The late singer Elliott Smith would have turned 44 this summer, and despite his death 10 years ago his music remains as beloved as ever. This spirit, which was extinguished when he took his own life in Silver Lake, will be celebrated in August when Smith's friends and inheritors honor his legacy with a weeklong national event called "No Name #1: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Elliott Smith."
More than 100 artists and musicians including Jon Brion, Rhett Miller, Grandaddy, Chris Thile, director Gus Van Sant and others will participate at gigs in New York; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; and Los Angeles between Aug. 4 and Aug. 10.
The series begins in Portland on Aug. 4, where Van Sant, whose memorable use of Smith's work in "Good Will Hunting" earned the singer an Oscar nomination, will host an evening of music. In Austin on Aug. 9, members of California band Grandaddy will join a roster that includes songwriter David Garza. New York will host an Aug. 10 event at the Bowery Ballroom to feature Ol' 97s cofounder Rhett Miller, the Punch Bros.' Chris Thile and others.
The Los Angeles event will occur Aug. 6 at Largo and will be organized by producer/arranger Jon Brion, a Smith collaborator on "XO," among others. Given Smith's close connection to L.A. in his final years, expect a long roster of singers (listed in the announcement as "special friends") to queue up to participate.
All proceeds earned from "No Name #1" will be donated to local charities supporting causes that Smith would have supported, including those working with the LGBT community, abused children, struggling musicians and environmental concerns.
Start preparing for an avalanche of tributes: Smith passed away on Oct. 21, 2003, so expect this fall to be filled with echoes of the singer's enduring voice.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit