In the meantime, I recommend that anyone interested in Elliot Smith (and if you admire strong songwriting, you admire Elliot Smith) check out this oral history of his life and times.
One of the many interestings bits of info in it had to do with that icon of Portland indie songwriting, Celine Dion. Smith, as you may remember, was nominated for a "Best Song" Oscar in the same year that Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" conquered the universe. When he was invited to perform at the ceremony, there was something, let's say, of a disconnect between his world and that of Titanic-era Los Angeles. But, it turns out that Dion went out of her way to make Smith feel at home during the Oscar ceremonies...
... the highlight of that event for Elliott was that Celine Dion made him feel comfortable, from backstage to onstage. It really was amazing. She made him really feel at home, like he was one of them.
ROB SCHNAPF: Celine Dion was really awesome to him. She really was.
For some reason, that made me happy. Knowing Celine Dion, for all the terribleness her songs emit, is a decent person.