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To: Elliott From: Portland

February 1st, 2011 3 comments

To: Elliott From: Portland

To: Elliott From: Portland by Various ArtistsA tribute to the late Elliott Smith featuring indie-rock notables including The Decemberists, Helio Sequence, The Thermals, Swords, Dolorean, Amelia and Sean Croghan. Hard Times, the song chosen by Croghan, a close friend and former roommate of Smith’s, is previously unreleased. Many of these artists knew Elliott personally, and played with Elliott at various times. The album features liner notes from those who knew and loved Elliott Smith. It was mastered by Tony Lash, Elliott’s former Heatmiser bandmate.

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A Tribute To Elliott Smith

January 26th, 2011 3 comments

A Tribute To Elliott Smith

“A Tribute To Elliott Smith” features some of the best Independent bands from all over the world honoring the late, great Elliott Smith with an outstanding collection of covers and originals inspired by Elliott Smith’s music. The musicians represented here are a diverse crowd hailing from across the USA, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Each was selected because of the quality of their unique and interesting music, to bring a wide range of takes on Elliott Smith’s music worthy of a tribute to his legacy. This fully licensed tribute complements any Elliott Smith fan’s CD collection – each cover is treated with the respect it deserves while at the same time exhibiting a fresh take on these classic songs. The originals on the album are all from musicians who were inspired to perform and create by Elliott Smith’s music. Unlike many tribute albums, the track listing of “A Tribute To Elliott Smith” flows seamlessly from one song to another, really keeping th

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From a Basement on the Hill

January 22nd, 2011 3 comments

From a Basement on the Hill

Elliott Smith has been a patron saint of the indie scene since his days helming Portland heroes Heatmiser. As a solo artist, his fondness for Beatlesque melody led to some of the most beautifully orchestrated pop of the last decade. This is his final recording, which found him returning to an edgier, guitar-driven sound, alongside his trademark heart-rending balladry. MUZE Notes: Elliott Smith’s death in 2003 left a cavernous hole in the world of popular music. Tender, intimate, and painfully honest, the songs in Smith’s catalogue capture the fragility of human existence with rare, breathtaking beauty. On his first posthumous release, Smith reaffirms his status as an extraordinarily gifted artist, giving fans yet another reason to mourn his tragic loss. Conceived as an ambitious double album, FROM A BASEMENT ON THE HILL was ultimately narrowed down to 15 tracks by Smith’s close friends, producer Rob Schnapf (Beck’s MELLOW GOLD, Smith’s X/O) and musician Joanna Bolme (the Minders, Ste

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Roman Candle

January 21st, 2011 1 comment

Roman Candle

Kill Rock Stars is proud to re-issue Roman Candle, Elliott Smith’s first solo album, originally released on Portland’s Cavity Search Records in 1994. Roman Candle is now remastered for the re-release by Roger Seibel (SAE) and Larry Crane, editor of Tape Op Magazine and archivist for Elliott’s family. Roman Candle had quite an impact on Slim Moon, Kill Rock Stars’founder: “In 1994, I had been asked to be on this five-person solo-act tour called Pop Chord with Tammy Watson, Carrie Akre, Sean Croghan and Elliott Smith. The first night at the Crocodile in Seattle, I didn’t pay too much attention and people talked all thru Elliott’s set. Sean Croghan got up next and said “all of you people who just talked through Elliott’s set are bummed because you just missed something very, very special.” The next night of the tour, at The Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco, I listened very closely to Elliott’s set, and it was basically one of those lifechanging moments. Instead of watching the rest of

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New Moon

January 21st, 2011 3 comments

New Moon

Disc One: 01. Angel In The Snow From the Jan/Feb 1995 sessions at Leslie Uppinghouse’s home studio that yielded much of the S/T record. Elliott’s mix appeared on a CD that came with Mike McGonigal’s magazine, Yeti: Volume I. 02. Talking to Mary From the 1995 sessions at Leslie’s. This is Elliott’s rough mix as the master tape is sadly missing. 03. High Times From the 1995 sessions at Leslie’s. An early working title was “Coma Kid”. The “drums” are really just doubled snare (with the throw off loose) and ride cymbal. 04. New Monkey From sessions for Either/Or. The “bar” was certainly La Luna in Portland, with “the millions of fans ignoring the bands.” 05. Looking Over My Shoulder From sessions for Either/Or. The title of this song is not certain. 06. Going Nowhere From sessions for Either/Or. Due to the limits of eight tracks you rarely get bass guitar on these sessions unless it is integral to the arrangement. One of the most haunting songs in this collection. 07. Riot

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Figure 8

January 20th, 2011 2 comments

Figure 8

Japanese edition of the indie rock singer/songwriter’s 2000 release with two exclusive bonus tracks ‘Because’ & ‘Figure 8′. 18 tracks in all including the single ‘Son Of Sam’. Digipak. The story of Elliott Smith is well known now: Shy and reclusive indie rocker soars to a Hollywood soundstage and major-label contract. His fans gasped in collective horror when he took a bow at the 1998 Oscars, his hand clasped by Celine Dion. He seemed far too fragile to survive among the sharks and vultures on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. But as his subsequent albums XO and now Figure 8 show, Smith has weathered the spotlight successfully and is moving ahead with self-assured grace. The beauty of Figure 8 is that it encompasses Smith’s musical virtues, from the stark and wispy tunes of his lo-fi beginnings on Roman Candle to the orchestrated, Beatlesesque pomp and circumstance of later work to the intimate and sometimes painful nature of his live shows. Figure 8′s opener, “Son of Sam,” is as good

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Elliott Smith

January 19th, 2011 3 comments

Elliott Smith

Recorded mildly better than his debut (Roman Candle on Cavity Search), the self-titled second solo album is one of the most understated and incredible albums to emerge from the indie-rock scene in the 1990s. With his nimble picking fingers behind him, Smith writes sad, little songs about drugs and romantic codependence that border on the obsessed. “Needle in the Hay” and “The White Lady Loves You More” are exemplary tunes that fuse the Beatles’ pop sense with Neil Young’s sense of doom. Lying in his own burned out basement, Smith can rough up the gentlest love song with a few salty words of choice. –Rob O’Connor

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Either / Or

January 19th, 2011 2 comments

Either / Or

Blessed with the voice of a wispy angel, Elliott Smith creates sad little pop songs, which, like the work of Nick Drake (to whom he’s been compared) threaten to disappear into the night air. Several of the tracks here were featured in Gus Van Zant’s movie Good Will Hunting, and they’re among the album’s best (though “Miss Misery,” nominated for an Academy Award is only available on the soundtrack album). “Angeles” and “Say Yes” are bittersweet laments that feature Smith’s idiosyncratic guitar picking, which is well served by the album’s decidedly low-fi production. –Rob O’Connor

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Xo

January 19th, 2011 2 comments

Xo

Japanese version featuring a bonus track: “Miss Misery”.Elliott Smith’s fourth solo album and major-label debut, XO, brings narrative detail and a wide range of emotion to an indie meld of ’60s-style rock and folk-pop. Whether in the broken stateliness of “Waltz #2 (XO),” the Sgt. Pepper tribute of “Baby Britain,” or the explosions of “Amity” and “Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands,” Smith’s melodic and arrangement senses give his vulnerable vocals and brilliant wordcraft the maximum effectiveness. XO is a watershed in singer/songwriter rock. –Rickey WrightOn XO, Elliott Smith leaves the indie doldrums behind and takes wing to new, lush surroundings. By adding full instrumentation to his acoustic reveries, Smith has ascended to a new level of songwriting that shores up his gentle voice and country-tinged guitar playing with extra layers of vocal arrangements and charming piano vamps. Strains of classic rock filter into the Beatlesque “Baby Britain” and the Beach Boys-inspired “I D

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