Thursday, March 27, 2008

Future Butterfly Past

Elliott Smith's music was startling in its genuineness. His haunting and deceptively simple melodies balanced on the knife edge of raw vulnerability. Such fragile beauty made his death in 2003 seem all the more shocking. The universe simply could not let such broken perfection slip away so early. And yet, there it was.

Chronicle Books' recently released photo-bio by Autumn de Wilde, an art director and photographer noted for her portraits of indie musicians, provides a poignant look at the life of a brilliant, though tragically troubled, artist. Interviews with friends, family, and fellow musicians provide context for de Wilde's intimate snaps. You'll also get a look at some of Smith's handwritten lyrics, personal ephemera, and insights from those closest to him. The book includes a 5-song CD of previously unreleased live recordings, along with a foreward by Beck and Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla.

It seemed he only lived a day, but it was brilliant anyway.

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