Tag Archives: Elliott Smith

Heaven Adores You

So I went to see the Elliott Smith movie, ‘Heaven Adores You’. I don’t like the title. I think Elliott used the word heaven in his awesome, wry way on St. Ides Heaven not in some I-feel-warm-and-I-love and miss you way (as the movie intended). St Ides, for those who don’t know, is a cheap beer. The line to the SVA Theatre wrapped around the block and I stood in line with a nice couple. We struck up a conversation about Elliott, I had seen him on four separate occasions. The dude apologetically said he got into his music after he died. My feeling about this is this, it’s the music. I got into Nick Drake after he died after I had heard ‘Pink Moon’ on a Volkswagen commercial. I think what people object to is the introduction to the music by way of the news of the death which …yes that’s macabre but ultimately it’s the music that matters. The premise of ‘hipster’ being a dirty word is based largely on the attitude of “I knew about this awesome artist/product/book/artisanal pencil sharpener before anybody else!” as though discovery connotes sole proprietor-ship. I don’t feel that way. When I discover great music I want to share it not crow about when I heard it. So the movie was really a light tribute to Elliott and his music and particularly his scene in Portland, OR before being nominated for an Oscar and the years following leading up to his death. A lot of friends and musicians who worked with him are in the film with nothing but good things to say which I would expect no less but it leaves me a little hollow…his songs are deeper and darker than that and therefore present a fuller picture of his person than warm remembrances. A more interesting moment in the film is when an ex-girlfriend mentions that his songs became more autobiographical and pointed and personal as he descended into his drug involvement. Noticeably absent from the film are Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss (from the righteous band Quasi). They had toured with Elliott and I get the sense they were close friends. Maybe his death was still too close for them to partake in the filmmakers (Nikolas Dylan Rossi) venture. All in all I still recommend the film because I’m still a fan of his music and there are oddball recordings from his highschool days in it!! hahahahahaha Have a great day! xo -p
The Philip Lynch Band is next performing Tuesday December 23rd @ 7PM Piano’s 158 Ludlow Street NYC shake off the consumerism blues and get on down!!


Cover Songs

When I began playing out regularly back in ’99, heh sayeth the ol’ codger, I exclusively and almost adamantly played original songs. My thinking about cover songs was, hey those songs are already in the world if people want to hear what they already know they can put on the album and be satisfied right away. It was during the Keenan’s Open mic hosted by Orville Davis when he played ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’, the classic Procol Harum song that I understood what is enjoyable about hearing and playing cover songs. First off Orville is a honky tonk, country, and rock player which already affected how the tune was going to sound, no less felt or enjoyable but with his unique stamp. So the effect is twofold, 1. oh I recognize that tune (people like to feel comfortable) and 2. oh this is the live persons take/interpretation of that tune. Not being the brightest bulb in the house I launched into playing covers of music I really dug, Sparklehorse, Tom Waits, Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliott Smith…bands who are known but in my neighborhood, at that time, I was undercutting the positive effect of “oh I recognize that song!” (not among the musicians but the audience). A classic example of covers working is Jimi Hendrix version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”. Working, I might add, to such an extent that Hendrix version may be the better known.

Dylan (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YanjY9CsPDQ Hendrix (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLV4_xaYynY

Tom Waits is one of my favorite artists and he has penned some amazing tunes which became hits for those who covered them

Downtown Train- Tom Waits (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja2evWhGWHA
Rod Stewart (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3GqxsU7hr8
Bob Seeger (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcRsxsjUUAY Mary Chapin Carpenter (cover)

Ol’ 55- (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PejBkU4-1fk Eagles (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv-fjv1bbXI

Sorry…I still like Tom’s versions best. I covered the Badfinger classic ‘Without You’ for a Valentines Day gig at Piano’s (158 Ludlow Street) but a lot of folks only know the Harry Nilsson cover.

Badfinger (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49dquH8tn6E Harry Nilsson (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDR0jnKYUws

I am going to be playing an event hosted by
Taylor Rich this Monday March 3rd at An Beal Bocht 445 West 238th St. in the Bronx featuring the songs of Cat Stevens and The Carpenters. I will be covering a Cat Stevens tune, ‘Trouble’

Cat Stevens (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1tRB7-aBr8
Elliott Smith (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU6NU4bGA2U

and a Carpenters tune ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’

Carpenters (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__VQX2Xn7tI Barry Manilow (cover)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkgsCMyn6nU

This will be Taylor’s launch of The Cover Collective, so c’mon out it’s gonna be a blast!
Thanks for reading and listening! -p

oh also…here’s NIN (Nine Inch Nails) and Johnny Cash cover

Hurt-NIN (original)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66GHz-H4k6M Johnny Cash (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur8j4xWe_44