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Kaarel Kilk

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,

Something I have been wondering is if Brian has ever heard music by Elliott Smith. If not, it would be great if someone close to him could share it with him, because, just like Brian, I think he was one of the great songwriters of his generation. XO (1998) or Figure 8 (2000) would probably be a good place to start.

Elliott was a self-acknowledged Beatles admirer and did not have that much to say that when it comes to Beach Boys. However, one track that had a more clear link to Beach Boys in its creation:

This fun little memory of how this song was arranged by producer Rob Schnapf from https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/8472139/elliott-smith-xo-album:

Schnapf remembers how the final track, the choral "I Didn't Understand," came to be. "I asked him if he could do an a capella arrangement of that song — I was listening to Pet Sounds outtakes," he recalls. "We set him up in back room at Sunset. He was working on an arrangement." When Smith played it for Schnapf, it struck the producer as "a little liturgical"; Schnapf asked if Smith could give it a different melodic flavor. Says Schnapf, "He disappeared, came back, and what you now hear is that version. He made it less Bach. Less classical harmony and a little more Beatles or Beach Boys."



From what I have understood, they also have some similarities in their approach to songwriting process. I believe Brian has said that everything starts with chords for him, at the piano. For example, "I go to the studio and sit down at the piano and play chords. Whatever I feel like playing, you know? And then a melody starts to happen, and then the lyrics start to happen, and then you’ve got a song." - https://americansongwriter.com/writer-week-brian-wilson-2/emily-maxwell/. Elliott was obsessed with chord progressions growing up and his typical way of coming up songs included watching TV with sound off and playing almost intuitively on his guitar until he was on to something. 
He explained some of that in this clip (with bad quality): 
.

Anyway, I think it would be awesome if Brian had a chance to check out the music by Elliott Smith.

Kaarel
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Kaarel -- The reports that filter in around here are that Brian doesn't listen to much newer music, but I agree that he might enjoy Elliott Smith. I also agree that the two albums you mention are the place to start. They're both excellent.

Mr. Smith, by the way, has a song in the latest, but not greatest, version of the Battle of the Bands that began a few days ago on the "Battle of the Bands" thread (under "Something Else"). But he's up against tough competition.

And welcome to the board too.

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Kaarel Kilk

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you, Larry! [smile]
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