"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)
Researchers have had a tough time discerning the Neandertals’ diet. They evaluated carbon and nitrogen isotopes in bones, but those only correspond to some general kinds of proteins. Even plant remains in Neandertal teeth could have gotten there because a tasty animal carcass itself contained traces of a last vegetarian meal.
So the researchers relied on foolproof evidence—they studied Neandertal fecal remains from a site in southern Spain called El Salt. Neandertals made it their home about 50,000 years ago.
The researchers analyzed the samples for chemical compounds that can only result from metabolizing cholesterol from meat or from metabolizing plants. All five samples showed evidence of meat consumption. But two revealed the digestion of plants. Meaning that Neandertals did try vegetation, likely tubers and nuts. The study is in the journal PLoS ONE. Ainara Sistiaga et al, [The Neanderthal Meal: A New Perspective Using Faecal Biomarkers]
The scientists intend to use the same technique to examine soil samples at a 1.8 million-year-old site in Tanzania. In the hopes that any remaining poop may deliver an ancestral-diet scoop.
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)
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