Stations of the Cross

Every year on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent, many observers in the Western Christian faith engage in a practice called the Stations of the Cross, a 14-step devotion observing Jesus’s last days as part of the Passion of Christ. The Stations of the Cross: “are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual movesContinue reading “Stations of the Cross”

My Dark Life

In fall 1995, Elvis Costello was on a break recording music with his soon-to-be-broken-up backing band The Attractions for the eventual album All This Useless Beauty. As detailed in these two previous posts on Recliner Notes, the songs on All This Useless Beauty are filled with darkness, seeped in self-reflection considering the function of artContinue reading “My Dark Life”

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror

In 1983, Elvis Costello was invited to record a song as part of a tribute album celebrating the 50th birthday of Yoko Ono. The song that Costello decided to tackle was 1981’s “Walking on Thin Ice,” an arresting and engaging dance track by Ono that sounds like a shotgun marriage between the desperate feel ofContinue reading “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror”

Beyond Belief

In 2004, Elvis Costello wrote a lengthy appreciation of The Beatles for Rolling Stone: “I first heard of The Beatles when I was nine years old…I was exactly the right age to be hit by them full on. My experience — seizing on every picture, saving money for singles and EPs, catching them on aContinue reading “Beyond Belief”

When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky

On February 19, 1985, Bob Dylan was 44 years old. At that point in his life and career, he had achieved everything he could have dreamed of as a musician: sold best-selling records, loved by millions of listeners, and even recognized as being the “voice of a generation.” He was also a father of five,Continue reading “When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky”

If You See Her, Say Hello

Since the release of Blood on the Tracks in 1975, it has been one of Dylan’s most acclaimed and loved albums. Detailing the ins and outs of a relationship, many critics and fans thought that  Dylan was embracing the California confessional singer/songwriter style and musical approach, exhibited most beautifully and successfully on Joni Mitchell’s 1971Continue reading “If You See Her, Say Hello”