Saturday, February 24, 2007

Elliott Smith "Rarities" Album Due May 8, Benefits Outside In

Hooray hooray hooray, there is more Elliott Smith material coming out--and it's older stuff:
Larry Crane (of Tape Op magazine and Jackpot! Studios) is Smith’s official archivist, and worked on both selecting and mixing tracks for the new release. A longtime Smith friend/collaborator, Crane aided in the recording of some of his earliest work. For New Moon, he’s written extensive technical and contextual liner notes. Crane had this to say about the family’s decision to work with Outside In in a recent LocalCut telephone interview:

“(Smith) had done benefits (for the organization Free Arts for Abused Children) before, and I think his family, the estate of Steven Paul Smith, felt like it would show good faith to continue on in that direction… Nobody wants this to be seen as making money off our missing friend… we had worked with Outside In at Jackpot. We all certainly agree they do a great job. (Sending proceeds in their direction) wasn’t my doing but I’m really supportive of it.”

Crane also assured LocalCut that New Moon will not sound like a 2006 release, and that his only manipulations of Smith’s original recordings are in the pursuit of making the tracks more audible and clean (as opposed, presumably, to making them flashy, marketable or in aesthetically different in any way). It’s encouraging to know that these tracks are in the best possible hands with Crane at the helm of the project.
I will always selfishly claim Smith for Oregon, both because he did some of my favorite work (from the Either/Or period this new material shares) while he lived here, writing both sardonically and wistfully about Portland. Also, he was a fairly close friend of a relative of mine, and I chanced to see Heatmiser play while visiting in the summer of 1996, right before they broke up and when I decided I had to find a way back to Oregon somehow.

From what I understand Smith always had an affinity for kids with a rough, unstable early life. He seemed to relate. So this seems like a perfect marriage. It could be a benefit for Dick Cheney's heart transplant for all I care though; it's new Elliott.