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Elvis Costello

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ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1999 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Elvis Costello was the gregarious dinner host who wouldn't let you go home at the Tower Theater on Friday night. Accompanied only by Attractions pianist Steve Nieve, the ecumenical British singer-songwriter went on and on and on. He performed for nearly three hours before a raucous, devoted crowd, repeatedly returning for encores that included crowd-pleasers such as "Pump It Up" and an unmiked tour de force finale of "Couldn't Call It Unexpected, No....
NEWS
June 24, 2002 | By Patrick Berkery FOR THE INQUIRER
The trend these days among whippersnappers like the Strokes and the White Stripes is brevity - short and punchy songs and concerts. While there's something to be said for such urgency, the practice of exploring dynamics, introducing new sounds, and unearthing forgotten gems during an extended program has become a lost art. Enter Elvis Costello and the Imposters, who, over a smartly paced two hours and 40 minutes at the Tower Theater on Saturday night,...
NEWS
August 21, 1989 | By Tom Moon, Inquirer Popular-Music Critic
The second verse of "God's Comic," one of the newer songs that Elvis Costello performed Saturday at the Mann Music Center, finds God surveying the excesses of humanity and wondering whether he should have "given the world to the monkeys. " Aware that "the monkeys" could also be interpreted as a reference to the singing group known as the Monkees, Costello abruptly stopped the slinky soft- shoe tempo when he reached that line, and launched a chirpy, blink-and- it's-over rendition of the Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 3, 1994 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC Sam Wood, Dan DeLuca, Sara Sherr, Fred Beckley and Kevin L. Carter also contributed to this article
It has taken Elvis Costello a few tours, but he's now admitting that some of the more "experimental" versions of his songs were not very good experiments. "With a few exceptions, my songs don't have the mutability of jazz material," Costello said in an interview this spring. He was plugging his first work with the Attractions in seven years, Brutal Youth (Warner Bros.), which also happens to be the impetus behind the tour that brings E.C. and his old cronies to the Mann Music Center on Thursday.
NEWS
October 28, 1986 | By Ken Tucker, Inquirer Popular-Music Critic
It is now almost 10 years since Elvis Costello released his first album, and during that time the British singer and songwriter has established himself as one of the most important musicians in rock music. He is also one of the most prolific: He has already released two full- length albums this year, King of America and Blood and Chocolate; the former is a good album, the latter a great one. Last night, Costello began a three-night stand at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby.
NEWS
June 11, 1994 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Every Elvis Costello fan has an opinion on when the bard of British pop went astray. Some cite 1986's King of America, a roots-rock move. Others cite Blood and Chocolate, his erratic reunion with the Attractions, issued later the same year. About the only consensus is that there's been a perceptible dip in the quality of Costello's songwriting, that his latter-day recordings - 1991's over-arranged Mighty Like a Rose and last year's ponderous song cycle The Juliet Letters - are not as compelling as his first three albums.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 1986 | By Ken Tucker, Inquirer Popular-Music Critic
King of America (Columbia) is not the place to start your Elvis Costello collection. Oh, it's a good record, occasionally an exciting one, but at least some of its pleasure depends on a considerable knowledge of the singer- songwriter's career. This is not encouraging in an artist still struggling, 10 years on, to break the confines of cult stardom. The ironies and in-jokes begin with the album title. Costello is an Englishman who adores American pop music; he began his career in the wake of British punk rock circa 1976, but was never a punk himself - his sense of craft and veneration for his forebears did not permit him to become as willfully crude as the punks.
NEWS
October 31, 1986 | By Ken Tucker, Inquirer Popular-Music Critic
"I want to give you an example of uncomplicated behavior," Elvis Costello said earlier this week, on the second night of his three-night stand at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. With that, he bent over his electric guitar and slashed his fingers across the strings a few times, raising an awful racket. The audience cheered and laughed, in on the joke: Costello was preparing to play a song called "Uncomplicated. " But as we all knew, an even richer joke was the unstated one: Elvis Costello never does anything uncomplicated.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2013 | By Sam Adams, For The Inquirer
'I'd like to introduce my special guest for this evening," Elvis Costello said to the audience at the Merriam Theater Sunday night. "It's me. " Indeed, there was not another soul to be found on the Merriam stage, although Costello was kept company by a semicircle of guitars, a keyboard and a few light-up signs: At stage right, one reading "On Air" that played into a bit of stage banter about the show being broadcast in the Faroe Islands, a "Request"...
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 1996 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Elvis Costello is playing a game that might be called "Great Conference Room Moments in the Music Business. " He mentions a classic record, and then offers objections he imagines nervous modern-day executives would raise. It's a way for the wry British singer and songwriter - who's bringing the Attractions to the Mann Music Center Saturday night - to illustrate the timidity that he believes defines the current record business. "Do you think when they brought in 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' somebody said, 'I don't know, it's kinda slow'?
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2015 | By David R. Stampone, For The Inquirer
Should it surprise anybody that Elvis Costello and his rugged yet nuanced backing trio the Imposters worked so well on a bill with the urbane, sophisticated Steely Dan on Monday at Camden's Susquehanna Bank Center? Hardly. There are degrees of undeniable jazz-tinged commonality between the two veteran rock-rooted acts, more apparent through the years. Even a taut Costello track like 1981's "Clubland" was well-nigh Dan-ish at times on Monday, with longtime keyboard accompanist Steve Nieve's expansive Latinesque piano swells and Costello's spicy guitar work on the now more open-spaced live tune.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2014 | The Inquirer Staff
Elvis Costello, Jamie Foxx, and Johnny Winter lead the headliners at Atlantic City's casinos this weekend. You can catch Elvis Costello and the Imposters at 9 Saturday night in the Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars. (Tickets: $65-$105. Information: www.caesarsac.com , 1-800-745-3000.) The ever-prolific Costello's most recent recording is last year's Wise Up Ghost , a collaboration with Philadelphia hip-hop band the Roots. He does have a date on his docket with the Tonight Show ensemble, but that's at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., on Wednesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2013 | By Sam Adams, For The Inquirer
'I'd like to introduce my special guest for this evening," Elvis Costello said to the audience at the Merriam Theater Sunday night. "It's me. " Indeed, there was not another soul to be found on the Merriam stage, although Costello was kept company by a semicircle of guitars, a keyboard and a few light-up signs: At stage right, one reading "On Air" that played into a bit of stage banter about the show being broadcast in the Faroe Islands, a "Request"...
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2013 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
On the surface, the intergenerational partnership of Elvis Costello and the Roots - whose new album, Wise Up Ghost (Blue Note, *** 1/2), comes out Tuesday - might seem an odd coupling. After all, the 59-year-old, still-prolific songwriter is British, and the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon house band, anchored by 42-year-old drummer-producer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, is Philadelphian. He's white, they're black. They're hip-hop, he's rock. They have more in common than immediately meets the ear, however.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2012 | By John Lingan, SLATE
Thirty-five years ago, a gangly 22-year-old named Declan MacManus quit his job in a London lipstick factory and adopted the stage name Elvis Costello. Stiff Records was about to release his debut LP, My Aim Is True , and had signed him to a contract that could support his wife and young son. With the windfall, Costello bought back the copy of A Hard Day's Night that he'd pawned to afford the previous month's gas bill. Costello has never been overly forthcoming about his personal life, so it might be surprising to hear that he divulged this humanizing anecdote, and many others, in one of the best rock-star memoirs of the last decade.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2011 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
The terms fun and Elvis Costello don't necessarily go hand in hand. But on Thursday night, they got up to dance together in a go-go cage during a terrifically entertaining two-hour show at the Tower Theater. The occasion was the return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, the kitschy concept in which the set list is determined, in part, by audience members brought on stage to spin a giant wheel. Labeled with orange and yellow song titles from Costello's 30-plus-year career, the wheel also included mysterious purple bonus selections such as "Time" and "Napoleon Solo," designed to take the show into still more unpredictable territory.
NEWS
May 20, 2011 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The terms fun and Elvis Costello don't necessarily go hand in hand. But on Thursday night, they got up to dance together in a go-go cage during a terrifically entertaining two-hour show at the Tower Theatre. The occasion was the return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, the kitschy concept in which the set list is determined, in part, by audience members brought on stage to spin a giant wheel. Labeled with orange and yellow song titles from Costello's 30-plus-year career, plus mysterious purple bonus selections like "Time" and "Napoleon Solo," designed in still more unpredictable territory.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2010 | By JONATHAN TAKIFF, staff
N E R D seeks revenge, Good Charlotte threatens a heart attack, a couple of Grateful Dead guys regroup, Elvis Costello goes country (again) and Neil Diamond shares classics in this week's new album assortment. We've also got care packages to deliver from a Mr. Lennon and a Mr. McCartney. Uh, maybe so, if you've never encountered the Cucamonga soul of Frank Zappa (evoked on "I've Seen the Light"/"Inside the Clouds") or encountered a Prince-like commingling of sex and spirituality ("Sacred Temple")
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2010 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
Having toiled in the beer-soaked land of the jukebox for most of his career, it's perhaps only natural that Brendan Hartranft sees the budding gastropub empire he's built with his wife, Leigh Maida, in terms of Elvis Costello records. "Accessible but with an edge," he says of his Costello-esque approach to crafting, in the short span of less than two years, a trio of taverns in up-and-coming neighborhoods around the city. If Kensington's Memphis Taproom was their My Aim Is True debut, a straight-from-the-heart corner-bar hit that toed the delicate style line between beer-geek cool and easy local consumption, Hartranft calls their less-polished second endeavor, Local 44 in West Philly, his version of Costello's harder-edged This Year's Model.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 2007 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
The Christmas slowdown on the pop-music calendar will pick up before the year ends. On New Year's Eve, there's a wide range of worthy shows going on both hither and yon, from Danish dance duo Datarock , who headline the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, to gospel roots-rockers Hoots & Hellmouth , who play the Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, to Elvis Costello , who plays with his band, the Imposters, at the House of Blues in Atlantic City....
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