Wednesday, December 30, 2009

RIP Vic Chesnutt (1964-2009)

Vic died while in a muscle relaxer induced coma last week on Christmas Day. He had been in the coma for nearly 2 days. It’s unclear if the overdose was intentional, but it is clear that the loss of Vic has touched many people.
I first learned of his music through fellow Athens, GA musicians Widespread Panic. They have collaborated with Vic on 2 records under the moniker “Brute” and covered “Aunt Avis” on their 1997 release Bombs and Butterflies. His music is sad, true to his feelings and at times very dark. Vic had been in a wheelchair since an auto accident at the age of 18. At 26, fellow Athens musician Michael Stipe produced his first album Little. Over the next 19 years he would release 14 more solo albums, as well as contributing to albums released by Elf Power and The Amorphous Strums. His latest album, At The Cut, featured his second work with Fugazi Vocalist and guitarist Guy Picciotto. The song “Flirted With You All My Life” eludes to Vic’s past battles with suicide and depression.
I had the great pleasure of seeing him perform at the Turf Club in the early winter of 2006. He opened for Jonathan Richman to an enthusiastic crowd. His dark mood quickly changed the crowd into a quiet attentive audience. He was definitely intoxicated, but captivating and hauntingly poetic. It was almost as if he was trying to be the complete opposite of the headlining act. Thank you Vic, you will be missed.

Tiny Desk

Mountain Stage

Fresh Air 2009

Patterson Hood's words

A nice live recording


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