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Picking Up the Slack

Chris Holt, bottom right, reminds us this morning of why Carter Albrecht meant so much to so many -- because of his inspiring talent.

On page 23 of this morning's New York Times is yet another story detailing the death of Carter Albrecht on Monday, and it covers just about everything -- the incident on Monday morning, the smoking-cessation drug, the application of the "castle doctrine" law, the politics of self-defense. But it neglects to mention precisely why Albrecht's passing merits several hundred words in The Paper of Record -- not just because his death will likely prove a test case for new legislation, but because he was, as so many have said in recent days, someone whose life mattered.

So after you read The Times piece, go here -- to Chris Holt's MySpace page, where yesterday he posted a heartbreaking eulogy for his bandmate and friend since 1997, when Albrecht used to jam with Holt in a band called Walter Mitty, which was a precursor to Holt's beloved Olospo. "His genius was so powerful, you just couldn't help but be in awe of him," Chris writes. Here, he describes the last time he saw Carter:

I remember the last time I saw him. It was last Thursday night, the day before I left town for Labor Day weekend. We were over at Tom's, working on the Sorta record. We talked about arrangements for songs and played Madden football on X-box. I remember I begged him to show me the G-major 9 tuning that he used for several of the songs on his new record and he showed me a snippet of how to play "Jesus Lite", which is the best song he's ever written, in my opinion. He asked me to show him how to play "The Thief", a song of mine, and he said how much he loved the opening riff. He was very complimentary of The Slack record, and it meant the world to me, cause I knew that Carter wasn't a bullshitter. If he didn't like it, he'd tell you, or if he wanted to spare your feelings, he'd just keep quiet. But he went out of his way to compliment me and it made me feel great. Tom's girlfriend Cris made us chocolate malts and we scarfed them down and joked around some more before he said he was gonna get some sleep. He walked out the door and I never saw him again.

I also see Zac Crain has posted a brief, but well-considered, obituary to Sorta's MySpace page. --Robert Wilonsky

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