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i saw you once

at the Palace (now the Avalon) in hollywood.

you signed my journal afterwards and listened with painfully shy ears as people would come up and tell you how much your music meant to them.

you'd fade into and out of obscurity after touring for Figure 8, play a random gig now and then.
i was sort of worried about you, but figured you can take care of yourself.

i hate to say it, but i think a lot of people knew something like this would happen. we just didn't want to believe it.

those of us who loved and admired your work will miss you.


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Folk-punk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith has died, an apparent suicide, according to the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner's office. Smith's body was found in his apartment, in the Silverlake section of Los Angeles, by a female friend,who took him to a local hospital at approximately 12:18 p.m. on Tuesday.

He was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center just over an hour later. He was 34.

A single knife wound that appeared to be self-inflicted was evident on the body, though police detectives are investigating the incident for foul play and/or other possibilities. No other details were available at press time.

Smith (real name Steven Paul Smith) had battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout his career. His first two albums, 1994's Roman Candle and the next year's self-titled LP for Olympia, Washington's Kill Rock Stars label, intimated these subjects with haunting, sparsely recorded acoustic songs such as "Needle in the Hay" that drew comparisons to 1960s singer/songwriter Nick Drake and Simon and Garfunkel. He reportedly cleaned up midway through his career, but the problem was believed to have escalated in recent years due to a reclusive nature and sporadic public performances.

A cornerstone of the indie-rock scene in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1990s, Smith gained critical acclaim with 1997's Either/Or and 1998's XO, albums that best demonstrated his ability to delicately deliver poetic, emotional lyrics and beautifully dark, lush pop melodies. "Miss Misery," his contribution to the film "Good Will Hunting" that earned him an Academy Award nomination in 1997, brought mainstream recognition to the artist regarded as a figurehead of the indie-rock underground, and who influenced such artists as Bright Eyes and Dashboard Confessional.

Born August 6, 1969 in Omaha, Nebraska, Smith grew up near Dallas and took an interest in music at age 9, and began writing and recording original compositions as a teenager. He moved to Portland in high school, where he played in a local band, before attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Returning to Portland, he formed the alternative-rock quartet Heatmiser with future Quasi member Sam Coomes. The band released three albums and disbanded after hitting its creative stride with 1996's Mic City Sons.

While still a member of Heatmiser, Smith retreated to his basement to focus on more intimate material in vast contrast to Heatmiser's heavier sound. Roman Candle, on which he played all the instruments, was recorded on a four-track and epitomized the lo-fi DIY aesthetic while showcasing Smith's talent to craft emotive song structures that emphasized the dark themes of his lyrics.

The promise of a great songwriter was furthered on Smith's self-titled album. While keeping with an overall melancholy vibe, he concentrated on beautifying the melodies. The songs floated like lullabies, though the lyrics could disrupt sleep for weeks.

Smith continued to play all the instruments on 1997's Either/Or, while focusing on the arrangements. Dramatic constructions combine with Smith's eerily potent stripped-down fare for the album that cemented his role in the indie-folk pantheon. At the time of the LP's release, filmmaker and Portland resident Gus Van Sant used Smith's music for the soundtrack to "Good Will Hunting." Smith performed "Miss Misery," which was nominated for Best Original Song, at the Academy Awards show in April 1998. The Oscar went to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," from "Titanic," though simply being nominated helped his subsequent LP, 1998's XO, become Smith's best-selling album.

XO and his final album, 2000's Figure 8, both released on major-label DreamWorks Records, were marked by lush textures and acoustic melodies inspired by the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and latter-day Beatles, that brimmed with a sunny brilliance, but still retained Smith's keen commentaries and forlorn sentiments. He had been working on a follow-up album, From a Basement on the Hill, at the time of his death (see "Elliott Smith Flying Solo On Next LP, But It Won't Sound Like It").

The limited-edition 7-inch single "Pretty (Ugly Before)" was released in August on Seattle indie Suicide Squeeze Records, and the previously unreleased songs "Splittsville" and the instrumental "Snowbunny's Serenade" appear in the film "Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician," directed by Silverlake resident Steve Hanft, who's helmed videos for Beck. After limited theatrical showings, the movie was released on DVD October 7. Hanft was also responsible for the Smith documentary "Strange Parallels," released in 1998.

In June, Smith performed on the second stage of the Field Day festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which was headlined by the Beastie Boys, Radiohead and Blur. A brief tour of the U.S. followed. He was scheduled to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Los Angeles on November 9.

This report is provided by MTV News
as you might know i've been a big fan of elliott's music and if there's one place in the internet that i've been to more often than than it's definitely and
i didn't know him personally but i was told many stories about him by friends and people who met him because of work and it was such a mixture of really good and really bad things about him that i decided not to let things come to close to me except for his music which was reallly outstanding.
one thing i know for sure is that whoever i met who knew him i got the impression he was really surrounded by some true friends or well, I don't have quite the real insight but I know for sure the people I got to know who were his friends or were people who liked him were altogether truely lovely people, the good ones...
It's a shame... you know that people might die anytime but when it happens it's always just the same bad thing.

It's so sad... he meant so much to so many people... I love his music. It's so sad...

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