Sunday, December 05, 2021

Elliott Smith Archive – The Moon is a Sickle Cell [2021]


 

The Moon is a Sickle Cell has been updated for 2021, with the goal of collecting and preserving every rarity track currently out there in circulation in the best quality possible, to make them available to the public into the future.

The original collection from 2016 had 180 tracks in it. This archive for 2021 has more than 650.

Every download that can be found by searching anywhere online is in this archive. This includes Grand Mal, Confusion, Either/Or Sessions, Jackpot/XO Sessions, Place Pigalle Demos, Basement Tapes Unfinished/Suppressed, From A Basement On The Hill II, The Moon is a Light Bulb Breaking, etc. And there’s even more songs that aren’t in any other collection from recent leaks. 

A lot of the tracks are now in a lossless format (FLAC or WAV), as they come from new sources, but there are still files in a lossy format (MP3 or M4A), because no other file exists.

This archive project began in 2015 because a lot of the downloads that were out there at the time had been transcoded or edited and didn’t have much precise order or organization to them. They were missing the information about when Elliott recorded them and also what the difference was between the various versions of the same songs. So, the archive was posted online in 2016 to try to preserve the initial leaks in the best quality possible and to attach recording and version information to them.

It was surprising to see how much The Moon is a Sickle Cell got traded on the internet, and it still circulates today. Unfortunately, any version of The Moon is a Sickle Cell from 2016 that can be found online now has been transcoded somewhere along it’s downloading journey. The 2016 version should be deleted and hopefully this new archive can replace the old one.

A note about transcoding: anytime a lossy format (like MP3) is converted, it loses a little bit of information and quality - so transcoding this archive should always be avoided.

In terms of the information for each track, each one was researched using the documentation from the Alphabet Town session history and the knowledge base of the fan community to provide as many details about them as possible. All of the files are now listed chronologically by year and broken up into folders for the recording sessions that surrounded each studio album. There is also a documentation folder, where all of the recording session and discography information can be found.

The original title, The Moon is a Sickle Cell, was a joke based on the title of the official 2007 release of rarities, New Moon, but it seems to still fit. The phrase comes from the song “Coming Up Roses” from the self-titled album Elliott Smith. The line is, “The moon is a sickle cell, it’ll kill you in time. Your cold white brother riding your blood like spun glass in sore eyes.”

The image that was initially used for the “album cover” of The Moon is a Sickle Cell was from the cover of Autumn de Wilde’s photography book, titled Elliott Smith. For anyone looking for a biography of Elliott Smith, I always recommend this book as the best one out there. It’s full of interviews with people who knew him well and it paints a portrait of Elliott Smith that feels real and captures the many different sides of him. In this way, I feel that it corrects a lot of the misconceptions that are tied to his music.

Elliott’s music has had a big impact on my life and sharing that music has allowed me to find a sense of community through connecting with other fans. I believe that his songs should be available for everyone to listen to.

I always like to come back to Elliott’s attitude about sharing his music. In reference to the Napster revolution that was happening around that time, he said:

"I like the idea...sure, people should be able to trade musically with each other, I mean people do anyway...there's arguments to be made...but I don't really have an opinion...I'm not one of those bands that sells millions of records and then gets mad at Napster."

Gary Smith, Elliott's father, was also quoted as saying:

"While we were talking, we talked about sharing/trading elliott's music and he thought it was important to mention it was ok to share or trade elliott's music because elliott believed people should be able to trade musically with each other and that the family feels the same."

If you do want to support Elliott’s work and his family, donate to the Elliott Smith memorial fund at sweetadeline.net or Free Arts for Abused Children or you can buy one of his records.

A HUGE thanks to MaRaBalos, to Lyn / PrettyMaryKProject, Elliott Smith Discography, EddieBrock, cosmobubbles, and everyone in the fan community.



Get the archive here (torrent)
Mega Mirror
Internet Archive Mirror





The Moon is a Sickle Cell -  Compilations 

 

As a bonus, the archive also includes additional compilations created to pull different highlights from the archive, to make some different listening experiences.



The Moon is a Sickle Cell - Archive Compilation (Master Versions of Solo Rarities)

This is a collection of ONLY one version of each rarity track. The track is either the best quality version or the most well known version of the track. There are 80 songs in total, so it’s like an 80 track rarities album.

 

Download this compilation here






Elliott Smith - A Shot of White Noise + Violent Girl (Curated Rarities Comps)
 

These are two curated rarities compilations mixing favorite tracks into two mixes that can be listened to as if they are “new” albums
.

 

Download this compilation here





Elliott Smith - Fritz Moon (Fritz Michaud's New Moon - Comp of All Fritz Mixes)


Elliott asked Fritz Michaud to master a lot of his rarities and they were in consideration for the New Moon album, but Larry Crane was chosen to mix instead. A lot of fans consider the Fritz mixes to be better and more in line with Elliott’s style. This compilation collects all of the mixes by Fritz Michaud that are available. 
 


Download this compilation here



 


Elliott Smith - Misery Club (Fan Voted Favorites Rarities Comps)


This is a mix of the rarities from the archive organized by fan votes from an online survey and the daily discussions on reddit. Track 1 was voted the most times and the last track the least amount of times. 
 

 

Download this compilation here






Elliott Smith - Smile at Confusion (Live Rarities Comp)


One of the earliest collections of any Elliott Smith material was called Confusion and it was a bunch of live versions of unreleased and off album songs. This compilation reimagines that collection by incorporating songs from all of the new live sources that have been collected over the years. The title Smile at Confusion comes from the song “Dancing on the Highway.”



Download this compilation here




 


Elliott Smith - Thirteen (Best Live Covers Comps)
 

This is a more condensed version of Part 9 of the archive. Part 1 is a collection of all of the highest quality live versions of cover songs that are available and part 2 are all the lower quality cover songs, but the best quality tracks available. There is at least one track of each cover song Elliott played live that was recorded. 
 


Download this compilation here


 

Check out my other posts on Elliott Smith:

 


A Shot of White Noise and Violent Girl



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