Momofuku de Mayo

Yes, it’s Momofuku day for those Elvis Costello fans who don’t own a turntable. By the way, I suspect that many of us in that category wish we still did own a turntable.

I’m on my second listen to the album right now. The first was via Rhapsody at work, through PC speakers. The current listen is at home, streaming from Lost Highway Records and coming out through semi-real speakers. On the basis of those listens, and some earlier listens to other versions of Momofuku tracks, I’m pleased.

I’m not sure how long the album will stream from the record label’s site. I thank Stereogum for telling me about the stream. By the way, it was at another post at the same site that I saw the wonderful quote from the wonderfully quotable Lou Reed: I can’t wear the sunglasses now because I’d fall over a cable.

Musical Understatements

Early-ish leaders in the “least appropriate album title of the year” stakes are The Last Shadow Puppets: Alex Turner (of the Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane. The album from those two 20somethings, The Age Of The Understatement, is anything but understated, with dramatic melodies and sweeping strings harking back to the 1960s.

The CD comes out on May 6, but Understatement is already out: legally, as well as through the channels you might be thinking about. It’s on Rhapsody early. While the CD format isn’t dead yet, it is steadily becoming less important. For further evidence, consider another album already out before its CD release…

My post about the new Elvis Costello album, Momofuku, is proving a lot more popular than I expected. This suggests to me that Elvis’ approach of recording the album stealthily, then getting it out in a format most people can’t use (vinyl) before it comes out in any digital form, has aroused curiosity.

Here’s a different kind of understatement from Elvis Costello: his version of “My Funny Valentine.” The version is older than either of the Shadow Puppets. The song is even older than Elvis.

Elvis Costello: Momofuku Release

Elvis Costello has a new record out, and I do mean record. Well, actually, I mean a double album, as in two black vinyl discs. That in spite of the fact that the album consists of 12 tracks, which is fewer than we usually get on an Elvis album.

Momofuku won’t be out on CD until May 6 (US). I hope that it’ll be available as an MP3 download, and for streaming from music subscription services, on the same date. Those who have the vinyl also have a code to download Momofuku.

I’m surprised that there don’t seem to be many reviews on the web yet. But there is a very good review by Allan Raible at ABC news blogs. It’s good in the sense that it captures the sheer vinyl specialness of the release.

Until yesterday, I hadn’t bought any new vinyl in probably 20 years… I’d forgotten how glorious records truly are. Sure, they are big and clunky, but as I first gazed at the immense “Momofuku” in all its purple-y goodness, I was awe-struck…

[Glowing review of side one]

Now it is time to take a breather and turn the record over. People used to have to do this all the time.

Talking of glowing, the review is also good in the sense that it’s highly favorable. “It’s a clear five star example of a legend adding to his stack of classics.”

I said goodbye to my turntable years ago, so I’ll have to wait for May 6. Or maybe May 1, when downloaded MP3s will start to appear. I’m surprised that I haven’t stumbled across MP3s created from the vinyl yet. I’m also surprised that I haven’t seen more comments on the release sequence: analog first, then digital, with CD not even being the first digital release.

By the way, May 6 is also the release date for The Last Shadow Puppets’ album. If there is an heir to Elvis Costello, it may turn out to be Alex Turner. But that’s a big if, so early in the career of someone who wasn’t even born when Elvis advised us to Get Happy.