October 21st, for me, will always be the saddest day in music.
The day Elliott Smith died is more sad than the day John Lennon died because I wasn't born when John Lennon died. I don't remember coming home from school and checking my e-mail and seeing a message from my friend asking if I'd heard about it which, up until then, I hadn't. It's sad because no other musician had ever touched my life the way Elliott Smith had and no matter how much I may love Okkervil River, it's just not the same because Elliott came into my life when I was lost and didn't know who I was. It's part of being young. But instead of turning to the dreadfully named 'emo' culture (I fear I'm a bit too old for that trend) or the grating pop punk, I was lucky enough to walk into the record store on the right day and get the right recommendation and it changed my life.
It's sad. He's gone and it's sad and last night, I was watching the wonderful Beatles documentary All Together Now and Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono were talking about George and John and they said that it's hard because now they're not here anymore, they're just voices.
But what voices they are.
As much as I hate to use the phrase 'swan song', it may just apply with Twilight, perhaps the most heartwrenchingly gorgeous song of Elliott's career, released on the posthumous album, my personal favorite and (in my opinion) the most cohesive of Elliott's many brilliant records, From a Basement On The Hill.
If you don't love Elliott Smith already, now is the time to start. Today, Chad over at Everybody Cares designated a 10 post Elliott day, starting with his high school band, Stranger Than Fiction, including some live gems and is, as everything Chad posts about Mister Smith, beautifully written, sad and thoroughly great.
Just like Chad said, we miss you like crazy Elliott. We all do.
Thirteen (Live Big Star Cover)
Read The Hot Half Life's Genuis post on Elliott Smith.