Download Elliot Smith's XO (33 1/3 Series) by Matthew LeMay PDF

By Matthew LeMay

Many albums will be brought up to aid the declare that groovy soreness yields nice paintings. Elliott Smith's XO shouldn't be certainly one of them. Smith's 1998 significant label debut defies the "tortured singer-songwriter" stereotype, and takes up this defiance as a valuable subject matter. At a time while Smith was once being groomed for a selected (and rather condescending) model of stardom, he produced a checklist that eviscerated one of many critical assumptions of singersongwriterdom: that discomfort is gorgeous. XO insists that romanticizing own tragedy can in simple terms depart you "deaf and dumb and done." And it backs up this declare with one of the most crafty and clever song of its day. Matthew LeMay writes an unique tackle a largely loved album, steerage away from the sensationalist suicide angles that experience dogged so much research of Elliott Smith's impressive paintings.

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From the Preface :

This booklet illustrates a suite of tune manuscripts which was once made in recent times to profit the basis for modern functionality Arts. the gathering was firm by means of conditions instead of any means of choice. therefore it exhibits the various instructions during which tune notation is now going. The manuscripts are usually not prepared in accordance with forms of song, yet alphabetically in response to the composer's identify. No explanatory details is given.

The textual content for the booklet is the results of a strategy applying I-Ching probability operations. those made up our minds what number phrases concerning his paintings have been to be written by way of or approximately which of 2 hundred and sixty-nine composers. the place those passages (never greater than sixty-four phrases, occasionally just one) were specially written for this publication, they're preceded by way of a paragraph signal and by means of the author's identify. different feedback have been selected or written by means of the editors - John Cage and Alison Knowles. not just the variety of phrases and the writer, however the typography too - letter measurement, depth, and typeface - have been all decided unintentionally operations. This procedure used to be in an effort to decrease the variation among textual content and illustrations. The composition of the pages is the paintings of Alison Knowles.

A precedent for the textual content is the Questionnaire. (The composers have been requested to put in writing approximately notation or some· factor correct to it. ) A precedent for the absence of data which characterizes this e-book is the modern aquarium (no longer a dismal hallway with every one species in its personal illuminated tank separated from the others and named in Latin): a wide glass condominium with all of the fish in it swimming as in an ocean. the gathering of manuscripts constitutes an archive, the contents of that are indexed on the finish of this ebook. The editors are thankful to the numerous composers and track publishers who've made this presentation of mid-twentieth century tune notation attainable.

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Extra resources for Elliot Smith's XO (33 1/3 Series)

Sample text

When the vocal melody from the song’s chorus materializes, it becomes clear that we have left the hushed introspection of “Pitseleh;” we have emerged into daylight (where we will remain for both “Independence Day” and “Bled White”). Given its last-minute creation, “Independence Day” is perhaps not as lyrically developed as the rest of XO; the rhyming of “today” with “day,” and “ooh” with “you” are the kind of lyrical fallbacks that Smith tended to excise when revising his work. ” “Bled White” Originally entitled “Crush Blind” and then “Poor White,” “Bled White” has a rich and illuminating history.

In tracing the development of the songs that became XO, I hope to draw attention to the remarkable process by which Smith created, honed and refined his work. In examining Smith’s lyrics, I hope to emphasize the themes and concerns that specifically run counter to problematic biographical interpretations of XO. 39 In an excellent 1998 interview with Magnet, Smith explained how his use of drug addiction terminology—the theme in Smith’s music perhaps most commonly assumed to be rooted in his “life story”—is not, in fact, a matter of simple biographical transposition: The thing that’s fun for me is to make parallels between things.

Smith’s interest in leaving his songs open to multiple interpretations is well documented, and best expressed in his oft-stated answer to the oft-asked question of whether or not he is a “folk” singer. When asked this question during an extremely awkward interview with MTV’s Carson Daly, Smith responded: “Folk is just a style. Folk usually has one point, and it’s usually a moral. com: “Folk singers usually have a clear point to their songs … And they usually involve a moralistic point about something you ought to do, or ought not to do, or about some injustice that’s been done to somebody.

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