I just don't like Elvis Costello's music.
Lord knows, I've tried. I had "My Aim is True" on cassette for what, twelve years? Never listened to it. I even paid money for "Armed Forces" and "King of America". Ditto. Never. But the worst was an old Maxell 90 minuter I found just yesterday in an old tape case in my closet. It had "Spike" on one side and REM "Reckoning" on the other. I remember making that tape. I remember buying that blank in the Sam Goody's in the King of Prussia Mall. Weird what you remember. "Veronica" had just come out, and a girl I kinda liked liked it, plus it was on constant rotation on morning radio, and I liked "So. Central Rain" and finally figured out what album it was on. So I borrowed both from a guy at school, (I called it school, but it was really a lot of time spent sitting in his diesel Rabbit and learning to appreciate malt liquor and Community College cheerleaders. Yes, they have them.) and spent like $10 on a really good tape. I usually went with the cheapest TDK crap I could get, but this was important music and should be treated as such. Lord knows I tried. But "Disintegration" came out that year, so did "Sonic Temple" and "Buzz Factory" from the Screaming Trees. Why the hell would I want to listen to "jangle, jangle, I'm a troubador, I wear a hat..." Why? I sure didn't, the tape that I found, still in its case, still had the extra labels inside, and the little plastic nubs that hold the case closed. Seriously, in the twenty years since I made that tape I've had four store bought copies of "Mars Needs Guitars" and three of fucking "Combat Rock".
Now I totally understand that people like Elvis Costello. I do. I just don't. I can't fake it any more and I won't. I realize that having Elvis Costello on in the background at a party, or in your shop, or whatever is supposed to mark you as some kind of sophisticate, and that all cool people like Elvis Costello. Fine. But all of you are wrong. He sucks. For that matter, most of R.E.M. blows a dog too. Nirvana? Why the fuck do I need Nirvana when I've got Steve Earle?
Now I have to be honest and come out and say that I like some shitty music. But I know it's shit. I'm not pretending it makes me smart or cool or hip or more intelligent because I've got Gordon Lightfoot starred up in iTunes. Even though, and I need to make this perfectly clear, even though it does.
So today I went though my iTunes and deleted every single Elvis Costello song, I feel so clean. I feel fresh. I feel smarter and more hip. I feel cool.
And I am, really, looking down my nose at you uncultured losers.