Elliott Smith – “Kiwi Maddog 20/20”

When: 20 August 2008
Where: The Grapevine
Who: My parents
Weather: Hot, sunny

“Smith also had a slyly humorous side, which he exhibits on the closing instrumental “Kiwi Maddog 20/20,” a languid surf-y tune that wouldn’t be out of place playing over the credits of a Quentin Tarantino film. Which means “Kiwi Maddog 20/20″ is totally out of place on a collection of depressing folk-pop songs, though after 30 minutes with Smith’s quiet tales of desperation it’s practically a lifeline.”

When I first read that on The AV Club, I could have said the same. Managing school, work, a girlfriend, and college admissions was an uphill battle, and I didn’t always win. I lost my job at Bulgarini’s when they left me off the schedule and never fixed it. And I’d made myself physically ill thinking about all these things. But finally the fear had passed, and it was time to collect my reward. The night before leaving, I actually jumped for joy, so high and so hard that I hit my head on the ceiling. I tried not to fall asleep that night so as not to have a concussion.

I didn’t, and the next day we were on the road north. I’d prepared myself a “travelling playlist” which included this song. I had never risen higher…

Next: …And before I knew it, I had never fallen further.

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