Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Believer on Elliott Smith and Music Fandom

This is an outtake from the new issue of the Believer, an outgrowth of the McSweeney's literary/community service movement started by Dave Eggers. It is from an article by Gina Gionfriddo on the death of Elliott Smith and the author's attendance at a candlelight vigil in the East Village. This excerpt rang true to me on a number of levels:

All of this got me thinking about my own musical fanship and the nagging sense of shame that accompanies it. My friends have trained me to treat the ferocity of my musical passions as a shameful secret. The message seems to be this: Listen to whatever you want and like whatever you want, but temper your enthusiasm to suit your advanced age (I'm thirty-four). Praise moderately and possess no evidence of devotion aside from music. That is to say, no "merch," unless intended ironically. . . .
I bought the issue for the Carrie Brownstein/Eddie Vedder interview but this article and an interview of David Byrne by Eggers were much more interesting.

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