We don’t get to hear too many stories of Elliott Smith being straight-up silly, but here’s one. In 1994, shortly after releasing his first solo album, the sad-music hero played a one-off gig with a group of fellow Portland indie musicians, including people who would go on to play in bands like Guided By Voices, Quasi, and Crackerbash. Together at Portland’s X-Ray Cafe, they played a 20-minute tribute to weirdo-rock deities Devo. Smith played guitar, did choreographed dances, and wore a jumpsuit and 3D glasses. As the AV Club reports, some hero just put a grainy single-camera video of the entire performance up on YouTube, and you can watch it below.
Some of us are old enough to remember when the one-off Devo tribute show was a thriving ’90s-indie cottage industry. There were a lot of these things!