You are viewing lydiduh

lydiduh [userpic]

Costello Music -- The Broadway Musical

August 8th, 2010 (03:37 pm)
accomplished

current location: United States, New York, Buffalo
current mood: accomplished
current song: Everybody Knows you Cried Last Night -- Fratellis

So housework + iPod makes you come up with crap like this.
 
So I've loved the Fratellis' album Costello Music for years now, and today I suddenly had an amazing epiphany about it. Rearrange the songs and you get a damn good concept album-- considering nearly all of the songs seem to take place in a brothel of sorts, you can spread all the subjects of the songs over just three or four main characters. This is from the US version of Costello Music, so may be missing a few songs.
  • Henriettais both the beginning of the album and our story. "Henrietta" is an extremely impressionable, extremely young girl from a for all accounts normal middle-class family who, of course, Longs for More. She latches on to a group of rowdy ne'er-do-ells from the dark side of town, who find her enthusiasm just irritating enough to be endearing and becomes something of a plaything between them. They goad her with the mantra "We can clean out the bank, bump off your daddy, you can come live with us amongst the has-beens and the addicts" and the promise that she'll be their pretty little secretary when their band takes off ("You can answer the phone and talk, any way you choose it, come on!"). She's too gullible to realize that they're playing her for a fool, and goes with them in...
  • Creepin' Up the Backstairs. After having their fun with her for a while, abandon her alone in the ghetto, where she is found by...
  • Flathead, told from the POV of a customer at the titular character's brothel ("Well everybody knows you're the one to call when the girls get ugly 'round the back of the wall"). Heavily into drugs, both using and trafficking ("Chewin' on glass and a ticket stub", "Josephine says you got a bleedin' nose"), Flathead falls upon Henrietta like a bird on an all-too-eager eager worm, and she soon finds herself employed at the brothel, where her first vision is of...
  • Chelsea Dagger, Flathead's "main attraction", a much older and more experienced stripper. Chelsea takes the "new meat" Henrietta under her wing, quickly becoming a mother/big sister figure and revealing herself to be a total Hooker With a Heart of Gold...
  • Baby Fratelli is a continuation of Henrietta's exploits at the strip joint. As the shame of her situation wears off, she loosens up and begins to allow herself to enjoy it, even. Before long, she's developed quite the reputation for herself, being the "crazy" girl of the joint who'll do whatever you want her to ("Well she's alright, she'll be suckin' fingers all night" "Sick in the head, but first in the bed")...
  • Whistle for the Choir happens upon an evening when Henrietta's just generally bummed and reflecting over her position in the world. She catches the eye of the protagonist, who begins to talk to her. He is perhaps an older, married gentleman, who attempts to cheer the sad-looking girl up a bit with some sweet talk, unaware of her background ("Well it's a big, big city and it's always the same/Can never be too pretty, tell me your name"). They talk for a little while, falling a bit in love with one another-- though they're both fully aware of the different worlds they come, and neither of them is naive enough to think that they can really "be" together. Henrietta, never one to pass up a bad boy, falls instead for...
  • Vince the Loveable Stoner. The song is told from the POV of the titular character's drinking mates who are witness to the quick, dirty and draining affair between him and the stripper Henrietta ("She gets naked for a livin', ain't afraid of givin'"). Before long Vince is dead of a drug overdose ("Died in the city where the girls run free), leaving Henrietta shaken and even more miserable than before...
  • Everybody Knows You Cried Last Nightis the aftermath of this, told from the POV of Chelsea, who chides the emotional Henrietta for letting her performance in the club slip after Vince's death...
  • In For the Girl things are going completely south. Through a combination of Henrietta's continually mopey attitude and Flathead's further descent into drugs, Flathead begins beating Henrietta and becomes both emotionally and physically abusive to her and, more than likely, the other girls as well. Henrietta picks up the pieces and decides to leave with the protagonist of Ole Black and Blue Eyes...
  • Doginabag is basically Chelsea pissed that Henrietta's leaving, Henrietta being perhaps the only "friend" she's had in many year, and with not a lot to look forward to from day to day now except Flathead's beatings. This is both a last-ditch effort to get Henrietta to stay ("Well you got it so good, you live for the action/Used to be a has-been, now you got yourself some satisfaction") and a complete passive-aggressive bitchfest ("You're breakin' my heart all the way" "God forbid you should forget to close the door as you're leavin'/I hate to see you in a bind")...
  • Ole Black and Blue Eyesis told from the POV of the manager of yet another band in Henrietta's life. After a short, failed shot as the band's singer, Henrietta gets kicked out wherever the bus happened to be at the time, in a whole new city where she can start again fresh. Finally on her own, Henrietta walks off towards the horizon and an uncertain future. When asked, Chelsea brushes off the notion that she ever knew the girl very closely.
  • Got Ma Nuts From a Hippie is simply a random incident after the end, a "follow-up" several years later, with the now-grown and jaded Henrietta no more than the shadowy figure in the back of every bar on the planet. Henrietta loses a bit of tension on a young boy in a bar; he's nothing to her, but she becomes a bit of an obsession for him, her having taken his virginity, and he frequently returns to his memories of her even later in life.

EDIT: I realized I totally missed a few songs.
The Gutteratti is, basically, told from the POV of either Henrietta or Chelsea, trying to cover up for Vince's death to the police and fretting about it. ("Burnin' my shoes" goes quite well with "Wearin' those shoes" from Baby Fratelli, eh?)
And, alternatively, Baby Fratelli could also just be a general introduction to Vince's relationship with Henrietta as well as her "coming out of her shell". Both protagonists drive/live in Bluebirds.


Comments

Posted by: Akoss (akossket)
Posted at: August 12th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
interesting

After reading all that, I think I'm going to check out the music to find out more.

1 Read Comments