"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)
The basic contours of news coming out of Hawaii are familiar: a brown plume was spotted Monday in Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon. Upon investigation, a leak was found in a pipeline. Health officials are warming swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water as cleanup crews work to collect hundreds of dead fish. And experts are watching closely for further environmental damage from the 233,000 gallon spill.
The one difference? They’re not dealing with oil, but molasses. And in some ways, that’s just as bad. According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the refined sugar doesn’t pose a direct threat to humans, but it’s polluting the harbor’s waters. The molasses is too thick for fish to breathe through, and thousands more are expected to die.
Worse yet, it may start attracting sharks.
The shipping company successfully plugged the leak Tuesday. It’s possible the state will fine them for violating the Clean Water Act down the line. For now, though, efforts are being concentrated on testing fish and water samples to measure the extend of the contamination.
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
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)