I’m not always cynical

Just in time for the holidays, Elvis Costello has a new $225 box set for sale — and he’s telling fans NOT to buy it. …

“Unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire,” Costello wrote on his website.

Costello tried to get the record company to knock the price down, but was unsuccessful. So he is recommending buying the work of another legendary artist.

Not everyone is buying Costello’s mea culpa.

He’s pandering to the Occupy crowd. “Oh, I’m sorry; I wasn’t trying to be a billionaire. I just wanted to be a millionaire.”

Total gimmick, designed to actually GET YOU TO BUY THE SET.

First off, Costello has no say in pricing the box set and I doubt he’s delusional enough to think the Occupants are his audience. And you have to question the psychology that suggests people will spend $225 simply because they’re told not to.

I’ll choose to give Costello credit for being properly embarrassed. He’s inspired me to charge only $39.99 to watch this clip.

be more cynical

Duane makes a surprising confession:

See, I have this thing, that whenever someone gets a bunch of hype, and everyone under the sun seems to be singing their praises, for no reason at all, I am instantly turned off at the prospect that said artist could actually be that amazing.

I’m confused, especially after reviewing his list of the year’s best CDs. The nominees include Jesse McCartney, Mariah Carey and Dannity Kane, an all-girl group created by MTV (never one to excessively promote).

And he’s worried about being too cynical?

Maybe hype has gotten a bad rap. Maybe Must-See TV is just that. Maybe M. Night Shyamalan really is the new Hitchcock. Maybe Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.