Either Or – Elliott Smith’s Row
Every time I walk from my home to Elephant & Caste in London I pass by Elliot’s Row. The road sign is mounted up on a solid brick wall, completely on its own with surrounding bricks washed with dirt and smut. The road connects to another road, or a bus station, or a college nearby. There is a row of Victorian houses. Opposite are some backyards of grey buildings with no faces. The road always makes me stop. Elliott’s Row it says. The Ballad of Big Nothing it sings. A Rose Parade was here. It is a place Between the Bars. Where you Say Yes. Either Or.
Elliott Smith‘s album Either Or has been my home for some time and very influential to my music. I can relate to every second, every hush in his voice, every picking and chord flickering from his acoustic guitar, and the deep soul in his songs. Not perfectly produced, not with many instrumentation, but speaking to your heart.
Some of Elliott Smith’s songs on Either Or are melancholic. But this is only one side of his music. There is a strong uplifting side as well. Maybe less obvious. One that will make you want to embrace life.
I feel that light and darkness are tied together in his music. One does not exist without the other. When he sings I either hear deeply rooted sadness. Or I hear optimism and pure enjoyment. Either Or.
There is a beautiful old car parking. It is ready to go to Angeles. It’s Elliott’s Row. I walk on, grateful.
(A fan made this video for the Elliott Smith’s Angeles)