Today in the Elliott Smith Gigography: Melkweg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 05/30/1998.

Today's entry into a new feature for this here blog is a jump back 9 years and to a city that I adore.

The Melkweg show was part of a short 5 show mini-tour of Europe (Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, and Dublin) leading up to Elliott's first DreamWorks release, XO. Waltz #2, Independence Day, and Oh Well, Okay appear from that record. It's a pretty standard solo acoustic set for the time - a few then-new(ish) songs, a good chunk from Either/Or, and some tunes from the self-titled album.

Like the majority of Elliott's foreign shows, there's little to no banter between tracks (not that there was tons in most shows in the U.S.), beyond "Wanna here a loud song or a quiet song?" - buying time to figure out exactly what to play. Sound quality of the minidisc recording is pretty good, not great. The performance itself is on par with others around the same time - Elliott's on top of his game here. Very few mistakes (a minor lyrical flub in Coming Up Roses, for example).

Division Day
Waltz #2 (XO) mp3
Between the Bars
Pictures of Me mp3
Rose Parade
Coming Up Roses
Say Yes
Needle in the Hay
Thirteen (Big Star Cover)
The Biggest Lie
Oh Well, Okay
Ballad of Big Nothing
Independence Day mp3
Speed Trials

and the whole show can be downloaded here at elliottsmithbootlegs.net.
In time, I'm hoping that in doing this I can take some time to enjoy individual shows that I've accumulated (and that are forcing me toward purchasing an external hard drive) and that we can all get a sense of the highs and lows of Elliott's all too short but Brobdingnagianly important career.

For the "Enough With The Elliott Already"ers:
I'm trying to branch out musically right now. Trying to listen to new things. But most of the time I'm left thinking "This is OK. It's just not as good as new Elliott would be." And I'm feeling the same way with the music that I was excited about 4 years ago. So please pardon me while I deal with that.
(Although I am very excited about new records from Buddy and Meiko.)

Don't go too far, stay who you are.


Dear Blog O' Mine.

Dear Blog O' Mine,

Hi. Been a while. Sorry I've been neglecting you. I've just been really, really busy. And really, really tired. What? Yeah, I know, I know. I said I'm sorry. I guess that last blog post has always been hanging over my head - we'll get to it sometime, I'm sure. Let's just forget about it for now, and move on to some other things...
For those of you who were wondering, the March/April/May madness would have played out like so:
Play in:
Blakelock over Thayer

Round of 64:
Leonardo over Blakelock
Steen over Munch
Hokusai over Botticelli
Velázquez over Chardin
Goya over Caillebotte
Whistler over de Hooch
Géricault over Ingres
Vermeer over Fuseli

van Gogh over Wyeth
Holbein over Brueghel
Delacroix over van Ruysdael
Rossetti over Dalí
Redon over Monet
Bosch over Ensor
Courbet over Gainsborough
Caravaggio over Geertgen

Rembrandt over Dewing
Toulouse-Lautrec over van der Weyden (just barely)
Moreau over Turner
Rubens over Inness
Dürer over Alma-Tadema
Grünewald over Gaugin
G. David over El Greco
Cézanne over van der Goes

Raphael over Ryder
Sargent over Constable
Bronzino over J.L. David
Titian over Cranach
van Eyck over Burne-Jones
Degas over Parmigianino
Eakins over Fra Angelico
Manet over Millais

Round of 32:
Leonardo over Steen
Velázquez over Hokusai
Whistler over Goya
Vermeer over Géricault

van Gogh over Holbein
Rossetti over Delacroix
Bosch over Redon (just barely)
Caravaggio over Courbet

Rembrandt over Toulouse-Lautrec
Moreau over Rubens
Dürer over Grünewald
Cézanne over G. David

Sargent over Raphael
Bronzino over Titian
van Eyck over Degas
Manet over Eakins

Sweet 16:
Velázquez over Leonardo
Vermeer over Whistler

van Gogh over Rossetti
Bosch over Caravaggio

Rembrandt over Moreau
Dürer over Cézanne

Sargent over Bronzino
van Eyck over Manet

Elite 8:
Vermeer over Velázquez

Bosch over van Gogh

Rembrandt over Dürer

van Eyck over Sargent

Final Four:
Bosch over Vermeer
Rembrandt over van Eyck

Bosch over Rembrandt


Selection Sunday! (er...Monday, rather.)

Here it is, folks- My version of March Madness. In the coming month, I will start with the 65 painters I have chosen (from a list of 267... van Aelst to Zurbarán) and whittle away until we have just one painter left. More than anything, this is going to be an exercise in learning about my own tastes. You'll notice a lot of trends just based on whom I've chosen for the bracket. Not many 20th c. artists there... and some scandalous omissions. The process of picking just 65 was quite tough.

Anyway. My criteria for chosing these, and for deciding who will win? Wellllll, it's a little complicated. Sure, I want to take into account how important these guys (sorry, I know, no females represented here. It's not intentional.) are in the big picture (but not too much). Mostly, this is about my reactions to and interactions with paintings/art. So, yeah, it's kinda fuzzy, but we'll all just have to deal with that, won't we? Although I picked the artists based on my own tastes, I seeded them roughly how I think an average survey textbook might do it if it had to.

Who would you add? Who here is a surprise to you? Who do you think will win? Let's discuss.

Louvre Division
Play-In game: Abbot Handerson Thayer vs. Ralph Albert Blakelock

16) Play-In Winner
1) Leonardo da Vinci

9) Jan Steen
8) Edvard Munch

5) Sandro Botticelli
12) Hokusai

13) Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin
4) Diego Velázquez

3) Francisco Goya
14) Gustave Caillebotte

11) Pieter de Hooch
6) James Abbott McNeil Whistler

7) Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
10) Théodore Géricault

15) Henry Fuseli
2) Johannes Vermeer

Uffizi Division
16) N.C. Wyeth
1) Vincent van Gogh

9) Pieter Brueghel the Elder
8) Hans Holbein the Younger

5) Eugène Delacroix
12) Jacob van Ruysdael

13) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
4) Salvador Dalí

3) Claude Monet
14) Odilon Redon

11) James Ensor
6) Hieronymus Bosch

7) Gustave Courbet
10) Thomas Gainsborough

15) Geertgen tot Sint Jans
2) Caravaggio

Getty Division
16) Thomas Wilmer Dewing
1) Rembrandt

9) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
8) Rogier van der Weyden

5) J.M.W. Turner
12) Gustave Moreau

13) George Inness
4) Peter Paul Rubens

3) Albrecht Dürer
14) Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

11) Matthias Grünewald
6) Paul Gaugin

7) El Greco
10) Gerard David

15) Hugo van der Goes
2) Paul Cézanne

Met Division
16) Albert Pinkham Ryder
1) Raphael

9) John Singer Sargent
8) John Constable

5) Jacques-Louis David
12) Bronzino

13) Lucas Cranach the Elder
4) Titian

3) Jan van Eyck
14) Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

11) Parmigianino
6) Edgar Degas

7) Thomas Eakins
10) Fra Angelico

15) Sir John Everett Millais
2) Édouard Manet



March Madness and Some Stupid Hats.

Hi all.

Coming soon - March Madness! Not basketball. I'll be making a bracket where 64 (or 65) of something square off (bracket off?) to see who or what is number one. Can't tell you what the something is yet.... I gotta figure out which 65 I'm using.
Stay tuned for Selection Sunday.

A couple of stupid hats...

Do I really need to say anything? I hope Spanky here knows that this image is on the inter-nets. As captain of the Mickey Mouse Pirate Brigade, Spanky got to be the model for Bruce, the shark from Finding Nemo:

I'm sure her huge poofy red hat is cool. Unfortunately, she's either mixed up her symbols, or Mercedes-Benz is starting a grassroots campaign against the war.

In other news, I'm really starting to hate Zach Braff. Thankfully, it looks like just a rumor. (IT'S NOT A TU-MA!)


New Moon

Happy Balantimes Day, dear readers. You are plural, aren't you?

Big news today. Well, it was old news, really. It's just official now. Kill Rock Stars made the announcement that New Moon, a collection of unreleased songs recorded from 1995-1997 by Elliott Smith will be released on May 8, 2007. Most of the 24 songs have been available in one way or another as demos or live tracks, but to have all of these songs in a "finished" state will be another incredible piece to Mr. Smith's oeuvre. I'm not going to get into the question of whether or not any or all of these were meant to be released. Almost all have been played live, and some of them appear to have been in consideration for From a Basement on the Hill [Elliott's intended double-disk release, not the 14-song plus one sound track posthumous collection that I'm happy we got], suggesting that Elliott might have had a crop of songs that he meant to use at some point... but anyway. A lot of them had been part of the "Basement II" leak a while back.

Let's take a look under the hood n' see what we're dealing with. Mp3s are either old demos or live tracks...

Disc 1
1. Angel in the Snow (used to be available on elliottsmithbsides.com, but was taken down by request). This song was released as part of a comp for Yeti Zine. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous song. I think it's one of the more straightforward love songs, if Elliott had any, and has this nice 6/8 time that drives along quietly. Wish I could find a good link for y'all to here. As far as I know, it was never played live. This is probably one of my 10 favorite Elliott Smith songs.
2. Talking to Mary. live. Probably written for/about Mary Lou Lord. A good song.
3.High Times. "I'm so sick and tired trying to change your mind/ when it's so easy to disconnect mine." This song builds up for the first 2 minutes to a nice climax, then backs down to finish with a bit of a whimper.
4.New Monkey. This is one of the songs of which I'm really interested to hear a more polished version. I'm not totally sold on it based on the demos. Lots of people are excited for this song, though.
5.Looking Over My Shoulder. demo. This one used to be known as "Sticks and Stones." "I got nothin' that I want to do/ more than make another sonic 'fuck you' to play."
6.Going Nowhere. I think "High Times", "Going Nowhere", and "New Disaster" (see below) make a beautiful, sad trio.
7.Riot Coming. live.
8.All Cleaned Out. Totally New. No version known.
9.First Timer. live. and This is a later version of the song, called "From a Poison Well" here.
10.Go By. live. Sorry the sound is so bad on that.
11.Miss Misery (Early Version). Maybe it's this piano version?
12.Thirteen. From "Lucky 3". Elliott covered this Big Star song a lot live. Another beautiful one, and a good one to end the first disc.

Disc 2.
1.Georgia Georgia. Another one that had demos available and was taken down. Not super into this one.
2.Whatever (Folk Song in C). live. Another sweet one.
3.Big Decision. Can't find a good live one of this... but i know there are couple out there. This one is more up-tempo. Not upbeat, but up-tempo. It's on a comp somewhere, i think.
5.New Disaster. See note above.
6.Seen How Things are Hard. live.
7.Fear City. Not super into this one...
9.Pretty Mary K (alternate version). I like this better than the song with the same title on "Figure 8".
10.Almost Over. Another without a good link...
11.See You Later. demo . A Very Good Heatmiser Song.
12.Half Right. Another Very Good Heatmiser Song, and a very good way to end the second disc.

Here's Elliott perfoming "See You Later" on the pilot for The Jon Brion Show:

Should be sweet. Let's hope Interscope/Dreamworks follows suit and we can finally here "finished" versions of "True Love", "See You in Heaven", "Dancing on the Highway", "Stickman", and "Blue Mood"......