"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)
Tomorrow is the seventh annual Record Store Day, a day that celebrates and draws support for the thousands of independent record stores worldwide. On Saturday, April 19, music lovers can pick up exclusive editions of favorite artists, or limited releases from bands long gone. The full list of albums being release is exhaustive (but well worth perusing). Here are some noteworthy albums to consider grabbing at your local record store:
R.E.M. may have disbanded, but they haven’t stopped feeding more music to their voracious fans. Tomorrow they’ll release their “MTV Unplugged” sessions from 1991 and 2001 on vinyl. The collection will consist of four LPs, and will be made available for digital download and on CD on May 20. (Also, if you are in Maine consider stopping by Bull Moose to have Mike Mills sign your collection.)
Another band that pulled the plug in 2011 is also releasing a special collection of songs. A little over three years ago LCD Soundsystem played its last show at Madison Square Garden. If you were one of the many fans who could not be at the epic four-hour show, you can either put on the documentary “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” or pop on “The Long Goodbye.” The band is releasing the entirety of their farewell show edited and mixed by former frontman James Murphy. The special collection also includes digital download so you can take the sound of silver everywhere you go.
The lovely Regina Spektor is releasing an exclusive Record Store Day 7-inch of her theme for the hit show “Orange Is the New Black.” The vinyl will include the Emmy-nominated “You’ve Got Time” and “Call Them Brothers,” which features Only Son. The record, per the show, will be orange. You can listen to the song below:
The second and, sadly, last studio-recorded album from departed rapper Notorious B.I.G. is being reissued on triple clear vinyl. The album, “Life After Death,” was originally released in 1997, 16 days after Biggie Smalls was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
On Saturday, Bruce Springsteen is releasing a four-song EP “American Beauty.” Three of the songs were tracks that didn’t make it onto his most recent album “High Hopes,” and a fourth single “Hurry Up Sundown.” The track “Hurry Up Sundown” can be heard over at NPR. (Also, please enjoy the always great “Dancing in the Dark” video.)
Indie fans, Death Cab for Cutie is releasing a Record Store Day exclusive album of songs from their tour with Magik*Magik Orchestra. The collection includes both old and new Death Cab tracks including “Passenger Seat,” “Tiny Vessels” and “Transatlanticism.” The song “What Sarah Said” performed with Magik*Magik Orchestra can be heard below.
This is just a small sampling of hundreds of albums available including releases from Nirvana, DEVO, the Flaming Lips, Mazzy Star, Phosphorescent, David Bowie, Chvrches, Foals, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and more. A full listing is here. Happy Record Store Day!
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)