Getty | Getty It's been a great year for music. But what's been even…
- Posted on Nov 15th 2010 11:30AM by Karen Bliss
Taupin, Elton John's lyricist for the past 43 years, paints grand abstracts with titles like 'Yo-Yo' (price tag: $9750) and 'Corporation Department' ($13, 250). The exhibit opened Friday night and runs for the next three weeks.
"I really liked that one 'Red Shroud,' the smaller canvas down there," Costello said. "I just said to [Taupin], with all the songwriting, that he would have the time [to paint] and he has young children like me, as well," says Costello. "I've managed two paintings in 30 years and I wouldn't call what I do painting; it's a bit like what I do at the piano."
Costello has only seen Taupin's artwork when he's visited his house. "I haven't seen it exhibited like this and that's part of it, isn't it, seeing it [at a gallery] and you see the different moods of things."
The next night on the Gemini's, Costello performed "A Slow Drag with Josephine" - from his brand new album, 'National Ransom' - with Feist, Ron Sexsmith fiddle player Kendel Carson and upright bassist Barry Bales from Alison Krauss's Union Station. They rehearsed for the first time on Friday.
"It was great today," he said. "In the last month, I performed that song with Mike Compton who sings it on the record and the Sugarcanes who played it on the record; I performed it with Emmylou Harris at the Bridge School benefit; I performed it on the Speaking Clock Revue with Scissor Sisters and Karen Elson, so already, in just a month, that song has got a few different versions. It's always fun to play a song with different people participating and really good players."
Asked about Elton John's recent comment that "I don't have to make pop records anymore," Costello says he understands what the man whose pop albums have sold 250 million copies over four decades might be trying to say.
"I think your expectations change as time goes on, your objectives. I think I know what he's getting at there because you're writing different kinds of songs, " Costello says. "If you set yourself up and you're not trying to write the latest dance hit, or the latest pop hit, then some other song might last a little longer."
Longer than his pop songs? "You never know. For one thing, music's not a competitive sport. [Pop charts] reflect sales, they don't necessarily reflect merit."