Taking the easy way out

I was quick-surfing this morning when I caught it out of the corner of my eye on Scary Go Round. “Elliott Smith 1969-2003: I am very sad to hear about the death of one of my favourite musicians, Elliott Smith. A hugely gifted man, but also someone who seemed very fragile. What a waste.” I thought, Oh no. There was nothing in my aggregator, though, and I began hoping it was a rumor.

The Feedster search showed otherwise: along with the eight pages of eulogies, primarily on LiveJournal, were the news stories and encomiums. Elliott Smith, brilliant singer-songwriter whose work spanned guitar rock, orchestral pop, and despairing lyrics; who had five albums including three really brilliant ones; whose work spoke of loneliness and drugs; who apparently stabbed himself with a knife in his LA apartment on Tuesday.

I didn’t listen to Elliott’s music until I was in grad school, but the combination of the sweeping melodies and dark lyrics hit buttons for me then. If the rumors of suicide are true, I’m sadly unsurprised. And angry. Damn it, what a stupid waste of a brilliant mind and voice. But I’ll be listening today and thinking.

Got bitten fingernails and a head full of the past
And everybody’s gone at last
A sweet sweet smile that’s fading fast
Cause everybody’s gone at last
And you don’t get upset about it
No not anymore
There’s nothing wrong
That wasn’t wrong before
Had a second alone with a chance let pass
And everybody’s gone at last
Well i hope you’re not waiting
Waiting around for me
Because i’m not going anywhere
Got a broken heart and your name on my cast
And everybody’s gone at last
Everybody’s gone at last