Friday, May 23, 2008

Inches on the Reel to Reel


I read this intriguing opinion in the NY Times this morning. Boy, that Rosanne Cash sure can write. By the end of the article I was pretty excited about the snippet of song that was included and eagerly clicked the little play button.

Meh.

Oh, she sounds quite lovely as does Elvis. I just felt a little let down by Mr. Kristofferson. (Dig me, assuming you read the article...guess I should mention, if you didn't, that the article is about the process of writing "truthfully" in song-making and about a song, as yet unnamed, that she wrote with Elvis Costello and Kris Kristofferson. There). Point is, even when I've liked some of his songs, Kristofferson never did much for me. He seriously can't sing for crap. There. I said it. I think I might have liked the song better if it was just Rosie and Elvis.

But even OK songs (that might grow on you later, you never know) have their merits. Because I mostly ended up thinking about how much I love Elvis Costello. It was 1978, fall of my senior year of college. The inimitable Johnny Rotten, musical guru to my little group of friends, had come over to my place with his latest discovery. It sometimes took me a while to wrap my musical head around some of the offerings Mr. Rotten provided but in some cases, this one among them, I knew in an instant I was listening to one of my favorite artists of all time. And lo, these 30 years later, that is still true.

Not to mention, that Mr. Costello has proven himself to be a, oh, what's the phrase? Musical genius? All his youthful, quirky, punk beat poetry was just the first layer of the proverbial onion. In the intervening years there is pretty much no one in the musical universe he hasn't written for, recorded with and/or produced; no musical genre (with the possible exception of rap) that he's not explored. Have you ever listened to the album he made with Burt Bacharach? I rest my case.

For all his more-than-capable-musical ability, despite the length and breadth of his recording history, there are times when I simply must return to my roots, and his, and listen to one of the classics.



Elvis Costello and the Attractions "Radio Radio"

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14 Comments:

Blogger booda baby opined...

Elvis Costello, Leonard Cohen, and Neil Young. Not necessarily ALWAYS in that order, but mostly in that order.

May 23, 2008 9:14 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

(adds another item to the list of "Reasons Why I Like Booda")

May 23, 2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

Kris Kristoferson is a Rhodes scholar, with a genius IQ. I think he should do genius-y type things instead of singing. :)

May 23, 2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I recall that little factoid, SCG, and I concur with your analysis.

May 23, 2008 10:00 AM  
Blogger jp opined...

Here's another little factoid: Elvis Costello did NOT write "Viva Viagra." It was the other Elvis.

May 23, 2008 11:54 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

This Elvis is not known to me too well. I like his glasses..not really. I thought I left a comment earlier..I do that sometimes...I think I get sidetracked with real work.

May 23, 2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I believe you are correct as well, JP. My, aren't we an educated group of Elvis lovers.

And Sage, your education has a gaping hole it. Please go to "Here's the 80s" and watch all the videos in his catalogue and then go buy/steal/download his 1977 classic "My Aim is True". There will be subsequent assignments but that should hold you through the weekend.

May 23, 2008 3:42 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

I guess I never really listened to Elvis Costello for one overriding reason.
I think it's a dumb name.
Still,if Rainy recommends,I'm obligated to listen.
I.Like.It! :)
..it's still a dumb name.

May 23, 2008 3:43 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

Kris is a better actor than singer, though the acting isn't all that hot, truth be told. Did you see Elvis' cameo in Talledega Nights? Yes, I do actually watch Will Ferrel movies, believe it or not.

May 23, 2008 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Rope. Lots of rope to the 12 foot mast. Yet to be run. Reprieve. Tuesday is not first act just a dress rehearsal. Oh yay.

Happy Folklife Festival!!!

Peace

:+}

May 23, 2008 6:10 PM  
Blogger Dant opined...

I remember the first time I became aware of Elvis Costello. The Sex Pistols were supposed to be the musical guest on the hot new show "Saturday Night Live". But when the guest was introduced, it was Elvis. He then did his start/stop/start again bit on that show. One of my college roommates had "My Aim is True" and I wore it out on the turntable. Along with "Imperial Bedroom", its still my favorite Elvis album. As you said, a classic. In my Top 10 alltime favorites.

May 26, 2008 3:44 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sling, if it helps you can call him Declan Patrick McManus, rolling it off your tongue with a good brogue. That's his real name. Or you could call him Mr. Krall, since he's married to Diane Krall. Does that help? Or just listen to the music and don't call him anything. (packs Costello/Bacharach CD for California trip)

KA, the only Will Ferrell movie I have seen is "Elf". But perhaps for a cameo of Mr. McManus (trying not to upset Sling) "Telladaga Nights" should be Netflixed. Then I'll make The Spouse watch it and call me when Elvis shows up.

You've been working very hard, Anonyba. You must make sure to take some good hippie breaks this weekend.

Dant, oh, I so remember that SNL. Who'd a thought that little jerky punk would have even lasted in the business? I'm also ever so fond of "Armed Forces".

May 26, 2008 7:48 AM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Okay..time out..He's married to Diane Krall??
This changes everything!

May 26, 2008 12:44 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

(giggles and rubs hands with evil glee)

May 26, 2008 7:19 PM  

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