Two years later
Friday marked two years sans Elliot Smith. I saw him perform three times, all three times in Boston if I remember correctly.
The first time I saw him remains one of the best shows and warmest musical experiences I've witnessed. It was at the Paradise Rock Club, between its bouts of being shut down for underage drinking violations. It was small and intimate, warm with a good PA.
The set was great. And for the encore, he shyly strolled back on stage, looking small and nervous without the accompaniment of his band. Just before starting the first song of the encore, a giant of a man, easily twice Smith's size, drunk and loud, stumbled onto the stage from the crowd. He gave Smith a bear hug, wrapping both paws round the singer/songwriter and speaking toward the microphone: "I love you, Elliot. I love you."
Elliot Smith's response: he hugged the stranger right back and said softly, "It's okay, man. It's okay. I love you, too."
It was truly one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
I'm sure you already have the link to it, but just in case, 22 tracks leaked from Elliot Smith early last week and are being called the "Basement II" demos. Some are quite good: