Song of the Day #5,133: ‘(She Might Be A) Grenade’ – Elvis Costello and The Roots

Elvis Costello loves to keep his fans guessing. This is the man who released an album of country music covers in between two of his poppiest efforts in the 80s. And an album recorded with a string quartet a decade later.

He has released collaborative albums with vocalist Anne Sofie von Otter, New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint, Netherlands ensemble the Metropole Orkest, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, symphonic composer Richard Harvey, and esteemed songwriter Burt Bacharach. None of those albums sound alike, nor do they sound like any of the “regular” albums Costello dropped in between them.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #5,118: ‘My Shot (Rise Up Remix)’ – The Roots (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess)

Eight years ago, in the middle of the initial wave of Hamilton-mania, I posted a handful of songs from the Hamilton Mixtape, a project that saw the musical’s songs reinterpreted by a host of contemporary musicians.

It was a cool project that shed new light on great songs, and allowed Lin-Manuel Miranda to enlist some of the artists who inspired his work. It’s also the kind of novelty release you listen to once or twice and never revisit.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #2,063: ‘Let it Go’ – Idina Menzel, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots

fallon_menzelThe Frozen showstopper ‘Let it Go’ predictably won the Oscar a few nights ago, but its win was overshadowed by John Travolta’s hilarious bungling of performer Idina Menzel’s name.

After being introduced as “Adele Dzaeem,” Menzel seemed to struggle a bit during her performance. She appeared visibly nervous, rushed the song a bit and faltered on the last big note. I don’t know if we can pin all of that on Travolta, but I’ll do it anyway.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #2,023: ‘Wake Me Up’ – Elvis Costello & The Roots

wise_up_ghost_costello_rootsGuest blogger Dana concludes… (and thanks for taking the reins for the past two weeks!)

Dana’s Best Songs of 2013
Elvis Costello & The Roots – ‘Wake Me Up’

Well, I guess I am nothing if not predictable in placing Mr. Costello number one on my “best of” list, though there have certainly been years in the recent path where his output might not have merited such high praise.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #1,977: ‘Sugar Won’t Work’ – Elvis Costello and The Roots

wise_up_ghost_costello_rootsBest Songs of 2013 – #15

Elvis Costello has pulled a lot of tricks out of his bag over the past decade plus, really stretching the boundaries of what a popular artist can get away with.

Teaming up with The Roots? Well, to borrow a phrase from the man himself, you couldn’t call it unexpected. Not for a guy who’s put out classical, jazz and country albums over a three year span.

Continue reading