“I tore up the floorboards at H.Q. the other day and came up with this little number on VHS. She holds up well.” So reads the description for the video below from Al Rose Promotions, Paul Thomas Anderson’s YouTube account. It’s a slightly scatchy 2000 pilot for a VH1 series that was never made called “The Jon Brion Show,” a musical variety show hosted by musician/producer Brion and directed by Anderson, featuring performances from the late, great singer-songwriter Elliott Smith and jazz pianist Brad Mehldau.
Brion composed the scores for Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love,” “Magnolia” and “Hard Eight,” but it’s the footage of Smith, who committed suicide a decade ago, that makes the video so stunning. The songs performed include Smith’s own “Son of Sam,” “Independence Day,” “Bottle Up and Explode,” “Everything Means Nothing to Me” and “Happiness,” along with covers of The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset,” John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” Brion’s “Trouble” and Big Star’s “Nighttime.” [h/t Cigarettes & Red Vines]