Buy an Elliott Smith tee shirt, proceeds go to his memorial fund.
Elliott Smith is the only one of my favorite artists who I would consider listening to live bootlegs of on a regular basis. I have over 20 at this point, and so with the help of Archive.org, Trash Treasury and my own collection, every day this week I’ll post an essential Elliott show and try to cover all of his live eras – at least the one’s I’m familiar with.
We may as well go chronologically, in which case I have no choice but to start with the first known recording of an Elliott Smith solo show: 9.17.94 at the Umbra Penumbra, in Portland, CA. This was around the time of the release of his first solo album, Roman Candle, and he was still very much a part of the Fugazi-influenced Portland band Heatmiser.
Supposedly this is a soundboard recording, but it still sounds a bit lo-fi and scratchy, which I guess is fitting considering the era and the material. It features the only performance (as far as I know) of “Crazy Fucker,” a song that showed up on the Basement II demos. I don’t think Elliott was considering putting a 10-year-old song on Basement, so you get the idea of what a strange compilation that thing is.
Highlights of the set also include a rare live version of my favorite song ever, “Condor Ave.” and an early version of the Heatmiser song “Not Half Right” which wasn’t recorded until several years later.
There’s a little more info on Sweetadeline’s concert page.
Elliott Smith – “Crazy Fucker” (9.17.94): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Condor Ave.” (9.17.94): mp3
You can download the entire show directly from here in lossless audio (FLAC).