Episode 145: Elvis Vs. Elvis

Episode 145: Elvis Vs. Elvis
It's a knock down, drag out, brawl to end it all as Pat and April play their favorite songs by Presley and Costello.
From April 17, 2014

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

April Richardson

00:00:00 Pat welcomes us to the show. Kyle is sick again. Or he's still sick. The order in which these episodes are recorded, it's like listening to an episode of Doctor Who. Speaking of time travel, Pat's birthday party was last night. April was there, and she thought Pat's wife was hot. She wonders (along with the rest of us) how Pat could land such a beautiful woman. But April's a looker as well. A 5'10" looker, to be exact.
Pat and April share a biographical fact: they've never done drugs in their lives. April's also never drank alcohol. This leads to a discussion about drunk people at concerts and shows. Why would you get drunk at a concert? You paid for a show, and now you won't see and/or remember the show!
00:05:00 Pat and April also chat about why people would go to a show without knowing who was performing. April guesses that it's more about the overall aura of "the show" than it is about the specifics. Pat and April need to become acquainted with a band's work before seeing them live. If they don't know the opening band, however, and they like them, then they will do the opposite and by the record after seeing them live.
Continuing this little chat about seeing bands live, April mentions that she sometimes goes to concerts just to see the opening band. She once saw The Beautiful South open for The Barenaked Ladies, then left after The Beautiful South finished their set. Pat, on the other hand, saw The Barenaked Ladies open for Alanis Morissette. Pat and April aren't big fans of The Barenaked Ladies (or BNL, as the cool kids call them), but they don't mind them.
Expecting a topic introduction? Well hold your horses, because it's time to talk about Australia. April went to Australia for Chelsea Handler's comedy tour. That's right, April got a trip to Australia, and on the E! Channel's dime no less. She also toured Australia with a folk singer. Corporate sell-out, friend of the folk singer; make up your damn mind, Richardson!
Pat's wife also went to Australia to teach. It wasn't as big as she thought it would be. Oh, if I had a nickel for every time a woman has told me that in the bedroom.
Okay, let go of your horses. April is on hand to introduce this week's topic! It's the battle of the Elvises (Elvises? Elvii? Whatever). Yes, it's Elvis Presley, represented by April, versus Elvis Costello, represented by Pat. Actually, this isn't really a battle to see who is better. It's more of a "pick your favorite songs by this guy" sort of thing. But I already made this Tale of the Tape photo, so unofficially, it's still a battle!
By the way, should parents ever name their kid Elvis? Pat and April say no, because those types of parents suck.
00:10:00 April admittedly feels defensive about loving Elvis Presley. Elvis gets a lot of shit these days about not writing his own songs. But, as April points out, that was the time. On a side note, April wrote a 30 page paper about Elvis Presley when she was in college. Yes. Also, Elvis wasn't a racist. Did he rip off black people? Absolutely. But at least he admitted it. The guy grew up on Bourbon Street, Black people music was all he knew! Besides, everyone rips off of everyone. The British 60s bands openly admit to taking the American Blues, and they get a free pass.
Elvis also got shit on for "acting Black." When Elvis first stepped onto the scene, it was certainly scary and strange for 1950s America to see. (I'm sure the Kool Moe Dee sunglasses and Starter jacket didn't help.) But when you look back with a present perspective, what was scary and strange back then seems trivial and banal now. Nowadays, when we watch Elvis, he doesn't act Black, he just looks like a swaggering rock star. It's the same with Kiss. People thought Kiss were actual demon monsters, but seeing them now, they were just four guys wearing makeup and singing about partying and girls.
"Sanguinem bibimus, corpus edimus, elev*cough*, I mean, shout it, shout it, shout it out loud!"
When it comes to Elvis Presley albums, they aren't really that important. It's the singles that matter. Albums didn't really mean anything until the 60s onward.
00:15:00 All this talk about Elvis Presley leads Pat and April to a discussion about singers who don't write their own songs. Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, just to name a few. The two agree that you really shouldn't hate a singer if they don't write their own material, because how can you disregard the talent? A great performer might not be a great writer, and vice versa. Besides, who cares?
It's time to hunker down and finally play some music. April kicks us off with her first Elvis Presley song. It's not that great, but it's the first song she remembers hearing as a child. From Moody Blue, it's the song "Moody Blue". That is some prime mid-70s Presley. The song also came on a rare transparent blue vinyl.
00:20:00 April's mom also loves Elvis Presley. She's 60, by the way, but don't let her know you found out from me. April has been to Graceland a bunch of times. She says it wasn't that far from Atlanta: It's only an 8 hour car ride. Right, because when I think of a quick trip, I think of an 8 hour car ride.
We now turn to our other Elvis, Elvis Costello. Why did he choose the name Elvis? While the question is fresh in our minds, Pat plays his first pick. It's the song "Oliver's Army", from the album Armed Forces. Elvis Costello has 7 or 8 great albums, according to Pat, but then things start to get a bit dicey.
00:25:00 April is not an Elvis Presley apologist, but she doesn't like the dismissal of 70s Elvis. He wasn't the fat, disgusting Elvis we make fun of until the last year of his life. Early 70s Elvis, on the other hand, is awesome. Pat was at a baseball game when Elvis Presley died at 42 years old. April wasn't even born yet.
April's next song is from an album called Elvis Is Back!. The song starts off with a few bad takes, before launching into the good take. It's called "Such a Night". Pat and April concur that bands that record live in the studio together are the best.
We have an answer to the origins of the name "Elvis Costello." Costello, born Declan Patrick MacManus, had a musician father with the stage name Day Costello. When it came time to become a singer, our bespectacled English friend took Elvis Presley's first name and his father's last name as his stage name. Hey, it's better than Elvis Malmsteen.
00:30:00 Pat's next pick is from Costello's album Imperial Bedrooms. The song is "Man Out of Time".
Let's get one thing clear: April Richardson LOVES the '68 Comeback Special. It's like the Cheap Trick at Budokan of Elvis Presley albums. Off of the '68 Comeback Special's live album Elvis, the song is the "Guitar Man" part of "Medley: Trouble/Guitar Man". How could the women control themselves around Elvis? He was like catnip for them. The '68 Comeback Special was also completely live, so no back tracks or dubs for the King.
00:35:00 What happens when someone says they don't like a massively popular band? Pat wonders how someone could say that they don't like The Beatles. April understands that someone could not like Elvis Presley. But she remains adamant that you have to credit Presley for what he did for rock and roll.
Going back over to Pat's Costello collection, we have one of his biggest hits. Co-written by Paul McCartney, it's "Veronica", from the album Spike.
Pat inquires April about Elvis working with other big artists. April isn't sure, but she does tell us about Elvis and The Beatles. He didn't like them at first (it was probably Ringo's fault), but he eventually warmed up to them. He liked that they experimented with their music, which Elvis wanted to do, but his manager Colonel Tom Parker wouldn't allow him. The Colonel, if you don't know, was the worst. He had a 50/50 split with Elvis!
00:40:00 Pat brings up Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie. Now there is a great talent, right guys?............
If your dad is Elvis freakin' Presley, why even bother trying to have a singing career? It must be so tough just to break out the shadow of your famous parent, let alone have success. How many have done it? Hank Williams Jr., that's for sure. April saw Hank Jr. in concert once, and he rocked. April's uncle looks a lot like Hank Williams Jr. too. Wait a minute... what if April's uncle actually was Hank Williams Jr., secretly living a double life. I smell the next big one hour NBC drama!
Anyway, April's next pick comes from Elvis Presley's album From Elvis in Memphis. The song is called "Stranger in My Own Hometown". Great news, guys: Pat might have actually liked that song. It's a Rock Solid miracle. If we can get Israel and Palestine to listen to this podcast, the world would be a much better place.
00:45:00 The next Costello tune is "Let Them All Talk", from his album Punch the Clock.
Pat brings up a listener's suggested topic: Let's Get Horny. These are bands who normally don't have horn sections, but have used them in a song or two. April adores horns and sax solos. She even has an iTunes playlist called "Saxually Assaulted."
Inspired by her passion for the horns, April's next Presley pick is off the album King Creole. It's a song called "Hard Headed Woman".
That song brings back memories for Pat. When he first came to Los Angeles, Pat had a job dressing up as characters for kids' parties. One kid wanted Elvis Presley. Pat wasn't so sure that he could pull off an Elvis, but the costume was great and Pat had a lot of fun. Sometimes, things weren't so fun. Pat dreaded playing Superman.
"When you show up as Superman, you're really just Man."
- Pat's friend Rusty, with the inadvertent line of the episode
00:50:00 Pat had to make excuses to the kids as to why he, Superman, couldn't fly. An obvious response to this would be that there was nearby kryptonite. But no, Pat chose to tell them that he couldn't fly because if he did, he would see crimes being committed and would have to leave. Superman has off hours, apparently. Another story Pat tells is when he was Spider-Man. Pat, in full costume, was walking towards a party when a kid shouted "You suck" at him. Pat retorted, "Nice talk." Good one, Pat. Did you wave your fist in the air and tell them to get off your lawn too, you old geezer?
Alright, enough nostalgia, let's get back to the music. Pat's next pick is from Elvis Costello's album When I Was Cruel, and it's a track called "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)".
Elvis Presley's discography is endless. Back in the day, artists would record multiple albums within a year. Recording was so much faster and simpler. Albums these days don't seem as important as they used to be. Just being a musician seems tougher now than it was back then.
00:55:00 Listening to music has also changed. It used to be that you had to buy the album to judge whether or not a song is good. Now you can just go online and listen to it for free. Pat and April also recognize that there are no more music icons--Prince, Madonna, etc.--people known throughout the entire world.
iTunes has lost its luster, according to April. It's kinda ruined things. It is useful to find rare stuff that isn't in stores, but the physical copies of albums still hold a special place in Pat and April's hearts. Books, on the other hand, are a different story. It's not as bad that the Kindle is replacing physical books, because it's easier to adapt to. Speaking of books, April has every available version of Morrissey's autobiography: hardcover, paperback, audiobook. Funny enough, the audiobook isn't narrated by Morrissey himself. It's narrated by David Morrissey, the actor who plays The Governor on The Walking Dead. April thinks this is just Morrissey's weird sense of humor.
I tried reading my copy, but it was too stained with Morrissey's tears.
01:00:00 April's next Presley pick is from the album Spinout. The song is "Tomorrow Is a Long Time".
What's that you hear? A left turn outta nowhere? Why, you're right! Pat plays his own Elvis Presley song. From E.P.'s EP Jailhouse Rock, it's "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care". This brings up the film Jailhouse Rock. Why was Elvis in jail? Pat hasn't seen the movie, and neither have I, so the answer is most likely baby murder. April brings up the jailhouse dance scene. To describe it in a word: gay.
We wrap up this triple shot of Elvis Presley with another song from Jailhouse Rock. It's the title track, "Jailhouse Rock".
01:05:00 Pat admits that he likes that song. We're in dangerous territory, however. If Pat starts listening to Elvis Presley, Pat's wife will start getting suspicious and think that Pat has a crush on April. Are you reading this, NBC? Because this and the Hank Williams Jr. show are your next Monday night drama block.
The last Elvis Costello song played is from his album Get Happy!!. Pat plays the track "High Fidelity". Costello sings like he's deaf on that song. April had a Costello song of her own, "Alison", but she must give apologies to Mr. Costello because that song does not get played.
What does get played, however, is April's last song. We go back to the live album of the '68 Comeback Special, Elvis. It's Elvis Presley closing it out with "If I Can Dream".
01:10:00 There wasn't that much music played today. This was more of an informational/conversational episode, mostly about Elvis Presley. When it comes to the fight between Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello, let's call it a draw. Both are great in their own ways.
Kyle does not have a play out song today, so we end the episode with the ending to "If I Can Dream."
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:15:00 Moody Blue Moody Blue Elvis Presley April
00:20:00 Oliver's Army Armed Forces Elvis Costello Pat
00:25:00 Such a Night Elvis Is Back! Elvis Presley April
00:30:00 Man Out of Time Imperial Bedroom Elvis Costello Pat
00:30:00 Medley: Trouble/Guitar Man Elvis Elvis Presley April
00:35:00 Veronica Spike Elvis Costello Pat
00:40:00 Stranger in My Own Home Town From Elvis in Memphis Elvis Presley April
00:45:00 Let Them All Talk Punch the Clock Elvis Costello Pat
00:45:00 Hard Headed Woman King Creole Elvis Presley April
00:50:00 Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution) When I Was Cruel Elvis Costello Pat
01:00:00 Tomorrow Is a Long Time Spinout Elvis Presley April
01:00:00 (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley Pat
01:00:00 Jailhouse Rock Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley April
01:05:00 High Fidelity Get Happy!! Elvis Costello Pat
01:05:00 If I Can Dream Elvis Elvis Presley April