Friday, May 28th, 2004
It seems like stating the obvious now, but Jeff Buckley had barely scratched the surface of his monsterous talent when he died far too young in May of 1997, seven years ago tomorrow. I remember when I heard he’d gone missing – I was sitting in the cafeteria of a summer co-op job in Ajax, Ontario (way out in the boonies of Toronto) where they made aircraft landing gear. The newspaper was the Toronto Sun, our local mostly-crap tabloid rag, and the Jeff Buckley piece was just a short blurb in a sidebar. At this point, he was just ‘missing’ after going for a swim in the Mississippi, and while deep down I knew better, I held out hope that he’d be alright. I didn’t have internet access of any sort at the time, so I checked the newspaper every day for the next week hoping that there’d be some good news. Obviously there wasn’t, and when I read they recovered his body, I was immensely saddened by the news. Even more so since I was the only person I knew who cared at all.
The many posthumous releases didn’t have the same magic as his debut album Grace, and I didn’t care for the stench of opportunism by his estate. While I do own the originally-discarded second album Sketches: For My Sweetheart The Drunk and the live Mystery White Boy, I’ve done my best to avoid supporting the cash-in on his legacy. That said, I will admit that the Legacy Edition of Grace out August 24 has my interest. Consisting of the original album digitally remastered (is that really necessary for something barely ten years old?), a second disc of bonus material (which has some stuff I’ve wanted to hear and it’ll save me from having to shell out for a silly box set of EPs) and a DVD (the specific contents of which are still being hashed out, but will surely have some stuff worth seeing). I don’t listen to it all that much anymore, but every once in a while, I still put on Grace and just marvel at it – so much potential lost. Who knows what amazing music he might have gone on to make? Grace was just the tip of the iceberg. Too late, too soon. News of the Legacy release from Burned By The Sun.
Rilo Kiley’s More Adventurous will be out July 27. Write it down.
The Onion A.V. Club interviews Stephin Merritt. I’ve linked so damn many of these Magnetic Fields interviews, I’m done trying to come up with clever ways to present them. So there. From the Global Pop Conspiracy.
Stylus loves Nellie McKay, having compiled the Top Ten lines on Get Away From Me. Much of the peanut gallery commenters disagree. Nellie is in town June 30 at Lee’s Palace and could have a new album out as early as October.
Almost as good as a Lonely Planet guide to Springfield USA.
np – Jeff Buckley / Mystery White Boy