Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Behold: The Elvis Costello Song of the Week® from Trunkworthy, Rebooted!


The famous red shoes are passed to a new pair of Costellophiles determined to shine a light on the Elvis songs you need to hear. Meet Kevin Davis and Jorge Farah--new hosts of Trunkworthy's weekly feature:

The Elvis Costello Song of the Week®, Rebooted! 

Who is Elvis Costello?
"Declan Patrick MacManus began having the time of his life on Wednesday, the 25th of August, 1954. Declan was born at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington in London, England. He was the son and only child of trumpeter, vocalist and erstwhile bandleader Ronald (“Ross”) MacManus (born in Birkenhead, October 20, 1927) and record store manager Lillian MacManus." --ElvisCostello.info, the pre-Wiki fan page

Why should Elvis Costello matter to you?
"Steeped in wordplay, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broad. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopaedia," able to "reinvent the past in his own image." He has won multiple awards in his career, including a Grammy Award, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male Singer. In 2003, Costello and the Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time." --Wikipedia/Elvis_Costello

Why does Elvis Costello matter to me?
As a high-schooler in the late 1970s, I steeped myself in Kansas, Styx, Boston, and Aerosmith. My hometown friend and artistic muse, Jhymn, used to make mix tapes for me to expose me to alternative music like REM, U2, and Elvis Costello. From the moment I heard "Pump it Up!" I was hooked. I bought "Get Happy!!" as a college freshman and, smitten, became a life-long collector and fan.   

Why am I excited about the reboot of Trunkworthy's The Elvis Costello Song of the Week?
Fandom is limitless. 
Just as I did with the original series, I'll be adding a tiny bit of value by collecting and compiling links to every weekly episode, and posting them all in one place--right here--for your convenience. I'm also maintaining a spreadsheet version of the selected tracks because I am geeky like that. I'll be adding to my compilation post. 
Bookmark Trunkworthy and sign up for their email alerts. Support the work of the artist and the original work of the authors. But check it out--no one puts it all together for you like I do!

References

Enjoy this continued and ongoing recapitulation of Elvis Costello Songs of the Week by Trunkworthy! 
November 2016

54. "It's Time"... to reboot the Elvis Costello Song of the Week. And I, for one, couldn't be happier!

55. "Fallen" is a torch song for hearts on the mend.

56. The quiet, contemplative, “Favourite Hour” almost got lost on an album that was anything but! Here are three shades of brutal beauty:
  • “Favourite Hour” Church Studios demo version (1992)
  • “Favourite Hour” Brutal Youth (1994)
  • “Favourite Hour” My Flame Burns Blue live version (2004)
57. A collaborative cry for unity from Costello and Toussaint: "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?"

58. "Lipstick Vogue" is an explosive introduction to the Attractions.


December

59. For fathers, sons, and everyone else: "My Three Sons."

60. “Battered Old Bird” is a sort-of story-song pulled from a dark corner of Costello’s childhood.

61. "St. Stephen's Day Murders" is a merry, macabre post-Christmas carol. The Feast of St. Stephen (Dec 26) commemorates the stoning death of Christianity's first martyr. The story holds that a wren gave away St. Stephen's hiding place under a pile of straw. To this day, some people dress in straw clothing and parade around with captured wrens who are eventually executed as a proxy for the one that led to the martyr's death. This song, performed with the Chieftans, describes part of the modern day celebration of St. Stephen's murder--killing off the leftovers from excessive Christmas feasts.


January 2017

62, From a tempestuous tryst to its woozy morning-light regret in less time than it takes to find the aspirin: Wednesday Week.

63. A Voice in the Dark is a song so effortlessly meticulous, it’s as much a career culmination as a career highlight.



February 

64. Don’t believe the (negative) hype: The Beatles-meet-Peggy Lee pop-noir of “Inch By Inch” is one more reason to give Goodbye Cruel World a closer listen.

65. "Hand in Hand": Bitterly brilliant from the first line.


March

66. Tramp the Dirt Down: political grave-spitting of the most personal kind.

67. Elvis looked in to the heart of Fiona Apple’s “I Know” and found a soul song; while Fiona communicates a quiet patience and calm resilience, Elvis sounds like a man at the end of his rope.

Compare the two versions:




April

68. Here's a rare track from the Juliet Letters era: pulling a heartbreaking "Skeleton"out of the closet.

69. Nobody at Starbucks expected to hear this! “She Handed Me A Mirror” is more complex and heartbreaking than anything folks expected to pick up with their venti Americanos.


May

70. “In The Darkest Place” is a masterpiece of anguish of adult heartbreak rendered with subtlety and sophistication.

71. A case for the best Elvis Costello song of them all: "New Lace Sleeves."

June

72. "Still to Soon to Know": A stark, stunning slice of adult balladry buried in the middle of Costello’s supposed “return to rock.”

July

73. The one that got (given) away:“Do You Know What I’m Saying?" Among Elvis Costello’s rarest songs are the “Gwendolyn Letters.” That's the name he gave to the collection of songs he penned for former Transvision Vamp singer Wendy James, all of which she subsequently recorded on her 1993 album Now Ain’t the Time For Your Tears.

August

74. Trunkworthy celebrates the 40th anniversary of Elvis Costello's debut album by highlighting a song that got left off of it: "Stranger in the House."