"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Forget about twerking, striped suits and the excesses of MTV: That other bastion of rational, high quality entertainment, YouTube, is holding its own music award ceremony for the very first time. Sunday November 3rd is the date for your calendar, and the show’ll be going down in New York.
Lest you instantly worry that the YouTube Music Awards will be as nonsensical as millions of the videos the public uploads to the site, you’ll be relieved to hear that Google is actually taking this quite seriously. As well as showcasing the performances of artists who’ve made YouTube their performance venue––as a personal favorite I’m going to mention the stunning CDZA here––mainstream acts are also going to be present. In fact the gig will be headlined by Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire and Eminem while Spike Jonze will be making it all tick as creative director.
The show will, because this is YouTube, be streamed online live so you can feel like you’re taking part…and in fact Google is going to let fans take part because the winners among the selected nominees in each category will be selected based on the number of social shares they get during the show.
Google’s desperate to make YouTube into something substantial that can earn it serious money, and is trying every trick it possibly can including special events like Geek Week and by commissioning original content for its Channels system––an invention that was supposed to challenge TV, but which seems to be stuttering a little.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)