"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
We would never do anything to inflame the passions of the red-state/blue-state divide. It would be wrong. And besides, it’s isn’t really a fair fight anymore. According to a SurveyUSA poll out this week, George W. Bush now has majority support in just three states: Utah, Wyoming and Alabama.
But if you just can’t help picking a fight with your red-state friends and neighbors, here’s some ammunition you might use the next time one of them starts talking about the virtues of personal responsibility and self-reliance. In a study released today, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation reveals that — to a much greater degree than their azure kin — red states continue to rely on the largess of the federal government.
The top seven charity cases — and 13 of the top 15 — are states that cast their votes for Bush in 2004. First in line for handouts is New Mexico, which scores $2 for every buck it sends to Washington, The rest of the top 15: Alaska — thanks for the bridge, guys! — West Virginia, Mississippi, North Dakota, Alabama, Virginia, Hawaii, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Maryland.
And which states are the real bastions of up-by-your-bootstraps self-reliance and compassion for the least among us? Well, the top five giving states are ones that John Kerry carried in 2004: New Jersey — which got 55 cents for every dollar it gave to Washington — followed by Connecticut, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Illinois.
What about Californians and New Yorkers, those coastal snobs who are so self-absorbed that their skin has turned blue? It turns out that they can take care of themselves and a whole lot of other Americans, too. They’re eighth and ninth on the most-charitable list, getting back just 79 cents of each dollar they send to Washington.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)
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