Elliott Smith And The Big Nothing

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9780306813931: Elliott Smith And The Big Nothing

It is rare these days for a recording artist to move his fans so deeply that news of his death sparks instant tribute concerts worldwide-from Dublin to Boston, and Nashville to Los Angeles.Elliott Smith was such an artist. On October 21, 2003, he was found dead in his apartment from two stab wounds to the chest. But before his tragic death, which is still under investigation, came the solitary beauty of Smith's music.Known best for his heartrending song "Miss Misery" from the Oscar-nominated Good Will Hunting soundtrack, Elliott Smith was catapulted to the status of indie icon after performing at the 1998 Oscars. Sandwiched between Celine Dion and Trisha Yearwood and wearing an unlikely white tuxedo, he looked out of place-but many who witnessed his surreally beautiful performance thought he put Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" to shame. His albums have since sold over half a million copies, with his melody-based rock inspiring successful artists from Belle & Sebastian to the Flaming Lips.Featuring never-before-published interviews with those that knew and loved Smith, this book takes us from his childhood in suburban Dallas, Texas, to his life-and eventual death-in Los Angeles. Focusing on the crucial interplay between Smith's life and music, and establishing his place in America's musical canon as one who helped to usher in today's rock revival, this is a groundbreaking biography on "an amazing singer and songwriter" (Moby).

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About the Author:

Benjamin Nugent is a former music and film reporter for Time magazine. He has written for New York Magazine and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, the BBC, and NPR. Like Elliott Smith, he has lived in Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and Amherst, Massachusetts. He now resides in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

This isn't the Hardy Boys–esque mystery starring tragic indie-rocker Elliott Smith that the title might suggest, but instead a rather skimpy bio timed to coincide with the first anniversary of his death. A prolific but troubled singer/songwriter, Smith inspired a legion of loyal fans and influenced a score of major artists, but for much of his career, he succeeded in flying under the mainstream radar. Then his song "Miss Misery" was featured in friend Gus Van Zandt's 1997 Good Will Hunting, and Smith, nominated for an Academy Award for best song, performed at the Oscars, clad in a white tux. But life didn't turn suddenly rosy; Smith struggled with drugs and depression, and in October 2003, he died of multiple stab wounds to the chest, an apparent suicide. In some respects, one has to feel for freelance writer Nugent, an avowed fan, for even attempting to write this book. Smith shied away from the media, leaving behind few interviews to draw on, and Smith's friends, family and acquaintances largely refuse to speak about him. While Nugent manages to patch together the major beats of Smith's life, he can offer little meaningful insight. Candlelight vigils commemorating Smith's death might drive sales at publication, but Smith's fans, as loyal as any in music, will be disappointed by this short and shallow biography.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Editore: Da Capo Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0306813939 ISBN 13: 9780306813931
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