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Roman Candle

Release Date: July 14, 1994
Elliott's debut studio album recorded in late 1993.

KEVIN MOYER: This studio track was recorded in the basement of the home of then-girlfriend and Heatmiser manager J.J. Gonson and was released on his first solo album "Roman Candle" while Elliott was still playing in Heatmiser. Elliott played every instrument and recorded it to a four-track recorder on cheap mics using the underside of the stairwell in the basement / laundry room as a sound room. He didn't even use an acoustic pickup, he just played a really simple Le Domino guitar really close to the mics, practically touching it to his guitar and fingers. It's a good example of getting good sound from the most basic of equipment and set up, and in this case Elliott was on another level in regards to skill so his equipment didn't necessarily have to be also. The album was never intended for release, he was recording it mostly as a demo to get interest in doing a 7 inch single, but JJ gave the album to Cavity Search when they were out promoting Heatmiser, and they convinced Elliott to let them release the album in its entirety.

NICKOLAS ROSSI: It's a great example of Elliott's first record in the way that it really shows off everything about him that's great: the melody is great, the lyrics are beautiful, and it's recognizable if you are familiar with Good Will Hunting, so I used it here to give the audience a first taste of what would come later. But I love this song and wanted to open up his career of solo records with this example.

KEVIN MOYER: Its such a great moment in the film to hear that song and the visuals that go with it too. You and JT Gurzi did a really great job with the cinematography, so beautifully shot, and this is a moment in the film where we rely really heavily on that.

JT GURZI (Heaven Adores You Producer and Director of Photography): The formation of the visual aesthetic and subsequent cinematic motifs were rooted in a strong desire to bolster the audiences capacity to connect with Elliott. It was very important that the visual language compliment Elliott's music, in our earnest attempt to honor his life. A superb example of this union is when No Name #3 is married to various b-roll imagery. It's such an emotionally charged moment in our film, so much so that I'm still quite moved every time I view that section.

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Janet Weiss's house in South East Portland off Hawthorne Blvd

Unknown Song (instrumental) was recorded in May 1994 at Janet Weiss's house in South East Portland off Hawthorne Blvd

KEVIN MOYER: This previously unreleased song was recorded at Quasi House in Portland Oregon. Quasi is another really great Portland band consisting of duo Sam Coomes, who was the bass player in Heatmiser for their last album, and drummer Janet Weiss. Quasi would also open for and serve as the backup band for Elliott on his tours in 1998 and 1999.

LARRY CRANE: I think Janet told me once that Elliott would sometimes stay at her and Sam's house when they were out of town. Knowing Elliott, the temptation of Quasi's Fostex 8-track 1/4-inch reel to reel and mixer would be too much to resist, and he'd probably spent the entire time recording songs. I used this same equipment to record the first release for The Maroons (John Moen of The Decemberist's band, who would later drum for Heatmiser on their last tour) around this same time, though I brought the gear over to my house to do it, where later Elliott and I would record the vocals for the song "Pictures of Me."

NICKOLAS ROSSI: The guitar on this is great. It's almost got a little honky tonk-Texas whammy bar, Kiwi MD 20/20 hint to it. I love the changes in it and how it helps lift us up to Elliott's rise to fame in Portland, and how it illustrates the time the band stopped making music together. Set to the visuals of Portland it almost makes no sense, the Texas thing is there. I wonder what it may have become with lyrics.


Roman Candle

Released: 1994

1994 show highlights

September 17, 1994
Elliott Smith
Umbra Penumbra, Portland, OR, US
Earliest solo show recorded and distributed while in Heatmiser

Performance at Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, 2000

Janet Weiss's house in South East Portland off Hawthorne Blvd

Unknown Song (instrumental) was recorded in May 1994 at Janet Weiss's house in South East Portland off Hawthorne Blvd

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Elliott and Larry Crane open their recording studio Jackpot! in Portland early February 1997
2420 SE 50th Avenue, Portland 97206

Figure 8 Memorial outside Solutions Audio at 4334 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles

Sonora Records
3222 Los Feliz Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039

Elliott buys New Monkey Studios in the 1990s.
New Monkey Studio in Van Nuys, California

Santa Paula, California
"Plainclothes Man" music video directed by Ross Harris was shot entirely in Santa Paula, California

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Colonia, Oxnard
"Coming Up Roses" music video directed by Ross Harris was filmed in the Colonia District in Oxnard, California.

May 3, 1997
Elliott Smith
Stinkweeds, Phoenix, AZ, US

September 19, 2003
Redfest 2003
Pedro the Lion, Elliott Smith, and The Gunshy
Salt Lake City, UT, US

November 6, 2000
Elliott Smith
Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO, US

Steven Paul "Elliott Smith" is born August 6, 1969 at the Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska

March 15, 2000 - March 19, 2000
SXSW 2000
Cypress Hill, Patti Smith, At the Drive-In, Meat Puppets, Ugly Casanova, and Elliott Smith Austin, TX, US

October 20, 2000
Elliott Smith
Howlin' Wolf, New Orleans, LA US

April 1, 1997
Elliott Smith
400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN, US

February 26, 2000
Elliott Smith
The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL, US

April 8, 1997
Elliott Smith
Sudsy Malone's, Cincinnati, OH, US

April 5, 1998
Elliott Smith
The Point, Atlanta, GA, US

May 10, 2000
Elliott Smith
Ritz Theater, Raleigh, NC US


April 17, 1998
Elliott Smith
Black Cat, Washington, DC, US


Elliott performs "Waltz #2" on Saturday Night Live, October 17, 1998
New York

MAR 31, 1997

Elliott Smith at First Avenue, Fargo, ND, USA


APR 10, 1999

Elliott Smith at The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS, USA


Apr 7, 1997

Elliott Smith at The Club Soda, Kalamazoo, MI, USA


NOV 2, 2000

Elliott Smith at Southgate House, Newport, KY, USA


MAR 19, 1999

Elliott Smith at Exit/In, Nashville, TN, USA


MAR 15, 1999

Elliott Smith at Sapphire Supper Club, Orlando, FL, USA


OCT 27, 2000

Elliott Smith at Recher Theatre, Towson, MD, USA