If Paul Westerberg didn't suck right now (and I do love Paul, don't get me wrong), he'd be Elliott Smith.* If John Lennon wasn't dead, he'd be Elliott Smith. Elliott Smith is quite simply the most under-appreciated songwriter of his generation, and you should be ashamed for not knowing who he is. Plus, it was wonderfully strange to see him compete with Celine Dion for the Oscar for best song back in 1998 (was it that long ago?). I still say he was robbed, but who's surprised?
Your handy-dandy Elliott Smith discography:
The Royal Tenenbaums: "needle in the hay"
A Slice of Lemon: "big decision"
Drinking from Puddles: "everybody cares, everybody understands"
YoYo A Go Go: "Rose Parade"
*While I still hold that Elliott Smith's music is comparable to Paul Westerberg, my opinion of Westerberg's music has radically changed since the release of Stereo/Mono--probably my favorite record of the year; only the White Stripes' White Blood Cells comes close.