R.I.P. Vic Chesnutt

By mattdentler | Matt Dentler's Blog December 26, 2009 at 12:51AM

R.I.P. Vic Chesnutt
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After falling into a coma earlier this week, after a reported suicide attempt, singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt died on Friday afternoon. A sad piece of news on Christmas Day. Chesnutt rose to college radio acclaim in the 1990s after his fellow Athens, GA musicians R.E.M. began singing his praises. This would achieve its peak with the 1996 release of Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, a charity album of Chesnutt's songs covered by Sparklehorse, The Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Madonna, and more. Chesnutt's dark material is not for everyone's taste, but I do recommend folks check out Sweet Relief II, because it captures the folk beauty of his writing in a more conventional arrangement. To pay tribute, here is one of Chesnutt's performances for Vincent Moon's popular "Take Away Shows." It's Chesnutt's dark but melodic song, "Sponge," which is covered on Sweet Relief II by his friends, R.E.M.:

Take Away Show #74.1: Vic Chesnutt from vincent moon / temporary areas on Vimeo.