Rare Footage of Jon Brion and Elliott Smith Surfaces

Categories: music

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Screenshot from Al Rose Production's YouTube channel
Jon Brion with Elliott Smith in a scrapped pilot for VH1

Vintage footage of a scrapped VH1 pilot featuring musician/producer/all-around genius Jon Brion was posted yesterday on the Youtube account of filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson.  Known for his impressive portfolio of album and film work, Brion has collaborated with artistic heavyweights from Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann to Anderson himself. Though the show was never picked up by the music video channel, the footage survived. 

"I tore the floorboards up at H.Q. the other day and came up with this little number on VHS," a comment on the Youtube page read. "She holds up well."

Flickr user flybutter

The flittering, vintage footage follows the format of Brion's monthly shows at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles, which come highly recommended by this Feral blogger. It sees Brion showing his prowess on piano, vibes, guitar alongside a special guest-- none other than tragic troubadour Elliott Smith

Looking physically fit and filled out, Smith leads Brion in several numbers including "Son of Sam" and "Everything Means Nothing to Me," both off Smith's 2001 album Figure 8. Brion was tapped to work on Smith's final album From a Basement on the Hill but reportedly distanced himself from the project due to Smith's descent into drug abuse

The record was released after Smith's 2003 death from two stab wounds to the chest. Though originally believed to be a suicide, the Los Angeles Department of Coroner released a report that didn't rule out the possibility of homicide due to a subsequent refusal by Smith's live in girlfriend Jennifer Chiba's to speak with police. For more details on the Weekly's coverage of this story, click here.

With the 10-year anniversary of Smith's death coming this year, one can conceivably expect that his friends will do some ruminating about old times. Perhaps this year Brion and other musicians who've remained largely mum will publicly comment on the passing of the beloved folkster.  We'll be watching.

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