Friday, November 12, 2010

Why you want to keep these lies on parade

Back on the subject of Heatmiser, Elliott Smith wrote some sparkling gems during his end of days in that band. Mic City Sons was released in 1996 and for me is their most fully realized effort, with both songwriters (Smith and Neil Gust) really hitting their stride.

The Fix Is In begins with a quietly lovely electronic piano accompaniment. Always attuned to emotional violence, Smith practically whispers the warning of the opening verse:

You want every day to be like that magic first
When she took shape in your eyes and you in hers
You're going down to see her, it's a big mistake
She got ice she don't want anyone to break

Then at 1:46 the guitar ratchets up the volume just a bit as he makes it clear he is heading down a path against his will:

I fit the perfect picture that you want for all
The fix is in I'm going where I don't belong

Mr. Smith would go on to perfect his little world of sad, lonely songs sung by a singer too tired and emotionally drained to fight back. But this earlier effort still hits me right in the gut.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Mr. P, see, this is why I love being alive -- thinking, crap! I haven't been to Mr. Pleasant's place in a bit (i swear i have excuses even YOU would buy!) better check him out -- and so I come over & i get ... this. Totally new to me. Totally stunning. I sincerely hope some day we can meet and give a fist bump. Thanks Mr. P., and not for the first time.

Mister Pleasant said...

Mr. Anyway... no excuses necessary here at Pleasant Valley Sunday. But I am pleased as always to read your feedback. For some reason Heatmiser has never seen the light of day outside of its NW homeland. It is my pleasure to introduce you to them, for sure.

Looking forward to that fist bump!