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One of my favorite indie rockers, Jeff Hanson, was found dead on Friday in his new concrete-floored apartment of an apparent accidental fall, reports the St. Paul, Minnesota Star Tribune (via The Onion A.V. Club).
I was first introduced to Jeff Hanson's music by fellow UCLA Animator, Lena Podesta, who used Hanson's song "Just Like Me" for her film Dead Girl + Live Boy. I was blown away by the delicate vocals so I asked Lena, "who's the chick that does the song for your film?" but Lena corrected me and said "believe it or not, it's a dude" and she lent me Hanson's debut solo CD Son, which is one of my all-time favorites.
Jeff Hanson's death reminds me of Elliott Smith, who also died at a tragically young age, though Hanson did not have the life-long battle with drugs and depression that plagued Smith, and Hanson's death was probably an accident while Smith's was ruled a suicide. Still, Hanson and Smith had very similar guitar and vocal styles and they were both talented musicians, playing almost all of the instruments on the albums they each recorded for the indie label Kill Rock Stars.
Yeah I still remmember him too.. It’s so sad.. I cry my eyes out when he died.
What happen is still a mystery.
Despite any official ruling, and taking into account that I don’t like conspiracy theories, it seems to me that both of their tragic deaths are still plagued by the uncertainty of the circumstances. Been an Elliott fan for years and only recently did I run into Hanson’s music and I’m blown away. One might think that the music being so close in style would make me not like Hanson’s, but his music is unique and of a caliber I don’t hear often. RIP to both of you.
I just thought it should 1) be corrected that Smith’s death was not ruled a suicide. A call to the LAPD confirms it’s STILL an open case with homocide as a possible cause of death (hey at least they’re covering their tracks - the Seattle PD had a whole lot more evidence of homocide in the Cobain case but shut the case immediately and have refused to even re-open the investigation…)
2) I don’t think anyone updated here that sadly Jeff Hanson’s death was ruled a drug overdose due to mixed drug toxicity. The coroner wouldn’t say what drugs but friends agree it was likely a combo of prescription drugs a la Heath Ledger since Hanson had no reputation at all for using illicit drugs. Does it even matter anymore, except for that he didn’t break the law? I say this as someone who has never touched a “drug” but weed yet has for years mixed things like painkillers and antianxiety pills, once having a close call myself when I moronically added sleeping pills to the mix. The point is, he is prematurely dead and substances killed him and it’s very sad. Last point, no determination was able to be made as to whether it was an accidental od or suicide, though no one seems to be floating the suicide notion too heavily. RIP Jeff, RIP Elliott may your truth be known and the case closed, whatever that truth may be.