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Live Stream: Elvis Costello Performs New Songs

Watch Costello and the Sugarcanes play tracks from 'National Ransom,' which hits stores Tuesday

November 1, 2010 6:53 PM ET

Elvis Costello's new album, National Ransom, comes out tomorrow — but you can stream Costello and the Sugarcanes performing songs from it tonight, starting at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. The album was recorded with a hybrid electric-acoustic band that mixes members of the garage-rocking Imposters and a crew of top Nashville pickers. It "juxtaposes time and place," Costello says. "It includes old ballads, gospel, rhythm & blues, rock and roll and some country elements. I don't know what kind of music it is."

Watch: Elvis Costello Talks New Disc, 'National Ransom'

National Ransom includes historical narratives ("Jimmie Standing in the Rain" is about a 1930s British country singer) and classic Costello male-female turmoil (the rockabilly shuffle "Five Small Words"). And there's even a first for Costello: the whistle solo on the jaunty acoustic swing tune "A Slow Drag With Josephine." "I've kept that talent under wraps," he says. "You've gotta keep something in reserve for the third decade, you know?"

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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