Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saint Jeffrey

This hagiographic documentary on the short life and shorter career of a Jeff Buckley may be an example of the rare occasion when the hagiographic treatment is appropriate. If you've ever wondered how something like Jeff Buckley could happen, a figure capable of becoming the major musical figure of his generation (the vid compares him to Dylan and Springsteen), then this video is highly recommend. 

If nothing else you'll find yourself dragging your old Buckleys (père and fils) out to play again.

The documentary is a heartbreaking refresher on what might've been. Maybe I'm a just a gooey sap but I've been brought to tears many times during Grace's last divine wail near the end. I've said it before, Buckley's was a voice thousands of years in the making––a voice that may be one of those moments when humanity's potential is realized (not that there aren't many others to choose from). Often such boyish beauty as his can be a handicap to seeing in the grandiose sense, but in Buckley's case his fragrance model's face may've helped to raise him to a vantage point where he could see more of life and better feel its truest yearnings. His drummer Matt Johnson argues as someone who knew him that the yearning on the Grace album is nearly unbearable. It's a caliber of yearning, he says, that could change a listener's life. Legendary Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser and one of Buckley's idols, the two recorded a collaboration together, abashedly admits that in their time together she found it impossible not to fall in love with him.

If nothing else, this doc will help you hear his yearning and forever change the way you hear the album. Some may even fall in love.

And this: Buckley is a call-in guest on a radio program and proceeds to sing his heart out over the phone (with harmonica). When have you ever heard anyone do that? (The music doesn't begin until about 4:35.)

'I Shall Be Released' Unedited - Jeff Buckley by Jeff Buckley on Grooveshark

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