It's impossible, especially in this city, to overrate Elliott Smith's career. Within the span of six short years, Smith released five nearly flawless records (excluding the subsequent bounty of posthumous releases, obviously), an incredible feat by today's—or any other era's—standards. While not technically a native Oregonian, Smith was very much an honorary Portlander: His lyrics constantly allude to familiar PDX locales, and it's in this town's scene a young Smith cut his teeth playing, originally with his almost-post-hardcore band Heatmiser and later as a solo artist. Moreover, Smith's music just sounds
like Portland: wholly overcast and desolate, but speckled with an inexplicable, otherworldly beauty. It's easy to get wrapped up in the drama of Smith's tragic, untimely death (which occurred 10 years ago this October), but it shouldn't distract from the gorgeous art he produced while he was alive. Tonight, in honor of Smith's would-be 44th birthday, David Garza, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, members of Smith's band, and many more pay tribute to that
Elliott Smith—one of the greatest songwriters to have ever lived, period. MT Also see My, What a Busy Week!