Play something “real”?!

LL1

“Play something real? I’m real! Should I cover myself up with effects? Should I sing songs about birds and stars? I’m having a hard time picking songs. I’m sorry I’m being a freak…”

Elliott Smith

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Burn it Backwards – Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble – Mars 2017

 

Burn it Backwards – Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble – Mars 2017

“We’ve been talking about using music by Elliott Smith for many years. We have this sort of orbit of connections to Elliott and his music. Elliott’s life is dark and troubled. He came from a very dark place in his head, and if you pay attention to his lyrics you see that. It’s painful. Our history is different than that, thankfully. So, rather than try to tell a biographical story of Elliott’s life through his music, which is something we couldn’t possibly understand, we decided to tell our own story using his music and lyrics as inspiration.”

Daniel Kirk

“Yeah, actually, we bought our house a while ago, and right around the time we moved in he had either just moved out, or was there for a little bit—but he lived in a house right across the street from us. I don’t think we ever met him, but we may have seen him. Then, after he passed away, his ashes were put in one of the rose gardens in Ladd’s Addition, which is right across the street from where we live. So, there was that kind of synergy flowing around. Then, one of my best friends from when I was growing up brought up the fact that he represents Elliott’s estate. There were all these really weird connections here and there that kept feeding into the kitty of doing this project… One of his parents still lives here in town—his father and his wife. They’re going to come to the show.”

Eric Skinner

He was sexy

LA84

“He was sexy. There were a lot of girls he was trying to get rid of by the end of the night! The thing is, when I photograph someone who has a face that’s accepted by society as beautiful, then we have a real problem, because no one believes that person could write a song or a book or a poem or a painting. They are treated by society as, “No, you’re supposed to be the sculpture that I stare at. You are David.” It’s a much bigger challenge to make someone traditionally beautiful, male or female, look like they have had a hard day or could write a song about a broken heart.”

Autumn de Wilde

In the Snow White cottages – The Magnetic Fields – 2017

In the Snow White cottages
As cute as LA gets
In the Norman Tudor
Two doors from the Raveonettes

In the Snow White cottages
Every day looks like a myth
In the house once occupied
By singer Elliott Smith
By poor dear Elliott Smith

While there, we made a documentary
Concerning my friend Claudia and me
A movie you did not want to be in

In the Snow White cottages
It’s always 1410
Walt Disney started down the block
The artists lived here then
They lived here even then

In the Snow White cottages
I lived just like a prince
It’s lovely in Mulholland Drive
And hadn’t changed much since
And hasn’t changed much since

You can learn from anything

ethanhill

“You can learn from anything, unless it’s strictly destructive. But nobody wants to have a bad time. I’d like to write happy songs, but being happy is a static thing. Life isn’t shit, but it can be hard and things can go wrong. There’s things you can do not to fuck yourself up and to make it more likely that you’ll find yourself very sunny. But how can you know when you’re happy if you didn’t know when you were sad?”

Elliott Smith

When I do a small thing

sg

“When I do a small thing, a thing to help someone out, and they thank me–quietly, maybe shyly–I feel a sense of gratitude, a sense of quiet peace that I’ve made a small difference, even if just for a moment. And I think, Did Elliott Smith ever feel like this?

Did anyone ever thank him for songs–not the loud, often fake cheering that goes on at a concert, or the scary stalking letter of devotion and “you see my soul.” No, I wonder if ever that shy person, overwhelmed by the world and alone, listening to his songs and getting through one more day despite the world’s best effort to break him or her, did Elliott ever hear thanks from them? Did he know what his songs meant? Did he hear from the ones with no voice, too alone to talk, the ones who felt it inside? The ones for whom his songs were the one thing that made some kind of sense, that gave them a gift of beauty?

I didn’t. I never said anything. Continue reading

I didn’t know one of the songs we play on stage, that’s called Place Pigalle : it’s an incredible song!

cbeplacepigalle
©Martin Glesser

« Je ne connaissais pas l’une des chansons que l’on fait sur scène, et qui s’appelle Place Pigalle : elle est assez incroyable ! Je ne savais pas qu’elle existait jusqu’à ce que Yann me la propose, donc je ne peux pas dire que c’est celle que j’aurais choisie…mais je suis tellement content qu’elle fasse partie de ma vie. Place Pigalle parle d’occasions manquées, de différences culturelles, et je pense que n’importe quel musicien en tournée peut s’y retrouver, dans le sens où on tombe amoureux de tous les lieux et de toutes les personnes car chaque moment est tellement intense. »

Ken Stringfellow