I never really listened to Elliott Smith's work with his previous band, Heatmiser, until recently. Having the misfortune of once randomly putting on a song from their debut album, Dead Air, and sitting uncomfortably through the bombast of sludge, fuzz, and hoarse, croaking yawps, I sighed, rolled my eyes a little and turned back to Either/Or to cleanse my palette. When I heard the Heatmiser version of "Half Right," from their third and last album, Mic City Sons, I was thoroughly befuddled. It was a slightly jazzed up, full band version of my favorite sombre acoustic song on New Moon, a posthumous Elliott Smith rarities compilation. The experience made me want to cobble together Elliott's contributions to the band into a mixtape that could be like a faux extra Elliott album, because I'm that obsessed. Yet, listening to those albums and reading about his past, got me thinking about gender roles.
I did actually make the mix. To get an idea for how drastically Elliott's style evolved, compare the streamed playlist below the jump with any track from Dead Air, such as "Still" for example.