Elliott Smith favorites

I don’t listen to Elliott Smith that often, because his music is associated with melancholy moods.  But when I do, I continually re-discover the beauty of his singing, playing, and songwriting (both lyrics and melodies).  I’ll probably add to this post periodically (so that it’s a living, breathing thing – rawwr!), but here’s the first in what will be a chronological listing of my Elliott Smith favorites.

Heatmiser – Mic City Sons

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I really love all of the Elliott Smith-penned songs on this album from Heatmiser, the band Elliott Smith was in before going solo. My absolute favorites on the album are “Plainclothes Man,” “The Fix Is In,” “See You Later,” and “Half Right.” The lyrics aren’t quite as fully-formed as those in his solo efforts, but the plaintive and wistful melodies are right there, and you can see how they are the jumping-off point into his first solo album. This album as a whole is definitely more “rockin'” than his solo efforts, which I actually enjoy as a bit of a change from the Elliott Smith most of us know and love.

From Wikipedia comes this quote: “Smith also bemoaned that being in Heatmiser changed the songs he was writing at the time into “loud rock songs with no dynamic.”[1]     So I guess that’s how he felt, and he was probably right, especially for the earlier two albums (which I hated), but I really think his songs do work on this album. Maybe it’s because by the time the band reached this point (their third and final album together), Elliott was able to push harder for his songs to sound (at least closer to) what he wanted. I guess I can do more research on it to prove my “theory,” but for now, this is enough for me, the average fan.  (I’d like to call myself a super fan, but I think I would have to do more to earn that title.)

Preview the songs on Amazon.com if you like.

Vintage cameras

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I chose my blog’s theme because it matches my collection of vintage cameras! Above is a quick attempt at an iPhone Pano of my collection (which is apparently too wide for a basic shot, but you get the idea).

I acquired my collection of 9 vintage cameras from various places, mostly during the early 2000’s from the Venice High School Flea Market. At that time I was going regularly,  and it was always good for at least one fantastic score of some cool old item or another. It’s probably still awesome, but since I moved to San Diego in 2006 I haven’t been back.  I have very fond memories of that market, so I do intend to go back someday soon.

In any event, it’s where I got most of my current small but lovely collection (listed in no particular order):

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Kodak Brownie Target Six-20

This was the first in my collection. According to this site, it may be from 1946.

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Kodak Brownie Starlet

Can’t find out much about this one as of yet, so I probably need to buy this book, stat.

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Kodak Baby Brownie Special

This one was first produced in 1939, according to this site. I’m pretty sure mine is made of bakelite. (I heart bakelite.)

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Kodak Instamatic X-15F

This is one of the few that I didn’t get at the flea market. This was part of a kit I found in the Long Beach Unified School District’s warehouse for old stuff when I was a teacher.  The kit was a slide making kit, which included this camera, plus a metal holder for it that had a square base, so that you could put the item into it and the camera would be held steady for the photo. According to this site, it’s probably a 70s-80s model.

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Kodak Brownie 127 Camera

This picture reveals my poor dusting habits. Be that as it may, I still love my cammies.  This one was produced between 1952-1959 according to this site.

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Kodak Tourist II Camera

Again, one of the few that I got outside the flea market, this one was a gift from our good friend Joe. What a sweetie! Not sure where he picked it up.  It was manufactured from 1951-1958.  This guy wrote quite a nice blog post about it.

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Kodak Brownie Starflex Camera

Manufactured from 1957-1964, this is one of two in my collection that have the “reporter’s flash.” At least, that’s how I always think of the large flash piece. Here’s more info on this camera.

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Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash Camera

This camera is the second of two with a large flash apparatus.  I think it’s so cool-looking. According to this site it was manufactured from 1953-1962.

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Polaroid OneStep SX-70 Instant Camera

Looks like Polaroid catalogs this on its own site, which was a nice surprise. When you click the Shop button on that site, however, it takes you to Amazon.com, where the first one I can see at the time of this posting is listing for almost $300.00. Wow! But I would never sell this one because it is one of the few things I have left from my mom & dad.  I (think) I remember when Mom bought this one, Polaroids were quite the thing back then.

That’s the end of my catalog – for now. Hope you enjoyed checking out these beautiful pieces of machinery.