A nice connection here, as Costello has been a die-hard Beatles fan since he was nine years old and 27 years later teamed up with Paul McCartney to write an excellent batch of songs that both men released on future albums.
Our third Round Four matchup pits Elvis Costello against Taylor Swift. Swift has been a giant slayer in the contest thus far, propelled by some major fans and a whole lot of debate. She took out David Byrne in Round One, Tom Petty in Round Two and Simon & Garfunkel in Round Three (72/28).
Costello topped Carly Rae Jepsen, then John Mayer and finally Michael Jackson (with a commanding 90% of the vote).
Swift’s path has been a generational war, Millennials vs. Boomers, and that won’t change in this round. Can she continue to topple the oldsters on her way to the Final Four? Or will Costello prove too tough a foe?
Jackson made his way here by defeating Belle & Sebastian with 86% of the vote and then easily winning the Motown Showdown with Stevie Wonder, 77-23. Costello bested Carly Rae Jepsen with 67% in Round One and John Mayer with 83% in Round Two. This will be his toughest competition yet. Continue reading
The next Montauk Madness Round Two battle is a bit of a laugher, particularly for readers of this blog. I’ll be surprised if John Mayer manages more than a single vote (my wife’s) against Elvis Costello.
Costello got here by taking out Carly Rae Jepsen, who did manage to pick up 33% of the vote. Mayer narrowly defeated Beck, 55% to 45%. Had Beck triumphed, the Beck/Costello matchup would have been interesting. Both have proved adept in multiple genres and are masters of the unexpected. Continue reading
Today’s Random SOTD, ‘Black Sails in the Sunset,’ was left on the cutting room floor during the recording of 1981’s Trust. It’s certainly worthy of inclusion on that album or any other, and yet it’s far from the best outtake Costello has released. His rejects are better than most people’s official catalogs.
The latest Montauk Madness Round One matchup features a prime contender for the whole title (Elvis Costello) vs. a newcomer with only a couple of albums under her belt (Carly Rae Jepsen). Not exactly a fair fight.
But Jepsen is a talent, no question. She might not be Rocky Balboa taking Apollo Creed to 15 rounds and losing by judge’s decision, but Costello is definitely in the other corner having taken a solid shot to the eye, nodding her way and saying “You have great things ahead of you, kid.”
Costello has spent the last two decades or so in elder statesman mode, releasing chamber orchestra and country folk albums, so it’s easy to forget what a scrappy, literate punk rocker he was back in the day.