I freely admit to being someone so constitutionally averse to risk and the unexpected that the concept of  pleasant surprise seems comparable to the idea of being hit in the head with a brick covered in felt–you are forced to acknowledge that your circumstances are not as bad as they could easily have been, but you had still made rather definite plans not to be hit with a brick today.

But that is my cynical side speaking. With the benefit of hindsight, I am frequently forced to admit the extent to which I relish discovering a great musical number or track in a work that I thought I knew back to front. I knew all my favorite numbers in Fiorello, for instance, and yet until I listened to the score again, I had failed to spot a clever and terrific eleven o’clock number called “(I’ll Marry) The Very Next Man.” (note: the version below is performed at an unusually fast tempo, but it is also very well-played and captures the spirit of the song quite nicely)

Similarly, on re-listening to Elvis Costello’s album My Aim Is True, I realized that between the hits like “Alison” and “Less Than Zero” was a charming little song called “Sneaky Feelings.”

I particularly love how well the music and lyrics coordinate on the line “but I’ve still got a long way to go…” As felt bricks go, this one was relatively gentle. I would also like to add that “Felt Bricks” sounds like the title of an Elvis Costello album.

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