Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Celebrate life (or death)?: Elliott Smith

As our friends on 'haoneg' and other places have noted, today is the fifth anniversary for Elliott Smith's death. To my shame, I was introduced to him only after he'd died, but this unfortunate fact does not stand in the way of his music.
I'm still a bit self conscious when I approach him, almost reluctant, as though I am afraid to hurt him or maybe just feeling exposed by the lyrics and the music that seem to envelope him.

Sorry. The piano on "Color Bars" just hit my tender spot.

So why mark this day, the day we became angry at him for leaving us behind, for not being strong enough for us? Why not settle for his birthday (August 6th) as the nexus of potential was just beginning? Is this just another part of the artist-following relationship where we continuously make demands for more, even beyond the grave? What do we hope for? What can we hope for?

'Cause in the end there's just the music; the first song that we hear, the first that we love, the one we share with that special person, the one that is just our own. And then there's the man: a painful reflection of our everyday hurts, dreams, loves and silence.
A cup of tears filled to the brim.

Here's a live cover of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord". The song begins thus:
"My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord"

So long, Elliott.

Elliott Smith - My Sweet Lord (Live George Harrison cover)
Elliott Smith's picture from Last.fm.

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