.

"Goh... Ik zal morgen altijd gelukkiger zijn dan vandaag."

Met The Imposters heeft u volgens mij ook de ultieme begeleidingsband gevonden. Ik wéét dat fans me zullen willen vermoorden om die uitspraak. The Attractions blijven volgens uw spionkop het perfecte orkest.

"(lacht) Dat snap ik. Maar toen ik speelde met The Attractions, klonken de songs soms inwisselbaar. Ik besef dat ik ook heel wat fans daarmee de gordijnen injaag. (grinnikt) Maar het is nu eenmaal zo: we spraken zo weinig met elkaar dat we soms automatisch in herhaling vielen. Volgens mij hebben The Ramones indertijd trouwens ook niet zo knap veel met elkaar gesproken tijdens repetities. (lacht) Het voordeel aan The Imposters is dat ik die jongens nu al jaren ken. Eigenlijk zijn we praktisch getrouwd. Dat zorgt ervoor dat we elkaar perfect aanvoelen."

Uw vader zaliger gaf u ooit het advies: 'Never look up to a note. Look down on it.' Bent u ooit geïntimideerd geraakt door een song, waardoor u die ten einde raad moest opbergen?

"Dit klinkt ongetwijfeld hemelhoog verwaand, maar ik zie niet in waarom mijn beperkte stembereik het einde van de song zou moeten betekenen. Als je stem vermoeid is, of je bent schor en hees in de winter, dan zing je minder goed, punt. Maar zelfs daar kom ik mee weg. Sowieso ben ik geen belcantozanger en moet ik het hebben van dat gebroken geluid. (grinnikt) Ik kom daar mee weg, want instinctief zing ik veel beter dan intellectueel. Denken is nooit een optie. Of ik tevreden ben met mijn stem, is een ander paar mouwen. Tja, je roeit met de riemen die je hebt, nietwaar? Ik heb een beperkt bereik en het gezicht van een lijkbidder. En ook nog eens de stem van één. (lacht)

"Wist je trouwens dat ik nog in het koor heb gezeten? Ik was de volmaakte koorknaap. De pastoor koos mij altijd uit bij begrafenissen om aan het altaar te staan. Als je van nature een sombere gelaatsuitdrukking hebt, komt dat daar wel van pas. (lacht) Los daarvan: ik hou echt niet van zangers die elke noot perfect kunnen halen. Dan kun je evengoed een draaiorgeltje laten spelen."

Ik heb u onlangs horen zeggen dat u nooit naar Led Zeppelin of Pink Floyd heeft geluisterd. Uw goed recht natuurlijk, maar mag ik dat een béétje vreemd vinden?

"Tuurlijk. Maar het is echt zo. Er bestaat een hele lijst met classic albums die iedereen moet hebben gehoord voor hij het loodje legt. Om eerlijk te zijn: de meeste platen kunnen me gestolen worden. Ik werd altijd in het vakje van de rock ondergebracht. Vreselijk vond ik dat. Ik voel me in alle genres thuis, maar ook weer niet. Ik ben en wil altijd een buitenstaander zijn. Dat is mijn motto. Vandaag hoor ik ook weer veel mensen opperen dat rock-'n-roll dood is. Well, let's fucking hope so. (lacht)"

------------------------
Google translation:

Elvis Costello: "I will always be happier tomorrow than today"

His name has been carved for decades in the grand canon of the rock 'n' roll. But please do not bother him with it. Elvis Costello stays at his old point of view as a sixties: "Is not it goddamn time that rock falls dead?" "I can not wait to write that epitaph."

Who is Elvis Costello?
- Born as Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus in Paddington (London), on August 25, 1954.
- Indispensable albums: My Aim is True (1977), This Year's Model (1978), Imperial Bedroom (1982), Painted From Memory (1998), When I Was Cruel (2002)
- Biggest classics: 'I Want You', 'She', 'Watching the Detectives', 'Oliver's Army', '(I Do not Want To Go To) Chelsea'

"Do not be nervous", the lady of the record company impresses us with a grudge, just before we speak to Elvis Costello. "He really looks forward to this conversation." It does not even turn out to be empty sales pitch. Costello will sing the praises about Belgium for a few minutes. "I have played the most blessed concerts in your country, really, what a wonderfully grateful audience you are! Not everyone understands the wild jumps that I sometimes make on tour, but you understand me completely. And I will never forget how the Red Devils were my support act this summer. (Laughs) My concert at the Rivierenhof was delayed by an hour or so so that you could follow the World Championships, that was not a hindrance for me, and when Belgium broke during that match, I knew that I in any case the perfect master of ceremonies would be. (laughs) "

A few days after the conversation, Charles Aznavour will exchange the temporary for the eternal. Costello covered the wonderful 'She' of Aznavour for the film Notting Hill, and made it a life-size hit. In tempore non suspecto he tells his nose about that song: "That remains one of the most beautiful songs I have ever covered." Some people honestly thought that I had made an ironic version of it, but that misunderstanding is purely based on the My voice's voice: Even in the most elaborate emotional songs, people still believe that I get love from the mangle, and that I used to be such a cynical bastard probably does not help with all that misunderstanding. "

Costello himself also recently had to deal with a malignant cancer that disrupted his tour schedule and gave the impression that death was knocking on his door.

We almost lost you?

"Glad to see you go straight in the house, happy scoundrel! I can not stress enough that these news reports were a storm in a glass of water, it was a small, but very aggressive, cancerous tumor.If you have permission, I will not go into the bloody and gore details, but it is enough to say that I could not find that extra acceleration, I just did not sang well enough to perform, so I wisely decided to take the advice of my doctor to heart and just rest."

Once you had submitted that statement to the world, things went completely out of hand.

"Oh boy, it did." It was written about me as if the Man with the Zeis was at my front door, which made me angry, how the tabloids dared to blow my statement so rudely, a happiness that I was raised Catholic. and forget, you know. (laughs) But I was furious that my dear old mother - the human being in the ninety, for crying out loud - had to be read through such a disgusting tabloid that I was dying. a lot of phone calls from friends, which I had to say that the old motherfucker is far from lying under the ground. (laughs)

"Do you know what disturbs me most of all? I know people who are fighting cancer, giving the impression that I even have a real sense of their struggle is totally irreverent and melodramatic, God's gruesome were those messages. eternity! "

The record does not tell you that your voice was suffering from that tumor. You sing sincerely better than ever.

"During the recording I also tried to lift myself above myself, the fatal phone call came in while I was recording with the boys, I do not have to tell you that such news comes in like a sledgehammer. too busy to really worry me, every note on this record I sung after the diagnosis, strangely enough, I had the impression that it made me stronger, if this were the last record I could make, it would have to be damn It is a great masterpiece to me, which you think is wonderful, and I pass on the compliment to my companions. "

If there is already a red thread running through the plate, it is that #MeToo has found its way to Look Now. Am I mistaken, or are a lot of songs about crippled and abused women?

"That whole movement has not passed me by, but to be honest: some songs have been gathering dust on a shelf for a quarter of a century, which means that even a farmer's cock like me already knew that there had always been a warped situation between men and women In 'Stripping Paper' I am talking about a relationship that slowly pulverizes, written from a female perspective In 'Photographs Do not Lie' you can hear a daughter musing about the unfaithfulness of her father and in 'Don' Look Now 'I am talking about a model that deals with unwanted advances, but I do not see too much of it myself.I always refuse to take a stand, nothing worse than a singer who tries to execute moral superiority. I just tell stories, such as the first best chronicler, and what someone else takes from the songs is more important to me. "

That sounds ... a bit easy?

"I know." (Laughs) But in my songs I never try to take a stand, and if the story remains somewhat diffuse, I've reached my goal: I'm not the guy who's going to stand on the barricades or waving with banners. You get from the songs what you think you can get out of it, there's little point in coming up with the Great Truth, because every story in the world is a matter of he said, she said. "

However, I could not get rid of the impression that 'Photographs Do not Lie' is a bit autobiographical. Your father was, besides an exceptional singer, composer and arranger, also a legendary schuinsmarcheerder.

"He was by no means a model for that song (chuckles) I do not write songs out of grudge, or not always, but the shame and guilt that crept into that one song is probably in me too. relationship to damnation I do not have to blow too high from the tower either I have been married three times, three times I could undoubtedly have tackled a lot better. "

Do you still have problems with things from your past?

"No. They undoubtedly form you, but you can indeed define your own future, or identify yourself, and I try to be as good as possible to be a present and decent father with the limited resources that my genes have given." My two boys, Dexter and Frank (twelve-year-old twin brothers, GVA) I try to grow up with the right values, while giving them enough freedom to write their own future. "

At the risk of becoming rude in your private life: how does that actually work, two musical parents? You have been married to Diana Krall for years.

"That is sometimes hilarious." (Laughs) We constantly irritate each other by playing music in each other's neighborhoods, I adore Diana, what an exceptional woman, as an artist she is light years ahead of me, she discovers details in a composition that I would not have But in the living room we can hit each other's duvel.We live in Vancouver and I drive her to madness when I make music.In one corner of the room I'm rattling on the piano, while they need complete rest I am not a professional piano player, so all my compositions miss the nuance that a song needs, fortunately she has a lot of patience with me. "

I think a lot of fans of you are eagerly looking forward to a duet record.

"We tried to do that about fifteen years ago (for Kralls album 'The Girl in the Other Room' (2004), GVA) but it never happened, but we constantly influence each other. The world of music has opened up thanks to her If someone asks me which artist has the greatest influence on me, I have to mention her name. "

You sound like a happy sixties. Not the angry young man for whom you were always worn out.

"Gosh ... I'll always be happier tomorrow than today."

With The Imposters you also found the ultimate accompaniment band. I know that fans will want to kill me for that statement. The Attractions remain the perfect orchestra according to your spy cup.

"(laughs) I understand that, but when I played with The Attractions, the songs sometimes sounded interchangeable, and I realize that I also get a lot of fans into the curtains. (chuckles) But that's the way it is: we spoke so little each other that we sometimes automatically repeats in. According to me, The Ramones at the time also not so pretty much talked together during rehearsals. (laughs) The advantage to The Imposters is that I know those guys for years now. That ensures that we feel each other perfectly. "

Your father blessed once gave you the advice: 'Never look up to a note. Look down on it. " Have you ever been intimidated by a song, so that you had to put it aside?

"This sounds undoubtedly heavenly conceited, but I do not see why my limited vocal range should mean the end of the song.If your voice is tired, or you are hoarse and hoarse in the winter, then you sing less well, point. I even get away with it, I'm not a bellboy singer anyway and I have to have that broken sound. (I chuckle) I get away with it, because instinctively I sing far better than intellectually.To think is never an option. with my voice, there is another pair of sleeves.Yes, you row with the straps you have, do not I have a limited range and the face of a body bully, and also the voice of one. (laughs).

"By the way, did you know that I was still in the choir? I was the perfect choirboy, and the pastor always chose me at funerals to stand on the altar, and if you have a somber facial expression by nature, that will come in handy. (laughs) Apart from that, I really do not like singers who can get every note perfectly, so you can just have a barrel organ play. "

I recently heard you say that you never listened to Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. Your good right, of course, but can I find that a bit strange?

"Sure, but it really is, there's a whole list of classic albums that everyone should have heard before he's put it in. To be honest, most of the records can be stolen, and I've always been in the box of rock. Terrible, I thought so.I feel at home in all genres, but not again.I'm always wanted to be an outsider.That's my motto Today I also hear many people suggest that rock'n'roll death Well, let's fucking hope so. (laughs) "
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: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:52 am

don't look now
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzCFFHaDFGk

i love the clarity of the production, esp. w. his voice.

gosh, they are all available if you scroll down on youtube. cd doesn't arrive till monday. what to do what to do?

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby And No Coffee Table » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:35 am

millaa wrote:I don't know if this has been discussed already, but a couple of UK retailers are listing the double vinyl version with 4 different tracks. It's probably an error because the way they have been labelled are the same, but anyone know anything?

Everyone’s Playing House
The Lovers That Never Were
If You Love Me
Down On The Bottom

https://www.recordstore.co.uk/recordsto ... WYO0000000
https://thesoundofvinyl.com/*/Pre-Order ... WYO0ASN000

I'm still wondering if this really exists! It's now release day, and the two websites linked above plus this one are the only ones I can find that have this track listing.

Has anyone seen a copy?

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Top balcony
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Top balcony » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:02 pm

I rushed out to buy the 2CD version from a shop today. Seems to be selling well Probe Records - frequented by the adolescent Declan MacManus - had sold out of their vinyl by lunchtime. I hope he has a hit on his hands.

If you're a big fan of Painted from Memory you will love it,

and if you're not (like me I'm afraid)......

Colin Top Balcony

sweetest punch
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:33 pm

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ente ... 79441.html

Elvis Costello: 'I wish I could write like Lionel Richie – but heartfelt love songs just aren't what I do'

The English singer-songwriter speaks about his new record 'Look Now', a ‘dramatised’ cancer operation, and why he’s unlikely to retire any of his more controversial tracks in the Time's Up era


Elvis Costello turned on the television one night – enjoying a quiet evening after dinner with his eldest son – only to find a singer on a new reality show doing a terrible impression… of him. He thought he was hallucinating.

“I couldn’t believe it!” he says, settled in an armchair at his London hotel. He’s wearing trendy, tinted lenses, rather than the thick black frames he’s more often associated with. “For one thing I don’t think of myself as being mainstream enough for that kind of light TV. And the impersonation was terrible, it sounded like Bluebottle from The Goon Show…”

That’s your answer, the 64-year-old chuckles, to why artists like him and Paul McCartney keep moving forwards. To try to stop people from doing those terrible impressions.

His new album Look Now is arguably one of his best, out of a catalogue spanning 25 records with the Attractions and the Imposters, plus a cluster of collaborative albums with artists including The Roots, Richard Harvey and Allen Toussaint. It features tracks starring his longtime collaborator Burt Bacharach on the piano, and one – “Burnt Sugar is So Bitter” – written with Carole King on one Dublin afternoon, decades ago but only recorded this year.

Costello realised it was time to get back in the studio with the Imposters during the Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers tour in 2017, after having the original idea for the record more than 20 years ago. “I still had quite a bit to learn about orchestration, back then,” he says. “I’ve found out where to leave the space.” He’d seen a documentary about the last few years of David Bowie’s life: “Watching these guys explain how they arranged the records… even though I’m a musician, I hadn’t analysed them in that way before.”

There’s a big sense of “old meets new” on Look Now, which is co-produced with Sebastian Krys. People make a fetish out of using the same instruments from famous albums on their own work, Costello sniffs, “as if you could somehow make that record again”. He jokes that they had a picture of the Challen upright piano from Abbey Road that Paul McCartney played on “Let It Be” taped to one of their own pianos while they recorded.

“When Steve [Nieve – the Imposters’ keyboard and synth player] came to the studio, in addition to all the great pianos that were there, he had this library of samples on the Mellotron (the Sixties keyboard sampler that can be most famously heard on the opening of “Strawberry Fields Forever”), and some of them were from real instruments,” he recalls. “I remember the first time he got one of those keyboards, we were like children, standing around it. ‘Wow, French horn!’ It sounded nothing like a French horn, though.”

He thinks technology like this is, in part, why you have fewer bands and more solo artists, or duos, who can get the sounds they want out of a machine rather than enlisting real musicians – Ed Sheeran being one of the most obvious examples, with his trusty loop pedal.

“I’ve been doing that stuff for years, but I don’t get to play Wembley Stadium,” Costello says, pretending to sulk. “He’s very good, Ed, and he’s very sincere,” he adds. “And he plays really well, he sings well, and he has good songs and people love him. I hate people saying they can’t stand him. It’s just jealousy because he’s successful.”

He sounds genuinely irritable at the idea people would assume he prefers rock music over pop: “I like real pop music. People ask me about rock bands, but I never liked that music. I watched Kylie Minogue at Hyde Park the other night… what’s not to like? Miley Cyrus is fantastic, too. People don’t listen to her properly – she can sing most people inside out. It’s snobbery, and also arrogance to assume anything in a big successful package somehow lacks authenticity.”

There’s another chuckle when I compliment him on a rather impressive falsetto that appears on “Suspect My Tears”.

“Anybody who saw me in the summer probably wouldn’t say that, because I hadn’t given myself enough time to get better from this little operation,” he says, “which was unfortunately rather dramatised in some of the less… foldable papers, shall we say.”

He’s referring to an operation he underwent earlier this year on a “small but very aggressive” cancerous tumour, which forced him to cancel some tour dates so he could recover. The type of cancer wasn’t specified, but he addressed his male fans in a statement about the surgery: “Gentlemen, do talk to your friends… seek your doctor’s advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely… believe me, it is better than playing roulette.”

“I didn’t want to make a melodrama,” Costello says flatly. “I have friends – one died this week – and being the age I am, you know people who have really gone through it. I was lucky. Frankly I wasn’t going to say anything at all because it wasn’t that big a deal. I got the word, five weeks from then I had to have the operation. It didn’t affect one word on any of the songs. Did it sharpen me up singing them? Maybe.”

But, in a “rather foolhardy” way, he went straight back to touring. On stage, he never feels tired, but the constant travelling began to catch up with him. He was in the middle of a show in Newcastle when his ability to project his voice “kind of disappeared – it scared the hell out of me!” He decided to rest a little longer.

Some of the songs on Look Now are personal, others are written from the perspective of fictional characters – more than half of them women. Costello tells his listener something “I know to be true – but in the voice of other people... I’m not evading anything by doing that,” he says. “It’s genuinely what accumulated in the writing.”

Opening track “Under Lime” is one such example – it alternates between the perspectives of its male and female characters, including Jimmie, who was last seen “Standing in the Rain”, on Costello’s 2010 Americana epic National Ransom. As you witness this seedy vaudevillian interact with a production assistant “in the violent strip of an undressing room”, it’s very difficult not to apply it to the Time’s Up and #MeToo era of today.

“I performed that lyric 18 months ago, before any of this was named, but that didn’t mean those issues didn’t exist,” Costello nods. “Those kinds of exchanges have been in my songs all along, not because I’m that person, but…” he pauses. “I wish I could write like Lionel Richie – heartfelt love songs with nothing insincere about them. But that’s just not what I do. I find the other angle, or maybe two or three different angles in the same story.”

He’s delighted to be reminded of one singer-songwriter, Esmé Patterson, who wrote a response to his controversial track “Alison” from the woman’s perspective, in 2014: “That’s really good!” he says. But he still disagrees with the suggestion that the protagonist is “a bit of a dick”.

“I think the song is actually one of accepting responsibility,” he says. “People say it’s a misogynist song because he’s saying ‘I’m gonna kill you’.” (The song puts it: “I know this world is killing you. Oh Alison, my aim is true.”) Isn’t that a bit simplistic? “But then that’s the danger of the label. It’s like calling ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ [“Every Breath You Take”] by The Police a ‘stalker song’.”

There was almost a point, he reveals – one fleeting moment – where he wondered whether he should not record “Under Lime” at all, for fear people would put a ”misogynist“ or #MeToo label on this one, as well.

“In the past I’ve second-guessed myself out of things,” he says. “But the song is not judging either person – it actually says there’s a moment where they don’t know which impulse they’ll follow.”

On the mournful, brass-filled “I Let the Sun Go Down”, again, as a listener hearing about the “man who lost the British Empire”, you automatically want to apply it to a Brexit context.

“I was trying to imagine this cog in a big machine – he’s taken the whole responsibility for the collapse of this edifice,” Costello says. “People are at a loss within an idea, and that’s what the song is really about. The guy being so stricken with the idea he has to hold the world up… but it’s this ideal, that you’d live and die for.”

He wrote it for another project with the intention that it would be able to stand on its own: “I’m pretty tricky that way,” he says, smiling. “It was only after I’d written it that it occurred to me that people would hear that, a bit like ‘Under Lime’… it’s been overtaken by certain events.

Living in Vancouver with his third wife, the jazz musician Diana Krall, and their twin boys Dexter and Frank, he doesn’t see so much of the Brexit drama still unfolding in the UK. “We don’t see any of it!” he exclaims. “We’re talking about whether the pipeline happens or not. Everywhere you go, there’s somewhere they don’t care what Donald Trump says…”

What he does see, he says, from thousands of miles away, is that the “weird safety valve” of England is “a certain need [for politicians] to debase yourself in front of your countrymen”, creating a spectacle almost as a form of distraction.

“One of the ways for success is to prove that you’re a good sport, that you don’t mind a laugh about yourself,” he suggests. “Isn’t that what most shows on television are about? It’s the same with politicians – that’s how they get people to trust them.”

He sounds baffled by recent attempts at protest by the far right in Britain: “Did nobody think the Sadiq Khan blimp was… why was he in a bikini?!” he splutters. “The Trump blimp was funny. The Sadiq one was stupid. What was the thinking behind it?” He scoffs again. “Those guys need new scriptwriters.”
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: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:35 pm

https://americansongwriter.com/2018/10/ ... -look-now/

Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Look Now
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

More than ever before in his stunning career, Elvis Costello writes growers. When he was in his late ’70s, early ’80s heyday, the agility of his lyrics was matched by his way with a punchy hook. That skill has in no way abandoned him; it’s just that he’s after something richer than instant gratification these days. And, more often than not on his new album Look Now, he gets there.

Recorded with the Imposters (old Attraction buddies Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas and bassist Davey Faragher), Look Now contains occasional flashes of albums past. There is bit of the Beatlesque grandeur of Imperial Bedroom, some of the torch-song yearning of North, and, on the songs where Burt Bacharach co-writes, dollops of that elegant Painted From Memory heartbreak. But Costello, who co-produced with Sebastian Krys, never lets any genre predominate, sometimes shifting the overarching mood several times within a single song to follow the emotional content of the narratives.

Costello’s songs here concentrate mostly on the futile romantic escapades of the broken, how self-betrayal is intermingled with the betrayal of significant others. His characters, be it the washed-up showbiz hack of “Under Lime,” the wife of “Stripping Paper” recalling happier times, or the couple emotionally blackmailing each other on “Suspect My Tears,” all carry the songwriter’s lacerating self-awareness, yet are treated with equal empathy.

When the tempo revs up, as on “Under Lime” and “Unwanted Number,” the Imposters’ chemistry comes rocketing to the fore, with Thomas steady and spicy, Faragher providing melodic surprises, and Nieve ever tinkering with inventive touches. Costello also keeps the slower material from the doldrums by employing strings and woodwinds that evoke everything from George Martin’s erudition to Gamble and Huff grit. Follow Elvis Costello down the twisting paths of Look Now and you’ll find they lead to sublime musical destinations.
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: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:40 pm

https://www.ft.com/content/dee3cf1a-cb5 ... ad351828ab

Q&A with musician Elvis Costello

‘I never had any ambition. One thing led to another’

Elvis Costello, 64, released his debut album, My Aim is True, in 1977. His subsequent albums include Armed Forces, Get Happy!!, Imperial Bedroom and Punch the Clock. His best-known singles include “Alison”, “Oliver’s Army”, “ Shipbuilding”, “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” and “Watching the Detectives”. He won a Grammy, with Burt Bacharach, in 1998 for “I Still Have That Other Girl” and his 2003 song “Scarlet Tide”, co-written with T-Bone Burnett for Cold Mountain, was nominated for an Oscar.

What was your childhood or earliest ambition?

To be a coalman. When I was a lad, coal was still delivered to my nana’s street in Birkenhead. I loved the smell and, I suspect, the taste of anthracite.

Private school or state school? University or straight into work?

St Edmund’s RC primary school in Whitton, Archbishop Myers Secondary Modern in Hounslow and Saint Francis Xavier’s Bilateral in Liverpool. I try not to read anything personal into the fact that both of my secondary schools changed their names, one shortly after I left and the other just after I joined. I’ve worked since I was 17.

Who was or still is your mentor?

Harold and Sylvia Hikins were — and are — poets and writers who hosted readings and musical evenings at which my first musical partner, Allan Mayes, and I tried out our songs, when we were working elsewhere for £1.50 a night and very little encouragement.

How physically fit are you?

This being a financial organ, I have to tell you that I feel like a million dollars.

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Once upon a time, I would have said ambition without talent was worthless. Now I’m not so sure.

How politically committed are you?

There have always been politicians who should be committed but I’ve never felt at home at parties.

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

“If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” by Robert Johnson.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

I like to get to the end of the line with the least distress. I would rather travel by water than by air. I can swim, I can’t fly.

In what place are you happiest?

When I’m all at sea.

What ambitions do you still have?

I never had any ambition — one thing led to another.

What drives you on?

Electricity.

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

That I am here at all.

What do you find most irritating in other people?

I don’t know about all the “other people” but the sneering confidence of some people in “their truth” is mildly vexing.

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?

“Wow, he’s very far away.”

Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?

My reverse telescope.

What is the greatest challenge of our time?

Fiddling while Rome burns. There aren’t enough fiddles, there aren’t enough bows and soon there won’t be enough pines to burn.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Yes, but not in the storybook sense.

If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?

In the wise words of Sir Nigel Tufnel, “It goes up to 11.

A with musician Elvis Costello

‘I never had any ambition. One thing led to another’

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