I also bought the new EC album, North, issued on that celebrated pop label, Deutsche Grammophon. This is the first “Elvis-trying-to-be-respectable” album I've bought in some time, and I have to say, it sounds good on the first listen. Piano-based ballads with some orchestra, and probably the best lyrics I've heard from him when he wants to be in “direct” mode, as opposed to his more rock and roll-oriented “let's mix a few metaphors and throw them against the wall” mode.
Like Imperial Bedroom, the title track is not on the album itself, but it is downloaded enabled by a code bundled with the CD. Well, you can try, but I failed. First, if you don't have Windows, or still use an old browser, sorry. After I filled out the first form for downloading the song, I was redirected to a web page, and then it downloaded in Windows Media format. Then I tried to play the song. WiMP informed me that I didn't strong enough a license manager to handle the one for the song, so I let it download and install a new one, no problem. Then I got the same form I did the first time, with all the fields helpfully filled out except for the code, which was left empty. Well, OK, I guess that's reasonable. I entered it once. No joy. OK, it's got mixed-case letters and case matters, so try it again. And again. Bah ! Sheesh, just sell it on the iTunes Music Store and I'll pay the silly 99¢. Even better, when I quit Windows Media Player, it offered to back up my precious “licenses,” but it said it couldn't back of all of them because some of them carried a restriction that they couldn't be backed up. Now which one would that be, given that this song, which I still haven't heard, is the only licensed Windows Media I've ever acquired ?
I'm a little surprised at this. Universal runs eMusic.com, which has a very generous MP3 download service. They also sell music on the iTunes Music Store, although for some odd reason they are selling only “Still” from North. Whatever, I guess it will leak onto the 'net or the real world soon. There's a DVD bundled with the CD that has a video for the song. It's almost child's play to extract the song with various applications that defeat CSS.
Anyway, while visiting Elvis' official site, I checked out the video section, and noticed there's “Euro” version of the video for “45.” It's a strange little thing where Elvis is pushing a shopping cart of junk in the middle of nowhere. Well, actually, it's closer than that. There's a close-up of his hands on the cart, and it's from Market Basket, a small local chain. One of the youths that he encounters is wearing a shirt that says “Andover.” And then, as he passes the diner, you see an intersection marked by a green sign with white letters. That is a distinctly Massachusetts kind of road sign, and if you look closely, it's for route 133. I'm not sure exactly where this is, but I bet it's at the intersection of US-1 or 1A, north of Boston. (Route 133 will take you Ipswich and some of the best fried clams around.) The interior of the diner is used in the US version of the video and is also featured on the cover of the Cruel Smile. Now, why is this the “Euro” version of the video ? Is there something about the area around Topsfield that is strangely enchanting to Europeans ? In any case, I'm mildly thrilled that the Imposter himself was pushing around a shopping cart not far from my town !
Also, you might wish to check out the man live on A&E tomorrow night at 10.