Elliott Smith's XO

Author: Matthew LeMay

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441147799

Category: Music

Page: 142

View: 5517


Many albums could be cited to support the claim that great suffering yields great art. Elliott Smith's XO should not be one of them. Smith's 1998 major label debut defies the "tortured singer-songwriter" stereotype, and takes up this defiance as a central theme. At a time when Smith was being groomed for a particular (and particularly condescending) brand of stardom, he produced a record that eviscerated one of the central assumptions of singersongwriterdom: that pain is beautiful. XO insists that romanticizing personal tragedy can only leave you "deaf and dumb and done." And it backs up this claim with some of the most artful and intelligent music of its day. Matthew LeMay writes an original take on a widely beloved album, steering clear of the sensationalist suicide angles that have dogged most analysis of Elliott Smith's extraordinary work.

Elliott Smith's XO

Author: Matthew LeMay

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826429009

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 124

View: 807


Many albums could be cited to support the claim that great suffering yields great art. Elliott Smith's XO should not be one of them. Smith's 1998 major label debut defies the "tortured singer-songwriter" stereotype, and takes up this defiance as a central theme. At a time when Smith was being groomed for a particular (and particularly condescending) brand of stardom, he produced a record that eviscerated one of the central assumptions of singersongwriterdom: that pain is beautiful. XO insists that romanticizing personal tragedy can only leave you "deaf and dumb and done." And it backs up this claim with some of the most artful and intelligent music of its day. Matthew LeMay writes an original take on a widely beloved album, steering clear of the sensationalist suicide angles that have dogged most analysis of Elliott Smith's extraordinary work.

Elliott Smith

Author: Autumn de Wilde

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 9780811857994

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 223

View: 5491


A definitive portrait of the troubled singer/songwriter combines two hundred close-up photographs and interviews with those who knew him best to chronicle his influential musical career and often turbulent life, including his tragic death in 2003, in a volume enhanced by ephemera, handwritten lyrics, and a live CD of unreleased solo acoustic performances. 20,000 first printing.

Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing

Author: Benjamin Nugent

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0786738103

Category: Music

Page: 256

View: 9487


Best known for his Oscar-nominated song "Miss Misery" from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, Elliott Smith was catapulted to the status of indie rock star after performing at the 1997 Academy Awards. Some of his albums, XO and Either/Or among them, would become '90s classics, helping to define an understated aesthetic that owed as much to the melodic emphasis of The Beatles as it did to punk. In the afterglow of the success of "Miss Misery," Smith's fame grew--alongside his struggles with depression and substance abuse. First relocating to Brooklyn, and then finally to L.A., he fell into a downward spiral evident to friends and fans alike, even as he continued to write such beautifully realized songs as "Waltz #2" (XO). Drawing on new interviews with those who knew and loved Smith, and focusing on the crucial interplay between Smith's life and music, Ben Nugent compellingly and sympathetically portrays an enormously gifted, yet troubled, artist.

Siouxsie and the Banshees' Peepshow

Author: Samantha Bennett

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501321870

Category: Music

Page: 216

View: 2079


In 1978, Siouxsie and the Banshees declared 'We don't see ourselves in the same context as other rock'n'roll bands.' A decade later, and in the stark aftermath of a devastating storm, the band retreated to a 17th-century mansion house in the deracinated Sussex countryside to write their ninth studio album, Peepshow. Here, the band absorbed the bygone, rural atmosphere and its inspirational mise en scène, thus framing the record cinematically, as Siouxsie Sioux recalled, 'It was as if we were doing the whole thing on the set of The Wicker Man'. Samantha Bennett looks at how Siouxsie and the Banshees' Peepshow is better understood in the context of film and film music (as opposed to popular music studies or, indeed, the works of other rock'n'roll bands). Drawing upon more than one hundred films and film scores, this book focuses on Peepshow's deeply embedded historical and aesthetic (para)cinematic influences: How is each track a reflection of genre film? Who are the various featured protagonists? And how does Peepshow's diverse orchestration, complex musical forms, atypical narratives and evocative soundscapes reveal an inherently cinematic record? Ultimately, Peepshow can be read as a soundtrack to all the films Siouxsie and the Banshees ever saw. Or perhaps it was the soundtrack to the greatest film they never made.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Murder Ballads

Author: Santi Elijah Holley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501355163

Category: Music

Page: 152

View: 8190


In a bar called The Bucket of Blood, a man shoots the bartender four times in the head. In the small town of Millhaven, a teenage girl secretly and gleefully murders her neighbors. A serial killer travels from home to home, quoting John Milton in his victims' blood. Murder Ballads, the ninth studio album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is a gruesome, blood-splattered reimagining of English ballads, American folk and blues music, and classic literature. Most of the stories told on Murder Ballads have been interpreted many times, but never before had they been so graphic or profane. Though earning the band their first Parental Advisory warning label, Murder Ballads, released in 1996, brought Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds their biggest critical and commercial success, thanks in part to the award-winning single, “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” an unlikely duet with Australian pop singer, Kylie Minogue. Closely examining each of the ten songs on the album, Santi Elijah Holley investigates the stories behind the songs, and the numerous ways these ballads have been interpreted through the years. Murder Ballads is a tour through the evolution of folk music, and a journey into the dark secrets of American history.

The Raincoats' The Raincoats

Author: Jenn Pelly

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501302426

Category: Music

Page: 176

View: 7838


In 1979, from the basement of a London squat, the Raincoats reinvented what punk could be. They had a violin player. They came from Portugal, Spain, and England. Their anarchy was poetic. Working with the iconic Rough Trade Records at its radical beginnings, they were the first group of punk women to actively call themselves feminists. In this short book – the first on the Raincoats – author Jenn Pelly tells the story of the group's audacious debut album, which Kurt Cobain once called “wonderfully classic scripture.” Pelly builds on rare archival materials and extensive interviews with members of the Raincoats, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Hole, Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, and more. She draws formal inspiration from the collage-like The Raincoats itself to explore this album's magic, vulnerability, and strength.

The Pharcyde's Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde

Author: Andrew Barker

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501321293

Category: Music

Page: 144

View: 1251


As immediately believable as they were cartoonish, as much an inner city cipher as a suburban boys gang, the foursome that made up the Pharcyde were the most relatable MCs to ever pass the mic. On their debut and magnum opus Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, they created a record almost overstuffed with possibility, the sound of four restless man-children fresh out of their teens, finding a perfect outlet in a form of music that was just as young and fertile. And like the product of any adolescent, Bizarre Ride wears its contrarianism and contradictions on its sleeve. It's a party album about shyness and unrequited love. A swirl of jubilant L.A. psychedelia recorded in the midst of the Rodney King trial. A blast of black consciousness that still makes room to poke fun at Public Enemy and reference the Pixies. A dense, sophisticated sonic stew punctuated by yo mama jokes and prank calls. While hip-hop was already calcifying its tropes of steely machismo and aspirational fantasy, Bizarre Ride was a pure distillation of the average hip-hop listener's actual lifestyle-the joys and sorrows of four guys who were young, broke, sexually frustrated, and way too clever for their own good. A touchstone for Kanye West, Drake, Lil B and a whole generation of off-center MCs, Bizarre Ride sketched out a whole strata of emotions that other rappers hadn't yet dared to tackle, and to a certain extent, still haven't.

Camp Lo's Uptown Saturday Night

Author: Patrick Rivers,William Fulton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501322702

Category: Music

Page: 160

View: 455


Geechi Suede and Sonny Cheeba are Camp Lo. These two emcees from the Bronx, NY entered the American hip hop scene with an insider slang that bewildered listeners as they radiated the look of a bygone era of black culture. In 1996, they collaborated with producer Ski and a host of other contributors to create Uptown Saturday Night, featuring the seminal single “Luchini (a.k.a. This is It).” While other 1990s rappers referred to 1970s Blaxploitation culture, Camp Lo were self-described “time travelers” who weaved the slang and style of a soulful past into state-of-the-art lyrical flows. Uptown Saturday Night is a tapestry of 1970s black popular culture and 1990s New York City hip hop. This volume will detail how the album's fantastic world of “Coolie High” reflected classic films like Cooley High and the Sidney Poitier film from which the album's title is derived, and promoted vintage slang and fashion. The book features new interviews with Camp Lo, producer Ski, Trugoy the Dove from De La Soul, Ish from Digable Planets, and others, and offers musical and cultural analyses that detail the development of the album and its essential contributions to a post-soul aesthetic.

Bob Mould's Workbook

Author: Walter Biggins,Daniel Couch

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501321374

Category: Music

Page: 160

View: 8533


In 1989, Bob Mould took a left turn. Already legendary before his 30th birthday for his noise-and-nuance work in Hüsker Dü, Mould had recently walked away from his old band. He re-emerged with his debut solo album: Workbook. Filled with chiming acoustic guitars, multitracked vocals, pristine production, and even a cello, Workbook was both admired and questioned for Mould's perceived departure from his post-punk roots. Three decades later, the album has emerged as a key for understanding the nascent alternative rock genre and the concerns Mould would explore for the duration of his career. Fusing post-punk sound and confessional lyrics with a richer emotional and musical range, Mould's Workbook merged worlds that seemed unbridgeable at the time. Alternative rock emerged from the wreckage of the 1980s, and Workbook was a model for the genre's maturation. Workbook serves its title in two ways-as a map for musicians to follow into a new mode, and as a journal of Mould's struggle toward adulthood. It opens conversations about rock, identity, spirituality, authenticity, and the perils and promises of mainstream culture. Walter Biggins and Daniel Couch, two critics who grew up with Workbook, extend these conversations-through letters and emails to each other, and through correspondence with Mould and Workbook's musicians and producers. That crosstalk leads to, through this seminal album, a deeper understanding of “alternative rock” at the moment of its inception, just before it took over the radio.