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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Elvis Costello at SBC, The Turtles at ArtsQuest Center

Elvis Costello | Photo by Rachael Naomi | via elviscostello.com
Elvis Costello | Photo by Rachael Naomi | via elviscostello.com

Perennial rock and roll favorite Elvis Costello rolls through the area tonight when his co-headlining tour with Steely Dan comes to SBC. Costello’s last album was Wise Up Ghost, his 2013 collaboration with The Roots. Watch the video for “Walk Us Uptown” below and get tickets and info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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MusicNotes from the XPN Morning Show: Bono’s surgery forces U2 to postpone “Tonight Show” residency, & watch Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello & Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith- aka “New Basement Tapes” perform on Ellen

Bono

Bono has injured his arm an apparent cycling accident in New York’s Central Park which will require surgery to repair, and has forced the postponement of U2′s week-long residency on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week. Continue reading →

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Listen to Questlove and Elvis Costello discuss the birth of Wise Up Ghost on WFUV and XPN’s World Cafe

Photo by Tamara Weber
Photo by Tamara Weber

Fordham University’s WFUV recently sat down with Philly’s own Questlove (The Roots) and Elvis Costello to discuss how their collaborative LP, Wise Up Ghost came to fruition earlier this year. Music lovers were given something to look forward to once news of the unlikely pairing began to surface. Upon release, the album was rightfully praised as it surpassed expectations. Listen here. Watch them perform “Wise Up Ghost” below. The band also appeared on World Cafe with David Dye this fall. Listen to that interview by clicking below.

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Watch The Roots and Elvis Costello perform “Walk Us Uptown” on Jimmy Fallon

elvis&thetroots

Elvis Costello stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to put his collaboration with house band The Roots on T.V. for the first time.  The Philly R&B / soul band and their English power-pop counterpart performed “Walk Us Uptown,” the single from the recently released Wise Up Ghost LP.  There are no announced plans for a Philadelphia show right now, but you can read XPN host Mike Vasilikos’s review of the record for its Album of the Week spotlight here.

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Review: Wise Up Ghost by Elvis Costello and The Roots

elvis&thetrootsDepending on how you look at this, the paths of Elvis Costello and The Roots represent a much more natural crossing that it seems. The ‘How’ is answered rather simply. We can thank The Jimmy Fallon Show for putting them both in the same room (and on the same stage). But why they took it one step further to produce one of the year’s most intriguing albums really lies within the musical character of both acts. For The Roots, collaboration has always been a constant. And their versatility to play alongside any and all musical ensembles is the reason they’re the one of the most sought after live acts. For Costello, much the same. He’s never been shy of a musical challenge and since the late 70s has tried his hand at just about all styles. So does their collective desire for musical exploration lend itself to a fruitful collaboration on Wise Up Ghost? It sure does.

As cliché as it sounds, the music really speaks for itself on Wise Up Ghost. In terms of Costello, he’s the main voice on the album with The Roots laying down the foundation and coloring in the sonic landscape. ?uestlove and the band lead us into soulful, funky territory on songs like “Refuse to To Saved” and the seductive “Wake Me Up”. Costello sounds reinvigorated on the collection. It’s a definitive and welcomed departure from the country and folk inspired albums (Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, National Ransom) that preceded this. With songs like “Walk Us Uptown” and “Come the Meantimes”, Costello confidently steps right back into a contemporary world (even if The Roots are drawing from classic soul).

Unlike so many collaborative records, Wise Up Ghost is truly as interesting as the headlines read. And not only does the music offer the best of what both parties are capable of, but it’s a direction, for Costello at least, that many have been craving for.