Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm Not Angry Anymore

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Confession: When I was younger, I really struggled with the music of Elvis Costello. I kept hearing how he was such a genius, a brilliant lyricist and how all these other musicians looked up to and admired him. Blah blah blah.

But, when I listened to many of his songs, I just got confused. He just seemed odd and all over the place and his lyrics would sometimes baffle me - like I was walking into a movie in the middle with no clue as to what was happening. I would try and try and then simply say "I just don't get it." It made me angry. It made me feel stupid (which I highly doubt was Mr. Costello's intent.)

Then, something changed. Maybe it's maturity or experience or familiarity, but something clicked. I liken it to when you are forced to read Shakespeare too young and you fight so much with the vernacular that you completely miss the point. All of a sudden, I realized how honest (sometimes brutally) and direct Costello's words actually were. 

If you've never listened to his work, I recommend starting with "My Aim is True" ... an album in which Elvis (unlike Shakespeare) proves that you can say a whole lot in a short amount of time. The opening track, "Welcome to the Working Week," is literally 1:23 long and is part of my Monday morning playlist while riding the bus to the office ... oh I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you.

currently playing on my speakers: Sneaky Feelings ... (song starts about 0:30) ... I've still got a long way to go ...

I had the joy of seeing Elvis Costello last year in NYC ... you can read about it and see pictures from that show here.