For this weeks Throwback I was having a hard time trying to think of who I should write about. It often seems that as I wrack my brain for an idea, good ideas seem to be miles away from where your mind is. I however happened to put my IPod on shuffle and one of the songs that came on was by this weeks featured artist, Elliott Smith.
I was turned on to Elliott Smith over a decade ago as he was included in the soundtrack of one of my all time favorite movies, Good Will Hunting. I remember as I was watching the movie and hearing bits of songs being played with such emotion and brilliance and instantly wanted to know who the artist was. After very little digging, I found out it was Smith. I then bought the soundtrack to the movie and focused on listening to primarily the six songs featured by Elliott Smith including: Miss Misery, Say Yes, Between the Bars, and Angeles. Through these songs Smith offered a unique singing style as well as fantastic playing of the acoustic guitar, all of which I quickly became a fan of.
All of Smith's songs that I have ever listened to bring a sound with so much emotion, unlike any other group I have ever listened too. It's easy to sort of get a glimpse of how Elliott viewed the world, as well as dealt with his own personal demons, having long suffered from depression, drug abuse, and alcoholism. The real tragedy coming in 2003 when Smith died from committing suicide at the age of 34. The years following his death have brought many to truly discover his music and also really appreciate the messages that he put forth through song, causing his music to grow in popularity immensely compared to that of while he was alive.
As I was looking into finding some old concerts by Smith, I came across an archived concert from 2003 that offers a live recording that gives us a brief look into what is the musical brilliance of Elliott Smith. Live at Henry Fonda Theatre
I encourage you to continue to explore the music of Elliott, and know that his distinct voice and lyrical genius will allow you to also immerse yourself in great music from a great artist.
Here is a video of Smith performing his song Miss Misery at the 1998 Academy Awards.