Archive for June, 2009

What the WHAT??

June 19, 2009

How on EARTH did it take me nearly two fucking weeks to find out that Jeff Hanson DIED?!? This is so sad.

I frst remember hearing Hanson’s freakishly beautiful falsetto on a compilation CD I got free for purchasing local music at Cheapo Records. My immediate reaction “I really like this. Who IS this woman?” I checked the back of the jewel case, became confused, did some research online, and became curiously enthralled with this stock dude from my hometown who sang like a lady.

Ultimately I think his signature voice was both a blessing and a curse for his career. I was THE Jeff Hanson trait aside from great Elliott Smith-like style of songwriting. But, I think his singing style may have been a reason Hanson never reached a larger audience. Even though artists like Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Joanna Newsom, Tom Waits, and the DREADFUL Colin Melloy have made names for themselves with their unique vocals. Even the backing of his very well-known indie label Kill Rock Stars couldn’t help Hanson reach anything further than critical acclaim and a small, loyal fanbase. Maybe the world just wasn’t ready for a non-glam, non-castrati man to be singing the way he did.

Hanson’s obituary makes it sound like he may have died from falling on a concrete floor in his new St. Paul apartment; and I believe, just from knowing him through his music, that that’s probably the case. Although his music shared a similarity to the suicidal Smith, his songs have a warmth and gentleness to them that do not seem to harbor the kind of depression and inner-struggles that Elliott Smith’s music do.

Hiding Behind the Moon is the first song off Hanson’s first full-length album Son. It’s a perfect beginning to the discography of an unheralded musician. You better check out this video now before he goes all Jeff Buckley on everyone and hits an insane level of postumous popularity. Stake your Jeff Hanson claim now!.

It’s really unfortunate this is the second eulogy-like post in the short history of Acme Valley. RIP Jeff.