Sunday, June 19th, 2011
"God Only Knows"
Elvis Costello covers The Beach Boys
WikipediaAt some point last night, probably around 11PM, Brian Wilson took a bow on a Toronto stage for possibly the last time. The show at Massey Hall was originally a promo stop for last year’s Reimagines Gershwin album, but following an interview with The Evening Standard last month wherein he mused that he could be retiring from touring following this year, it also became a sort of farewell tour.
So this week’s selection is both a tribute to the man and his work and also a nod to another pop music legend coming by for a visit this week, though I don’t think anyone is worried that Elvis Costello will be retiring anytime soon even if his current Spectacular Spinning Songbook tour has a whiff of victory lap-ness about it. Crowd-pleasing was rather the last thing on his mind back in 1993 when he released The Juliet Letters, a collaboration with English string ensemble The Brodsky Quartet. In addition to the original material on the record based on fictional letters written to one Juliet Capulet, Costello took advantage of the players at his disposal to reinterpret some favourite songs including the Pet Sounds classic, this live version of which didn’t appear on the original album but was included in the 2005 reissue.
Costello will be at The Sony Centre in Toronto this Thursday, June 23, and being backed by The Imposters it’s unlikely any Juliet Letters material will be found on the song-selecting wheel of fortune. As stated, we probably won’t see Wilson in these parts again unless those persistent rumours about a Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour come to fruition, and I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.