Stream On, Stream On…new releases by Elvis and Elton: try before you buy

Is it my imagination or are more and more artists these days allowing their latest discs to be streamed before their release dates? I for one love this idea. Here are two great examples:

Wise Up Ghost, the new Elvis Costello & The Roots collaboration which comes out September 17th, is now streaming on NPR’s site. You can listen to the whole thing here.

And one of the biggest stars of ’em all, Elton John, has a new disc entitled The Diving Board which doesn’t hit stores until September 24th. Want to hear it now? is happy to oblige. Check it out here.

If you’re the more of the visual type, check out the lyric videos for the EC/The Roots track “Walk Us Uptown” and Elton John’s “Home Again”.


New release news: Stephen Stills new project, The Rides; Elvis Costello & The Roots

The RidesWhat do you think of when you hear the name Stephen Stills? Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young), right? Or his solo output? Well, you can add more descriptor to that list. While his work with one of the most famous rock trios in history continues, Stills has a new side project: a new trio. Stills has gotten together with blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keyboardist Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag) and formed The Rides, a blues-rock outfit whose debut album Can’t Get Enough hits stores August 27th. The album will contain a mix of group-written originals and covers of  artists like Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Iggy Pop and…Stephen Stills. Rolling Stone has posted a link to the track “Word Game” which originally appeared on Stills’ album Stephen Stills 2 released in 1971. The new version is nothing like the original; this time it really cooks. You can listen to it here. BONUS: Preview an additional track form the album, “Don’t Want Lies”, here.

In other new release news, back in January I posted a story about a new Elvis Costello album with The Roots to be released sometime this year. Well, we now have a date: September 17th. Entitled Wise Up Ghost, the album will be the first for Costello on Blue Note Records. According to the Blue Note website, Costello has described the record as “the shortest distance between here and there” and containing “both rhythm and what is read”.  The Roots’ ?uestlove 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.”

Ok then. Like I said back in January, should be interesting to say the least.

Here’s a great fan-filmed clip of ?questlove guesting with Costello and The Imposters at a NYC performance in 2011:

It’s Monday. What songs are helping you get the week started on the right foot?

ipodAfter listening to a variety of albums over the weekend, I thought it was time for a shuffle reset on the iPod. So it’s back to square one. Or should I say, number one. Here are the first 15 songs, of all the songs on my iPod, that came up in the rotation. Hopefully there’s something in there you’ll like.

1. Some Kind of Wonderful–Grand Funk Railroad

2. Love Rollercoaster–The Ohio Players

3. River Knows Your Name–John Hiatt

4. My Rival–Steely Dan

5. Waiting For The End of The World–Elvis Costello

6. They Just Can’t Stop It (Games People Play)–The Spinners

7. Hold On, I’m Comin’–Sam & Dave

8. Anyway–Genesis

9. Stupidity–Solomon Burke

10. Radio Nowhere–Bruce Springsteen

11. Little Queenie–Chuck Berry

12. Somebody Knocking–Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation

13. Sour Suite–The Guess Who

14. Maybe That’s Something–Sheryl Crow

15. (I Believe) Our Time Is Gonna Come–REO Speedwagon



What are you listening to today? #nowplaying

ipodHere are the last 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

1. Oliver’s Army–Elvis Costello

2. Lord Of The Thighs–Aerosmith

3. The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks–Eagles

4. Mean Disposition–The Rolling Stones

5. Fascination–David Bowie

6. Man On The Corner–Genesis

7. Birds–Elton John

8. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours–Peter Frampton

9. What Do We Do Now–John Hiatt

10. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven–Phil Collins

This should be interesting: Elvis Costello and The Roots are doing an album together


Since becoming the house band on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” in 2009, the Roots have backed everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon to Bon Iver and Carly Rae Jepsen. And now, another collaboration with a legendary artist that began on the “Late Night” stage is leading to a full-length album. 

Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson has exclusively revealed to Billboard that the group is prepping a collaborative project with Elvis Costello that should be out sometime this year. “It was really love at first sight,” Thompson says of Costello, who has made three “Late Night” appearances, including a performance in February 2012 during a week-long tribute to Bruce Springsteen. “The second time he came on, we surpassed the first one. So by the third time, he was like, ‘Let’s stop messing around and do something together.'”

The initial plan was to cut just a few tracks, but those sessions proved fruitful enough for the artists to keep going. Says Thompson, “we had 13 or 14 songs, but then we said, ‘Ooh! Wait a minute! Let’s replace four of these songs with four better songs! And now we have the tightest 12-14 song collection out of about 20 songs that we made.”

In the near future, Costello and the Roots plan to mix and master the as-yet-untitled LP with assistance from Roots engineer Steven Mandel, who is co-producing the project with them. It is unclear at deadline which label will release the album. “We kind of have the freedom to take it around, whether it’s to Elvis’ people or Def Jam’s people,” says Thompson. “I can just say that it is brilliant.”

Sounds like a winner to me. The Roots are a talented group of musicians and I think this is an inspired pairing.

Elvis sighting: I was fortunate to be in the audience for the taping of the last episode of Elvis’ tv series Spectacle which was shot in Toronto. You can read about my experience here, and below is a clip from that episode:

Doin’ the iPod Shuffle: The Last 10 Songs Played on my iPod

ipodDoin’ the iPod shuffle: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

1. Will It Go Round In Circles–Billy Preston

2. Everybody Has The Blues–James Taylor

3. Mixed Emotions–The Rolling Stones

4. Invisible Sun–The Police

5. Out In The Street–Bruce Springsteen

6. Where To Now St. Peter?–Elton John

7. Sulky Girl–Elvis Costello

8. Tell Mama–Etta James

9. Young Lust–Aerosmith

10. Keep On Truckin’–Eddie Kendricks