Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Elliott Smith 

New Moon (Kill Rock Stars)

New Moon is a 24-track collection of rarities recorded over the two years preceding the release of 1997's Either/Or, Elliott Smith's crowning achievement. Most of these songs are among the singer-songwriter's best work. Take "All Cleaned Out," where Smith encapsulates his strife through the second person, a trick he loved using: "You toss the empty beer/Not really as composed as you appear/Icicle inside/Wearing clothes that clash/Wondering is this treasure, is this trash?" Smith recorded the song at Portland, Oregon's Jackpot! Recording Studio, owned by Larry Crane, the Smith archivist who put together New Moon's exceptionally clean mix.

However, this double-disc set lacks the unified vision of 2004's From a Basement on the Hill, another posthumous album that Smith intended to release before allegedly committing suicide in 2003 (he was only 34). But really, how can you complain when there's a version of "Miss Misery" with different lyrics? "I'll fake it through the day somehow/ With Johnny Walker Red/And a cold pain behind my eyes/That shoots back through my head."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of CD Review

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Jay Oakerson @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Oct. 28
  • The Musical Box Presents A Genesis Extravaganza Volume 2 @ MGM Northfield Park

    • Thu., Oct. 28 & 8 p.m. $29.50-$55
    • Buy from Ticketmaster
  • Rock Hall Nights: 2021 Inductions @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    • Thu., Oct. 28

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation