Sunday, January 27, 2013

Elliott Smith Jams with Jon Brion in Lost VH1 Pilot (Rolling Stone)

Smith in 1997

Elliott Smith was an icon in the Pacific Northwest when I lived up there. He regularly played local clubs in Seattle and Portland, and places in between. His shows were almost acoustic, just his voice and his guitar. His songs are pretty and melodic, but the lyrics reveal a darker, harsher life, riddled with drugs and depression.
After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994, with releases on the independent record labels, Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars (KRS). In 1997, he signed a contract with DreamWorks Records, the label for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song, "Miss Misery"—included in the soundtrack for the film Good Will Hunting—was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998. 
Smith suffered from depression, alcoholism, and drug dependence, and these topics often appear in his lyrics. At age 34, he died in Los Angeles, California, from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence was inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously released.
This video is great for fans, and maybe even for non-fans. In my opinion, his best work was his earliest solo work, Roman Candle (1994), Elliott Smith (1995), and Either/Or (1997).

Elliott Smith Jams with Jon Brion in Lost VH1 Pilot

Late singer was featured in show directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

JANUARY 18, 2013 10:55 AM

A lost TV pilot featuring Elliott Smith has surfaced online thanks to director Paul Thomas Anderson. In 2000, Anderson helped out on a pilot for The Jon Brion Show, a variety show with guest musicians. Brion unsuccessfully pitched the pilot to VH1, but the clip has surfaced on Anderson's Al Rose Promotions YouTube page.

In the episode, Smith jams with Brion and pianist Brad Mehldau, playing "Everything Means Nothing To Me," "Son of Sam" and another tracks while also including covers like the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy." The VHS-era footage crackles and warbles, but Smith's presence shines through the bare-bones setup. Smith died on October 21st, 2003.


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