Everyday I Write The Book

I’ve given serious thought to creating a music book blog. If I retired tomorrow, the first activity I would embrace is reading the music books I have and collecting the new music books being authored. I am in the midst of rebuilding my music book library in my home office. Expect a picture of that library as my header on this blog 😉

I read yesterday on Pitchfork that Elvis Costello has announced his memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing InkThe book will be a 352 page autobiography from Penguin Group (Blue Rider Press). It is due to be released on October 13th, 2015.

OVERVIEW

The long-awaited, unconventional but indelible memoir by one of the music world’s greatest and most influential songwriters and performers, Elvis Costello.

From his release, with The Attractions, of My Aim is True in 1976, Elvis Costello has been one of the most popular and genre-bending entertainers of our era. Born to a musical family outside of London and relocated to Liverpool, Costello created his own form of punk, became one of the first artists to exploit the newly-burgeoning MTV-Video world and managed to make himself a huge reputation in the UK and the U.S. through both his catchy tunes, provocative, poetic lyrics and more than a few instances of bad behavior. Now, having just turned sixty, Elvis is in the pantheon of elder statesmen musician/rockers, collaborating often with the likes of Paul McCartney, great ballet and opera companies, hip-hop groups, jazz ensembles while appearing frequently in venues like Carnegie Hall and on shows like David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon.

This is his story, written himself, rich with anecdotes about family and fellow musicians, introspective about the creation of his famous songs. – Penguin.Com

Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes Complete and Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings has released Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 on November 4. Compiled from meticulously restored original tapes – many found only recently – this historic six-disc set is the definitive chronicle of the artist’s legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as The Band.

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us#ixzz3IcchcKqF

Bob Dylan’s Secret Masterpiece is the cover story of the latest edition of Rolling Stone Magazine. I just downloaded the digital magazine edition onto my Apple iPad Air.

Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes

The other Bob Dylan approved Basement Tape project which has my interest is Lost on the River: The New Basement TapesThe recording becomes available tomorrow, November 10th.

Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes is a music event 47 years in the making. It’s an historic album project from five of music’s finest artists — Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) — in unique collaboration with a 26-year-old Bob Dylan. Produced by project creator T Bone Burnett, the album was recorded in March, 2014 at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where the artists and Burnett convened for two weeks to write and create music for a treasure trove of long-lost lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 during the period that generated the recording of the legendary Basement Tapes. The collective completed and recorded dozens of songs, the first 20 of which appear on this deluxe edition.

Look for this profound Dylan music collaborative on your favorite television talk show this week.

Ultimate Music Guide – Elvis Costello

I have acquired a decent collection of Uncut Magazine‘s Ultimate Music Guides. Uncut Magazine has published 23 special issues to date, I have six of their special issues (25%).

Uncut Magazine publishes a strong specialty publication because they offer an in-depth review of every album in the artist’s discography. Each album review provides TrackMarks in an insert which delineates track sequence, 1-5 star ratings, label, production information, personnel, chart position etc. It is in the lower corner of a typical two page album spread.

They also take the painstaking effort to publish live album, compilation, UK singles and rarities information. As an avid music collector I learn much more about the artist’s recorded output via the music guides. It is helpful when I want to listen to the artist’s catalogue on Spotify or my collection. I have many more facts and details to enhance the deeper interest my music historian self demands.

The latest Elvis Costello Ultimate Music Guide is informative and assuring. Elvis Costello(EC) is the #2 music artist in my collection after Santana (I own every commercial recording in the Santana catalogue…). I own 24 of EC’s recordings. I stopped purchasing his music in 2004 (Il Signo). I want to resume my EC collection beginning with The River In Paradise with Allen Toussaint right up to today (primarily the last five commercial albums). I can’t put my finger why I “cut-out” on EC’s music 10 years back. I may have reached maximum exposure but I have no real “root-cause” for why that sentiment built up inside me about his songs and acerbic wit.

The EC Ultimate Users Guide helps to rekindle my interest in his musical creativity and prolific songwriting.

I best get busy savoring the pages of this guide and pulling out all those CDs to play in the Honda ;). I’ll be writing more about Elvis Costello’s past 10 years in later music posts. Once I’ve listened intently first of course.

Before I forget to ask, What is Your Favorite Elvis Costello song? Mine is “All This Useless Beauty”.

Feel free to leave a comment about what your favorite Elvis Costello recording is below.

Blue Notes Records Embraces Jam Band Artists

ElvisQuestLove Blue Notes Records is the cornerstone of recording excellence. For seven decades Blue Note has produced award-winning jazz artists for global listening pleasure. Their advertising logo states: “The Finest in Jazz Since 1939”. I see a trend forming that Blue Note Records is investing directly in the jam band genre. Blue Note has signed Gov’t Mule and Robert Randolph and the Family Band to their roster of artists. They will also be releasing a collaboration between Elvis Costello and The Roots later this year. I view this as an encouraging milestone for jam band music and its loyal legion of fans. It is significant that jam band artists are roosting under the roof of venerable Blue Note Records. Jam band music like jazz is at the music of our heart an improvisational experience.

Blue Note Records Jam Band Artists

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Last Tuesday, July 16th Blue Note released the latest studio album from Robert Randolph & The Family BandLickety Split features the group’s current lineup with Robert joined by Marcus Randolph, Danyel Morgan, Lenesha Randolph and Brett Haas. Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) engineered the album, which also includes guest appearances from Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana

Gov’t Mule

Gov’t Mule and will release Shout!, the group’s first studio album in four years on September 24. In an unprecedented twist and gift to their fans, a special bonus CD will also be included, which includes the 11 tracks from the album but in different versions with each one sung by a different world-class special guest and friend of the band. Elvis Costello and The Roots

Elvis Costello and The Roots announced that a collaborative album entitled Wise Up Ghost will be exclusively released by Blue Note Records on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. A small number of test pressings were distributed as white labels on Record Store Day on April 20 but the full release will follow later in the year. Most of the sessions took place in secret at Feliz Habitat Studios in the dead of night, while others were in plain sight at Costello’s Hookery Crookery Studios. Elvis described the record as “the shortest distance between here and there” and containing “both rhythm and what is read”. Ahmir says, “It’s a moody, brooding affair, cathartic rhythms and dissonant lullabies. I went stark and dark on the music, Elvis went HAM on some ole Ezra Pound shit.” It promises to be one of the most unexpected and surprising releases of 2013. Notice the cover art for Wise Up Ghost below. The image was inspired by the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, in homage to the cover of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. The video pays tribute to the significance of vinyl, the turntable and bohemian poetic pentameter.

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory, Collaborating Again

Elvis Costello is an established artist with a 35 year music legacy. I find him cameleon like at times, adaptive and prolific at others. I collected his music actively from his début album in 1978, My Aim Is True up to North (2003). I have been on hiatus with Declan MacManus‘s (His real name) musical output for the past 10 years.

Looking back upon his discography I pull out this gem of a collaboration, Painted From Memory (1998). All 12 songs on the original studio recording were co-written by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.

The next chapter in this landmark recording is unfolding. Please see the Web link below to understand the evolution of their partnership to Broadway 🙂

A Renewed Paul Simon

Paul Simon has been showing up ever stronger on my music radar screen lately. I was enthralled to learn that he was doing a small venue tour this spring. I snapped up tickets for us to see him at Foxwoods Casino MGM Grand Theatre on May 29.

Paul Simon is readying for his new album release, So Beautiful or So What, it’s scheduled to drop on April 12th. His tour commences April 15th in Seattle, Washington. Paul Simon is scheduled to appear two nights in a row on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, April 6th and April 7th.  Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones leveraged Jimmy Fallon’s show for their respective boxed set recordings.

Paul Simon is an artist on Hear Music, the joint music venture between Starbucks and Concord Music Group.

Produced by Phil Ramone and Paul Simon, with liner notes written by Elvis CostelloSo Beautiful or So What is one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. Rolling Stone magazine recently declared it, “His best since Graceland,” and National Public Radio affirmed, “…his new music balances great poetry and pop. Paul Simon is a national treasure.” In their current issue, Filter Magazine calls the new album, “…a new masterpiece from the Picasso of music.” (This paragraph is courtesy of the Paul Simon Website).

Two tracks are available for listening from So Beautiful or So What. “Getting Ready for Christmas Day” and “The Afterlife”. They offer strong hints at what the rest of this indie record has in store for us. Paul Simon self-financed the recording sessions. I am openly receptive to his meticulous songwriting talent. I can’t wait to embrace the new sounds and experiences that await our senses.

Paul Simon’s solo recordings are the highlight of my music collection. Paul Simon, There Goes Rhymin Simon & Graceland embody some of the finest songs and melodies known to modern music. Something tells me So Beautiful or So What compliments and embellishes his work to a new nth degree.