Hey there – the untimely passing of pro skateboarder Dylan Rieder hit me hard and I
just about damn near wept later that day listening to his Jenkem playlist featured a few months ago. I kept the playlist rolling for a couple of days ensuring interruption free listening by keeping the continuous loop setting activated on my player. After awhile I started to loop particular songs on the playlist. Pitseleh by Elliott Smith was one of them. Elliott Smith I thought. Never heard of him.
Historically- the last two decades of alternative music make a lot more sense to me now. Death Cab for Cutie makes more sense to me. The National. Bright Eyes. The list grows and continues as I pick through my music collection.
Elliott Smith’s heyday was the 90s. Music was generally shared and discovered through mixtapes gifted by friends. It would be easy to miss someone as influential as Elliott. Still easy to do so now.
I think of the gifts that Dylan gave to skateboarding. His power, speed and style were undeniable. You felt good about life when you watched him skateboard. The fast and strong lines of kickflips over tall stair sets followed by Smith grinds on the tops of picnic tables. I also think about the music Dylan listened to and shared with people. Like a good friend saying, “You need to listen to this. You’ll thank me later.”
Broody songs by Elliott Smith flutter into my ears as I walk through the remaining days of my 43rd autumn. The spent leaves crunch under my feet. The air unseasonably warm and lush with decay. The days are darker, quicker. I feel quieter. Elliott Smith lulling in my background as I think about growing older and what I’ve gained and lost. One thing I still know. I am thankful for the people that still share and open their arms to the life around them. My family. My friends. Skateboarding by Dylan. Songs by Elliott.