So I watched The Squid and the Whale last night, which I thoroughly enjoyed and can heartily recommend. But what most caught my attention was not Jeff Bridges’ performance as an elitist down-and-out author but the use of Elliott Smith’s song “Figure 8.” An instrumental version was used throughout the film and in one crucial scene, it was covered by a singer named Blossom Dearie.
However, a little research revealed that “Figure 8” — the b-side from the 2000 album of the same name — is not, in fact, a Smith song. His was a brief, melancholy take on a tune that was actually written by Bob Dorough for, uh, Schoolhouse Rock. Dearie’s version appears to be the original.
Is this common knowledge? Do I have egg on my face? Well, call it my favorite Smith cover, I guess.
Elliott Smith – “Figure 8”: mp3