Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane & Sugarcane (listen) I don't think I've listened to any of the Elvis Costello albums released in the last ten years in full, largely because I listened to all the preceding Elvis Costello albums in the preceding decade endlessly, with a spelunker's hope of finding a new antechamber in well-traversed caves. None, as far I remember, were discovered and somewhere ten years ago I gained a searing loathing of EC; he was suddenly a cameo king on every TV show with his goofy hat and glasses. When I heard him sing, I felt he was making that singer face at me, crooning the same song right in my ear while I was trying to pay attention to something else. I wanted him to just go away for a while. The problem clearly laid with me and not Elvis, and I'm starting to come back around to him. This is an example of a lovely record by a non-Southerner that loves Southern music more than Southerners do: thudding upright bass and a tangle of pedal steel and fiddle and mandolins and probably a damn singing saw in there too, so much texture that I can't really hear the songs all the time, but when I can, I hear the Elvis I loved back then.
The Stranglers - No More Heroes (listen) Elvis' mandolin daydream dredging up glories past is all right and all, but this is more the rolling keyboard menace I seek. How a band could sound this goofy and menacing at the same time speaks to the malleable properties of new wave.
I forgot all about this great forgotten classic...
which makes me want to listen to...
Thin Lizzy - Johnny the Fox (listen) It doesn't take much, I kinda always want to listen to Thin Lizzy, or at least the little bit of Thin Lizzy in every artist. in searching for the image and and then typing this, I accidentally typed "think lizzy" each time, so that will be my motto for the day. At any crisis, I will "think Lizzy" and let that notion be my compass. Maybe once Elvis Costello is awarded his Americana Grammy already and gets it out of his system, he can recruit the keyboardist from the Stranglers and "think Lizzy" about making a quivering, sneering great rock album again.