Posted in music | tour dates on May 18, 2010

Elvis CostelloElvis CostelloElvis CostelloElvis Costello

"The Sugarcanes played a short run of theatre dates from Boston through Washington, D.C., the United Palace, New York, Richmond, Virginia, Atlanta and Jacksoville, Florida and two headlining festival appearances, concluding at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

E.C. sang, "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" during The Waybacks complete performance of "Abbey Road" in the afternoon, while Sugarcanes gave the first full band performance of "Dr Watson, I Presume", a reminiscence of the previous visit to the festival in 2007.

E.C. and The Sugarcanes were joined by Rebecca and Megan Lovell from their new band, Larkin Poe for finale performances of "The Scarlet Tide" and "The Crooked Line"

At the Sonoma Jazz Festival appearance on May 22nd, the band will feature, Jim Lauderdale, Dennis Crouch, Jeff Taylor, Mike Compton and Stuart Duncan. On this occasion Jerry Douglas will not be in the line-up, as he is attending a very important family event but the group will be augmented by multi-instrumentalist, Fats Kaplin and also feature Pete Thomas on drums." [Elvis Costello]

The Sonoma Jazz Festival happens this weekend (May 21-23) in Sonoma. A message from Elvis explaining (sort of) why he's canceling a couple of dates in Israel, and video from the April United Palace show, below...

04.23.2010 Elvis Costello Before I Grow Too Old (aka Silver And Gold)

04.23.2010 Elvis Costello Brilliant Mistake (Clip)

It Is After Considerable Contemplation....

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

I offer my sincere apologies for any disappointment to the advance ticket holders as well as to the organizers.

My thanks also go to the members of the Israeli media with whom I had most rewarding and illuminating conversations. They may regard these exchanges as a waste of their time but they were of great value and help to me in gaining an appreciation of the cultural scene.

I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth.

It is a matter of instinct and conscience.

It has been necessary to dial out the falsehoods of propaganda, the double game and hysterical language of politics, the vanity and self-righteousness of public communiqués from cranks in order to eventually sift through my own conflicted thoughts.

I have come to the following conclusions.

One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.

Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it.

I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.

With the hope for peace and understanding. Elvis Costello

---

      

Comments (55)

Good choice Elvis. No need to play for an audience of tyrants

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 12:37 PM

its amazing that israel isnt willing to sacrifice its citizens for an elvis costello concert.

bottom line is that the number of israelites that have been killed by palestinian terrorists in the past year vs 5 years ago is much less so whatever Israel is doing, keep doing it.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 12:41 PM

Maybe they can get Sting to fill in. After all, he was willing to play Uzbekistan.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 12:44 PM

anti-semite. every country has stuff that their government does that progressives could disagree with. but when you single out israel your true colors are showing through.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:02 PM

the trolls got to this thread QUICK!

Posted by trollbuster | May 18, 2010 1:04 PM

it's being a troll to disagree with him?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:07 PM

wow, that's the most pretentious and longwinded thing I've read in a long time.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:21 PM

trolls?! wtf is that supposed to mean. are you serious?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:21 PM

That letter is way too long and way too confusing and way too insane.

Was he drunk when he wrote that?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:24 PM

Elvis is a much better songwriter than he is a letter writer

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:25 PM

^^ seriously: "I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth."

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:25 PM

HA Costello is an idiot

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:27 PM

"I must believe... Palestinian civilians in the name of national security."

That's such an ivory tower view. "In the name of national security." As if it's all a myth and there is no threat to their national security. LIke the idea of the fence/'wall' or not.. you can't argue that it hasn't almost completely stopped suicide bombings in israel since its construction.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:32 PM

I'd love to slag off that boring, bloated old bastard, but props to him for taking a stand against the apartheid state of Israel. Too bad his music still puts me to sleep.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:40 PM

Palestinian Casualties
1754

Israeli casualties
117

Palestinian Injuries
6297

Israeli injuries.
1183

Israel gets a lot financially and militaristically from the entire world, yet the world gets absolutely nothing back.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:44 PM

He needs to get with the times if he doesn't want to do a show and use "the intermittent and unpredictable nature of ash cloud formations in the vicinity of destinations of global travel and transport".

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:44 PM

elvis being labeled anti-semetic is not too much of a stretch considering he was once considered a racist for calling Ray Charles a "blind, ignorant nigger'.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:45 PM


Anti Zionism is NOT anti Semitism and its just lazy and ignorant to say otherwise.

Someone please explain who and how the US now classifies who is or isnt a terrorist.....its just so hard to keep up these days.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:47 PM

hypocritical stand to take. Israel is an easy target for him to take a stand with. If he really and honestly wants to remove himself from playing in countiries he considers to be politically incorrect, then why doesn't; he stop playing in the United States also. He wouldn't do that because that's where he makes all of his money. He doesn't take any financial hit canceling two shows in the middle east.

Elvis is a hypocrite with funny glasses.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:48 PM

"Israel gets a lot financially and militaristically from the entire world, yet the world gets absolutely nothing back."

What the world gets back is the only real democracy and the only country in that entire section of the world with any sense and any normalcy. Without Israel, the entire Middle East would be a gigantic hotbed of insanity. The reason the world gives so much financially and militarily to Israel, is to keep Israel as the only stabilizing force in the region.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:52 PM

If I were a big elvis fan living in Israel and the only chance I had to see him was touring with the Sugarcanes in support of the new record, I wouldn't be too upset it was cancelled.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 1:55 PM

Re: @1:44 "Israel gets a lot financially and militaristically from the entire world, yet the world gets absolutely nothing back."

--

This is a grossly ignorant statement. Israel consistently finishes behind the US and Japan for patents and if you did any research you would know about the many medical, agricultural and technological contributions. I'm assuming you like cell phones (a lot of the development done in Israel), instant messaging (invented in Israel).

Israel is consistently one of the first countries to arrive on the scene of world natural disasters (see the field country in Haiti, etc).

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:01 PM

**What the world gets back is the only real democracy and**

Good answer, but the real answer is Israel's R+D provides incredible technology development--not just weaponry, granted, but medical technology.

This has to be related to the $$ and response Elvis was getting in Israel. Does he have any sort of a live paying audience anymore beyond the East Coast? What interest does Europe and Asia and the rest of the world have in Elvis
(over)singing country music?

Love the stats, but we were all worn out by that knee-jerk Brit view that Israel
is the world's greatest villain shtick by Massive Attack's video diatribe last week.

I hope you heard John Lydon's response
to this alleged principled stance
on EVR this morning. He can't wait to play Israel.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:03 PM

Israel refused to let writer Noam Chomsky into the country the other day. Democracy anyone?

"Barring of Chomsky stirs up a political storm in Israel"
http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2010/05/18/barring_of_chomsky_stirs_up_a_political_storm_in_israel/

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:04 PM

$3 billion dollars of our tax dollars annually go to fuel the racist Israeli military machine. Simply criminal. It's worth it to write your senators and urge them not to give our tax dollars to Israel's military in the upcoming fiscal year.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:10 PM

"It's worth it to write your senators and urge them not to give our tax dollars to Israel's military in the upcoming fiscal year."

For some reason, I don't think Chuck Schumer would be swayed by such letters.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:17 PM

@2:03--you're not seriously following John Lydon's political lead, are you?

@2:17--yeah, Schumer's a died-in-the-wool Zionist, but can't hurt to voice one's protest. After all, that's what America's about.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:21 PM

shame on elvis, METALLICA in TEL-AVIV this Saturday, who needs him!

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:36 PM

costello is NOT AN IDIOT!

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:49 PM

"I'd love to slag off that boring, bloated old bastard, but props to him for taking a stand against the apartheid state of Israel. Too bad his music still puts me to sleep."

Actually he is quite skinny these days...

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:51 PM

chomsky is an american jew who has made millions by attacking America and Israel. Can a Muslim in an arab country also make millions by attacking his country? No, he would be killed. Chomsky is a very lucky man.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:53 PM

2:10 I say we double it! If it wasn't for Israel we would lack additional intel and security in the Middle East. Israel is an invaluable relationship to have for us.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 2:54 PM

costello is a fucking idiot. this letter is nonsensical and its one-sidedness and contextless dropping of loaded words borders on propaganda-- ironic he should use that word himself.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 3:03 PM

People call Israel racist but Saudi Arabia allows no Jews to even ente their country

if you dare depict Mohammed you get death threats and worse actually killed

trendy to slag Israel but really the Arab governments are way more evil and corrupt than Israel could ever possibly be and world puts up with it
to suck on the oil nipple!

True the religious right in Israel often act pathetically but all religious zealots tend to do that

world gives a lot of money to Egypt too

hey tell you what cut off us military spending by 50 percent and
put that money intuniversal health care for all us citiZens and throw
wall street guys in jail en masse and then can understand cutting aid to Israel and Egypt

Posted by Karmapolice | May 18, 2010 3:09 PM

viva elvis, I like the man even more

Posted by gimme | May 18, 2010 3:18 PM

What the hell changed in Israel between the time these shows were booked and now to make him change his mind?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 3:20 PM

"chomsky is an american jew who has made millions by attacking America and Israel. Can a Muslim in an arab country also make millions by attacking his country? No, he would be killed. Chomsky is a very lucky man."

Go fuck yourself.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 3:24 PM

"What the hell changed in Israel between the time these shows were booked and now to make him change his mind?"

ticket sales not being as good as he thought?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 3:51 PM

Elvis is a moron who's musical relevance has waned considerably in the last bunch of years. His recent output is erratic and manic and this letter also reeks of a man who's slowly losing his mind.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 3:52 PM

extremely pretentious and off putting letter. If you don't want to play Israel then just don't. Why book a show, then disappoint the fans who bought tickets, and risk alienating your fans in other countries that don't side with your political beliefs by cancelling the show and putting out these words. This letter is a bad career move for Mr. Costello. He has nothing to gain by it, and risks pissing off and losing whatever small fan base he has left.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 3:57 PM

Makes me like elvis a lot less.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 4:00 PM

wow, this letter reads like some sort of crazy fanatical kidnaping note or something. Filled with rhetoric and ridiculous use of wording just to say a simple thing. EIther elvis was on drugs when he wrote this, someone else wrote this for him or he has truly lost his mind.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 4:02 PM

Makes me like elvis a lot MORE

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 4:30 PM

I'll bet he didn't sell any tickets and this is an easy way to get out of his commitment. His letter is too much of an explanation for a simple decision to not to play shows that were already booked.

Me thinks elvis doth protest too much

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 4:34 PM

LESS

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 4:35 PM

Very unprofessional

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 4:48 PM

MEHsrael

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 9:12 PM

MEHlvis CosMEHllo

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 10:36 PM

Fuck you all.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2010 10:47 PM

Way to go Elvis!

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 12:10 AM

I'm all about equal opportunity.

I enjoy hating both the evil empire apartheid state of Israel and Islamic radicals.

Is this acceptable to everyone?

Organized Religion = Man's greatest Plague

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 1:29 AM

ELvis is a douchebag

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 10:51 AM

Elvis is smarter and infinitely more socially-aware than the entire class of phony downtown Brooklyn hipsters can ever hope to be. The entire world knows what's going on in South Afri, excuse me, Israel. Anyone with a conscience and half a brain knows how disgusting and deceitful the Israelis have behaved over the past 50 years. Any suggestion that Israel hasn't done to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them is pro-"home team" denial plain and simple. Elvis did the right thing.

Posted by James | May 22, 2010 11:41 PM

Elvis Costello is a pretentious fuck who's music hasn't been relavent in decades or maybe ever. Why does anyone care what he thinks about a soverign nation of people trying to protect themselves from random acts of homicidal violence?

Posted by Mohamed Mohamed Mohamed | May 23, 2010 5:44 AM

Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie were really good albums. Got them when they came out, still throw them on at times and think they're great. It saddens me when I hear bands from that era when I was a teenager and hear their new stuff and it's so clear how they've lost it, they sound desperate to recapture a sound/magic that they haven't had in 15 years (holy shit).... And then I realize that is not unlike a lot of us.

Posted by منتديات | January 22, 2011 8:07 AM

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