Tag Archives: Elliott Smith

Worst Oscar Upset, ever

One more Oscar post. This was definitely the worst mistake the Academy ever made in its history. Choosing Celine Dion over Elliott Smith…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PcJO81ubI8&w=450&h=335]

I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl who’s still around the morning after

I’ve been at a loss of what to discuss on this blog as of late. I like to have days worth of content sitting in the queue waiting to be posted. Now I’m writing this post only the afternoon before posting. I saw this link posted on Facebook (thanks Brennan from The Cheap Speakers), and though I’m not a fan of Ben Folds, I’m quite the fan of Elliott Smith. I was interested to hear Folds’ take on the classic song, “Say Yes.” Yes, you have to sit through a beer commercial… and it’s for a bad beer.

Why don’t I think it works? Well, first off, Folds seems to be rushing the song. He’s chugging through a song with incredible emotional depth, and none of that is conveyed in his performance, and that, to me, is the ultimate sin of this performance. Where’s the heft? Where’s the sorrow? Where’s the aching? In Smith’s album version there’s a hollowness to his vocals, achieved in the double-tracking which separates the listener from the performance.

I figured why not listen to other performances. Rika Shinohara and Valery Gore performed it in Japan years ago.

This time it’s a performer I’m actually a fan of. I’ve been a fan of Valery Gore’s since shortly after the release of her debut, self-titled record. In this version Shinohara and Gore trade off vocals and while the lead guitar is a bit too fluffy and airy for my tastes, the rhythm I think suits the song. Shinohara’s got some emotion in her voice, but Gore’s performance is, much like Folds’, without any serious emotional depth.

I could then also compare it to this version:

Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat, as the performer is the songwriter, Elliott Smith. While it also feels rushed, like Folds’ version, and his vocal performance is far from perfect, Smith is expressive in his performance.

Either way, none of them compare to the album version.

Music Monday

The Oscars just happened, and as usual, the good films lost. Here’s the greatest loser in all of Oscar history. This man, one of the greatest songwriters of the 1990s, lost to Celine Dion. What the fuck?

I never knew until now that there’s a video for this song, which is perhaps my favourite song by Ron Sexsmith. Did you know that the song’s also on my favourite record of Ron Sexsmith’s? Now you do.

I’m not so jazzed about it, I just get razzed about landing on your front door in Toronto.

When I’m King of Canada, I will be a patron of the arts, and Matt Murphy will receive funding for Rock and Roll.

Yay! Travis!

Top 50 Albums of the Aughts

1) Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (2005)
2) The Magnetic Fields – i (2004)
3) Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)
4) The Flashing Lights – Sweet Release (2001)
5) Neko Case & Her Boyfriends – Furnace Room Lullaby (2000)
6) The Joel Plaskett Emergency – Down At The Khyber (2001)
7) Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up (2007)
8) Neil Young – Live At Massey Hall 1971 (2007)
9) Valery Gore – Avalanche To Wandering Bear (2008)
10) God Help The Girl – God Help The Girl (2009)

11) Wilco – A Ghost Is Born (2004)
12) Joel Plaskett – Three (2009)
13) Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2005)
14) The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns (2008)
15) Valery Gore – Valery Gore (2005)
16) Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire – The Swimming Hour (2001)
17) Elevator – A Taste of Complete Perspective (2000)
18) The Guthries – Off Windmill (2000)
19) The Magnetic Fields – Distorion (2008)
20) Cuff The Duke – Cuff The Duke (2005)

21) Matt Mays – Matt Mays (2002)
22) The Apples In Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder (2007)
23) Neko Case – Canadian Amp (2001)
24) Local Rabbits – This Is It, Here We Go (2001)
25) One Hundred Dollars – Forest of Tears (2007)
26) The Guthries – The Guthries (2002)
27) The Joel Plaskett Emergency – Ashtray Rock (2007)
28) Amy Millan – Honey From The Tombs (2006)
29) Elliott Brood – Ambassador (2005)
30) The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic (2000)

31) Rufus Wainwright – Poses (2001)
32) The Superfantastics – Pop-up Book (2007)
33) Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice (2009)
34) George Harrison – Brainwashed (2001)
35) Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit (2006)
36) Sleater-Kinney – One Beat (2002)
37) Final Fantasy – Has A Good Home (2005)
38) K’naan – The Dusty Foot Philosopher (2005)
39) The Bicycles – The Good, The Bad & The Cuddly (2006)
40) Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill (2004)

41) Peter Elkas – Wall of Fire (2007)
42) Gentleman Reg – Darby & Joan (2004)
43) Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (2008)
44) Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
45) k-os – Joyful Rebellion (2004)
46) Matt Murphy – Bring It Back Home: The Life And Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (2004)
47) Cuff The Duke – Life Stories For Minimum Wage (2002)
48) Tom Petty – Highway Companion (2006)
49) Travis – The Boy With No Name (2007)
50) Ruth Minnikin – Marooned And Blue (2004)