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Postby jmm » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:14 pm

From Richard Thompson's BeesWeb site in the new Q&A is this Q from me and RT's answer

Q: I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the excellent Cabaret of Souls and Loud & Rich shows over the last few months, but also the stunningly good taping of Spectacle Elvis Costello with … on build a band night – amazing!! (Thank you Tim) Can you share a bit about it - how this came together, what your thoughts and impressions of the evening were (especially playing with Elvis, Allen Toussaint, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm, Ray LaMontange, et al), the incredible guitar additions to Certain Girl came about, etc. It was truly a unique and wonderful evening – thank you, JMM

A: Elvis filled me in on the general plot beforehand, and who they were hoping to get on the show – Levon was touch and go, because of his health. I also had an idea of the playlist, although that changed a bit. I was surprised how small the Apollo was – seats maybe 1,000 – and how few 8 x 10s were on the wall, considering the history of the place. What ghosts! Who had sat in that same dressing room? Billie Holiday? Ray Charles?

The concept of the show was to ‘build a band’ piece by piece, until myself, Allen, Nick and Levon were all on stage for a finale or three. I was very excited about playing the guitar intro to The Weight, and looked around expectantly, waiting for someone to give me the nod at rehearsals. Alas, Levon’s arrangement starts with a drum intro (although he sang it on the record, Richard Manuel played the drums, so perhaps he felt it needed some reinterpretation). Still, a thrill to sing Rick Danko’s verse with Levon 3 feet behind me, Good to work with Nick Lowe, who has been writing great songs of late, and I’ve been on records with Allen Toussaint, without meeting him – fine fellow. Those old Toussaint arrangements and compositions are in the blood, and don’t need a lot of rehearsal. I can’t believe I’ve never been on stage with Elvis before, but that seems to be the case. I thought he did a fantastic job of holding the evening together.

http://www.richardthompson-music.com/ca ... sp?id=1131
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:25 am

All new photos for Season 2-

http://www.sundancechannel.com/spectacl ... ew-season/

Brilliant flippin' picture!

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Postby FAVEHOUR » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:44 am

I think the picture's terrible. It's got to be from 2008, his eyes are going in different directions, and he looks like Sebastian Cabot.

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Postby Neil. » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:52 pm

Blimey, no wonder Elvis got pissed off, if this is the picture he was on about in that email! That is an absolutely TERRIBLE bit of photoshopping! They've tried to make his portlier image from last year look thinner by airbrushing in some cheekbones. That really is bloody awful! Get a contemporary photo rather than tarting up an old one! Gah!

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Postby scielle » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:25 pm

Ray Lamontagne talks about his Spectacle appearance:

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Postby jmm » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:55 am

EC certainly seems to start to say that Bruce will be cut into two episodes on Jimmy Fallon to me.

Anyone else pick that up?
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Postby And No Coffee Table » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:13 pm

Yes... He said, "It's actually going to be two epis..." before he was interrupted.

The other Spectacle news from the Jimmy Fallon appearance was that "Alison" didn't make the final cut for the Bono/Edge episode. Elvis speculated that it could be on the next DVD.

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Postby Ypsilanti » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:39 pm

Blimey, no wonder Elvis got pissed off, if this is the picture he was on about in that email! That is an absolutely TERRIBLE bit of photoshopping! They've tried to make his portlier image from last year look thinner by airbrushing in some cheekbones. That really is bloody awful! Get a contemporary photo rather than tarting up an old one! Gah!

Yeah--that photo is a mess! He looks like somebody else, not himself. Those cheekbones are ridiculous and they've made his chin so pointy it looks like it's been in a pencil sharpener. All those Sundance photos are bizarre--everything is so smooth and shiny. Elvis looks like he's been enamelled. His necktie looks like metal--it looks so uncomfortable to wear.
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Postby migdd » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:43 pm

The image looks like "EC visits the horror of the wax museum". Worst Photoshop monstrosity I've seen in a while. Why couldn't they just take a more recent photo where his cheeks were naturally less puffy. Kept some poor graphic artist in a job for another day, I guess.

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:02 pm

johnfoyle wrote:http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09295/1007247-388.stm

Forty years into his musical career, Richard Thompson is still vital, still a dark horse
Thursday, October 22, 2009
By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


So, the recent Elvis Costello taping. Sounds like it was quite an affair.

It was quite fun. The particular evening I was on, I was on with Levon Helm and Allen Toussaint and Nick Lowe. We performed individually and at the end collectively. This was kind of a strange band that we assembled. But it was just fantastic to play with Allen, and to play 'The Weight' with Levon three feet behind you was pretty thrilling.

And Elvis Costello, had you played with him before?

I don't think we ever played on stage together. We used to play in the '80s together around Elvis' house. Not much since then. I think he's up there with the best. Extremely prolific, of course.

Did you recognize his talent when he first came around, about '77?

Oh, yeah. I thought his first album was amazing. At that time, everything new was perceived as punk, so the Pretenders were punk and Elvis was punk. And they weren't really. They were just slightly a rawer interpretation of popular music. Obviously he was very talented and he kind of rode in on the wave of punk. But it was always apparent to me that he was probably the most interesting person to come out of that time.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09295/10 ... z0Udp7t1IU

Cool. That was a great evening of music. RT was on fire.
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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:31 pm

Dave C. forwards this to listserv-


Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Neko Case, Richard Thompson and Others to Join
Host Elvis Costello In Seven-Part Original Series
Premieres December 9, 2009 at 10:00pm et/pt

November 2009 - New York - Sundance Channel will launch the second season of
its critically acclaimed music/talk original series "Spectacle: Elvis
Costello with..." on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 10:00pm et/pt with an
episode featuring U2's Bono and The Edge. "Spectacle: Elvis Costello
with..." combines the best elements of talk and music television and lets
viewers in on intimate conversation and performances with host Costello and
his guests, who range from legendary performers to promising new artists.
The series, executive produced by Sir Elton John, includes one-on-one
interviews, unprecedented pairings and group discussions, as well as
extraordinary performances, from impromptu "illustrative" moments to full
band (and even multi-band) productions. Among the confirmed guests for the
seven-part season are: Bono, The Edge, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle
Lovett, John Prine, Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Jesse Winchester, Ray
LaMontagne, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint.

"We're thrilled to launch a second season of 'Spectacle' on Sundance
Channel," said Sundance Channel EVP and GM, Sarah Barnett. "The series
offers viewers unusually close access to artists through its mix of candid
conversations and exciting musical performances. This season's A-list
line-up is a testament to the tremendous respect that artists feel for Elvis
Costello as a musician and entertainer."

"I am delighted that we can continue where we left off--making intelligent,
and informative music programming," said Sir Elton John, one of the series'
executive producers.

Elvis Costello commented: "In the words of the great Joe Strummer, 'Let's
rock again!'"

The program's eclecticism and depth reflect its uniquely qualified host.
Costello is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; a Grammy and Ivor Novello
Award-winning (and Oscar®-nominated) songwriter and performer comfortable in
almost every genre imaginable; a musicologist of formidable breadth and
knowledge; a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine; and a noted wit whose
stint as guest host on The Late Show with David Letterman won rave reviews.

"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..." is taped in front of a live audience at
Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater in New York City and The Masonic Temple
in Toronto, Canada. The series will also air on CTV in Canada.

For more information on Spectacle, check out--
http://link.brightcove.com/services/pla ... 0025209001

The schedule for Season Two of "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with ..." is as

+ December 9th at 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bono and The Edge"

+ December 16th at 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Ron Sexsmith and
Jesse Winchester"

+ December 23rd at 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Levon Helm, Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson and
Allen Toussaint"

+ December 30th 6:00 - 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..." marathon

+ January 6th at 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Elvis Costello"

+ January 13th at 10:00pm--
"Elvis Costello with Lyle Lovett, Ray LaMontagne, and John Prine"

+ January 20th at 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bruce Springsteen part 1"

+ January 27th at 10:00pm--
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bruce Springsteen part 2"

The inaugural season of "Spectacle" featured an extraordinary and eclectic
roster of legendary musicians and fascinating personalities including: Sir
Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel, Smokey Robinson, The
Police (Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers), James Taylor, Herbie
Hancock, Rufus Wainwright, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Diana Krall,
John Mellencamp, Jakob Dylan, She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Norah
Jones, Jenny Lewis, Renée Fleming and President Bill Clinton.

Season one of "Spectacle" is now available on iTunes, and a DVD/BluRay box
set was released in the U.S. on November 17, 2009.

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Postby scielle » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:59 pm


Bono, The Edge to kick off next edition of Spectacle: Elvis Costello.

Elvis Costello is in a philosophical mood on this sombre, wet, late fall afternoon.

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with . . . Bono & The Edge, the next instalment in Costello's open-ended series of conversations about music, with the people who make music, premieres on Canadian TV on Dec. 11.

Another six conversations will air early in the new year, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett and Ron Sexsmith, among others. It's an eclectic guest list, but Costello, whose personal musical style and deeply textured lyrics have made him one of his generation's most innovative and influential songwriters, says there's no thought or design behind it.

Costello doesn't think of Spectacle in terms of seasons, just as he doesn't think of his on-air conversations as straight question-and-answer sessions. Spectacle's 13 episodes that have already aired were part of a piece, he suggests. Costello doesn't regard the seven episodes to come as a second season, but rather as another part of the piece.

Asked if he sees Spectacle living beyond the next part of the piece, Costello at first gives a guarded answer about tight finances and the economic crunch facing network television, then segues into a more candid and heartfelt answer about how he doesn't dwell on the future, but rather, focuses on the present.

Costello regards Spectacle's 20 hours - last season's 13 episodes and the seven episodes to come - as a self-contained work, a visual symphony in roughly two dozen movements. In Costello's eyes, Spectacle is already a complete work. He views it as an artistic expression more than a TV show. And, like all artistic expressions, there are no set rules about when to stop and when to keep going. Costello will know in his heart when the time has come to compose Spectacle's final coda.

``When I'm hosting a show, I always think, `This could be the last one I do, ' because I usually go into everything I do as if it's the last,'' Costello says. ``I think that approach keeps you on your mettle.''

Costello is still jazzed, though, by the idea of sitting down with the greats - and the not-so-greats - and sharing thoughts on musical styles and influences. He regards Spectacle as two shots of happy and one shot of sad, and he touches off each conversation with a self-referential poetry slam, set to music.

Away from the plush couch and bright lights of Toronto's Masonic Temple, Costello talks about the art of conversation. It's not something he finds easy to articulate at first - he's more used to shaping Spectacle's conversation than being on the receiving end - but, over time, he warms to his subject.

``I feel more surprise than pride,'' Costello says, reflecting on Spectacle's early days. ``To be honest, I haven't looked at many of the shows, but I remember there were moments when I was genuinely surprised by what came out. I was glad I put in the time to figure things out about people's careers, about some of their less well-known songs, and it got a remarkable response. There's so much to talk about, that it's a tremendous responsibility. I was glad that I asked those questions, because things came up that probably would not have come up in any other context.''

If Costello allows himself any pride, it was in the diverse range of musical styles and genres as represented by a first-year guest list that ranged from Lou Reed, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, Rufus Wainwright and Tony Bennett to less pop/rock-oriented guests, such as opera soprano Renee Fleming, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

Costello says he wishes, in hindsight and partly in jest, that he had handled the Spectacle conversation with his wife, virtuoso jazz pianist Diana Krall, but his Spectacle co-producer Elton John drew out a side of Krall that Costello wouldn't have.

John quipped at the time that he had never interviewed anyone on television before, then engaged Krall in some revealing piano talk about her influences, from Fats Waller, Joni Mitchell and Bill Evans to her favourite, Nat King Cole.

The on-stage performances are a key reason that Spectacle works, Costello reasons, and on that night, Krall performed a stirring rendition of Cole's Exactly Like You, backed by bassist Christian McBride and drummer Karriem Riggins.

Spectacle was never intended to resemble one of the late-night talk shows, which Costello describes as ``a different form of entertainment'' that's staged and paced primarily for comedic effect.

The traditional late-night talk shows are filmed in real time - ``very little is edited out'' - whereas Spectacle is paced more like a free-flowing conversation, so Costello and his guest-of-the-moment have the time to hit the right notes. Each hour of Spectacle takes three or four hours to film, Costello estimates.

Costello doesn't actively think of names or seek guests for Spectacle.

``One of the problems with having a beautiful set is that the show is not that mobile.''

The guest list is more an in-the-moment decision: who happens to be available, and who engages Costello's interest at the time. That artist can be just as much a young ingenue, finding her voice, as it can be a music legend.

``I don't feel any compulsion, as a rule,'' Costello says. ``I just want to have a good show. And I find the best shows are collaborative shows; they're complementary with one another.''

In perhaps his most disarming admission, Costello reveals he wanted Taylor Swift to appear on Spectacle, but the Kanye West incident at the MTV Music Awards happened the very same weekend Spectacle's producers approached Swift. Swift hesitated, then declined. Costello suspects the sudden, dramatic fallout from the MTV Awards controversy, coupled with the sudden, white-hot glare of the media spotlight, caused Swift to have cold feet. By the time Swift was ready to reconsider, both she and Costello had moved on to other projects.

Costello feels a conversation with the exceedingly young, yet not untalented, Swift would have made an important addition to the Spectacle canon. Swift represents the flip side of Spectacle's more familiar lineup of Hall of Fame inductees and legendary rockers. Swift is a fast-rising star on the cusp of a potentially long and meaningful music career.

``I think she is quite interesting, and I thought it would be very snobbish to not try to get someone like that. You can see a degree of self-possession there, and I'm intrigued by that. She's a very young girl whom you don't want to judge based on what people are writing down about her, saying, `Well, that's just such-and-such.' How do you know? It's like saying to a teenager in love, `Oh, it's not real; just get on with it.' Well, it's very real when you're in love and you're a teenager.

``It's the same with pop. There are very few songs about young people that are written from a teenager's perspective. When you see her sing, you can see that coming alive inside her, in the moment. When she's singing, it means exactly what it says it means.''

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with . . . Bono & The Edge airs Friday on CTV starting Friday, Dec. 11 at 10 ET/PT.

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Postby sweetest punch » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:26 am

http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/st ... lo_1123718

Rocker ELVIS COSTELLO is to end his run as a chat show host after just two seasons because his "side project" takes up too much of his time.
The Brit fronts music and interview show Spectacle and the second season of the critically-acclaimed series is just about to begin in America (09Dec09) with chats and performances from Bono and Bruce Springsteen, among others.
And no matter how successful the show is, Costello insists he won't be back for a third series.
He says, "I wasn't looking for a career in TV. It's something I did as a side project from my real career."
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:57 am

http://communities.canada.com/shareit/b ... -then.aspx

Nov 25 2009

Alex Strachan
of Canwest

Elvis Costello has a rep for being a difficult — read: prickly — interview. So why is he so mellow and talkative on the phone, then?

Any good conversation starts with an ice breaker.

I knew that Elvis Costello, 2010 Songwriter Hall of Fame induction nominee and a man who once famously said, "I have no interest in being a statesman, elder or otherwise," had a reputation for being a tough interview, so I decided to rattle his cage right-off-the-bat, as it were.

"Right off the bat" is an English expression, which would appeal to a singer-songwriter born Declan Patrick MacManus in London, England, some 55 years ago.

"So," I asked Costello, the moment I had him on the phone, to break the ice: "What's your opinion of Ellen joining American Idol?"

There was a silence, followed by, "I don't know who Allan is."

"Ellen. Ellen DeGeneres."

"Oooh - Ell-en." Costello paused, silent, then said - surprisingly meekly, I thought - "I'm sorry. I don't really know. I don't actually watch much television. And certainly not that kind of television."

I guessed - possibly correctly, though you never know with the celebrity/gossip tabloid crowd - that I was the only interviewer that day dumb and/or craven enough to lead off with a question about American Idol. And I knew that, given Costello's rep for being a difficult interview, I was risking him pulling a Carrie Prejean, who famously - if somewhat incoherently - stormed out on Larry King after being asked one too many questions that she didn't like.

He got it, though, and it was all good from there.

From American Idol we segued into a long, thoughtful conversation about his music-talk show, Spectacle: Elvis Costello With..., about career and longevity, and about the power of music to move, shape and influence an entire generation of music listeners.

An abridged version of that conversation will appear in Canwest newspapers the week of Dec. 7

Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... Bono & The Edge, the first of seven episodes in Spectacle's second season - Costello himself thinks neither in terms of episodes or seasons - will air Dec. 11, on CTV. Check you local listings for the exact time.

Costello kicks off the hour with one of his by-now legendary jam-'n'-jive poetry jams, rapping to the lyric, "Long ago, my friends, monsters and giants walked the Earth. There were Beatles. There were Stones and an Iron Butterfly. There were the Who, the what, the where, the why and a Zeppelin of Led. And the faithful worshipped at their feet. But in time, giants grow old . . . and people ask, who shall climb up? Who shall take their place on the mountain? . . . And the wise among them laughed. L-a-u-g-h-e-d!"

Until, that is, "four lads from Dublin" - Costello's words - seized the moment and ascended the mountain.

Another six episodes, featuring sit-down chats with Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Jesse Winchester, Ray LaMontagne, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint, will air early in the new year. The exact day and time will be included in CTV's midseason announcement, expected any day.

Spectacle's first season - or the first movement in Spectacle's conversational symphony, if you prefer - was released last week on DVD and BluRay.

Good sounds, good conversation and a cool, laid-back vibe: To my mind, Spectacle is just that, whether live or on DVD.

Back after this.

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Postby Man out of Time » Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:42 am

Does anyone know if or when Spectacle Season 2 will be broadcast in the UK?

I cannot find any reference to season 2 on the Channel 4 website. Their promotion and scheduling of Season 1 was poor, so perhaps I should not be too surprised.

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Postby scielle » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:06 am

I had emailed them several months ago and was told they have no plans to air Season 2. Perhaps that's since changed, but I doubt it.

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Postby Ypsilanti » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:11 am

The image looks like "EC visits the horror of the wax museum". Worst Photoshop monstrosity I've seen in a while. Why couldn't they just take a more recent photo where his cheeks were naturally less puffy. Kept some poor graphic artist in a job for another day, I guess.

Sundance appears to have removed that photo and replaced it with one that's even worse. Now Elvis looks like a deranged ape-man. It's a shame. Do you think this is the real reason he's not continuing with the show? Rift with Sundance because they made him look like an idiot? If so, he kind of has a point--those photos are shockingly bad.
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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:10 am

http://ca.reuters.com/article/entertain ... 04?sp=true

Fri Dec 4, 2009

Elvis Costello enjoys TV role as "carnival barker"

By Cortney Harding

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Elvis Costello, the British singer-songwriter who swept through the London pub scene, the punk movement and the New Wave fad while retaining his signature sound, continues to release great work 30-plus years into his career. His latest project, the country- and folk-inflected "Secret, Profane, and Sugarcane," arrived June 9 on Hear Music.

Costello is determined to make his mark on TV as well as popular music; his show, "Spectacle," blends music and interviews with superstars and up-and-comers. A DVD of the first season was released November 17, and the second season premieres December 9 on the Sundance Channel.

Billboard: How do you curate the shows and decide on the guests?

Elvis Costello: Well, of course you can make a wish list, but even though you can theorize all you want, you've got to get people into the theater. After that, I think the most important thing is contrast. You need people who are more gently spoken together with people who can really grab you by the throat. It's not a bad thing to also have people who have a broad popular appeal and don't often get to play in intimate settings.

Billboard: You hold your own as an interviewer against big personalities like Bono and former President Bill Clinton. How did you prepare to interview these people?

Costello: With someone like Bono, at one time, I was on top of the bill and he was just coming up. And all of sudden he got on a rocket ship and just took off, and his music was just designed for such huge, wide spaces. But he's still a human being with anxieties and insecurities. On the show, Bono talks about being in the company of Frank Sinatra and realizing that he was in a heavyweight league.

When I talked to Clinton, we mainly talked about music, but I did ask him one very serious question, about whether he consulted music when he was faced with a difficult policy decision. And I could see the impact that question had was different than him just reminiscing about music, and I felt like I had been sparring with Muhammad Ali and just laid a glove on him.

Billboard: Were you influenced by any particular music shows or talk shows when you started putting "Spectacle" together?

Costello: I didn't really have a model for the show in my head; I just wanted to pull together all the things that interested me. I see myself as being like a carnival barker or the MC of a big package show.

Billboard: Are you planning on doing any other TV, given the success of "Spectacle?" Maybe visiting "Colbert Christmas" or "30 Rock?" again

Costello: I think "30 Rock" is on hiatus right now, but I'd be more than happy to reprise my roll as an international art thief. (laughs) I've carried a Screen Actors Guild card for a number of years, but I don't think of myself as an actor. I wouldn't mind doing something where I am given the responsibility of being a character -- usually I'm just asked to be a guitar player with glasses.

Billboard: Are you working on any new music at the moment?

Costello: I'm always writing. I'm not recording anything right now because I just finished touring. I was in Australia four weeks ago playing shows, and then I went to Toronto to do the last show of the season (for "Spectacle"), and I've been in New York working on the edits ever since.

Billboard: In 2004, you put a line on the back of your CD "The Delivery Man" stating that you didn't endorse the FBI anti-piracy warning on the back of albums. What did you mean when you made that statement?

Costello: My issue with having a government agency stamp on creative work is that it just goes against my nature. I won't carry an ID card, because people actually lost their lives so that we don't have to carry ID cards.

And I'm not really big on government institutions putting stamps on works of art. The problem is much more complex than all of that, and my issue is that it's just like the patient is bleeding from a number of wounds and you just put a (bandage) on this one thing -- and it has a big FBI sticker on it and that's supposed to make people feel better?

It's like suing one or two people for downloading. If you really want to go after it, you go after the file-sharing institutions, because they're also the conduits for child porn. So why don't you go after them? Just go and close them down. You know, it's a half-assed thing, that's what my problem with it is. It's the wrong enemy.

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Postby MOJO » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:11 am

It's not so much the file sharing sites as it is the overall internet infrastructure itself. The underground industry has proliferated because "hollywood" has let it happen. They refuse to let go and create a business model that works for all parties. Suck it up, Hollywood, all industries, besides the entertainment vertical market, are streamlining their business operations. Just face the fact that you have to let go and give up that old school "luxury" lifestyle and create a web service where "content" (which isn't yours to begin with) can actually be tracked and accounted for across the web... Are you thinking out of the box? The Comcast/NBC Univ. deal is an example of squandering money from a telco/cable firm who has NO CLUE. The entertainment industry is worse than the government in terms of operations/management... SCHMUCK CITY - for sure.

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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:29 am

http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment ... 39666.html

U2 makes a 'Spectacle' for Costello


4th December 2009

Music fans fantasize that all the biggest rock stars know each other. And they live together in a big house.

“Like the Monkees,” Elvis Costello said enthusiastically.

“Or Help!” added Costello, referring to the Beatles movie. “We live in a row of terrace houses, and they’re connecting inside.”

That Help! house was so damn cool, we always wanted to live there.

“Yeah, me too,” Costello said. “With the sunken bed ... there are plenty of people who have lived that out.”

The fact is, there are some fellow titans of rock that Elvis Costello knows very well, and others that are mere acquaintances, if that. Costello’s experience hosting Spectacle — the second season of which gets under way Friday on CTV, with Bono and the Edge from U2 — has taught Costello that good friends don’t automatically make good interviews.

“Only a couple of them are people I know really well,” Costello said of the second-season guest list, which includes the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Nick Lowe, Sheryl Crow, Levon Helm and Ron Sexsmith.

CTV is airing the U2 episode of Spectacle — which sees Costello talking to, and performing with, Bono and the Edge — as a pre-Christmas treat. The rest of the second season will air sometime in 2010, although filming has been completed already.

“We did two in Toronto at the Masonic Temple (MTV headquarters) and the rest in New York at the Apollo again,” Costello said. “This second season has a different personality in that it’s based more on songs rather than on the careers of individuals. We concentrated on framing things very tightly in the musical fashion.”

Costello introduces Bono and the Edge with a rap about how U2 has joined the likes of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the Who and Led Zeppelin in the rock pantheon, as unlikely as that might have seemed when U2 formed in Ireland in the late 1970s.

“You have to be happy if you open the series with Bono and Edge,” Costello said. “And they’re coming along to the Masonic Temple — it’s hard to imagine Led Zeppelin ever played there (but they did, in 1969). When you’ve got television production in there, you’ve got 700 people, maybe less. And U2 is playing to 40,000 people the next day at the Rogers Centre.

“It came home to me halfway through the show, around the time Bono started thanking everybody on the show from the stage, I thought, ‘What incredible generosity it was for them to let themselves take part in this.’ They didn’t know what I was going to ask them. It’s not all scripted. There’s no collusion.”

We asked Costello if he’d ever fantasized about having Spectacle travel back in time so he could interview and jam with some of the dearly departed titans of rock — people such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, John Lennon, etc.

“I haven’t actually had that imagining,” Costello said. “But now that you say it, you could go on forever.”

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Postby martinfoyle » Sat May 08, 2010 6:19 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/ma ... list-guide
I went to a taping of Elvis Costello's show Spectacle last year at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. He had Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, Allen Touissant and Levon Helm on the stage. I would have paid to watch that 10 times. Who knew Nick Lowe was so charming? Or Richard Thompson so charismatic and intimidating? All three of them, Lowe, Costello and Thompson, are proof of this strange fact that I've never had properly explained to me, which is that English rock'n'rollers are always twice as intelligent and articulate as their American counterparts. English rockers go to art school and the LSE. I recently saw It Might Get Loud, the documentary about the Edge, Jack White and Jimmy Page, and of course Jimmy Page is not only the coolest of the three but also the most thoughtful and sophisticated. Why is this? Here in America, by contrast, the best they can do is a mumbling Kurt Cobain and a strutting Bruce Springsteen, who seems to spend most of his time these days at the gym.


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