weird that that list omits Primal Scream's Dixie Narco EP
― I can't tell the difference between every village on your te (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 29 October 2009 20:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
(half of which is clearly in the mode of Big Star's 3rd)
― I can't tell the difference between every village on your te (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 29 October 2009 20:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
also lolz I never knew there was a connection between Chilton and Dennis Wilson, altho that explains a lot
apparently after the Box Tops broke up he and Dennis spent a weekend kicking it with Charlie Manson & the Fam.
― feed them to the (Linden Ave) lions (will), Thursday, 29 October 2009 20:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
and good times were had by all
― tylerw, Thursday, 29 October 2009 20:57 (3 years ago) Permalink
Speaking of Chilton + Beach Boys, that fragment of "Don't Worry Baby" on the Thank You Friends comp is gorgeous -- wish there was a whole take of the song!
― tylerw, Thursday, 29 October 2009 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink
there's alex playing 'wouldn't it be nice' on some live acoustic release or boot. and doing jesus christ and stuff.
apparently the family's attempt to get to LX ended when he hit charlie. goodtimes.
& hearing the stifled smile in nature boy is so beautiful
― peter falk's panther burns (schlump), Friday, 30 October 2009 01:07 (3 years ago) Permalink
apparently the family's attempt to get to LX ended when he hit charlie. goodtimes.
!!!! did not know this. is there a link somewhere with a comprehensive account? I just got a third-hand telling from one of the engineers who worked on In Space.
― feed them to the (Linden Ave) lions (will), Friday, 30 October 2009 01:13 (3 years ago) Permalink
i totally can't remember where i heard it :/i would guess the rob jovanovic book, and if not dumb angel, the dennis wilson book - probably the former. i think it's only referred to in passing, so there's no comprehensive account, just the idea that alex wasn't easily persuadable and so ... hit charlie.
― peter falk's panther burns (schlump), Friday, 30 October 2009 01:46 (3 years ago) Permalink
got the Jovanovic bio for xmas (though not the box set grrr). Seems good, except the pukeworthy Ryan Adams quote on the back, and the first line of the book! "Unlike many US cities, Memphis has a rich and varied history ..." Uhhhh. What?
― tylerw, Sunday, 27 December 2009 17:12 (3 years ago) Permalink
<3 <3 big star
― livinginthesunlightlovinginthemoonlighthavingawonderfultime (Curt1s Stephens), Sunday, 27 December 2009 17:13 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah they're the best. also, just looking at the photos in the book, an extremely good looking band! How come they weren't huge? they had it all!
― tylerw, Sunday, 27 December 2009 17:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
"Unlike many US cities, Memphis has a rich and varied history ..." Uhhhh. What?
lol yeah you're gonna LOVE the footnotes haha. its not a bad book once it gets going, lots of crazy stories. Chilton seems like kinda a dick (big surprise)
― larry craig memorial gloryhole (Shakey Mo Collier), Sunday, 27 December 2009 17:27 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, re: chilton's dickishness, this article, covering the late 70s/early 80s is great: http://www.crawdaddy.com/index.php/2009/11/12/alex-chilton-1975-1981/He does seem like a weird guy! Even though I think he's the element that makes Big Star brilliant and not just really good power pop, he sure doesn't seem interested in that sort of music.
― tylerw, Sunday, 27 December 2009 18:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
still reading the bio -- while there are some great stories/quotes/etc., man, this guy is not strong when it comes to writing about the actual music. is the 33 1/3 Radio City book better?
― tylerw, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 21:22 (3 years ago) Permalink
yikes, based on my exp with the 33 1/3 books, writing about the actual music is the worst ime.
― ┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 6 January 2010 21:28 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, i don't know, it's just this writer chokes whenever he actually discusses songs/albums. Like with Sister Lovers all he can say is "this album is an enigma, made for listening to late at night" or something similarly insightful.
― tylerw, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 21:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
the 33 1/3 book for radio city is actually done by a guy that played with alex chilton awhile back. he manages to get actual words out of chilton, so it does have that going for it. although, no real surprise, chilton's comes off as pretty indifferent or dismissive about some of the material on the album.
― Bastards of Young Dro, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 22:22 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, i looked at the 33 1/3 guy's blog and he seemed to have a better handle on music-writing thatn Jovanovic ... Will probably pick that up once I have the new box set ...
― tylerw, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 22:40 (3 years ago) Permalink
this is nothing to do with any of the above but i hope LX starts playing some more solo shows sometime. he seems to get such a bang out of standards and rattling through rock n roll numbers with pickup groups, and that's where he's at now.
― high-five machine (schlump), Wednesday, 6 January 2010 23:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
i've not read the Jovanovic book, but i've heard similar criticisms about it. heard it about the Pavement book (which i've not read either), too. but i figured that a good deal of the blame for that one could be laid at the feet of Pavement...
― will, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 23:30 (3 years ago) Permalink
(he did do the Pavement book, right?)
the Pavement book has this anti-Malkmus slant because Malkmus was against the book idea and the other dudes were all like "see, he is a dick... anyway, wanna hear my new song?"
― ┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 6 January 2010 23:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, pavement book is fine in terms of telling the story of the band ("they made records/toured/broke up") but when it comes to the music, it seems like he doesn't really have anything to say. i do appreciate that he digs fairly deep into the prehistory of these bands ...
― tylerw, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 23:46 (3 years ago) Permalink
having interviewed Alex Chilton in 1981 and seen him play in various contexts since then--maybe I've seen him 30 times, in every situation from Panther Burns to Big Star reunion to half-assed Alan Vega thing in NYC to New Orleans gig in which he was part of a band doing Huey Smith and Coasters covers to solo shows--I do think he's been a misunderstood artist in almost every way possible. He, I believe, is interested or was interested or is intermittently interested in the kind of thing Big Star did (gloss on West Coast '60s pop and so forth). The thing that people who have never spent time in Memphis truly attempting to soak up what's unique about the town's musical heritage can never understand is the sheer range of the musical endeavor the town has essayed. In Chilton's case, many people who have a rather limited understanding of what music is and will always be, at least in North America, think that the "powerpop" aspect of Chilton supersedes the other stuff he has been interested in preserving, much like Snooks Eaglin or some other broad-ranging musician who has sensed that the intersection of pop and something deeper and older (Elmore James meets the Beatles). In other words, there's always been something else and Alex Chilton has realized that--it's the source of his power and the reason so many people whose minds stop at "September Gurls" or whatever can't get their heads around the other stuff. The blues, r&b, thwarted pop, and so forth. I mean Artful Dodger were a good band but who cares about 'em now, whereas the Big Star records are a bit deeper.
The rub is that Alex Chilton sorta realized the contrast between the pop expectations of the '60s and the other stuff, which was always there and which is in my opinion as important as the Beatles or the Byrds. Chilton is correct to say that "Radio City" is a matter of production values as much as it is music; incorrect, perhaps, or just perverse, to say that the songs aren't "about" anything. Chris Bell, on the other hand, was more a Beatles obsessive.
So that's why I like the folkie shit on the Big Star box that came out this year. Like "Country Morn," where the words are all about how Chris Bell can't understand the world. Bell, had he lived, would've turned into...what? Freedy Johnston? Hard to tell. Whereas Chilton understood, I think, the limits of pop and its ability to understand the world, and I think he realized his audience (who is in the main rather more stupid than he is, given the short-sighted nature of pop fans who, after all, have an interest in getting RID of their past as opposed to gaining strength from it, as Alex Chilton has at least attempted to do) has the somewhat idiotic idea that pop gets rid of history. Quite the opposite, right? Which is why 99% of everything written about Big Star sorta misses the point. At this late date in my life, I think "Third" is the one. A record that actually sums up what I've tried to grope toward in this post, about the way the past and present fight each other in the struggle to create pop, and the limits of pop. This is what Alex Chilton has tried to describe, and if he failed, so have we all.
― ebbjunior, Thursday, 7 January 2010 03:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
ebb i surmise u r eddh and i would just like to say that you are my favorite poster on ilm and one day i wish to write with as much ease and beauty as you dawg. <3
― ┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 7 January 2010 08:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
seconded re. edd; so rich with ideas worth expressing.
I'd like to read more about why you think Third articulates something about how "the past and present fight each other in the struggle to create pop". The limits of pop part, I think I can see that, or at least how to go about trying to argue that. But where's the part about the past in Third? And I'm sympathetic, don't worry: I've spent my pop life trying to think backwards with enough grace to understand, say, Elvis Country.
― Euler, Thursday, 7 January 2010 08:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
I did get a 'best of' but apart from a few tracks, I 'liked' rather than 'loved' it.
Possibly because of all that Teenage Fanclub / etc phase we all went through. Which is not their fault, obviously, but it all seemed like old news in a way.
OK, shoot me now.
― Mark G, Thursday, 7 January 2010 09:06 (3 years ago) Permalink
i got into big star when i was a devout seventeen year old posies fan, and initially had a similar 'old news' response, but those three albums kept drawing me back, and only became more intriguing and enigmatic with each further listen. don't write 'em off yet, mark!
― i am not down with ppl farting on salami (stevie), Thursday, 7 January 2010 09:21 (3 years ago) Permalink
Well, put it this way, I had a similar (but different) reaction when i first heard "Odessey and Oracle", but our Alice insisted I play it again (and again), and she was right. (Alice is my daughter, she was eight then)
― Mark G, Thursday, 7 January 2010 09:35 (3 years ago) Permalink
look at this guyhttp://sexandfury.tumblr.com/post/323568501/alex-chilton
― tylerw, Friday, 8 January 2010 21:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
guys, the alex chilton solo demos on the box set ... holy moley.
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 21:54 (3 years ago) Permalink
― you gone float up with it (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 28 January 2010 21:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
which songs do you mean? this set is on emusic now, but since i have all the studio albums i ignored it.
― Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:01 (3 years ago) Permalink
mainly the sister lovers solo 12-string demos (end of disc two, beginning of disc three), but also the handful of radio city solo demos (end of disc 1, beginning of disc 2) ... kind of amazing performances, and esp. with the sister lovers ones, they cast the songs in a whole new light. and jesus, i love his voice.
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:04 (3 years ago) Permalink
i've also been digging the live set (disc 4) quite a bit. pretty rough in parts, but i love hearing chilton's guitar playing ... also, anyone who's played a show to an uncaring audience can take heart in listening to it -- one of the greatest bands of the 70s playing to a crowd that couldn't care less.
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
just listened to samples of demos for holocaust and nighttime. not sure i hear much of a difference (obv., can't tell much from :30 samples). it seems clearer/cleaner.
― Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:10 (3 years ago) Permalink
after years of being familiar with the basketball-as-snare-drum+steel drums and drunken piano version of Downs its truly revelatory to hear him play it crystal clear on a 12-string like its just some pretty ditty. the sound of the demos is just fabulous, I agree with Tyler there... the other demo stuff made me hunt down his 1970 album, which is hit-or-miss but has a few tunes that are drop-dead gorgeous AM radio Big Star pop template sort of stuff ("Every Day As We Grow Closer", "EMI Song (Smile)" in particular)
― The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
I think its just striking to hear the songs-as-written with all the space and fragility already built into them - they're integral parts of the structure. whereas you hear 'em on Third and its easy to think all that stuff was a studio-trick afterthought.
― The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
i agree with you on some of the songs, now that i'm listening to more. esp. blue moon
― Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, i mean, i like that you can hear the craft that went into the songs a little clearer, rather than being carried away by the overall destructo mood of Sister Lovers. Like on "Holocaust" it *doesn't* sound that different -- it's a solo piano thing on the demo, but the structure is pretty similar, even the weird dissonant "free" part. You kind of imagine that being something that just "happened" in the studio as the result of drugged out performers, but it's clear that's how Chilton envisioned the song from the start. and there's something pleasing/relieving (and typically chilton-esque) about the comically doomy chord he hits right at the end. "man, what a sad song, right?"
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:21 (3 years ago) Permalink
booklet has some sick photos, too -- like the outtakes from the radio city shoot at TGI Friday's! TGI Friday's in Memphis in 1973 was where the party was!
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
actually i mostly wish they had more from chris bell's solo stuff, but i guess that all made it's way into the i am the cosmos disc/reissue
― Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
title song and especially you and your sister are breathtaking tracks.
yeah, i haven't gotten that ... has anyone else (the double disc i am the cosmos thing)? worth it?
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:26 (3 years ago) Permalink
the very FIRST TGIF, if I recall correctly
― The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:27 (3 years ago) Permalink
I only have the Ryko I Am the Cosmos, can't imagine there's all that much more...?
Big Star film stuff (ref'd in the Jovanovic book)
― The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:28 (3 years ago) Permalink
not sure there is more. wasn't even a proper album, was it? just singles and scattered stuff assembled after bell's death
― Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:29 (3 years ago) Permalink
I AM THE COSMOS - DELUXE EDITION contains a remastered version of the original 1992 Ryko compilation on one disc, plus a second disc of rare and unreleased music recorded between 1970 and 1976. On the second disc, all but two of the 15 tracks are previously unreleased. Among the wealth of unissued recordings are eight alternate versions and mixes of album tracks, including "You And Your Sister" with Mellotron in place of the original's string arrangement, and a later version of "Get Away" featuring Big Star's Alex Chilton on guitar, Ken Woodley on bass and Richard Rosebrough on drums.
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:31 (3 years ago) Permalink