Thursday, May 25, 2006

Great websites #1

This is the first of an occasional series in which I intend to highlight great websites. Now my definition of a great website may differ from that of some of my visitors. I can't help that, and I shall make no attempt to pander. (Well I might, at the right price.)

The logic behind this series will be: I would get the Internet if I didn't have it purely because this site is so fucking good.

So, number one.

The first site to win this money-can't-buy-it award is Elliott Smith: B-Sides & Other Songs.

I like Elliott Smith (pictured below, in a great "Bust A Move" T-shirt). I think he's one of the finest songwriters of the past 20 years, and then some. I'm not an über-fan, and it's not my intention to convert anyone. Wife is an über-fan. When I mentioned that I wanted to name this site on my blog, she kind of groaned in that way you do when people suddenly discover an artist you've loved for years. (Yes, I know that's snobbery, but we've all done it!)

Smith, in case you didn't know, is no longer with us. He died of several supposedly self-inflicted knife wounds to the chest. Yah, right. And what happens when an artist dies tragically young is that fans want to get their hands on as much of the unreleased material as possible. For Smith fans, this site is the Holy Grail.

And if this was the only site on the Internet, the Internet would still be worth getting.

But even if you don't like Elliott Smith, you should still love this site for what it stands for: free downloads of unreleased material by a great artist.

Elliott Smith: B-Sides & Other Songs: for services to music, the Web, and the world, A Blog About Nowt salutes you.

Update: On Monday 14 May 2007, I visited this site again, as I do every once in a while. Sadly, I was greeted with a note dated 1 April 2007 that read: "We're honestly surprised that it took this long, but the RIAA finally came knocking. Most importantly, this site is not dead. We won't be able to share any songs that were recorded during the Dreamworks era, but many of the demos will remain. We need some time to update the site, but hope to return next week." Well, clearly they didn't "return next week". Who knows when they will. Let's hope it's soon.

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Blogger Candy Minx said...

Great idea for a theme. This will keep you rather busy ya know! You slacker! Um, it's like that movie link I sent you yesterday in your comments. Things like that make the internet ock. Oh poor ol Elliot Smith!

25 May, 2006 17:42  
Blogger Red said...

Seeing Elliott Smith smile makes my heart ache.

25 May, 2006 17:44  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

listening to between the bars now.

It is brilliant.

thanks a lot for making me aware of this. I have to say i had not heard of him, so it is good to find something new that is proper music

25 May, 2006 18:11  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

CM: It will keep me busier than I already am. Who knows, maybe this'll be the only one?! Certainly it was the catalyst. Perhaps it is The One.

Red: Yeah, I know what you mean...

WW: Good to hear. My personal favourite Elliott song is "Pretty (Ugly Before)". Just great.

25 May, 2006 18:32  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

aint it a shame that some people only get the recognition they deserve after they are gone?

26 May, 2006 07:18  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Yeah. Wife and I went to see him in concert in London a few years ago. I wish I had been more familiar with his music before going cos I'll never get that chance again. Still, I saw him. Many people never did and never will now.

26 May, 2006 10:03  
Blogger a.c.t said...

Same happened to Jeff 'God' Buckley - a real shame. I'll have to give this a listen..

26 May, 2006 14:44  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

I bought Grace last week. Figured it was worth it for his great version of "Hallelujah" if nothing else. Not yet listened to it, though. Quite enjoyed the BBC2 documentary on him a couple of years ago, though.

26 May, 2006 17:04  
Blogger a.c.t said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

27 May, 2006 07:16  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I didn't see that documentary. Grace is in my top 5 albums - his voice is angelic. I've got some his Dad's stuff too (Tim Buckley) which is pretty good, his voice is very similar.

27 May, 2006 16:50  

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