Archive for the ‘Elliott Smith’ Category

The Beck Oeuvre #9: Alameda

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Beck at the Elliott Smith tribute concert

A few weeks after Elliott Smith‘s death, a tribute concert was held in Los Angeles. Beck performed at it, playing three songs. Apparently Beck and Smith were pretty decent friends; I believe Beck said once they had plans to work together, but never found the time before his death. I’ll do better and find the quotes for the next Smith song when we get to it…


I’ve become a pretty BIG Elliott Smith fan in the past few years. He’s another one of those artists that I somehow seem to get into late in the game, but once I get into them, LOVE. Anyways, Beck does a lovely cover of “Alameda.” Beck spins the song in his own unique style. His acoustic guitar work on the song reminds me of other acoustic songs I’ve heard him play. Right now the song “Rosalie” comes to mind, but there are others. I can’t really put my finger exactly on the similarities, but that’s the instant connection my brain makes. I also LOVE Beck’s voice and singing on this song. Its so very sincere and direct and compliments the lyrics/music of the song.


I will not claim to be the world’s biggest Smith fan, but I love how Beck makes this song his own. That is, with the fingerpicked guitar as opposed to Smith’s strums. Beck’s tender Sea Change vocals. Beck put his heart into this…


I must admit that I never really got into Elliot Smith until after he died. It’s shameful, I know, but it took that event to force me to pay attention to him. Now, though, I really enjoy most of his stuff. Unfortunately, ‘Alameda’ isn’t a song I really know, except through Beck’s cover.

It’s too bad my recording of this song — from the Elliot Smith memorial concert — is kind of on the sucky side. The song sounds really pretty, and Beck is obviously putting his heart into it. I’m sure performing Elliot’s songs at this concert was really difficult for him, but it sounds like he pulled it off.

I didn’t realize Newt also said that Beck “put his heart into it” when I wrote the same thing, but it’s so true, that I’ll leave my reaction in even if it’s repetitive.

Here is Beck’s version. (It’s in m4a format for some reason, that’s what I had on my computer.)

beck interviewed for new elliott smith book

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

From Spin:

Elliott Smith, the troubadour behind haunting acoustic compositions such as “Needle in the Hay” whose life came to an untimely end in 2003, will be memorialized with Elliott Smith, a 200-plus-page photo book compiled by renowned photographer Autumn de Wilde, the same lady behind the lens of the cover shot from the singer/songwriter’s 2000 album Figure 8. The book, also containing Smith’s handwritten lyrics and interviews from Ashley Welch, Smith’s sister, Beck, Ben Gibbard, Chris Walla (Death Cab), and Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), among others, will arrive in November courtesy of Chronicle Books, alongside a five song CD of previously unreleased live material. The project’s proceeds will be donated to the SIMS Foundation to supply affordable mental health care to musicians, and Outside In, a Portland, OR-based homeless youth non-profit group…

De Wilde then recorded chats with the likes of Beck and Walla — whose discussion on being photographed will become the book’s forward — Caws, and Welch, as well as Mark Flanagan, owner of L.A.’s Largo Club, Neil Gust (Heatmiser), Sam Coomes (Quasi/Heatmiser), producers Rob Schnapf and Jon Brion, and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), the latter an individual who had never known Smith, but divulged the late musician’s deep influence unto his music.

Autumn De Wilde has worked with Beck on a number of occasions, I believe. I seem to remember her taking a whole bunch of photos for him and his albums. Anybody know which ones?