pass it on {04.10.08}

indefinite hiatus, thank you to all that have been reading the blog, please stay safe & sound.

Love, team cameracrowd

Saturday, October 21, 2006

we miss you elliott

August 16th 1969 ~ October 21st 2003

As some of you know, today marks the third year since Elliott Smith has passed away. Charlie and I both love listening to his music and we miss him in words that can't explain. My first Elliott Smith song was "Between the Bars" and from there, I dove into his whole discography. There is something about listening to his music that separates you from the world. It is so strange, but it's as if he understands everything you've felt, you're feeling, you're going to feel. His voice has a kind of vulnerability, but that's not to be confused as weak, there's this openess and you feel safe with his honesty.

I revisited an Elliott Smith LiveJournal community I use to be in and met upon this tribute video a member made. It's possibly the most beautiful video I'll ever see, thank you Mandy for letting us share this!

Some background history:
A lot of his songs have been used in movies, like "Miss Misery" is in
Good Will Hunting, his cover of Cat Stevens' "Trouble" and Big Star's "Thirteen" are both in Thumbsucker along with his song "Let's Get Lost" off the album he was working on before he died, From a Basement on a Hill, which was later released by his friends and family. He was also nominated for an Oscar for most original song in '98 for "Miss Misery" in Good Will Hunting. The nomination led to his departure from record label, Kill Rock Stars onto major label Dreamworks Records.

Discography and a few words:If you have not heard of Elliott Smith or his songs, please go to a record store and pick up an album. Any one of these albums are worthy of buying, they're all amazing and will become worn from spinning so much from your stereo/cd player. As Anita said in Almost Famous, when she told her brother, William to look under his bed for her album collection, "It will set you free".

Cavity Search
Roman Candle

A lot of no name songs and it's a very simple album. Not a lot of any other instruments other than his guitar. This was recorded when he was still in the band, Heatmiser.

Kill Rock Stars

Elliott Smith

This is the only full-length album of his I don't own. The beautiful song, "Needle in the Hay" is on it and so are both "Clementine" and "The Biggest Lie".

Kill Rock Stars

I'd recommend you buy this one first out of the others. The hauntingly beautiful song, "Angeles" is on here along with, "No Name No.5", "Say Yes" and soothing "Between the Bars". Again, not a lot of studio-messing around yet. He will later on fall in love with the studio and eventually build piece by piece his own, now called New Monkey Studios bought and owned by Joel Graves(Earlimart) who was friends with Elliott.

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Probably the most accessible album soundwise. If you wanted to introduce Elliott to friends who aren't familiar with music out of the mainstream, here is the perfect album for them. Lots of studio fiddling, but not the bad stuff. I'm talking more instruments, string arrangements, nice harmonies. Amazing layered recorded finger-pickings on "Tomorrow Tomorrow". You'll fall in love with "Oh, Well Okay", "Bottle Up and Explode", "Sweet Adeline" and "Independence Day".

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Figure 8

A very different style. Almost no "just guitar" tracks, except for "Everything Reminds Me of Her". Lots of piano and electric guitar and upbeat at times like, "Wouldn't Mama Be Proud". Haunting piano for "Everything Means Nothing to Me". Also "Can't Make a Sound" introduces a strangely epic feel. That sort of foreshadows this style in his next From a Basement on the Hill.
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From a Basement on a Hill

Released after his death by his friends and family. Jon Brion also helped doing additional recording. Elliott's close friends, Rob Schnapf and Joanna Bolme mixed the album. It is extremely dark in lyrics and in sound. There are quiet songs like "Let's Get Lost" and "Twilight", but mostly epic and electric-drizzled songs like, "A Distorted Reality is now a Necessity to be Free", "King's Crossing". This is such a good album, but not what I think of foremost, when I think of Elliott. This album should be reserved for either people who like "harder/noiser" music or people who are already familiar with his other albums.

now a few downloads for you:

>>> Condor Ave. | Elliott Smith from Roman Candle
Between the Bars | Elliott Smith from Either/Or
>>> Bottle Up and Explode! | Elliott Smith from Xo
<<< Happiness | Elliott Smith from Figure 8
>>> A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to be Free | Elliott Smith from From A Basement on the Hill

a few important&awesome links for you:

Sweet Adeline: official Elliott Smith site
<<< Elliott Smith: B-sides and out of print downloads
>>> Trash Treasury: Elliott Smith demos/videos
<<< New Monkey Studio: Elliott Smith's studio, now owned by Joel Graves(Earlimart) and Robert Cappadona
>>> The Stranger: a new Elliott Smith fan site
<<< Elliott Smith's official store: all proceeds will go towards the Elliott Smith Memorial Fund


1 comment:

Red said...

Thank you so much for posting that video. I had never seen it before, and it gave me the chills. So nice (and sad) to see Elliott's disarming smile. He was truly genius.

I have linked to Margaret Cho's blog on my Elliott post of 21 October. You should come over and have a look, I think you might like what she had to say.