Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You've got a pretty picture in your head, a pencil full of poison lead, and a sickened smile illegal in every town...

Even after all these years (it's been 7), Elliott Smith is still my favorite and the most likely cure when I'm feeling terrible. I don't listen to him nearly as much as I used to, but every time I go back to him, he's just as good and just as helpful.

Clearly, I was right to select my name from one of his songs. It wasn't a high school crush, it's true love. And I think this name fits me, and I think it always will.

As the years have passed and I've grown up, I've learned things about Elliott Smith that are kind of funny. For example, his song "St. Ives Heaven" is about the cheap malt liquor St. Ives. I never knew that, just listened to the song and wondered what it was about. Now, since being at college, I've found out about what it is, and now the song makes a lot more sense. It's also sadder (but isn't that the essence of Elliott Smith anyway). As a mark of my adult life, I've seen just how gross malt liquor is...I've sat in the middle of a field in the middle of the night, wrapped up in a blanket, smoking hookah, and watching a drunk girl chug "hobo wine" out of a bottle. I've dated a frat boy who got so drunk on none other than St. Ives that he kicked me out of his room and then didn't remember doing it the next day. Ahhh, growing up.

After doing some research, I learned that "hobo wine" is the downfall of the homeless, and around the Skid Row district in California, the sale of malt liqour is actually banned. Go read Elliott Smith's song and you'll understand just how damaging the stuff is.

The other artist who I tend to seek solace in is Trent Reznor. Nine Inch Nails has some fantastic lyrics and angry beats, but Elliott Smith wins in this department. His lyrics are incredible, and always make me stop what I'm doing and want to write them down. Once, in high school, for an assignment I thought was stupid (we were assigned to write our personal Weltanschauung...for anyone who has seen Annie Hall, you know just how pompous and moronic this is) I just turned in a collection of Elliott Smith and NIN lyrics. Needless to say, I put myself on that teacher's shit list. Oh well... I still ended up at a great college. But that's another rant for another day.

Go listen to some music.

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