Friday, October 24, 2003

Well, I know that everyone else is doing it, but why can't I do it, too? Elliott Smith is dead of an apparent suicide. I think that it is a really deep loss for the "talented and not crappy" music community. I will admit that I was a little late to warm up to him, though not as late as I was to warm up to Jeff Buckley, to name another now dead icon whose music I was reluctant to appreciate. I had first heard of Elliott Smith as a member of Heatmiser, whose final record, Mic City Sons, I had gotten a promo copy of at Tower Records right before it was released in 1995 or 96, and I thought it was limp-wristed, wanna-be-grunge-but-not-manly-enough crap. I'm kind of stubborn that way, sometimes. So if any of you are confident that I might like it better now, go ahead and burn me a copy or something. Heatmiser had broken up after recording the record, prompting Virgin to release it via it's independent arm, Caroline. After that, Elliott had struck out solo full-time, having already released some solo material on the side during the Heatmiser years. I had heard from Lou Barlow's then-girlfriend, now-wife, Kathleen Billus, that he was kind of a Lou Barlow wannabe. Remembering the mediocrity of the Heatmiser record, I figured this was probably true. Then one day, Kathleen recanted these initial opinions and called Smith a genius. I still was not swayed. Even hearing the lovely songs in "Good WIll Hunting" couldn't get me to buy a Smith record, even when I was living in the Pacific Northwest, where he was obviously quite large at the time (I lived there from 96-99). I guess one day, something changed my mind. I'm not exactly sure what, but last year I broke down and bought a used copy of Figure 8 and immediately loved it. The song "Happiness" is on a mix cd I made earlier this year. "Waltz #2" is a recent favorite of mine, and I'm truly sorry I didn't get to appreciate him sooner and see him play live. The music world really did lose someone truly gifted and I wish that I could have given a shit when it mattered. Hopefully, we will meet in another lifetime, Elliott, and you and I will have made some better choices that go-round (for those of you unaware of my philosophies of endlessly repeating the same life in the same time period until you get it right, which is what I think causes deja vu, I think I wrote a blog about that once, but I can't be sure). Well, those are just a few of my thoughts about Elliott Smith. I hope you find some of that happiness you were longing for...

Also, while I'm posting, let me bid a fond farewell to Fred "Rerun" Berry, who died yesterday. He was too young, and now he will never be able to teach my brother how to dance for his wedding day. Poor Matt had his heart set on learning "the Rerun" for his evenutal nuptials. But now, back to working on a mix cd for Come Down. Yes, that's right, an entire band wants a J-Ro mix cd. Why, you might ask? Obviously, they are nutsy folk! For that, I love them. Nothing makes me feel more special than appreciation of my music nerdliness.

now playing: Ride "Leave Them All Behind EP"

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