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XPN Fest Recap: Elvis Costello and Blondie celebrate the past while looking to the future

Elvis Costello | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

When an artist has been making music for over four decades, there are a couple common routes they can take with they live shows. One: stick to the tried-and-true, deliver a crowd-pleasing hit-parade, dial down the surprises or spontaneity. Two: write immersive new records and focus only on them, jettison the career-making singles that they’re tired of playing and don’t feel connected to anymore anyway.

Or they could find a third option in between phoned-in and alienating. On Saturday, two elite members of the post-punk / new wave vanguard, Elvis Costello and Blondie, did just that, headlining night two of the XPoNential Music Festival with sets that played equally to the casual listeners and the die-hards. Continue reading →

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Elvis Costello & The Imposters show off their funky swagger on “Mr. and Mrs. Hush”

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello | photo by Stephen Done | courtesy of the artist

In preparation for their upcoming summer tour, Elvis Costello & The Imposters shared a new video for “Mr. and Mrs. Hush,” a track off their recent album Look NowRolling Stone describes “Mr. and Mrs. Hush” as a “punchy soul-kissed tune,” and its funky swagger is matched with the colorful, psychedelic animation in the new lyric video. Watch, and sing along, below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Elvis Costello will make two area appearances in November

Elvis Costello | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Legendary rock ‘n roller Elvis Costello and his band The Imposters have some news of the tour and album variety. They haven’t shared too many details about the new music just yet, but we know that there is a new record on the horizon, and according to a press release more information is coming “very shortly.” It will be Costello’s first album for Concord Records and his 25th solo full-length overall. Costello’s last release was 2013’s Wise Up Ghost, in collaboration with The Roots. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Hear Elvis Costello perform sweeping new song with lyrics from a Johnny Cash poem

Johnny Cash and Elvis Costello | photo via Consequence of Sound

“There was one lyric that was thought to be one that might suit me. And then I was glancing through the folio and that particular lyric was there on the page, and the next thing I could hear it in a very unusual way” –  Elvis Costello in an interview w/ Rolling Stone re: a song he wrote to a Johnny Cash poem.

Next month an album called Forever Words will be released featuring well-known singers who have taken poems and letters written by Johnny Cash, and have put his words to music. Elvis Costello is one of the performers.  Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch St. Vincent perform “Los Ageless” live on Ellen

 

St. Vincent | photo by Nedda Afsari

Did you catch St. Vincent on Ellen? No worries — you can check out video below of Annie Clark performing “Los Ageless” from her new album Masseduction, copies of which Ellen gave away to her studio audience. Read more on St. Vincent’s new album Masseduction here and get information on her upcoming Electric Factory appearance at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sigur Ros at Mann Center, Elvis Costello at The Tower Theater, Harmony Woods at Space 1026

Sigur Ros | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Icelandic rock royalty Sigur Ros are gracing us with their presence at the Mann Center tonight. Get swept away in their myriad of hits — whether in Icelandic or the band-created musical language of Hopelandic (like c’mon, how cool is that)– for an atmospheric, open-air performance of dynamic, otherworldly soundscapes. Find more info on tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Festival,” a.k.a. one of the most beautiful songs to ever exist, below. Continue reading →

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March 17 in Music History: Grateful Dead release their debut, Ray Davies receives his CBE

The Grateful Dead Self-Titled Debut Album

1957 – Elvis Presley buys the Graceland mansion from Mrs. Ruth Brown-Moore for $102,500. The 23-room, 10,000 square foot home on 13.8 acres of land is expanded to 17,552 square feet of living space before the King moves in a few weeks later. The original building had at one time been used as a place of worship by the Graceland Christian Church and was named after the builder’s daughter, Grace Toof.

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XPN MusicNotes: Roy Orbison’s classic Black & White Night concert gets 30th anniversary package

Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen | still from A Black & White Night

30 years ago, the late great Roy Orbison began his late 80’s comeback with the historic all-star “Black & White Night” concert film and show at LA’s Coconut Grove Club. It’s now getting the special bonus treatment to mark the 30 year milestone. Continue reading →