Back in 2000, the L.A. producer/musical gadfly Jon Brion pitched a TV pilot to VH1. "The Jon Brion Show" was pegged as a kind of neo-variety show with guest musicians (a familiar format to anyone who knows his Largo roundtables). Director Paul Thomas Anderson even lent his hand to the pilot.
The network declined to pick it up, but Anderson on Thursday posted a video with a note on his YouTube channel: "I tore up the floorboards at H.Q. the other day and came up with this little number on VHS. She holds up well."
The clip is the show's pilot episode, and it has some remarkable lost footage of the late, beloved singer-songwriter Elliott Smith performing alongside Brion and crossover jazz pianist Brad Mehldau.
In it, Smith tackles some catalog staples such as "Son of Sam: and "Everything Means Nothing To Me" along with some favorite covers, including the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."