When I first learned that the Roots and the legendary Elvis Costello would be collaborating on an album, titled Wise Up Ghost my initial thought was — “Well that is a rather unlikely collaboration. How will that work?” 

From the tracks I’ve heard – most notably album title track, “Wise Up Ghost” – their collaborative effort, Wise Up Ghost may well be the sot of album that critics and fans (of both acts) will be talking about for quite some time, as it actually is a true synthesis of two very unique sounds. And interestingly enough, the album sonically and conceptually conjures an anxious, uncertain and very turbulent world – a world that we’re more than aware of on a daily basis: a world where millions are starving because of economic crisis or because of unpredictable and weather patterns; millions dying from war, starvation, entirely preventable disease; increasing gaps between the very rich and the extremely poor; the destruction of our only home; and worse. Things seem inching closer to the end of days, and no one has an answer . . 

The folks at Okayplayer had the privilege of being a rather historic and unique event – the first live set with the Roots and the legendary singer/songwriter Elvis Costello at Brooklyn Bowl (one of my favorite venues in town). In this segment, Costello, the Roots perform “Tripwire” with the lovely Diane Burch, and it’s done in a jazzy, doo wop kind of style, complete with gentle and dreamy waves of vibraphone. It’s feels a bit like a haunted lullaby. 

From the footage, you can tell that the audience may have been initially bemused but quickly became entranced by what they were seeing in front of them. And I think you’ll be as entranced as I was when I first watched this video.