Sunday, January 11, 2009
Another Elvis Siting: The King Is Still Alive
Spectacle: Elvis Costello With:
Five Scoops of Bosco
By Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco
Many of us are aware of the fact that Elvis Costello is one of the great singer/songwriters of our era. But what you may not know is the guy that has the name of one of the top stars of all time but looks like another (Buddy Holly) has an encyclopedic knowledge of music history and a deep appreciation of many musical genres.
This knowledge and his talent are all on display in his televison show Spectacle: Elvis Costello With: which is on at various times during the week on the Sundance Channel.
The show's format is simple...Costello has a guest and he has them for a full hour. He starts the show playing or singing with his band de jour...usually a cover of one of the guests songs. He does an interview with the guest...he plays a duet with the guest...the guest plays some music on his own...and wraps with more talk. Not necessarily always in that order. But this is entertaining and compelling television and audio.
The thing that I like is that Costello is still raw and rough around the edges as an interviewer. Think of David Letterman in the beginning as an interviewer. But he always asks questions that you and I would want to know if we were asking the questions.
Like when James Taylor joined him...he asked Taylor who his favorite current singer songwriters were. Taylor mentioned Jackson Browne but then said he thought his son was pretty good too. Why he didn't mention Costello...not sure.
Other past guests have included The Police, Tony Bennett, Nora Jones, Elton John, and Rufus Wainwright.