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Tag Archives: elliott smith

Julien Baker – Ballad of Big Nothing (Cover)


julien baker ballad big nothing

While things are in the process of changing around here, I came upon this incredible cover of an Elliott Smith song, and had to share. Obviously, the image for this series has always been a picture from the Elliott Smith memorial wall, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared one of his songs as a part of this, because I’d already wrote about him way back when I started the blog, and because I tend to hate it when people cover artists like Elliott Smith and Bob Dylan as they are on the untouchable list.

But – “Ballad of Big Nothing” was always one of Elliott’s songs that I never loved quite as much as the rest for some reason. And when I heard this version, I realized it is the kind of cover that brings something great to the song, rather than just replacing his vocals with vocals I’ll usually care less about.

The way Baker – who was literally only 8 years old when he died – slowed the melody down and stripped away some of the extra elements Elliott had brought into his work in the last couple albums really, really works – and allows the brilliance of his lyrics to shine through even more. I think she managed to make it sound almost uplifting in its declarations, whereas Elliott sounded somewhere between angry and not giving a shit on this one.

Apparently this tribute album will be released on October 14th 2016, and also features covers from J Mascis, Lou Barlow, Amanda Palmer, Juliana Hatfield and Yuck, so I’m putting away my hatred of people messing with his work because these are the right artists to take on such a challenge.


TGIF – Saddest Songs, Prism Prize and Music Festival Tragedy

Tibet house benefit iggy pop patti smith new order


Happy Friday, and Happy Spring everyone!!!! Hope you are as excited as I am that it’s FINALLY HERE (even though we might be in for more snow this weekend… …… ugh).

As for fun weekend plans, I will be attending the Prism Prize Music Video Awards on Sunday, so I am saving most of my energy this weekend for that (especially if it snows, as I can’t be outside in that shit for much longer without going completely batshit insane).  What fun are you getting into? I have some suggestions as per usual over at Dose! I also heard Foster The People (remember that song about uncool poor kids shooting up cool rich kids at school… ughhh) are playing the Horseshoe tonight, so if you’re into that kinda one hit wonder-y mainstream posing as indie band, it’s a chance to see one of those “big” bands in a tiny venue – but it’s sold out so good luck with that. You’re much better off seeing The Dirty Nil at Silver Dollar or The Big Sound at Adelaide Hall tonight.

Now, for the links:


Another Unheard Elliott Smith Song Leaked

There has been so many Elliott Smith songs leaking this year, I feel spoiled. His music has had such a huge impact on my life since I first heard him in Good Will Hunting all those years ago. I have ‘XO’ tattooed on me because of him, I named this blog after one of his unreleased songs, and at one point I seriously considered moving to Portland thinking I would fit in better there, so that might tell you a bit about how much his work means to me if you’re not already aware.

Please enjoy this download of a song of his that I’ve never heard before until just now, titled Misery Let Me Down (as far as we know). It is under the first track (Division Day Take 1) about 1.5 mins in, and it’s beautiful. It is live and he doesn’t play the whole thing (he plays it after asking for a minute to warm up) but it is just as evocative and beautiful as anything he ever wrote.

The download includes the entire WMUC recording session with a lot of stopping and starting and requests on his part. It’s very endearing.


TGIF: Movember, Rob Ford and Too Many People


Another Friday, another bunch of links to blow your time til you can get out there and drink the night away. By the way, if you’re in Toronto you should probably spend your night at The Horseshoe seeing Fast Romantics and Teenage Kicks – they will even have cute tees (yes, by that I mean ones for girl bodies too!) for sale for $10. Also, it’s my dad’s birthday today – he doesn’t read this because he doesn’t understand the internet, but happy birthday anyway dad! Love you.

  • You’re A Start-Up – Best advice for musicians I’ve read in a long time, and it’s applicable to anyone in a creative field as well.
  • Long Live the Pixies – Sounds like they’re still killing it on the reunion tour I caught and reviewed back in May!

That’s it! So what are you up to this weekend? Share some links you found this week with me in the comments, thx.


TGIF: Steve’s Expanding, Alan Cross’ New Gig and Miss Representation

It’s Friday! The weekend is here and I am so looking forward to it. Lots of good shows happening, but mostly I’m just happy to have a weekend off where I’m actually home to do laundry and dishes. My apartment is a disaster area right now. Hope your week was great – but if it wasn’t, here is some reading/listening material to distract you.

  • Since you read this blog, you would probably agree that it’s easy to get consumed in our own little world of good taste and assume that everyone everywhere listens to Arcade Fire and no one actually likes Creed or Fallout Boy, but that’s not really the case, a point this article makes – A Rock-Radio Reality Check.
  • Hollerado talks about their awesome Meet the Mayor Tour.
  • Chart is back – we all wondered wtf happened when they abruptly decided to stop, turns out it was just a change of hands, and now things are back on track.
  • In Defence of Toronto. There was once a time when I thought I was over Toronto and wanted to move to San Francisco or New York, but lately (despite Rob Ford) I love the city more than I ever have before, so it was awesome to read this article on all the reasons there are to love it here, defending it from a New Yorker who lived here for less than a year and wrote an article about how Toronto doesn’t measure up.
  • Zeus is back with their new single from the upcoming album, called “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” and it rules, so hard. Listen Here
  • In 24 Days or Less, Apple Will Change Music, Again …
  • And last but not least, here’s the trailer for an awesome doc about media’s treatment of women, airing October 20th on OWN, can’t wait to see this: