Friday, August 24, 2012

elliott smith- 'placeholder'

In the wake of Elliott Smith’s death in 2003 I found it most difficult to listen to the assortment of live recordings that I have of his shows.  Over the years I began to gather more and more and eventually, in about 2006, I plundered the collection that’s housed at  With the various performances I found there I began to compile a collection of my favourites out of all of the live recordings I had as the sheer volume was quite daunting.  Believe it or not ‘Placeholder,’ my 40-song live compilation, was my way of cutting down.  It was intended as a companion piece to my two favourite Elliott shows—the soundboard recording from his 1998 visit to Stockholm, Sweden (called ‘Waltz for Stockholm’ I believe) and a 1999 acoustic show recorded at Satyricon in Portland, OR.  Every year I manage to listen to this whole set spread out over a few commutes and it almost makes me cry pretty much every time.  It’s a mixture of the earnest and human nature of the performances and the between-song dialogue, which anyone familiar with Smith’s live recordings can attest to.  The whole package makes for something that I’ve treasured and found comforting in the years after his passing.  I often listen to this after I’ve given ‘New Moon’ a few spins.  Next up is probably ‘From a Basement on the Hill’ and it’s supplementary rarities that surfaced right after his death.

These performances are mostly from Portland. I have almost half of the recording of his first solo show at Umbra Penumbra here as well as a bunch from La Luna, EJ's and the Crystal Ballroom. There is also a sizable chunk devoted to his two night stand at Brownie's in Brooklyn during the 'Either/Or' tour and also a few tracks from his acoustic set at the Empty Bottle in 2000. Many, many wonderful covers to be heard here. Enjoy.

1. what're you doing hanging out with me?
2. big decision
3. condor ave
4. no confidence man
5. whatever (folk song in C)
6. single file
7. little maggie
8. antonio carlos jobim (heatmiser)
9. satellite
10. bled white
11. waterloo sunset (the kinks)
12. i figured you out
13. see you later (heatmiser)
14. not half right
15. coming up roses
16. they'll never take her love from me (hank williams sr.)
17. no name #4
18. cupid's trick
19. punch and judy
20. christian brothers
21. some song
22. plainclothes man (heatmiser)
23. all my rowdy friends have settle down (hank williams jr.)
24. 2:45 am
25. no name #3
26. good to go
27. oh well, okay
28. jealous guy (john lennon)
29. bottle up and explode!
30. i didn't understand
31. clouds (quasi)
32. son of sam
33. LA
34. pretty mary k
35. ballad of big nothing
36. nightime (big star)
37. little one
38. i'm doing ok, pretty good
39. true love is a rose
40. beatiful collapsing star (aka 'lucky charm')

click here

No comments: