Thursday, September 29, 2005


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Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not a fan of Elliott Smith. It's not that I don't like him or his music - he's just one of those people who I've never bothered to investigate. Believe me, I'm sure that there's lots of music out there that I would like if I heard it, but time and money is limited, and there always seems to be something else I need to get. I've read lots of positive reviews of Elliott's music, and have heard a fair amount of his stuff played where I work, but somehow I just never got around to buying any. Anyone who follows music knows he tragically comitted suicide. Before he took his own life in 2003 he had been writing music for a movie that his friend Mike Mills was filming called Thumbsucker. Director Mills was at a loss - his friend was gone, and the soundtrack uncompleted. He then went to a Polyphonic Spree show, and was blown away by the spectacle. I've been to a Spree show, and I've seen the amazing show they can put on. Anyway, he knew the Spree were "it", and he roped Tim DeLaughter in to do the soundtrack. The resulting record features 20 tracks of Spree music, gloriously sunny and uplifting. It also features three songs by Elliott Smith. One is an original ("Let's Get Lost") and the other two are covers of Cat Stevens and Big Star. It's thought to be that these were some of the last songs he recorded. I love the originals of these songs, and his versions move me. It's stripped down - just Elliott and his acoustic guitar. Thirteen is the Big Star tune, and it's fab - the song has such a beautiful melody, and his voice fits it very well. Trouble is the Cat Stevens song, and it's also lovely - so many of those old Cat Stevens are so good, it always nice to hear someone else's take. The vocals are multitracked for a bit of cool psychedelic flavor. I really enjoy these songs, and the rest of the soundtrack is pretty great too. It's almost enough to make me go out and buy an Elliott Smith album...

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