Don’t ask me why I stopped liking Elvis Costello after his first three albums. I liked the first two fairly well, and Armed Forces blew me away. Then, after that, it just wasn’t as good anymore. Maybe it’s my own perception. Armed Forces hit me when I was at an impressionable age, so perhaps everything else is equally as good but simply never got the chance to impress me when I was so mentally permeable. Or maybe Elvis Costello is just generally kind of lame and it’s a fluke he made one brilliant album and couple of decent ones. Anyway, he’s so genteel now, him and his upper-class piano lady wife. The albums I like all date to the late seventies and though they’re too good to be punk, they’re suffused in punk spirit and genuinely rock and roll. The problem with Costello may be that he’s too much of a nebbish to really be a proper rocker. He just lucked into being part of that generation and it worked for him, for a while, then he had to retreat back into his natural nebbishness. I see Joe Jackson as being the same way. Jackson also started out all fired up by the punk revolution, then realized what he really liked was jazz. Or look at Paul Simon, who never made the slightest pretense of being anything other than a college campus joe-schmoe. Elvis Costello is one of those guys who was never meant to be a rock star in the dramatic, glamorous, dangerous, hedonistic, Robert Planty sense of the concept. He happened to be cool for a little while, but that’s not his bag. He’s just a dude with dorky glasses.