It is bittersweet that one of Elliott Smith’s finest albums would be one which was released posthumously

joedalessandrowaw

“It is bittersweet that one of Elliott Smith’s finest albums would be one which was released posthumously. From a Basement on the Hill is a masterwork of dexterity and achievement, with Smith exploring his love of The Beatles’ recording techniques. Using an array of instruments, the album was largely made at Smith’s home studio. It was left unfinished when Smith tragically took his own life in 2003, his family and friends collaborated after he passed so that the album would see the light of day. It is the one grace to come from the terrible event, for From a Basement on the Hill is one of the strongest and most powerful records of the last twenty years. King’s Crossing is a song about Smith’s demons, as well as his disillusion with the Music scene at the time. ‘The method acting that pays my bills keeps a fat man feeding in Beverly Hills’ he sang, lamenting the exploitation of his emotions to generate record sales. This is my top Elliott Smith record, which I revisit very regularly. I love the visual portraits Smith creates within this song. It is so full of regret, hopelessness and contemplation; be it about his career, his addictions or his existence. Powerful stuff.”

Joe Dallesandro

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Elliott’s passing is a terrible loss for myself and many of my friends

beckh

“Elliott’s passing is a terrible loss for myself and many of my friends, who knew, worked and hung out with him. Needless to say, he was one of the best songwriters of our day and a formidable musician. He was also soft-spoken, intelligent and extremely humble. He had an acute sense of justice. At one of my shows last year he tried to intervene with security who were harassing a kid, and was in turn beaten and handcuffed by them. We knew he’d had his struggles over the years, but I was heartened by word that he was on an upswing and preparing a new album. We had recently talked a few times about getting together and making some music. Nobody could have known what was going to happen, but I am grateful for the times we got to tour and hang out together. He will be missed, and the ramifications of his absence will long be felt.”

Beck

Happiness is my favorite song of all time

jfshowcase

Happiness is my favorite song of all time. Ever. I can probably recollect precisely, off the top of my head, at least fifty moments of experiencing this song. Tell you exactly what the air felt like. Name the folks I was with. Or without. Feel the intensity between my eyes and my nose letting me know I oughtta be ready to start crying soon. Every memory unique. And each just as hazy. To me, this vague, explosive feeling best encapsulates Elliott’s music. You could be nowhere or everywhere or anywhere. And it just doesn’t matter, because the song becomes your location and your destination. Most of his songs do this to me. This one most completely.”

Jim Fairchild

What I was doing for two or three years

patgraham (1)

“What I was doing for two or three years was taking a Polaroid every single day…and it just happened to be that day that he was playing. But there’s a better story: Modest Mouse was opening for Elliott Smith, and Isaac’s amp literally blew up on stage. At that time, all he had was one amp, and you know, we’re not making that much money. After the show Elliott Smith came up to us and he’s like, “Oh, man, you guys, that sucks,” and then he gave us a few hundred dollars to go buy another amp. And he wasn’t that popular then, either—it was like 1997 [1998]. He was a cool guy.”

Pat Graham