To: Elliott From: Portland

To: Elliott From: Portland

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Overview

To: Elliott From: Portland

In the notes in To: Elliott From: Portland, Expunged Records president Anthony Davis writes, "Elliott Smith was someone who told your sad story and made you feel like you were not alone." With this in mind, Davis set out to release a tribute album to the late singer, featuring covers from other Portland musicians (the city that Smith called home) with whom Smith's distinct, fragile style resonated and who counted themselves among his many fans. Tribute albums are always accompanied with much dissent, because almost never are the new versions of the songs better than the originals, but Smith's songs had touched too many people to not make one. Though die-hard fans will most certainly object to Lifesavas' hip-hop rendition of "Happiness," or To Live & Die in L.A.'s made-for-modern-rock-radio "King's Crossing," for the most part, the artists stay true -- almost too true -- to the original versions, keeping the sparse, melancholic arrangements, the breathy vocals, the quavering, emotional voice. While "The Ballad of Big Nothing," performed by the Thermals (and mixed by Joanna Bolme, Smith's ex-girlfriend), is a near copy of the original, and very good, the most successful arrangements are in fact those that are willing to stray slightly from Smith's already proven path. Amelia's version of "Between the Bars" brings a fantastic song to greater heights as vocalist Teisha Helgerson pulls even more emotion out of the melody, and the electronica-esque "Angeles," by Crosstide, shows how well Smith's songs can transfer from genre to genre (the same cannot be said, sadly, of Lifesavas' version of "Happiness," which doesn't actually come together as a song until the very end). But the star of the show is a cover of the previously unreleased "High Times," by former roommate Sean Croghan, whose angry guitar and angry voice reflect the feelings shared by everyone Smith had affected: the sadness for the promise lost with his friend's early death.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/07/2006
Label: Expunged Records
UPC: 0634457168923
catalogNumber: 2
Rank: 306381

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jeff Trott   Acoustic Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass
Eric Hedford   Keyboards,Vocals
Mark Orton   Percussion,Bass Harmonica
Brandon Summers   Guitar
Benjamin Weikel   Keyboards
Sean Croghan   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Corey Ficken   Track Performer
Evan Railton   Track Performer
Joey Ficken   Track Performer
Jesse Emerson   Autoharp,Keyboards,Upright Bass
Teisha Helgerson   Vocals
Hutch Harris   Track Performer
Scott Weddle   Guitar
Kathy Foster   Track Performer
Jordan Hudson   Track Performer
Bret Vogel   Vocals,Track Performer,Guest Appearance
Scott Sloan   Electric Guitar,Voices
Rian Lewis   Track Performer
Joshua Hodges   Guitar,Vocals,Wurlitzer
Ryan Stowe   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Jeff Trott   Producer,Engineer
Elliott Smith   Composer
Eric Hedford   Engineer
Mark Orton   Producer
Joanna Bolme   Engineer
Jason Locken   Graphic Design
Joshua Hodges   Producer

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