June 4, 2009

New contest: Jeff Buckley goodness

jeff-merri

Back in 2005, a film festival came to San Jose where I grew up and was living still. Five minutes down the road from the college where I was working, Amazing Grace screened in a theater I’d visited dozens of times. This Jeff Buckley documentary is lauded by fans who have seen it as a gorgeous, heartfelt work about Jeff Buckley and his life.

I remember that as a particularly distracted Spring, and I completely missed the screening — and have spent the next four years compulsively checking the website every couple of months to see when I can watch it on DVD.

The day is finally here.

jb-grace-around-the-worldIn honor of the 15th anniversary of the release of Jeff’s masterpiece album Grace, earlier this week the Grace Around the World CD/DVD of previously unreleased live performances hit the shelves. The deluxe edition also includes the Amazing Grace documentary, available for the first time.

The Grace Around The World performances were culled together and produced by Mary Guibert, Jeff’s mom. They are gorgeous renditions of Jeff’s songs taken mostly from his TV performances all over Europe and Asia from 1994-1995. It also comes with a CD of the audio from these performances. There are a couple of renditions of all the songs on Grace, and also a live version of “Vancouver,” which didn’t make it on the album but surfaced on Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk.

Rolling Stone has been doing a series of podcasts on this release and the anniversary. This episode lets you hear some of the audio from Grace Around The World, and features commentary from Duncan Sheik, who had worked with Jeff, and wrote the tribute song “A Body Goes Down” for him.

Jeff Buckley Grace Around The World podcast





FUEL/FRIENDS CONTEST: One reader gets the limited-edition deluxe Grace Around The World prize pack which includes –

1) The Grace Around The World DVD featuring previously unreleased TV performances from U.S., UK, Germany, Japan and France
2) Grace Around The World CD featuring audio versions of all the tracks on the DVD, plus two additional previously unreleased tracks
3) A pretty sweet t-shirt.

If you’d like to win, leave me a comment, please, and let’s talk about something you love in Jeff Buckley’s music or live performance. Make me smile this week (or make me cry, or give me shivers, something good). Talk about a lyric, a melody, a song, a performance, a quote, a laugh. For me, it’s still absolutely the ebullient joy in this laugh that is my favorite moment ever of Jeff’s. What’s yours?

###

LISTEN TO A FEW OF THE LIVE TRACKS FROM
GRACE AROUND THE WORLD:

[top photo credit Merri Cyr]

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47 Comments »

  • I always like to think of Live at Sin-é as Jeff playing in front of no one, with just his amp, standing in a corner while people outside are passing… not knowing of the jewel they’re missing inside..

    Peter Meng — June 4, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  • This entire contest entry is dedicated to People Magazine and Cuervo tequila…

    both induce failure and illusion…

    (Jeff’s opening words in the Live at Chicago DVD)

    Jake McKelvie — June 4, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  • Oh, how I’d love to see that Amazing Grace documentary as well! What a great treat that they finally released it on DVD!

    theEvilAngel — June 4, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  • Watching my dad sing along to ‘Hallelujah’ on an airplane while listening to my discman. I hadn’t seen him sing along to a contemporary song in many many years. Priceless.

    Seamus — June 4, 2009 @ 11:57 am

  • it is only fair that i win this:

    grace
    66- birth
    97- passing

    not a coincidence.

    :)

    grace6697 — June 4, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  • I have a love affair with Jeff Buckley’s music. I was introduced to Jeff by what at the time I would have said was my first adult love. We met by the lake. I was writing. He was walking by. He stopped to look at the water – the sailboats – I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up, took the headphones out of my ears, and smiled. We talked for hours sitting there until it was too cold. That spot became my spot by the lake for the next four years. We started hanging out and talking online nonstop. I broke up with my boyfriend from home.
    He was gorgeous. Exactly the kind of guy I had imagined for myself. Arrogant and wild, but then he would open up and your heart would bleed. His eyes were a stormy grey, he had a cleft chin, tattoos, and a tongue ring. Intelligent. Very Intelligent. Walking me home one night he said something and I told him what a know-it-all he was. He gave me his signature half smile and said “yeah, but you like it.” He had a past. I didn’t care. There was something about me at the time that was able to live so fully in the present – so aware of the now – my thoughts only for the here, now, and possibly future. Not to mention the idea that someone could live a full life before me and want me after it was something special -in some ways made the choosing of me better; made it better. There was something about me then. I have to find that again. It didn’t work out for a number of reasons. He cared. I know he did. There was a night after we had stopped talking that I reached out to him. He wasn’t able to receive my messages. By the time he did I shut him out. He fell asleep with the phone beside him waiting for me. I was pretty hung up on it. I listened to a lot of Jeff.
    The first time he played Jeff for me he sent he a clip of the song Grace online. He went on an on about the guitar riff, the emotion in his voice, I heard it…I got it. He loved it. I fell in love with it. My closest school friend that year had the entire album and made me listen to Hallelujah. I was blown away. I developed and continued to develop my own love for it – my own appreciation.

    Buckley’s album Grace represents something to me. It is the beginning of my adulthood. It is the beginning of a fantastic journey. I associate it with a feeling. It is college. It is discovery. It is a broken heart. It is wonderful.

    Anna — June 4, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  • I loved how he started his shows with MC5′s ‘kick out the jams’- which generally sounded nothing like the rest of his set, but was a ballsy move.

    Robb — June 4, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  • “This is our last embrace, must I dream and always see your face?”

    In this line, his voice recalls Icarus. At the same time breaking free of gravity while still fearfully tethered to our world, if only for a moment.

    Barrett — June 4, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  • Neil Gaiman once wrote: “Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead.”

    This is what I love in Jeff’s music. The spontaneous nakedness in his voice, his singing his own song in every songs he wrote and played or covered.
    Foolish, honest, odd, joyfull – or anything else you want to add – enough to sing his own song loud and live it and let other people touch it. His being so natural.

    Ciao
    Chiara

    Chiara — June 4, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  • jeff buckley was simply prismatic. i must have heard the song “if you see her, say hello” a hundred times without ever truly HEARING it until him. he could take plain white light and change it into something dazzling.

    denise — June 4, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

  • When I worked at Tower Records in New Orleans, my co-workers used to tease me when I’d play Jeff’s music in the store. They called Grace sensitive guy music. My co-workers and most naysayers miss the point with comments like this.
    Yes, Jeff sang for the fiery romantics in all of us. But he was more than just a crooner. When he sung, Jeff’s words echoed what every passionate guy has ever felt for the flame that turned blue. He also could shred a riff like any guitar hero. He was one half Led Zep and the other half Nina Simone. A chanteuse rocker with a burning heart. He’s the spark inside of us that will never die. He was our voice inside his voice. Embrace the beauty and power of Jeff’s voice through the songs that will live inside our souls forever.

    Adrian — June 4, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

  • The haunting, brooding, foreboding of “Dream Brother.” Jeff takes you to another dimension, another mindset everytime he’s summoned to enchant your aural senses. I love the range of emotions he can convey in a matter of bars, chords or notes. His father was equally as talented, but Jeff had it mastered and down to a more precise, mesmeric and tantalizing craft. The guy even sang “3 is a Magic Number” from Sesame Street and made it sound gorgeous– in all its bootlegged glory. Jeff conjurs bewitching images in the aforementioned song, my favorite of his.

    liz — June 4, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  • my younger brother turned me on to jeff buckley [and shares his birthday 17 november], and consequently this is going to be a story about him.

    he had a thing for this girl, jennifer, way back in the day [the late nineties, i think he was twenty]. they worked together. for xmas he wanted to give her “sketches,” specifically “everybody here wants you,” so badly [but didn't want to show his hand regarding his feelings] that he made a different mixed cd for each one of his twenty or so co- workers just so that he could cover his tracks. i was living in athens, georgia at the time [he was in atlanta] and i remember he spent that whole holiday break churning out these cds, agonizing over the playlists– “which fifteen songs truly represent my feelings toward katie?”–so that he could have them all done in time for their holiday party on the 27th.

    that period of time came and went and a couple of years later they did date– for a couple of years. whenever i hear “everybody…” i think about my brother and that story.

    hope i win the contest.

    ~lee.

    lee. — June 4, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

  • For me, it’s definitely the faraway look, captured here:
    http://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/set/default.aspx?setID=86

    mudville — June 4, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  • For me, it’s all about the song “What Will You Say.” I love the song with its Middle Eastern flavor, and the lyrics are pretty universal as well. The fact that the only recordings of it are live is one of those things that will go down in his lore. He had a penchant for being known to only play some songs for himself and not giving them to the record label. Also, I’m not sure there is any artist out there that has the unabashed love of doing cover songs.

    Paul — June 4, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  • I’ve enjoyed reading the comments so far. The image of Icarus blends well with my image of Jeff. I just today stumbled across his cover of “Three is a Magic Number” over on http://www.youaintnopicasso.com/ and have been enjoying that little bit of goodness throughout the day. It seems the greater the artist or more personal the artist the more difficult it is to put into words about what I really enjoy about them. Using this scale I really don’t have words for his greatness. I look forward to this CD/DVD release immensely.

    Stephen — June 4, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  • I came late to the Buckley party…much too late.

    Grace was an album I picked up last fall, after reading the blurb about Buckley in Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest singers of all time.

    And it pretty much stayed on constant repeat (Only to be switched out for The Gaslight Anthem’s ’59 Sound)

    I had a lot of time in the car to listen. We live an hour outside of the city, and we were driving in and out a lot. We suffered a miscarriage at the end of September, and were on our way to the city for many appointments related to that. Jeff (and Brian Fallon) got me through that in a number of ways that I can’t actually describe. Between singing along and just listening and reflecting, I felt like I was travelling with a kindred spirit.

    By the end of November, we were expecting again. From almost day one, that little one was in danger. Every other day, we were headed into the city, waiting for the worst to be told to us…Weeks of that, and with only music to get me to work while my wife waited alone at home…

    Long story short…a second miscarriage.

    I took those two cds out of the car for a few months. Too painful.

    I put them back in the rotation last week, held my breath, and hit the highway…so scared that two albums I love would have to be discarded.

    Thankfully, that was not the case. We drove to the city for a day, just for us, and listened to Grace, quietly, together, and it wasn’t at all sad…maybe a bit reflective, but it sort of encapsulated our loss, and Buckley’s voice, I don’t know, it’s like it happened to him too…”So Real”…”Last Goodbye”…”Hallelujah”

    Just one of the many reasons that I love music so much…

    Jay — June 4, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

  • From Live at Sine’ Jeff is setting up to play a beautiful version of Strange Fruit based on a version’s of two of his influences (Nina Simon and The Cocteau Twins) earlier covers of Billie Holiday’s original. The heaviness of the song’s theme (about a lynching of two black men who were hanged) followed this lighthearted tuning session during the recording of the Sine’ performances really demonstrated Jeff’s duality as a person and performer.

    “Cooter. Couster. Umm can I get any reverb on this…Hello, any vibe dial. Some vibe man. I need some vibe. Lots of vibe. Check, check. No like Jim Morrison like reverb. This is Sine’. Beautiful friend. Jeff, “yes Sony” (lots of Morrison grunts and guttural yeahs).

    Always makes me wish I was there, even though I was like 12 years old. Jeff Buckley has been my verbal and musical emotional outlet since I knew that I myself sucked at saying what I should. When I don’t know what to say, he says it for me. Way better, too.

    Kelly — June 4, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  • The first notes that build up “Hallelujah”, they always give me chills all the way down my spine and the way the song builds always puts me in such a good mood. I will never, ever get tired of that song. I know this sounds a BIT cliche, but it’s one of my top songs and it has that magical effect we all love to find in music.

    Spenser — June 4, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  • I could split my lifetime in two parts: before and after getting to know Jeff Buckley.
    My discovery of Jeff Buckley’s music and voice grew at a different level compared to other artists. He wasn’t “just” the voice echoing in my head for days and nights, the precious secret I kept close to my chest, the mental scenery I often found (and still find) myself climbing. He was, in the fiery and sparkling beauty of essence and the unbearable certainty of absence, as tangible as the green plant out of my window, the yellowing pages of my journal..
    I guess that not the artist only shares something through the music, but you have to hand him an intimate part of yourself too. I can say that discovering Jeff Buckley was finding out corners of myself I wasn’t aware of.

    His skills as an improviser are well-known, but something I notice when listening to his solo sessions at Sin-è and that keeps astonishing me is that he could sustain a brief and slow arpeggio and making it sound much harder, richer and more powerful just because of the way it was combined to his haunting voice.
    My favourite in that double album is the rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Just like a woman”. There’s this moment after the second chorus, when the guitar strums suddenly shift to dark, the voice rises in tension and then finally outbursts naked, like an ocean of fleeting purity, in an endless opposition between guilt and wildness.

    Andrea (an Italian guy asking to forgive his bad English )

    Andrea — June 4, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

  • I remember hearing Last Goodbye on the radio when it was released as a single and being totally mesmerized by it and waiting to hear the DJ announce the artist. When I found out, I went right to the record store to pick up the CD. When I mentioned him to friends, they would laugh and say, “Isn’t that Tim Buckley’s son, isn’t he just riding on the coatails of his dad?!” I would tell them they really needed to check him out and not even think about who his dad was. They never checked him out, but it continued to be a record that I would suggest to people who wanted to listen to a great new album. I don’t think the cd left my player for that whole year.
    I also remember the morning that I found out that Jeff had passed away. Once again, when I had mentioned to my friends that he had died, they brushed it off the same way they did when I had asked them to check him out. It was years later that my friends had come around to him, because they had heard so many people say that they were influenced by him. They had all mentioned to me that they couldn’t believe that they had never listened to him before. I was just glad that they had finally given him a chance and I am happy to know that his legacy has lived on.

    Gregg — June 4, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  • for me it’s the sigh in the first second of Hallelujah, i’ve always felt that it set the perfect tone for the song

    George Drury — June 5, 2009 @ 6:03 am

  • jeff’s music gives me chills. goosebumps on my arms and hairs standing up whenever i hear last goodbye, even more so after his passing. i often like to imagine how big and influential he would be now, had we not lost him. i’ve passed on his music to my children and in a fitting tribute we named our daughter Grace.

    Stormy — June 5, 2009 @ 7:55 am

  • What Iove about Jeff’s music is his ability to rightly infuse his music with multi-ethnic roots without it sounding kitschy. He never sounded like a white kid trying to sound like a Delta blues musician. He sounded like someone genuinely inspired by and taken by music, regardless of its origins. On top of that, he created his own style of music that I find ahead of its time even now.

    Chase — June 5, 2009 @ 8:42 am

  • I am a usually-caffeinated child of the 1980′s with the attention span of an Ewok trying to kick a painkiller habit, but “Hallelujah” makes me stop in my tracks every single time it is poured into my ears.

    Austin — June 5, 2009 @ 8:51 am

  • listening to “If you knew” by the light of a million tea candles, on the beach, with a summer love.

    kim — June 5, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  • On a live recording Cory Branan recounts hearing Jeff Buckley play live and the amazement of seeing a woman near him spontaneously start weeping..

    then he jokes.. ‘B#*ch stop cryin, Im trying to hear the song!’

    ColoradoAlan — June 5, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

  • I have always felt attached to Jeff’s “Mama, You Been On My Mind”.
    It’s the song where I find the ‘laughter through tears’ type of romantic I fancy myself, the kind of person who can cover up the past hurt with a smile that brings ‘em in, in Jeff as well. The kind of person that can take care of themselves.
    When you take the 3rd and 5th verses, you can see this character personified.

    “Even though my mind is hazy and my thoughts they might be narrow,
    Where you been don’t bother me nor bring me down in sorrow.
    I don’t even mind who you’ll be waking with tomorrow,
    But mama, you’re just on my mind.”

    “When you wake up in the mornin’ and look inside your mirror,
    You know I won’t be next to you, no, I won’t be near.
    I’d just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
    As someone who has had you on his mind.”

    You end up just sitting in your room, lying on your bed or sitting at a desk, doing what you do ever so well, and the mind just trails, and trails further, and you end up back in memorytown. You end up remembering the good more than the bad. You are all forgiving of the past all of a sudden (if you’ve had enough time to deal). And you just sit there, curious.

    David — June 5, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  • The first boy I fell in love with made me a mix with “Lover, you should’ve come over.” That song breaks my heart every time. Nothing is so beautiful, so timeless.

    “Maybe I’m too young to keep good love from going wrong
    But tonight you’re on my mind so you never know…”

    Jamie — June 5, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

  • lover you should’ve come over is one of my all time favorite songs. it is hauntingly beautiful and seductively sexy with a hint of sorrow at the same time. i never get tired of listening to it and my favorite lines are “It’s never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder. It’s never over, all my riches for her smiles when i slept so soft against her. It’s never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter. It’s never over, she’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever”. you can just hear the aching in his voice. i love that it conveys emotion so well. such a gorgeous song from an ever more lovely voice.

    Emily in slc — June 6, 2009 @ 10:24 am

  • Jeff was real, there was nothing fake about him.
    The world would definitely be a more beautiful place if he’d still be alive…

    Christel — June 7, 2009 @ 1:14 am

  • I’m not posting to win anything. I would like to say that Jeff’s music has changed my life in ways I couldn’t even begin to describe.

    There is nothing false about his music, his talent, his words, his passion, his life. He did things on his own terms and didn’t apologize for it.

    At the same time he recognized that his choice to be not packed made him a bit harder to “categorize” when it came to his style of music.
    That is exactly what he wanted.

    He was in it for his life, his love, his blood, his breath, his everything.
    So many people say his music was/is so prophetic. Maybe it was but his music wasn’t meant to be some sort of
    riddle or mystery to figure out.

    He wrote songs to earn his salt as a musician as he said in the Grace EPK. He wrote songs because it was in him.

    His songs touched people then and they continue to touch people now. He wanted to make a difference to people some how, he wanted to give back all that music had given to him and he has and continues to do so.

    sweet_emmee — June 7, 2009 @ 1:24 am

  • His simple, intense humor.

    During Junior year in high school, my best friend and I were on good terms, but we had definitely distanced a bit and I didn’t see as much of him as I would have liked to. One day, for almost the first time during that year, he stuck around during lunch. While we were chatting I was thinking about the Grace Legacy Edition I just bought. We had talked about Jeff, and Tim, before, but he always thought Jeff was too serious on Grace, and that it was actually a pretty good fit for me. After a while, I pulled out my MP3 player, had him pop in an ear-bud, and I put on Alligator Wine. That was the best laugh we had in a long time! Just from that, we started talking like we had in during the best times! During Jeff’s cover of Dylan’s “Mamma You’ve Been on My Mind” we even managed to broach a subject that meant a lot to me at the time.

    I started to see a lot more of my good friend after that! A few weeks later, we were talking about song writing and he told that he started strumming some chords and then realized he was playing “Lover You Should Have Come Over”. A similar situation actually happened recently while were listening to a vinyl copy of Tim Buckley’s “Goodbye and Hello” that I found in my Dad’s record collection. Despite their real life separation, the Buckleys have been amazing in making me closer to my friend and Dad, who passed away when I was 3.

    Signed,
    Drew

    Drewcool — June 7, 2009 @ 1:29 am

  • Like a lot of people, I discovered Jeff Buckley long after he was gone.
    I don’t consider myself one of those kinds of people who jump on a musical bandwagon nor am I one of those kinds of people who listen to Top 40 Radio. Except for when I was younger. That’s when it was all about Michael Jackson. Now I am the guy who locks himself in his bedroom with the head phones on, completely zoned out with a stack of CD’s by my side. Every once in a while a band/artist will come around take me to that special place, musically speaking, and Jeff was one of those people. I will never forget the day I picked up the album “Grace”. I put my head phones on, pulled out the liner notes and began this musical journey into the world of Jeff Buckley. As the opening notes of “Mojo Pin” began to seep though my head phones, I knew I struck gold. I got the chills. I was completely numb and completely mesmerized. When the closing notes of “Dream Brother” faded out and the album came to an end, I was left with tears in my eyes knowing that someone as talented as Jeff has left us too soon. I felt that Jeff still had his Sgt. Pepper or, insert any classic album, left in him. I wanted more. Since that day I have picked up every thing Jeff Buckley did in his short musical career and have him on constant rotation. While some people will find a formula and stick with it creating the same album and songs over and over again, Jeff’s music was an ever changing landscape that had so many highs and so many lows. He was a genius who wrote so many songs that the Smiths never released. Like those before him and after him, he was a one of a kind, gentle soul that will never be duplicated. May his music live on and continue its journey touching many lives.

    Eric Ruth — June 7, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  • My favorite Jeff anecdote comes from a nearly decade old post on an old Pearl Jam email list (The Long Road). Apparently, Jeff B had a phone conversation with Ed V one day and played a version of Indifference over the phone for Ed. It’s been a dream of mine to hear something like that one day, even if it might not be true (no one’s ever verified this).

    Anywho, I’d had a love affair with Jeff’s music since Grace came out and I still sit around on rainy days and play some Grace tunes on my guitar or my turntable, whichever is closer. His songwriting has long been a strong influence on my own music, far more than my other favorite artists.

    I’ll always love his voice and his music and will always rue the opportunities missed to see him in DC when I was growing up.

    Rick — June 7, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

  • I’ve never shared this story before because it some things that are privileged are sometimes inherently private and personal. All of these posts are bringing back memories. . .

    It was 1994 I was working on finishing college; 21 years old; and living at home just trying to figure out what next. I was working as an assistant manager @ at a local suburban music store called Musicland/Sam Goody – just killing time really until I’d find a “real” job. Now I hate retail — not as bad as waiting tables but still the aggravations, but as retail goes this wasn’t too bad, I was around music all day, I could use my employee discount; and I was getting the promotional cds that came in.

    I struck up a friendship with the a&r rep that worked at Sony – her name escapes me. But as you’ll read I got a lot to thank her for. Anyway a&r people at this level basically drop off promo cds, push new artists, and set up end cap displays for artists their label is trying to promote. Wait for it. . . Sony Records, 1994 – hard to market artist with voice like an angel but an incredible guitar player – yep, she turned me on to J.B. Now again as I said I was kinda friendly with this a&r person and we’d always talk and debate music. She knew I liked Nina Simone and Led Zeppelin – an unusual combo – and I was flat out skeptical when she said this guy was the perfect combo of them with his own unique sound. She handed me a copy of Grace and I was hooked. I kept telling anyone that would listen that famous quote Jon Landau said about Springsteen, “I saw rock and roll future and its name is Jeff Buckley”.

    Fast forward about couple of months. A&R rep stops by the store and asks how I’m liking the cd. I gush. She offers me tickets to a private in radio show Jeff Buckley is doing for a local radio station 99.1 WHFS. Would I want to go? Does the sun come up in the east? Day of the show I get a call from her that the private in studio show is cancelled – Jeff isn’t feeling too well. Major bummer. Sorry about that these things happen — but would I want two tickets to the show at the 9:30 club? Ah, hell yeah!

    Seeing Jeff live was. . .well everything you’d imagine it to be. I won’t describe it here. After the show A&R rep takes me backstage – which at the 9:30 club was just a little room. And I got to meet Jeff. What can I say? First and I know it’s a cliché people always say about celebrities, but from a physical appearance standpoint he was much smaller than I imagined. I’m about 6’ 1” Jeff was around 5’ 9” to 5’ 10” in his Doc Martens and very slender. I just couldn’t imagine that so big a sound could have come out this guy. He looked like a big gust of wind would get him airborne. But anyway he sipped his tea, picked at some fruit from the trays. And we talked. He was so incredibly gracious and softspoken. An extrovert on stage, offstage just a skinny guy with a deep melodic voice. I wish I could remember specific things I said beyond babbling star-struck. I know we talked about influences like Van Morrison and Nina Simone. I know for sure we talked about the Smiths because he did a cover of “I Know Its Over” that night. After about 30 minutes that was it. This was all in the days before cellphone and digiatal cameras became ubiquitous. So I asked for something I never do – an autograph. Here it is: http://tiny.cc/OEV9L Jeff and Mick, Matt, and Mike signed a poster that was hanging on the wall that night. Jeff’s quote “Woman disobey” is from his New Year’s Eve Prayer poem. What a night, what a memory.

    Reggie — June 7, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  • It would be hard to name just one thing I like about Jeff. I was suppose to receive this to review but I haven’t got it yet.

    Barbara — June 7, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  • Thanks for all of the personal reflections folks, a lovely read!
    The obvious would be that glorious voice, just like his father, stops you dead in your tracks the first time you hear it. Jeff was quite the chameleon onstage and in interviews. You never knew what was going to fly off his lips next. I always admired his lack of fashion sense and how he made the plain white v-neck t-shirt look so gad-dammed sexy!

    James — June 8, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

  • I’m going to try honesty here and hope that it works, because I just saw this and I have to go and I can’t think of a single best Jeff Buckley moment right now!

    I’ll just say that what really rips into my soul is when I watch videos of him performing – it’s the way he seemed to soar, absolutely soar, with those ups and downs and pitches and rolls that his voice does. His whole self is moving with the music. You can tell that, yes, he was naturally gifted and could easily create a beautiful song and outperform with it, too – but he didn’t just make it easy for himself. It’s like he gripped the pain he had known and pulled it from his throat, as though every time he sang it he was feeling it fully. I believe him when he sings.

    I know that may seem dramatic but I really see that when I watch him.

    *I also want to say that I have never wanted to win anything more than this. That is all.*

    Mary — June 8, 2009 @ 9:25 pm

  • Jeff’s music was truly mindblowing, Grace was an odd listen to me, when I first heard the album I thought it was good, but not great, and I listened to it once in a while, but one day it just suddenly clicked, for no apparent reason, and it’s the closest I will probably ever have to some kind of epiphany.

    Chris Quartly — June 10, 2009 @ 4:58 am

  • I’ve spent so many hours listening to Jeff Buckley. I don’t mean just playing his music, but more like crawling into an intimate embrace and having him whisper in my ear! Ha, i know… I’m not the only one.
    I honestly listened to nothing but Jeff for years, nothing else was ever as good, or soul soothing, or devastatingly familiar. I have his poetry on my back, ‘just like the ocean always in love with the moon’.
    Jeff was what bought me to your blog in the first place Heather, years ago now and I still come back.
    I don’t need to win this, just wanted to share that I love him too.

    kristan — June 10, 2009 @ 8:07 am

  • Despite having grown up on the New Jersey shore and having lived in DC close to 23 years now, I’ve always been an Anglophile. I’d much sooner grab a NME or Melody Maker off of the newsstand before a Rolling Stone or Spin. And in about 1992 or so, the ‘Maker was reveling in a Tim Buckley live set called “Dream Letter” capturing Tim in all his hippyfolkyglory in London in ’68. The review was so compelling that I went out and purchased the thing (double cassette, no less) and quickly fell under it’s spell. Tim had, as has been widely observed, a magnificent voice. So, it was with some interest when I noted that his son was not only making music himself, but was performing at DC’s then somewhat new Black Cat at its first location steps away from my home. So, this February evening, needing a pint and some live music, I slipped around the corner to the Cat and opened the concert door where Jeff Buckley was playing on the tiny back stage, solo. As in many of the pictures from that time, Jeff had the close-cropped hair, the v-neck white t-shirt on (odd for a snowy, blustery, February night) and well, the voice of an angel. I was a little bit late to the proceedings and all of the chairs close to the small stage had been filled – yet there really wasn’t a CROWD per se, maybe 35 – 4o people? I was made to sit at the only available space, a big round table toward the back which was decidedly empty then. A few minutes into the set, jaw firmly on the ground, a girl walked in and gestured as if to say, “are any of these seats taken?” I waved “no” and she joined the table with an empty chair between us. Jeff’s spiraling through octaves and odd tunings to an enrapt audience and then between songs he sees the lass who has joined my table and invites her up onto the stage. Seems that they had met sometime during the day, discovered some musical kinship, and they were off on a duet which, even if rehearsed, couldn’t have sounded any more in sync and lovely. The duet comes to an end and she retakes her seat at the table and I whisper to her how great that was–amazing, etc. Three or four tunes later, Jeff finishes the set to hay-uge applause and only knowing one friendly face in the room, his duet partner, he adjourns to my table and takes the seat between me and her. Now, he wasn’t JEFF BUCKLEY at this point, just a quiet, almost shy guy who didn’t seem all that thrilled or accustomed to the attention he was suddenly receiving–seemingly in general and for sure right then in that room. I recall some older, hippie-type in his Hawaiian shirt and straw hat saying to Jeff how much he worshipped his father to which Jeff simply replied, “I never knew my father.” (Geezer goes silent.) I ended up just shooting the shit there with Jeff for just shy of an hour. I bought him a pint and he returned the favor. I was playing drums at the time and asked if he was looking for a band and he said that he had one–”Grace” was in the can already and at this point Jeff was just picking up gigs here and there. Now, with so much having been said about the guy, what I’m left with from that very brief encounter can only underscore what many others have offered–that he was indeed that sweet, unassuming, yet wildly talented artist we all had the pleasure to watch come into his own, albeit for a shockingly brief time. And Jeff played that room a few more times over the next few years and I was there for every one of them and the scene was quite different…almost a hysteria as he DID ultimately become JEFF BUCKLEY. Yet, I’d prefer to recall the guy who threw on an old overcoat over a sweaty t-shirt, packed up his own guitar, and walked out into that cold, blustery, wintry night alone.

    Jon — June 10, 2009 @ 8:35 am

  • Jeff Buckley is my #1 favorite musician. I’ve been a fan since the year he died (RIP). I think my favorite thing about him is his quirky sense of humor. I’ve heard so many live performance recordings and they’re always punctuated with little bursts of his off-beat humor. His music may have exposed a ‘tortured soul,’ but he always seemed just so giddy and excited during his performances. What a loss….

    Termeh Mazhari — June 10, 2009 @ 8:49 am

  • I was so excited to see that you were giving this away…
    I’ve loved and adored Jeff’s music for years and years. I love his smile, they way it turns his eyes into little half moons. I love his laugh, it makes me smile every time I hear it. I love how he was so calm and soft spoken, but his voice was so soulful when he sang. One of my favorite lyrics, is at the end of Morning Theft, off of the Sketches album. When he sort of calls out passionately “I miss my beautiful friend…” that lyric always touches my heart, I can feel the yearning in his voice when he sings it. He left that feelings with all of the people who adored his music before and after this death…

    An artist friend of mine custom painted a pair of shes for me with Jeffs face on them and a lyric from Lover, You Should’ve Come Over. if you want to see pictures, feel free to email me (shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com)

    I’m just thankful we had him for 30 years on this earth…and his music forever.

    amber — June 13, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  • I love that everytime he played, his songs always seemed so different. It’s kind of like you never knew where his mood was going to take the music…and that to me is beautiful.

    “He’s the tear that hangs inside our souls forever”

    Bevon Freeman — June 14, 2009 @ 4:59 am

  • I like that Jeff was a goofball but when it came to the music he was transcendent. But, in particular, in October 1992 he played on 91.1 WFMU’s ‘The Music Faucet’. He was in a quiet, mellow mood, singing and playing great, both his own and covers. Then three songs: Unforgiven, which would of course would become Last Goodbye, and covers of Elton John/Bernie Taupins “We All Fall In Love Sometimes” and “Curtains”. Now they are already fabulous songs off an amazing album, but to play his own classic song and follow up with an inspiring and beautiful interpretation of these twinned tracks just knocks me off my feet every time. The humility of this guy! The respect he pours into every song – you ever hear Buckley do the same song EXACTLY the same way twice? Sadly the same cannot be said of Sony and the Buckley Estate, they are just churning out another cash cow (Buckley is always great but are these really the best performances they could come up with? And I guess What Will You Say is a lot more palatable than Benjamin Britten’s Corpus Christi Carol – also nicely done at the WFMU gig!). Get some nice Buckley torrents and share them with your friends, fueled or regular…

    Jim — June 17, 2009 @ 9:05 am

  • Contest closed! Thank you so much for all the thoughtful entries. Adrian won the Grace Around The World set. Woot!

    browneheather — June 17, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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