Music

Who Is Headlining Headlined Hillary Clinton's 60th Birthday Party To Help Make It "Younger, Hipper, More Fun"?

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A: Elvis Costello.

Costello, who took his stage name by merging that of his musical hero with his mother's maiden name, won an army of fans with his often-political songs from the Seventies….

Costello got his first record deal with Stiff Records in 1977 after adopting his stage name and has been credited with creating the Eighties sound broadly described as New Wave, fusing punk with electronica, ska and funk sounds….

After spending increasingly more time in America since 1982, it seems Costello's popularity in his adopted homeland has been sealed with the news he is headlining at Hillary Clinton's 60th birthday party to help make it "younger, hipper, more fun".

Aye yi-yi. Was Fleetwood Mac unavailable?

More here.

Clinton's censorious impulse discussed here.

Gratuitous insult time: Elvis Costello is a member of a rock fraternity that includes David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and [insert name here]: A guy who has totally sucked for much, much longer than he was ever once (undeniably) great.

Duh time correcton: Yes, this birthday took place the last week of October and here's a link to video of Elvis C croaking "Happy Birthday" to her.

An invite is here. Co-headlining with Elvis C were the Wallflowers (bringing back that '90s vibe…)

NEXT: A Bad Year for the Roses

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  1. Gratuitous insult time: Elvis Costello is a member of a rock fraternity that includes David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and [insert name here]: A guy who has totally sucked for much, much longer than he was ever once (undeniably) great.

    Well, we can’t all be Drew Carey.

  2. I would say Elvis has had moments of brilliance.
    Those are as likely to occur in his later career as his early career.

  3. is it Mick Jagger, Nick?

  4. Next post down is titled Good Bad Year For The Roses. Group blog confusion or group blog collusion?

  5. At least I was alive when Drew Carey was on top of his game.

  6. Rush? (ducks)

  7. For fook’s sake Elvis, see a dentist already!

  8. de stijl: I actually meant that as a George Jones reference, but I like Elvis Costello’s version too.

  9. Costello also does a totally bitchin version of Tonight, The Bottle Let Me Down, btw.

  10. I thought of Costello’s early stuff as cynically apolitical rather than political. It’s not he depicted one group of politicos to be any more likely than another to save us from the end of the world. After all…

  11. Elton John and Eric Clapton great?

    I’ll deny that.

  12. Dude, David Bowie has never sucked.

  13. Rush? (ducks)

    Oh, good thing you ducked! Elvis, Elton and Eric are pop music (not that there is anything wrong with that).

  14. Add Lou Reed to that list!

  15. [insert name here]

    Paul McCartney? Roger Waters? Neil Young?

  16. Wha? Were the Sex Pistols unavailable again?

  17. “Is” headlining? This event took place last week. Saw it on C-Span. Was it all a bad dream? (Yes, it was. You should have seen Billy Crystal crawl up Hillary’s ass. Shocking, horrifying! I had to avert my eyes.)

  18. Most people who rip on the late 1960s and 1970s Elvis have never bothered to actually listen to the music. I used to be the same way until I bothered to listen to it and you know its pretty damned good. It is not revolutionary the way the Sun Recordings are, but it is still pretty good. I don’t give a damn how uncool it is, “Suspicious Minds” and “Burning Love” are great songs. The “Elvis Country” is a lost and “Aloha From Hawaii” is one of the greatest live records of the rock era.

  19. Frank Zappa?

    (dodges bullets)

  20. Vivaldi has sucked for centuries.

  21. Rod Stewart?

  22. OT but Ron Paul is on CNBC right now!!

  23. Rod Stewert belongs on the list. The Small Faces were one of the great bands of the 1970s and his first few solo records were just as good. After that, it got a little grim for Rod the Mod.

  24. This event took place last week. Saw it on C-Span.

    Really? What was the playlist? Was she singing along to Radio Radio?

    They say you better listen to the voice of reason
    But they don’t give you any choice ’cause they think that it’s treason
    So you had better do as you are told

  25. “Gratuitous insult time: Elvis Costello is a member of a rock fraternity that includes David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and [insert name here]: A guy who has totally sucked for much, much longer than he was ever once (undeniably) great.”

    Oh, Nick, you bitch. Who do you think you are, f*cking Jann Wenner? Why don’t you pull an Ayn Rand and run off with your male secretary?

  26. Most people who rip on the late 1960s and 1970s Elvis have never bothered to actually listen to the music. I used to be the same way until I bothered to listen to it and you know its pretty damned good. It is not revolutionary the way the Sun Recordings are, but it is still pretty good. I don’t give a damn how uncool it is, “Suspicious Minds” and “Burning Love” are great songs. The “Elvis Country” is a lost and “Aloha From Hawaii” is one of the greatest live records of the rock era.

    What? I think you meant to post this in a different thread.

  27. “Suspicious Minds” and “Burning Love” are great songs.

    Agreed!!! Las Vegas shlock-pop at its VERY best!!! (no sarcasm!!!)

    But, am I hallucinating, or did you introduce Presley when the only Elvis brought up previously was Mr. C??

    Anyway, HUNKA HUNKA!!!!

  28. I once heard a quote that explained his perplexing (to me) success: “Music critics love Elvis Costello because music critics look like Elvis Costello.”

  29. Fydor,

    Forgive me. I know people were talking about Elvis Costello, not Elvis Presley. It popped into my mind how a lot of people would put Elvis Presely on the list as someone who sucked longer than they were great and was responding to my own point without making it. Sorry for the confusion.

  30. John,

    I feel that it is my duty to correct your statement.

    The Small Faces were one of the greatest bands of the 60s. The Faces were one of the greatest bands of the 70s. While technically you could make the case that Rod did sing for the Small Faces because the first Faces album was released under that name, when Steve Marriott left and was replaced by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, the band was referred to as the Faces. Rod and Woody were a bit taller than the rest of the boys.
    Otherwise, yes, Rod has sucked since “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Big time. Ask Mac.

  31. I can only hope that Elvis tries to sing “Blame it on Cain” and is hurridly escorted offstage by Hillary’s praetorian after the first couple of lines.

  32. I never thought Elvis Costello was ever great. He has some okay songs. “What’s so Funny about Peace Love and Understanding” is a nice song. “Allison” is unlistenable. Some of his stuff from the late 80s and early 90s isn’t bad “13 Steps Leads Down” is great. But most of it sucks. I have one of his records and a greatest hits record and I never listen to them. They just are not that good. They don’t really swing. They don’t have any notable pop hooks. They are not in any way I can see particularly inovative in their structures or arrangements the way say a Randy Newman song is. Seriously, what is the big deal? Why do people think he is so great.

  33. “What’s so Funny about Peace Love and Understanding” is a nice song.

    Thank Nick Lowe.

  34. My mistake high number and yeah, “Do you Think I am sexy” was the end of Rod Stewart as a decent artist, although he a couple of listenable songs in the 80s but nothing like “Hot Legs” or “Stay With Me” and the like.

  35. RandCart,

    Dude, David Bowie has never sucked.

    Sorry, but “Let’s Dance” was an album of full-on suckitude.

    Otherwise, I concur.

  36. Okay, a musician who made his mark 25 years ago during my late adolescence is being brought in to make the event “younger and hipper?”

    I know that for the Democrats its always 1973 but this is ridiculous.

  37. I think Hillary ought to embrace her image and bring in Elton John to do “The Bitch is Back”. I am very serious about that. It would show some real self awareness on her part. It would also play to her strength as being the only Democratic candidate with any balls.

  38. “Sorry, but “Let’s Dance” was an album of full-on suckitude.”

    No record that has Stevie Ray Vaughn playing lead guitar is that bad. IF you want to talk suckatude, lets talk about Tin Machine.

  39. For fook’s sake Elvis, see a dentist already!

    Second that.

  40. David Blowie always sucked. [snickers]

  41. I think Hillary ought to embrace her image and bring in Elton John to do “The Bitch is Back”.

    ladies and gents, we have ourselves a THREAD WINNER!

  42. John,

    Ever pay attention to Elvis Costello’s lyrics?

    He’s a very clever writer.

  43. I know that for the Democrats its always 1973 but this is ridiculous.

    At least they picked someone widely known for decades rather than some fly-by-night garbage that the kids are into today. That would be a bit more embarrassing.

  44. Elvis Costello has fantastic taste in women…so long as they aren’t politicos.

    His Mrs.
    http://www.dianakrall.com/

  45. I hate pop music threads. The people who care the most have such narrow views.

  46. Not understanding all the Costello hate around here. Elton John and Eric Clapton have been making boring, mainstream pop records for decades, while Costello was experimenting with Burt Bachrach and the Kronos Quartet. Okay, so those Costello projects were boring too, but at least he’s trying to broaden his artistic range. Plus, Diana Krall married him — that’s a pretty good endorsement for a guy’s coolness.

  47. Rhywun,

    At least they picked someone widely known for decades rather than some fly-by-night garbage that the kids are into today.

    I agree that Costello might put on a better show than but that is because he is a classic and has been around a longtime. That’s not exactly “young and hip” is it?

    Frankly, things like this make me see the Democrat more and more as a bunch of conservative and even regressive old timers pining for good old days.

  48. Gratuitous insult time: Elvis Costello is a member of a rock fraternity that includes David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and [insert name here]: A guy who has totally sucked for much, much longer than he was ever once (undeniably) great.

    That bug eyed dude from Alien Ant Farm? Gary Glitter? Adam Ant? Fred Durst? Fergie Ferg? Rick Dees? The Captain (but not Tenille)? Cher UK?

    HRC was 30 in 1977. The chances of her being an OG EC fan are slim to none. She is a Joni Mitchell / Fleetwood Mac type of chardonay sippin fool.

    I never thought Elvis Costello was ever great.

    Music either speaks to you or it doesn’t. I loved old school EC (My Aim Is True was probably the second or third album I ever bought), I loved the country thing and Get Happy, the whole schmeer up until about the Brodsky Quartet thing and then I got bored with him and stopped buying anything new.

    You were “meh” from the get-go. It either resonates with you or not. Don’t over-analyze aesthetic preferences.

  49. Ever pay attention to Elvis Costello’s lyrics?

    He’s a very clever writer.

    Then he should be a poet. Lyrics are only imporant because you sound like an ass if you just sing “do wah oh ah et cetera” for the entire song. 😛

  50. Artists who peaked commercially early on but have never sucked (not to say that they’ve never made a misstep:

    Paul Weller
    Nick Lowe
    John Fogerty
    Sinead O’Connor
    David Byrne
    Ian Hunter
    and a ton of country artists make it big then disappear from the spotlight when Nashville decides to go pop/rock again like it does every few years
    and a ton of R&B artists who have aged so well, but never bothered to keep up with trends.

  51. TWC,

    in re: Bowie –

    BLASPHEMY!

  52. Actually, very few highly successful pop stars who have been around long enough for the opportunity haven’t sucked far longer than they were any good.

  53. Has anyone bought the 30 year anniversary edition of My Aim Is True? Is it worth buying?

  54. Bill was pushing for the Starland Vocal Band, undoubtedly. He really wanted “Afternoon Delight” for his campaign theme song…

    I’m ok with this just as long as they didn’t sew Elvis Costello into a Marilyn Monroe dress…

    BTW, 1973 was a VERY good year for music:

    Herbie Hancock–“Head Hunters”
    Yes–“Yessongs”
    Funkadelic–“Cosmic Slop”
    Mahavishnu Orchestra–“Birds of Fire”
    Chick Corea & Return to Forever–“Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy”
    Genesis–“Selling England by the Pound”
    Flora Purim–“Butterfly Dreams”
    Santana–“Welcome”
    Stevie Wonder–“Innervisions”
    Frank Zappa–“Overnite Sensation”
    McCoy Tyner–“Enlightenment”
    Deep Purple–“Made In Japan”
    King Crimson–“Larks’ Tongues in Aspic”

  55. Haven’t listened to a lot of Bowie, but I am fond of his “I’m afraid of Americans.”

  56. Has anyone bought the 30 year anniversary edition of My Aim Is True? Is it worth buying?

    Only if it’s a completely different song, sung by a completely different person.

    His quasi-new-wave stuff was OK, but his ballads are teh suck.

  57. I wish Zappa was around to see this Ron Paul thing.

  58. Has anyone bought the 30 year anniversary edition of My Aim Is True? Is it worth buying?

    Didn’t know there was one. I bought the vinyl LP when it came out, then the (first) CD which was hissy and sounded worse than the vinyl. Then I bought the next CD which included demos and B-sides and sounded little better than the first. So no, I won’t get fooled again.

  59. I agree that pitching Costello as young and hip is kind of silly, but he is precisely that relatively speaking. Hillary was in her 30s by the time Costello started getting radio play in the U.S. Most folks, especially preternaturally unhip people such as Hillary, stop acquiring new musical tastes in their 30s. If it were up to her, I’m sure some reunited doo-wop group would be playing the gig.

  60. Clinton should be booking Parliament. Duh!

  61. Most folks, especially preternaturally unhip people such as Hillary, stop acquiring new musical tastes in their 30s.

    30s? Try their teens.

  62. Chris O,

    What about Houses of the Holy? I believe that came out in 1973 as well as some great country Albums, most notably Shotgun Willie and Waylon Jennings’ “Honky Tonk Heroes” which is arguably the greatest country record of all time.

  63. Bill Clinton would be booking Parliament. Or Al Green. Or Curtis Mayfield.

    Hillary gets the white dorks.

  64. Costello is the closest thing to Cole Porter we have. He writes songs now that are just as brilliant as ever. But they don’t “rock” like Nick likes. Oh, well. That said, I agree wholeheartedly with de stijl

    Don’t over-analyze aesthetic preferences.

  65. Did I read here that Costello called Ray Charles the n-word, only to be punched out by some female artist whom I can’t remember? Can Hillary really afford to be hobnobbing with someone who uses deragatories like that?

  66. What about Houses of the Holy? I believe that came out in 1973 as well as some great country Albums, most notably Shotgun Willie and Waylon Jennings’ “Honky Tonk Heroes” which is arguably the greatest country record of all time.

    I love HotH too, but I thought that came out in ’72. Maybe I’m wrong about that. If I am, put it on my list!

    My wife has turned me on to some of that outlaw country–great stuff, and it was all pretty much downhill from there for C&W, though some of the young folks doing outlaw-ish type music are pretty good, including Waylon’s son.

  67. Clinton should be booking Parliament.

    Does Hillary really want the man reputedly “with a nose like a vacuum cleaner” anywhere around Dr. Funkenstein? I don’t think so! Would be a great party, though. I’d kind of like to think that Bill travels with his own personal Funk Mob while he goes around giving speeches on the rubber chicken circuit.

  68. Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie, I believe. He called Ray Charles “just a blind, ignorant n*gger,” as I recall the story. He was drunk and doing his best to piss off the lame-ass classic rockers at the bar, not really commenting on Ray Charles. He apologized publicly to Ray Charles. Not sure if he apologized to Bonnie.

  69. I agree that Costello might put on a better show than but that is because he is a classic and has been around a longtime. That’s not exactly “young and hip” is it?

    Well, to be fair, it was a *reporter* who characterized it as such. Who’s to say that Hillary doesn’t actually *like* him? (I know, I know–everything she does is calculated. But I’m just sayin’.)

  70. Chris O

    “Houses of the Holy is an album by English rock band Led Zeppelin released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. The album title is a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed “Houses of the Holy.””

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houses_of_the_Holy

    I wasn’t sure myself until I looked it up.

  71. In Hillary’s defense I can’t think of an artist under the age of 30 who is not a Hip Hop artist who has any realy cultural cache anymore. The age of the rock star is dying and the age of a separate youth culture along with it.

  72. I’m not familiar with anything Bowie’s done for a long time, but I’d be surprised if it’s not good. I was going to provide PeterTownsend/TheWho as the “insert name here”, but then I saw that one requirement was that that person would have to have been great at one time.

    As for EricClapton, he was never great. Here’s someone who was great:

    youtube.com/watch?v=YQsAxHk54x4

    It would have been great if Clinton had brought her back: youtube.com/watch?v=b3NIMz8EtwY

  73. Shakira? She may be over thirty though.

    And what’s wrong with Hip Hop? I find it infinitely more listenable than country.

  74. I liked the earlier Bruce Springsteen as well, except he got even drippier than country musicians for awhile there. 9/11 seemed to almost cheer him up.

  75. Sorry, but “Let’s Dance” was an album of full-on suckitude.

    Did you just serve Bowie? IT’S ON. Walkoff!

  76. “And what’s wrong with Hip Hop? I find it infinitely more listenable than country.”

    You have my condolences about that. Really. I guess it depends on what you mean by “country”. If your only exposure to country music is the divel that comes out of Nashville these days and gets played on mainline country radio, then I can understand why you say that. But if that is the case, try listening to the older more authentic stuff and you might change your mind.

    As far as Hip Hop, I don’t want to bash it. Some people like it and it means a lot to them and good for them. But it has become the monster that ate pop music. It certainly consumed black music in this country. Forty years ago there was R&B, there was soul, there was blues and there was Jazz. They were all distinct kinds of music and all had a significant following in both the black and white communities. Now there is only hip hop and nothing else. I can’t think of a single artist with a significant following among black people under the age of 30 who is not a hip hop artist. Right now of the top ten singles in the country, only No One by Alicia Keys could be acurately described as Hip Hop. This is a typical week and that has been typical for about 10 years now. I have no problem with hip hop, it would just be nice if people under 30 would bother to listen to any other kind of music once in a while or better yet bother to make any other kind of music.

  77. John,

    Check out the new Redwalls album. 20 year olds making total trad rock. Biggest influences: the Beatles, the Faces, the Stones. They do it well. Not aping their heroes, but they do wear their influences on their sleeves. I think you’d like it.

  78. For the record, Hip Hop isn’t my preferred type of music. People under 30 are usually developing their musical tastes, and also for the record I kind of feel sorry for kids in the US, particularly white kids with the sad ass, gloom and doom, goth type stuff they get into these days.

    That strain of music has an emotional resonance with a kind of cynicism, a pessimism, and ultimately a kind of narcissitic shallowness that I find disturbing. So many kinds of music can GIVE heart, can give an extra dimension for appreciating life.

    Soul music, rhythm and blues, even du-wop music pulsated with life. And I’ll admit hip hop has kind of picked up on some of the shallowness of the whiney crybaby white stuff in the tradition of Neil Young and midlife crisis Bruce Springsteen.

    Still, songs like “Live Like You Were Dyin'” leave me cold with the infantile, homily type, list of things that is supposed to pass for inspiration? Ditto “I’m Proud to Be An American” – I KNEW we were in trouble in Iraq when I heard THAT one everywhere.

  79. Pete Townshend and The Who don’t qualify to be in the list of long time losers. They put out a lot of good albums for 20 year,shifting genres several times. Townshend’s solo stuff has been very interesting. Of Costello’s contemporaries, Joe Jackson was the best and most long lasting, imho.

  80. Costello’s first four albums were fantastic and he got progressively spottier after those. He once said that he did not intend to witness his own artistic decline. Doesn’t that mean he should have shot himself by now?

  81. I appreciate wanting to mock Elvis for being involved with Hillary Frickin’ Clinton. For someone who aspired to being anti-establishment and such, this seems really weak. It is a bit distressing to see one of my top personal idols aiding the likes of an authoritarian like Hillary Clinton.

    But in fairness, Mr Gillespie un-impresses me totally with his business about Elvis sucking. That’s just gratuitous smug hatefulness not substantively based on Elvis Costello’s work. For starters, The Delivery Man from as recently as 2004 is one of his best albums. That he endorses stupid politics does not mean that he’s not a great artist.

    By the way, while we’re thinking of Hillary Clinton campaign songs for Elvis C to sing, he might consider this one:
    http://www.morethings.com/mp3/mommy_tits.mp3

  82. In his New Wave phase, EC did some pretty good stuff.

    Here’s “Pump It Up”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbhIzN9-p0

  83. And I’m pretty sure that the real king of New Wave around here, my friend drf, can link to more examples.

  84. Odd thing about Costello. I recently bought a copy of “Almost Blue,” his country album, out of curiosity. His early albums are being released with a companion CD of outtakes, alternative and live versions. The companion CD is a lot more interesting and better than the studio album.

    Costello does a great version of “Psycho.”

  85. I always pictured Hillary as more of a Hall & Oates fan.

  86. One look at her thighs and it’s apparent she’s hauling something.

  87. [insert name here]: A guy who has totally sucked for much, much longer than he was ever once (undeniably) great.

    Bruce Goddamn Springsteen…

  88. Jim Walsh,

    It is very deniable that Bruce Goddamn Springsteen was ever great.

  89. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that has these 4 attributes: integrity, honor, patriotism, and compassion. I dare you to find another candidate with these attributes. I got $35 in the bank that says you won’t be able to find one. You can count on it.

  90. VfHO,

    Been a spambot long?

  91. Gratuitous insult time: Elvis Costello is a member of a rock fraternity that includes David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and [insert name here]: A guy who has totally sucked for much, much longer than he was ever once (undeniably) great.

    Peter Frampton?

  92. Lurker Jack, No fargin WAY! Elvis Costello is married to Diana Krall!

    A perfect example of how we used walk down the street and say HER? With HIM?

    [looking for rusty razor blades and drawing a warm bath]

  93. Costello is the closest thing to Cole Porter we have

    That well may be true but it isn’t even close.

  94. High, I checked out the Redwalls. I like it. Thanks.

  95. Okay Rick Barton, I will grudgingly admit that Pump It Up was decent enough. Still think EC (not Eric Clapton) looks like my Minor B Little League coach, Leo Stanke, who piled fifteen of us eight year olds in the back of his ’57 GMC short bed and hauled us down to the elementary school for practice every Tuesday and Thursday after school. Times do change, eh?

  96. A perfect example of how we used walk down the street and say HER? With HIM?

    Sort of like the Joe Jackson song “Is She Really Going Out With Him”

  97. Rush? (ducks)

    My favorite band in high school…

    They were great for about 10 years, then sucked for about 20, to much synth, but their last two albums aren’t too bad.

  98. Awesome, TWC!
    They’re one of the wife’s faves. Local boys – Deerfield, IL. Tiny young men, like the Small Faces. Snazzy dressers, too.

  99. Tym, but Rush did Ghost of a Chance which is about what the odds were that Mrs TWC would marry me. So, they are my heroes.

    High, yeah, I listened to a bunch of the Redwalls on U Tube. Liked it. Cereal. My friend Jennifer (not our Jennifer) is a White Stripes fan. I may have to become a Redwalls fan.

  100. Too late for this, wish I’da thunk of it earlier. Dude, I am sooooo sick. The wine is helping because incohol is a cough suppressant….

    http://www.winecommonsewer.com/the_wine_commonsewer/2007/10/believe-im-sink.html

  101. A man who is 53 years old is making something “younger and hipper”? What’s next, a blog post about how Bob Dylan sold out when he went electric?

    Perhaps he can do a dual healiner with Frankie Valley, that’ll spice things up. Spike the punch with Geritol.

  102. peaked early, then put out dreck:

    Bone thugs-n-harmony

  103. Costello is the closest thing to Cole Porter we have.

    Last time I looked we still had Neil Tennant.

  104. Elvis Costello did great albums during the 1970s and has done some good work since then. Fleetwood Mac was pretty good, too. Hillary’s not about to endorse Hip-Hop, Punk, or Rap. What do you want?

  105. The Fleetwood Mac of “Fleetwood Mac,” “Rumours” and “Tuck” were damned good, as were Elvis Costello on “My Aim is True” and “Armed Forces.” Now if she could just get Al Green and Aretha Franklin, I’d be delighted.

    Come on, Nick, this is ignorant even for you.

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