You always look so disappointed when I take my stockings off

When I saw Elvis Costello play in Dayton in July, a thought crossed my mind as I stood there grinning. There is almost no place I'd rather be than an Elvis Costello concert. Seriously, even when he's playing "Pump It Up" I'm totally in my happy place. It's such a nice feeling. Crazy, yes, but nice.

Any song from Blood and Chocolate makes me pretty happy, too. As we learned from Shawn yesterday, it was released in 1986 six months after King of America. Taken together that makes 1986 probably my favorite year in Elvis' career. Both are excellent albums.

I didn't really love Blood and Chocolate until I got older, though. I bought a copy on vinyl when I was about 15 and gave it a couple of listens, but nothing stuck. Blood and Chocolate is all about the frustrations of leaving your 20's behind. It's about getting burned once and still being stupid enough to get burned again. It's about thinking you're old enough to have seen everything and finding out that's not true. It's an angry, funny and slightly pornographic album which doesn't always translate well for the 15-year-old listener and that's why I love it.

When Elvis toured in 2002, he performed quite a few tunes from the album, including "I Want You" and "Poor Napoleon." Hearing those tunes live made me go back and check out the whole album again. That's when I discovered what I'd missed as a teenager. So if you're not a teenager, it might be a good idea to find a copy of Blood and Chocolate. Maybe its sad, frustrated songs will put you in a happy place, too.


Speaking of happy places, I bought the new albums from The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys over the weekend and I'm loving both immensely. It's so nice to hear something a little different from The Strokes. They're starting to sound like they might have a long career ahead of them after everyone (including me) wanted to write them off as another trust fund garage band flash in the pan.

We're still waiting to see if Arctic Monkeys are a flash in the pan, but right now I don't care. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is a great album. It has funny, earthy lyrics like the best stuff from The Streets with punk riffs that makes Fanz Ferdinand look like pussies. Also, "Riot Van" is the prettiest song I've heard about running from the police. What more could you want?

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I like the Arctic Monkeys, but I can't declare undying love for them. I'm sort of torqued that I downloaded the EPs and then the album came out a few days later. I know...a minor inconvenience, but you know that I don't like any inconvenience. Call me spoiled.

By the way, Boris is filling up nicely. He's very competitive though and keeps telling me that he thinks he can take Declan in a pod war. I've told him not to bite off more than he can handle, but he won't listen.

And when it comes to E.C., I'm still pretty much hooked on his poppy albums like 'Trust'.