December 04, 2008


I totally expected Elvis Costello's new talk show, Spectacle, to be wonderful. It is. Last night, the show debuted with Elton John as guest, and as I hoped, the discussion was 95% about music. If you want to hear Elton John speak passionately about music, you could do worse than to tune in to Sundance tonight at 11:00 p.m. or Sunday at 2:00 a.m.

Best of all, they discussed my favorite singer-songwriter, Laura Nyro, for quite awhile. If you are unfamiliar with Laura Nyro's work, do something about it! I'd start with Eli & the 13th Confession, which I consider one of the five best albums of the past 50 years. Here's a track from the album:

Like Elton John, Nyro was influenced by earlier R&B songs and performers, and she recorded a tribute album, Gonna Take a Miracle with Labelle. Here's my favorite track, "The Bells," featuring my favorite Patti LaBelle vocal ever.