A warning: this is a long post. Really, really long. Sorry.
Scott Miller died on April 15, 2013, at the age of 53. I didn’t know who he was.
Following the public announcement of his death, Carl Newman of the New Pornographers fired off a short series of reverential tweets.
Game Theory had a massive influence on me from my teens onward. Incredible voice, lyrics, melody, production. Damn.
Aimee Mann chimed in. I’m with you. So awful. This may have been enough to lead me to Google the name, possibly read an obituary or two, I don’t recall. Surely there had to be something to Scott Miller if two of my pop heroes were this affected by his passing. But then again, Twitter is so often a grief echo chamber, and this was happening at the same time I was completely distracted by the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath.
On June 18, Newman again tweeted referring to Miller as one of his favorite songwriters, and posting a link to an upcoming tribute concert in New York. The tribute was assembled by Matt LeMay, mostly known to me as a longtime Pitchfork writer, and would feature performances from Newman, Will Sheff of Okkervil River, Ted Leo, Charles Bissell of the Wrens, and others. Scott Miller became an intriguing mystery. How could I know nothing about this guy, given his influence on some of my favorite artists? How had I never come across Scott or Game Theory in my years of obsessive music consumption?