Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Alphabet Project: E

For whatever reason, I really seem to neglect this project. That being said, I am actually through the letter J. I just find it so hard to pick the actual artists that make it to these posts. On a happier note, one of the bands featured in the letter D, Death From Above 1979 has reunited and it feels so good. Maybe they saw the post and immediately felt compelled to play again, I'd like to think so...

Artists: 25
Albums: 53
Songs: 813

This was actually a very easy letter to complete, filled with one-hit wonders and established artists. On the other hand, it left me with very little to choose from. One band is relatively new and another I've listened to all my life.

The Eagles of Death Metal initially started as a duo and side project for Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. While Josh played the role of primitive drummer (and that is putting it mildly), Jesse Hughes assumed both guitar and vocal responsibilities. The result is a mix of dirty riffs, cymbal crashing drums and cocky lyrics. At times it can be very one-dimensional, but when that one dimension has the knob cranked to 11, you can't help but feel the energy. Although, they have released 3 albums (Peace, Love, Death Metal; Death By Sexy & Heart On), the band has rarely played together. In fact, the touring band is a 4-piece with Jesse being the only founding member. With Josh's commitment to Queens of the Stone Age (currently touring), and the formation of Them Crooked Vultures, little time has been spent on this project and it's apparent with each new release. There are currently no plans to record a 4th album.

Elvis Costello is the epitome of Pop. I'm constantly amazed by the amount of people that think he stopped making music in the 80's. In fact, I can't think of another artist that has continued to put out albums on a regular basis for so long. 30 albums since his classic debut, My Aim Is True in 1977 with no more than 3 years between releases. That's impressive. Growing up I heard the obvious hits: Alison, Radio Radio, Everyday I Write The Book and caught a few videos. But, I didn't take interest until I heard "Miracle Man" in the Godfather, Part 3. I still remember humming the tune throughout the movie so I could figure out who actually sang the song.

Even if you stopped paying attention to his musical talents; I hope you didn't miss his short-lived show, Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... The talk show invited some amazing guests to talk about the music industry and perform. My favorite episode was with Smokey Robinson, check it out on demand. Elvis is currently on tour and if you look at his site, you will get a brief taste of "The Wheel". Every night he spins a wheel and plays whatever comes up. Not a bad idea for a man that has so many songs to choose from. The video below is a nice jab at his first appearance on SNL. When asked to fill in for the scheduled guests, the Sex Pistols, he was asked to play "Less Than Zero", despite wanting to play "Radio Radio". After a few bars of "Less Than Zero", he stopped and apologized on live television before breaking into "Radio Radio". The rest is history. Thankfully, the Beastie Boys were watching and invited him back for their show.

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