What a pleasant surprise tonight: Ben Folds has once again honored his former friend of “a couple of weeks” in song. Back in 2005, Folds penned “Late” for Elliott Smith, which largely succeeded by staying true to his dual perspective as a fan of the late singer/songwriter/god and acquainted musical contemporary to the man. (Not to mention it’s fun to imagine Elliott and Folds playing some “dirty basketball” back in the day.)
For the latest installment of the A.V. Club’s “Undercover” (via @crumbler), Folds thankfully didn’t choose the worst song of the lot, opting instead for Smith’s classic 1997 Either/Or closing track, “Say Yes.” Truth be told, upon first seeing this tune on the potential list, it made me nervous: Some Good Will Hunting fan is gonna muck this thing up, I thought. Folds nails it though: Watch him cover my favorite musician, living or otherwise, above.