Thursday, June 12, 2008

Elliot Smith

I guess I blog a lot about musicians because Brian is always playing something different for me to think about.  Right now he is playing Elliot Smith.  

Smith's parents divorced when he was young.  And sadly, his step-dad abused him-verbally and physically. (Smith writes about this in some of his lyrics).   At 14, he moved back with his real dad, and then started to experiement with drugs.  He went to college and got a degree in philosophy and political science.  After college, he worked in a bakery for a while and began his rock band.  Later in life, he attempted to kill himself.  One time, he jumped off a cliff, and a tree caught him.  A tree!  Suicide attempts and drug addiction seemed to slowly but surely take him over.  

In 02' Elliot went to rehab and seemed to improve.  In August of 03', he gave up red meat, alcohol, refined sugar and caffeine.  When things, we're looking up, the shocking occurred.  Mystery has it: Elliot and his girl friend were arguing in their apartment.  She got mad and locked herself in the bathroom.  The she heard a scream.  She came out of the bathroom and found Elliot with a knife stabbed in his chest.  She pulled it out.  Elliot died that day in the hospital.  

It is just so sad to me.  So sad.  I wish I could just hug Elliot and make things better.  If it were only that easy.  I had a friend at Bethel who loved Elliot Smith.  He would always listen to Elliot's music in the ceramic studio.  I would tease him for listening to it because the music came off as so depressing to me.  My friend would say "'s not's beautiful."  I understand that now.  After knowing Smith's story a little more, his music comes off as haunting to me and extremely beautiful.  A sad beautiful though.   

Elliot Smith says one person will look at New York City and think how depressing it is, while someone else will think of all the great things to do there.    

I think people should train themselves to understand another person's world-view, rather than being so quick to share their own world-view.  We are so quick to prove and talk talk talk or keep things surfacey.  I was so quick to judge Elliot Smith's music back in college.  

Ok, I shall stop before I turn Elliot Smith, myself, and the rest of humanity into a case study.  So, to sum up, listen to some Elliot Smith music.  It is honest and haunting.  And mysterious.  
If you are prone to depression, though, you may want to listen in smaller segments.  (I know if I listen to Elliot Smith for a while or Radiohead, I won't be in the best of moods!) (Not that being in a mellow/sullen/reflective mood is bad.) (For some reason, Christians or whoever seem to think that we always have to be happy and smiley to be a "good" Christian, when really the joy of the Lord is deep, and can be a foundation in sad times.)  

I will stop now.  Ta ta.             

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