Unaired Elliott Smith TV Appearance Surfaces on YouTube
After his tragic suicide in 2003, it was believed that the entirety of Elliott Smith‘s unreleased material consisted of the songs that wound up on 2004’s posthumous ‘From a Basement on the Hill’ collection. However, video of an unaired television pilot featuring the troubled singer-songwriter appeared yesterday on YouTube.
‘The Jon Brion Show’ was an attempt by musician/producer extraordinaire Jon Brion (Aimee Mann, Kanye West) and director Paul Thomas Anderson (‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘The Master‘) in 2000 to get a music-and-interview show on Vh1. Brion performed on the final two records Smith made in his lifetime: his 1998 breakthrough, ‘XO,’ and the follow-up, ‘Figure 8,’ two years later.
The video was posted by a user called ‘AlRosePromotions.’ Given that Al Rose is a character in Anderson’s award-winning ‘There Will Be Blood,’ we presume that it was uploaded by Anderson. “I tore up the floorboards at H.Q. the other day and came up with this little number on VHS,’ the description reads. “She holds up well. Love, Al.”
Smith, with help from Brion, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Dan McCarroll, perform a handful of original songs, including ‘Son of Sam,’ ‘Bottle Up and Explode’ and ‘Happiness.’ He also covers the Kinks‘ ‘Waterloo Sunset,’ John Lennon‘s ‘Jealous Guy’ and Big Star’s ‘Night Time.’
From 1994-2000, Smith released five beautiful albums that married dark and introspective lyrics to wonderfully inventive pop melodies. His song ‘Miss Misery’ was nominated for an Academy Award for its use in ‘Good Will Hunting.’ It lost out to ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ Celine Dion’s monster smash from ‘Titanic.’
Watch Elliott Smith on the Unaired ‘Jon Brion Show’