Santa Clara University Santa Clara, January 25, 1979

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Armed Forces

Elvis Costello

Sean Bobbitt

Since his arrival on the music scene in late '77 Elvis (Costello — the other one's dead and gone) has established himself as one of the most competent of the New Wave musicians with this, his third album, realizing the potential displayed by his earlier releases. Voted "Best New Artist" by Rolling Stone in '77, with his second album This Year's Model sweeping the board for critic's awards in England in '78, Armed Forces has a lot to live up to in '79.

It terms of his earlier work Armed Forces is a step up from This Year's Model and four steps up from My Aim is True. The improvement is not only found in the quality of the production. which is handled masterly by Nick Lowe, but also in the complexity and depth of his sound. By a heavier reliance on keyboards, Elvis has added a new appeal and totality to his songs, which is highlighted and backed by crisp, solid drumming and a fluid, running bass.

Lyrically what can I say? His aim is still as true es it has been in the past. Whether he's attacking Fascism and the National Front (an ultra-right-wing political party in England) in "Goon Squad" or harping back upon his favorite subject in Petty Girl," "Busy Bodies" and "Chemistry Class" i.e. the fickle nature of the female form. The highlights of the album must be "Oliver's Army" with its allusion to British mercenaries and catchy lines such as:

It only takes an inch of trigger
One more widow
One less white nigger

Coming in first, equally, is an old Brinsley Schwarz song which has been stripped down, rebored and tuned up to a pitch which is guaranteed to get you up and jumping, and it's called What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding."

Now I know that it's New Wave, I know it's not mellow and laidback, but I think you should bury your cultivated distaste for this new movement and give it a try — who knows, you might like it, and if you don't like it what have you lost (apart from six bucks)?

By the way. he's twice as good live — don't miss him.


The Santa Clara, January 25, 1979

Sean Bobbitt reviews Armed Forces.

Mike Nouaux previews Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Friday-Saturday, February 9-10, Berkeley Community Theatre, and Sunday, February 11, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.


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Big concerts

Mike Nouaux


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The Clash, the new hope of punk/new wave, will play at the Berkeley Community Theatre on Feb. 7. Appearing with these madcap young Englishmen will be the venerable Bo Diddley and Pearl Harbor and the Explosions (formerly of Leila and the Snakes). Tix are $4.50-$6.50. If you want excitement, see this show!

Elvis Costello, the greatest performer of the New Wave, will appear with The Attractions (his band) at the Berkeley Community Theatre on Feb. 9 and 10. Appearing with Elvis will be Mr. Blue Suede Shoes himself, Carl Perkins! Elvis can also be seen in Santa Cruz on Feb. 11. Tix to see the king are $5.50-$7.50.

Jackson (Eco. Man) Browne and Graham (Art Show) Nash will perform in tandem or by themselves in behalf of stopping Nuclear Energy at the Oakland Coliseum on Jan. 27. Tix are $6.50-58.50. Be righteous and smoke a joint for solar energy. Save a whale for Christ. Ronnie Laws will appear at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Feb. 9 and tix are $6.50-58.50.

The Grateful Dead will appear for one of their monthly appearances at the Oakland Coliseum on Feb. 17. Festival seating and a $7.50 ticket price will make this benefit for The Campaign for Economic Democratic Task Force on Environment Cancer a success. What?

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Page scans.


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