One-time angry young man Elvis Costello once cited "revenge and guilt" as his primary motivations for writing songs.
Twenty-five years after the release of his angry debut, My Aim Is True, Costello may now be more polite and charming, but he has not forgotten where be came from.
Touring in support of his most recent release, When I Was Cruel, Costello comes to the McDonald Theatre, 1010 Willamette St., on Wednesday with his band, the Imposters.
Phantom Planet will open the all-ages show at 8 p.m.
In making his latest record — which has been called a return to rock form after a period of high-profile collaborations with operatic mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, pop songwriter Burt Bacharach and others — Costello tapped the spirit of his earlier releases, but used a very different method.
"We went out of our way not to make a record I have made before," Costello earlier this year said in an interview with CDNOW. "The one thing I didn't do was assemble n four-piece band and bring them in and say, 'OK. let's make it real, like when we were young.'
"That's a deadly way to go."
Ably backed up by the Imposters, featuring former Attractions Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, Costello probably will perform songs from his latest release, along with some of his other 300 plus tunes.
At the age of 47, Costello retains his lyrical cynicism, if not his cynicism for his audiences. He was once known for his on-stage rudeness and short set lengths, but recent reviewers have praised him for playing long and hard and for deftly shuffling older songs such as "Almost Blue" and "Alison" in among the new tunes.
Tickets to Wednesday's show are $39.50, $37.50 in advance through Fastixx.