5 November 2012

Why does sad music make us happy? Not all of it does, of course, but I think some incredibly sad songs generate a great deal of joy because of our tendency to appreciate art that is truthful. There is no better example than Elliot Smith, whose intense suffering and eventual suicide deeply affect how his music is interpreted. His absolute genius at melody and song structure give to the listener a beautifully unique experience. For me, knowing that Smith tragically stabbed himself in the heart (a highly disturbing thought) makes this music incredibly and undeniably real. Genuine sadness that can make us happy to be alive.

The subtlety of some of the songs from today makes all the difference, and while sadness in art can certainly bring us down, appreciating the brilliance of its effect can be a great source of joy, just like Beethoven’s 15th String Quartet, written just after he recovered from an illness he thought surely would kill him.



Hour 1

Hour 2

2:52 PM Islands Volcanoes Return to the Sea Equator
2:48 PM of Montreal (request) Old People in the Cemetery Aldhils Arboretum Kindercore Records
2:47 PM Elliot Smith King’s Crossing From a Basement on a Hill Kill Rock Stars
2:36 PM Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi Hits Reprise
2:30 PM Daniel Johnston Speeding Motorcycle Yip/ Jump Music Eternal Yip Eye Music
2:29 PM The Magnetic Fields Epitaph for My Heart 69 Love Songs Merge
2:18 PM Joy Division She’s Lost Control Unknown Pleasures Qwest
2:02 PM Beethoven (Fine Arts Quartet String Quartet 15 3rd Movement The Late Quartets Concert-Disc