November 29, 2011

Elvis Costello finds himself "unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire."

The statement is, of course, getting far more publicity for his fancy gift box of 3 CDS, vinyl record, concert DVD, and book — which you can buy for $202 here — than some effort urging you to buy the darned thing. A nice publicity gambit, since people — including Drudge — have fallen for it. Elvis thinks you'd be better off paying $150 for this collection of 10 Louis Armstrong CDS. Which is probably true, making you like him all the more... and want to buy his boxed set because he's so amusingly self-effacing.

25 comments:

Pogo said...

All you gotta tell me now is why why why why.

The Crack Emcee said...

Too bad he's not any good anymore.

But, then, that's been true for some time,...

bagoh20 said...

Cynicism is a profitable trick too. Blog advertizing, blog advertizing.

Scott M said...

While I consider Elvis Costello somewhat more talented than Yoko Ono, I don't recommend the purchase of his box set any more than I do hers. The very fact that she HAS a box set is enough to rend spacetime asunder if you think about it too hard.

Harsh Pencil said...

Crack,

Being a has-been is infinitely better than what most people achieve -- a never-was.

TMink said...

The set was recommended to me on Amazon. I will pass. I have almost everything else he has recorded, but that is just not something I am willing to spring for.

But I disagree with Emcee, I have really enjoyed his later, more Americana influenced work.

Trey

TMink said...

Scott, Yoko was a really pretty interesting conceptual artist. Read up on some of her installations and they really can be interesting.

Her "singing," not so much.

Of course we completely disagree on Elvis whom I consider talented along the lines of Bruce or Neil Young. But it reminds me of trying to interest my parents in Elvis' more jazzy numbers. They said something like "Oh, he is the nice looking one with the glasses that you think you will like until he opens his mouth to sing."

Trey

Scott M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surfed said...

I learned some of the Costello playbook on guitar (Alison, Angels Want to Wear my Red Shoes, etc.)back in the day. Great stuff. Sparse, stripped down and tuneful. Not so much any of Yoko's. Though I did attempt the amusing Bare Naked Ladies tune "Be My Yoko Ono".

Jason said...

I'll consider it as long as I have assurances that Diana Krall does not appear on it.

J said...

The Ann A-house MO: post rabid right-wing teabagger hype, and then a few times a week, try to be a hepcat. Costello himself is not a rightist or teabagger (anymore than Dylan or the other rock stars featured on Gumphouse).

(Just shut up about music Cracki, and get that GED, deep thinker)

Ploni said...

I really enjoy his music and would happily consider purchasing his box set, but only after he gives up his boycott of Israel. Until then, I'm boycotting him, and urge all of you to do the same.

Sigivald said...

I'd rather have the Armstrong CDs in any case - not that I particularly like Armstrong.

But I've never liked Costello. I understand that notionally I'm supposed to, but I don't.

(Contra TMink, "conceptual artists" aren't.)

David said...

Elvis has marketing power.

The Armstrong collection is now sold out.dompe

David said...

Hey, Harsh Pencil!

Fuck you.

Methadras said...

I always thought Elvis Costello was a better storyteller than Billy Joel.

TMink said...

Oh Jason, we certainly part ways as far as Ms. McManus is concerned! But musical taste it user specific.

Ploni, I was going to. Then I remembered that I expect all musical people to be cracked and commies, so I just go on. I appreciate your stance, and the stupidity of his, but I am not expecting him to do anything but make good music.

Trey

TMink said...

Sigivald, one of the things I like about Louis Armstrong is how I feel when I listen to him. He and Count Basie and Fats Waller just make me happy when I listen to them! Ray Stevens does that as well, but I am hanged if I can figure out the theme that makes it so for me.

Do you have artists that just make you smile?

Trey

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I decided to read the comments before posting. Surprised to hear the panning. You'd think because he did a CD with Burt Bacharach he'd have picked up ample cred.

wv- fista

EDH said...

Ray Charles was unavailable for comment.

Wally Kalbacken said...

Louis Armstrong is fantastic stuff. I would consider that, but most of his work is available gratis, if you know what I am sayin'. BTW - I have to recommend that you read
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
, by Terry Teachout.

Elvis Costello? I wouldn't cross the street, let alone pay a positive sum of money for his stuff. Fo' get about it.

Henry said...

Costello famously hated music videos and proceeded to produce a bunch of really bad ones.

I have quite a lot of his music from the 70s and 80s but there's a certain point in his career where the only thing driving him was boredom. Thus all the collaborations and genre imitations.

But let him be lazy. He's earned it as much as anyone. For a decade he was one of the smartest, hardest working musicians out there.

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Mian said...

My thoughts on Costello are that he's a talented musician but a real asshole.

I'll never forget the "Columbus Incident" in 1979, when I was a teenager, and how he called James Brown a "Jive-ass n*gger" and "Ray Charles a "blind n*gger." (Ray Charles!) precipitating a fight with members of Stephen Stills band. I seem to remember that he was humiliated by Still's backup singer.

Later, he gave one of those half-assed "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" non-apologies. He claimed he was drunk and touted all his leftie 'rock against racism' bona fides but I was never convinced that he was anything more than a churlish lout.

Mostly, I'm sorry James Brown never got to kick his scrawny ass. It would've been fun to watch.

Bob_R said...

"Too bad he's not any good anymore."

Well, since he put out a compilation of his early material called "2 1/2 Years" he probably agrees with you. Costello had a brief period where he was at his best. But he put out more "good" material during that time than most musicians can hold claim to. Unlike most, he can put out a "best of" CD with a dozen "good" songs on it (and charge $10.)

As my shudder quotes indicate, I'm not comfortable with holding the word "good" to such a high standard. To my mind, there is a heck of a lot of music that isn't what Crack would call "good" or what I would call "bad."