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”

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”

Suit of Lights

“The suit doesn’t make the man, but it highlights him and gives him a different air.” So says Luis Miguel Calvo, a banderillero and former matador, in a 2005 New York Times article about the clothing worn by bullfighters in the ring and the methods and techniques used to create this finery. The most commonlyContinue reading “Suit of Lights”

Brilliant Mistake

In 1984, Elvis Costello undertook a series of solo concerts in which he shared the bill with T Bone Burnett, the Texan musician who had not yet become the svengali producer figure that he is known as today. These solo performances and the emerging creative partnership with Burnett led Costello to a specific vision forContinue reading “Brilliant Mistake”

Deportee

Elvis Costello and The Attractions released their album Goodbye Cruel World in June 1984. To say Costello was disappointed with the album is an understatement. In the liner notes for the re-release of Goodbye Cruel World, Costello wrote: “Congratulations! You’ve just purchased our worst album.” After the release of the album, Costello took stock whileContinue reading “Deportee”

Just Like a Woman

The song “Just Like a Woman” was recorded in Nashville in March 1966 for the album Blonde on Blonde: As recounted previously on Recliner Notes, Blonde on Blonde was primarily recorded in Nashville with the first-call “A-team” of Nashville musicians. The masterful utility of this group of musicians has been explored best by Tyler MahanContinue reading “Just Like a Woman”

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”