Saturday, December 9, 2006

A Fond Farewell

# 18 - From a Basement on the Hill - Elliott Smith

I discovered my favorite movie of all time "Good Will Hunting" and consequently Elliott Smith, while I was in my second month of cancer treatments during my junior year in college. "Miss Misery" and "Between the Bars" are still of my two favorite songs of all time.

Six years later I was preparing to drop out of a graduate program, leave Texas, and figure out what I wanted to do with my life, when I came across the Spin article detailing the last few months of Smith's life. I bought "Basement" shortly thereafter, and it served as the strangest of therapies for under $15.

It's unfortunate that faux depression is fashionable for all the young millionaires, who are trained to brood just a little bit more so they can exploit a few more kids who have real problems (e.g. Good Charlotte, Avril, and anyone remotely connected to Fred Durst).

During "King's Crossing" Smith sings the line "Gimme one good reason not to do it" a reference to taking his own life. It was said during live shows, his sister and friends would shout back at him "beause we love you!" Every time I hear it, I feel like he's going to listen this go-round.

Elliott Smith never used depression or addiction to sell a record; at least, that's my opinion. Being honest isn't all that profitable.

(I'm in no way the Elliott Smith afficionado, so if you have suggestions for future purchases please pass them on. I only own "good will hunting" and "basement.")


Big Cougar said...

His entire oeuvre is essential, but if I could just have one with me, I'd have Either/Or, from which comes all the Good Will Hunting stuff...and then some.

jphillip said...

Thanks, playa. Let's bring that word back, or even the versatile "playa-playa."