December 3, 2008

Autumn de Wilde turns her lens on Elliott Smith (new contest)

Insound is teaming up again with Fuel/Friends to give away another music prize — the book Elliott Smith by Autumn de Wilde. This is “a portrait of the beloved and troubled singer/songwriter by those who knew him well. Complementing de Wilde’s riveting, personal images are ephemera, handwritten lyrics, and revealing talks with Smith’s inner circle, many speaking here for the first time. Also included are a foreword by Beck Hansen and Chris Walla, and a live CD of unreleased solo acoustic performances.”

Autumn de Wilde also did the video for Elliott’s “Son of Sam”: [thx]

Enter to win the book here through December 10th (and even though there is no confirmation page after you submit your name, I am assured it is working). Looks pretty sweet; I’ve been listening to a lot of mopey Elliott Smith lately. The book is part of Insound’s Holiday Gift Guide.

Angeles (live on KCRW) – Elliott Smith
Trouble (Cat Stevens cover) – Elliott Smith

November 7, 2008

Oakland’s Audrye Sessions covers Elliott Smith

This is a gorgeously serpentine Elliott Smith cover from Oakland, CA foursome The Audrye Sessions. The first handful of times I listened to this I thought for sure it was a woman singing in that mournful alto. Now I realize that this band is fronted by a guy, Ryan Karazija. His voice reminds me of when Jeff Buckley would cover Nina Simone, or Thom Yorke’s otherworldy falsetto. This spare rendition is altogether haunting.

Waltz #2 (Elliott Smith cover) – The Audrye Sessions
i’m never gonna know you now, but i’m gonna love you anyhow”

Audrye Sessions’ self-titled EP was just released, with their debut full-length coming February 2009. They’re on tour in the coming months, ending up in Denver on December 4th.

July 4, 2008

Independence Day with Elliott Smith

. . . and sixteen other songs. On the 4th of July in 2000, Elliott Smith performed this superb quality set at the Embryo Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. Not your standard BBQ / beer / fireworks soundtrack for today — but better.

JULY 4, 2000

Ballad of Big Nothing
Independence Day
Junk Bond Trader
Son of Sam
Everything Means Nothing
Cupid’s Trick
Strung Out Again
Sweet Adeline
Bled White
Between the Bars
Color Bars
Stupidity Tries
A Question Mark
2:45 AM
In The Lost and Found
Can’t Make a Sound


I’m off to a neighborhood party, then to one of the ten million fireworks displays. Fourth of July would be a fun day to hike Pikes Peak, then see all the fireworks below. Maybe next year.

[thanks to the poster, photo credit]
February 29, 2008

Restoring the Elliott Smith “Figure 8″ mural

Really cool and inspiring piece here about music fans getting it right:

This mural in the Silver Lake neighborhood of LA was the recognizable backdrop for the cover of the 2000 Elliott Smith album Figure 8. After becoming a sort of shrine following his death in 2003, with tasteful fan graffiti and notes scrawled on the wall, stupid taggers decided to mess it all up. And no one cared. Enter the impassioned fans, and the subsequent restoration. Read the full story over at Sly Oyster and download a 1997 set from Elliott on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

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October 12, 2007

Guest post: Chris from North Carolina, redux

In August, I wrote about the fabulous reader Chris from NC who took the time to send me five mix CDs and liner notes, and I posted some of the tracks off the first rock-themed collection.

There were four more discs full of goodness that were left shivering outside the blog love, so I wanted to move on to the next offering for your distinct enjoyment.

On this Friday afternoon, I’ll share a little mini-mix of five excellent selections from mix disc #2, along with his comments, on today’s guest blog. Let me repeat how much I enjoy hearing songs through other people’s ears, filtered through their own experience. Dig these fresh tunes:

Lots of humble opinions, sad songs, and covers

We Will Become Silhouettes – The Shins
Love the Postal Service, but this one’s better

Brilliant Disguise – Elvis Costello
Not so much a fan of Bruce’s version, but I love the lyrics and EC’s delivery. In easily the most surreal conversation of my life, Westerberg once told me you can call him E, but never Declan (his real name). You’ve been warned.

I Figured You Out – Mary Lou Lord
An Elliott Smith song that I could never find him doing. I think I really like this song in no small part because I can hear him singing it in my head.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Saint Etienne
Imaginative re-working of the old Neil Young song

More Than I Can Do – Steve Earle
Stalker song sometimes mistaken for a love song, along the lines of “Every Breath You Take.” Only less played out.

April 20, 2007

Radio rip of “New Monkey,” another new track from Elliott Smith

My other Elliott Smith post recently was the actual album mp3 of “High Times” from New Moon, out May 8. I’ve also just come across this radio rip of one more song from the album, a demo from the Either/Or sessions called “New Monkey.”

Because it’s a rip of streaming audio, it is lower quality sound-wise (so wait for the album to fully enjoy!), but what a great track. We sometimes forget that Elliott knew how to bring some of that rock too. Plus he actually sings the lyrics here, “He’s busy shaking hands with my monkey.”

New Monkey (radio rip) – Elliott Smith

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April 16, 2007

“High Times” :: First studio track from new Elliott Smith double album

I kept recording more songs with no regard whether or not they were gonna be on anything. That’s what I’m used to doing, recording all the time and not going, ‘What should I record for this record?’ Usually it’s put out whatever happened in the last six months. With this, I had way too many songs and no mechanism for picking between them.”
–Elliott Smith, Tape Op Magazine, 1996, on finishing Either/Or

On May 8th the Kill Rock Stars label will release New Moon, a double disc of mostly unreleased songs which melancholy, beautiful singer-songwriter Elliott Smith recorded between 1994-1997. Only three of these songs have been released before (all on compilations), and while live versions exist of many of these songs, Smith fans welcome the opportunity to enjoy these mastered studio recordings.

DOWNLOAD HERE: High Times (mp3, New Moon version)

A breakdown of which tracks appear on the album (and where they’ve shown up before) can be found here. A chunk of change from the album sales will go to Outside In, a Portland-based social service organization serving homeless youth and low-income adults.

More info on this album from IODA

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February 16, 2007

New Elliott Smith double album: New Moon

Good news this past week for Elliott Smith fans: the Kill Rock Stars label has announced the release of a posthumous double disc of unreleased Elliott material from 1995-1997 (self-titled and Either/Or album eras). It’s called New Moon and due out on May 8th.

Here is the full tracklist and where I had (or could find) live or demo versions of the songs, I added an mp3. It will be great to hear some of this gorgeous material cleaned up and finally out in the light of day.


Angel In The Snow (demo version)
Talking To Mary (live 3/31/95)
High Times (demo version)
New Monkey
Looking Over My Shoulder
Going Nowhere
Riot Coming (live in SF 3/6/95)
All Cleaned Out
First Timer
Go By (live in NY 6/7/95)
Miss Misery – early version
Thirteen (demo version)

Georgia Georgia
Whatever/Folk Song in C (live in Portland, 9/7/94)
Big Decision (live in NJ, 4/12/97)
New Disaster
Seen How Things Are Hard (live)
Fear City
Either/Or (demo version)
Pretty Mary K – other version
Almost Over
See You Later (live NYC 3/30/96)
Half Right (live in Portland 2/26/99)

According to the press release, the final mixing for the album was done by Larry Crane, who is the archivist for the estate of Elliott Smith, and a significant portion of proceeds from the album sales will go directly to Outside In, a Portland-based social service organization dedicated to providing diverse services for homeless youth and low-income adults. [thx]

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November 29, 2006

Elliott Smith covers The Kinks: August 3, 2003

I recently stumbled across a nice little repository of live Elliott Smith and I am loving this little 4-song set of Kinks covers that Elliott performed 8/3/03 at the famed Derby in Los Angeles, just a few months before he sadly died. It would be one of his last shows.

Sound is just a little bit fuzzy, but it’s so cool that I count it as worth it. One often thinks of Elliott with breathy whispered tunes, rich in that lovely sadness, but he could also bring the rock. Details of the show (which was a multi-artist affair) are quite sketch, but it doesn’t sound like he’s singing on all of these; some he’s merely playing on I think. But he’s definitely singing on Big Sky, and I enjoy the loose vibe to all of these:

Do It Again (Kinks cover) – Elliott Smith
Dead End Street (Kinks cover) – Elliott Smith
Here Comes Flash (Kinks cover) – Elliott Smith
Big Sky (Kinks cover) – Elliott Smith

October 26, 2006

A Glass And A Half In Every Heather

I tell ya people, this having an actual life that takes time away from my blogging is really a pain. That being said, I’ve been busy and it’s been a while since I’ve done a sort of Odds & Ends post, but there’s several good things rattling around in my brain today that I thought I’d share.

Plus it’s Blizzard 2006 here in Colorado so no work, no schools, no nothing except being a homebody all day. I was going to post a few great sets of music, but EZArchive seems to be migrating to a new system and may be unavailable for 24 hours. Bah.

Ûž The first diversion of the day is the Advertising Slogan Generator where you plug in your name and it makes you your very own slogan. Mine is above in the subject line, and it’s awesome. What’s yours? I keep hitting refresh and laughing out loud.

Ûž The charming Mr. Tim Young has assembled a fantastic Contrast Podcast #30: “A Song I Like By A Band I Don’t.” I had several discussions about my possible submissions last week when I was on vacation, but ultimately didn’t get my stuff together in time to submit anything. I had some good ideas, though (sure, sure).

Ûž I posted about the Brokedown Melody soundtrack last week, and got the news today that there are 2 song streams available (thanks “Craig”!) — one for the Eddie Vedder track (without the annoying AOL voiceovers every time he stops to take a breath) and the other for one of the 2 unreleased Jack Johnson tracks:

“Let It Be Sung” – Jack Johnson with Matt Costa & Zach Gill
STREAMS: [.asx] [.ram]

“Goodbye” – Eddie Vedder
STREAMS: [.asx] [.ram]

Ûž Fuel friend and fellow blogger Bruce makes XPN Radio in Philly one of the coolest stations on the air. They’ve got a few great live performances this week for your streaming pleasure:

-TODAY: (Oct. 26) at 2PM EST, Lindsay Buckingham interview and performance on World Cafe at
-FRIDAY: (Oct. 27) at 12pm EST, it’s Sean Lennon live in concert on and

Ûž Speaking of streaming, the new Damien Rice album 9 is streaming in full at A-O-Hell (AOL). I have a little window open here and intend to listen to it very soon. I want to give it the full attention it deserves.

Ûž Chad over at Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands is a huge Elliott Smith fan, as anyone who has ever spent even a little bit of time with him likely knows. In observance of the Oct 21 anniversary of Elliott’s death, he has posted a lovely and heartfelt tribute piece. Recommended reading with soundtrack.

Ûž Howie Payne was that guy from The Stands (who put out a pair of kicking albums), and since they’ve broken up I have been keeping an eye on his solo MySpace page. Finally there are some new streaming songs from him, and they sound great — bluesy & rolling.

Ûž Everybody’s doing it: Robert Schneider (Apples in Stereo) is set to release a children’s album, according to You Ain’t No Picasso. Kids these days are going to grow up never having to listen to bad music, and that’s clearly the first step towards world peace.

Ûž A few of you astute and kind readers have sent me a recent Chris Cornell set from Sweden, with a fantastic blend of solo, Audioslave, and cover songs. J over at Sweet Oblivion has now saved me the time uploading it, he’s got it for ya. Nice set, how ’bout that Michael Jackson cover?

Ûž Aquarium Drunkard has ripped some vinyl audio for us from his much-beloved Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall LP, and it makes me love Withers (and A.D.) even more. Check out the warm snap, crackle and pop of these tracks.

Ûž Finally, Lore Sjöberg over at has penned the funniest article I’ve read all week: MySpace, Now With Random Crap. He muses, “I don’t really know what to do with my 319 new online chums, compatriots and cronies . . . I think you just collect them, as they collect you. It is the 21st century, and we are all each other’s Hummel figurines. I think MySpace should take a hint from collectible figure games like HeroClix, and find a way to let you make your friends fight.”
Read the entire thing here

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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