Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spectacle: Pagliachi of Motown

The season finale of Spectacle was a fine demonstration of just how far host Elvis Costello came along in his interviews. I've seen a few interviews with Smokey Robinson, and while he's a charismatic fellow, he's usually pretty reserved. Elvis, through his questions and comments, was able to get Smokey to not only tell a lot of stories, but also to get him talking passionately enough about something (racism) to say "bullsh*t" on television. He had to stop and ask first (so cute!) before letting the word fly, of course. Smokey also brought out the best of Elvis' performances this season, pulling off great performances of both the more obscure "No More Tearstained Makeup," (video below) which Smokey wrote for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and then later, a great version of the "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game", which Smokey wrote for The Marvelettes (video).

On top of that, the Discovered commercial interlude tonight featured the great SF band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down performing "Bag of Hammers". It was a good ending to a fine season, but it might also be the last. Costello confesses that schedule conflicts might make it difficult for him to be back for another season. With all the magic that happened this season, it's hard to believe there might not be any more of it in the future.

Playlist: Spectacle: Elvis Costello... - Smokey Robinson
1. "Going to a Go-Go" - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - intro
2. "No More Tearstained Makeup" - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - Elvis performs
3. "The Tracks of My Tears" - Smokey Robinson
4. "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" - The Marvelettes
5. "Don't Know Why" - Norah Jones - Smokey covers on new album
6. "Just My Soul Responding" - Smokey Robinson
7. "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down" - Elvis Costello
8. "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

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