By Mike Cauvel
August 1st would’ve been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday. We recently covered The Grateful Dead Movie Event, a movie shown across the country to celebrate his birthday and his memory. August 6th, just a few days after Garcia’s birthday is the birthday of another great musician who died too young, Elliott Smith.
Smith’s former label, Kill Rock Stars is doing a lot to celebrate. They’re reissuing Either/Or and Smith’s self titled album on vinyl, offering digital downloads of Smith’s entire Kill Rock Stars catalog for only $49, and making some previously unreleased material available.
This alternate version of “Alameda,” from 1997’s Either/Or, is the first unreleased track the label is sharing this month. It features altered lyrics and more sparse production. It may be because it’s difficult to separate his music from the tragedy of his death, but all of his songs are a bit haunting. This track is no exception.
Although it’s still heartbreaking to reflect on Smith’s death, it’s some comfort to know that we haven’t heard the last from him yet and his rich musical legacy is still expanding.
You can stream the track below and buy it for a dollar over at Kill Rock Star’s Bandcamp.