Sitting in my favorite pizza place, waiting for my favorite veggie pizza to be done, I grew tired of watching the traffic outside the window go by. I had already read the copies they had there of the Portland Mercury and Willamette Week , so out of boredom I started to read the label on my bottle of beer. And the label on the bottle posed a question to me: If I could have only one album to listen to forever, which one would it be? For a music lover, that is a very deep question. I have at times played the mind game of desert island picks; you know, if you were stranded on a desert island, what music would you want to have. And I usually limit myself to 10 albums when playing that game. But only one? That really narrows the playing field. I could go with something really classic; something from The Beatles or Dylan or maybe Dark Side of the Moon,or even The Rolling Stones, although I am not a big Stones fan. But then I’m just going with the status quo, perhaps what a music critic might pick in order to cover all the bases. Then I thought of a perfect solution – a compilation album! That way, it would include all kinds of music, with different artists. But really, there are always those tracks on those types of offerings that I program out with the delete button on my cd player. So back to square one. And when I really thought about the music I listen to the most, I came to my obvious choice, the music of Elliott Smith. I have mentioned my love of his music in previous posts, and I may sound like an obsessed fan, but I like to think of myself as more of an admirer than a fan. To me his music can range from pop perfection to quiet acoustic offerings, all surrounded by lovely melodies he crafts and sung in his gentle, whispery style. By the time my pizza was ready, I had decided which of his albums I would choose. I decided to go with his last effort, From a Basement on the Hill. It was said that he wanted it to be his “white album”; a reference to The Beatles, who were a big influence on his music. So there is my pick for my “forever” album – and what would your choice be?
November 25, 2011