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
i'd probably get it if it wasn't so much $$$ -- as with all rhino handmade products. why is it that they can charge $40 for 2 discs?
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:32 (3 years ago) Permalink
the ryko discs on emusic are "deals," i.e., sale priced. that deluxe edition isn't available, tho.
― Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 28 January 2010 22:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
as for the rest of the box set -- totally good. the alt mixes of #1 Record are not an improvement overall, but what the hell, I know that record inside and out, I may as well hear some different backing vocals. random note: Steve Cropper on "Femme Fatale" is soooo good. One take apparently? And he didn't even know the song? Haha. Dude is amazing.
― tylerw, Thursday, 28 January 2010 23:50 (3 years ago) Permalink
the different mixes/versions of Watch the Sunrise are the best of the lot imho
― The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 28 January 2010 23:54 (3 years ago) Permalink
is that chilton singing backing vox on "you & your sister", or am i just hearing things?
― johnnyo, Friday, 29 January 2010 02:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, that's him
― tylerw, Friday, 29 January 2010 02:45 (3 years ago) Permalink
How many songs on the box set are the exactly same as previously released on the three albums (as on common CDs)? All the 3rd stuff I've heard now sounds remixed.
― PaulTMA, Friday, 29 January 2010 02:48 (3 years ago) Permalink
not too many are exactly the same, though the 3rd stuff is mostly the same (or at least it says it's the same). Dunno about remixing -- I know the Ryko release was "remixed" when it was released, so I don't know if Rhino is just using those versions or if they did their own remixing. Sounds *better* for sure, not sure if it sounds different.
― tylerw, Friday, 29 January 2010 02:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
Some intro's/outros are longer, 'You Can't Have Me' and the 'Manana' intro of 'Jesus Chist' is longer given it's own track. Certainly sounds like different mixes to me, but there's no annotated information up on Spotify for these tracks.
― PaulTMA, Friday, 29 January 2010 03:06 (3 years ago) Permalink
gonna have to listen to the Sister Lovers stuff on the box again. I thought the 1st and Radio City alt takes were breathtaking. But I wasn't really in a mood where Sister Lovers made sense at the time and so it kinda washed over me that listen through.
1970 is great---and great sounding thanks to Terry Manning. The cover of "Jumpin Jack Flash" is better than the original b/c Alex finds the funk Jagger/Richards sensed but didn't fully articulate.
― Euler, Friday, 29 January 2010 08:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
apart from the extended stuff already mentioned 3rd/Sister Lovers tracks sound the same as the previous Ryko reissue to me. I'm sure its been remastered, but that's different.
― The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 29 January 2010 16:21 (3 years ago) Permalink
TGI Friday's was indeed born in Memphis.
― Trip Maker, Friday, 29 January 2010 16:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
just looking at those pictures makes me feel a little bit drunk
― tylerw, Friday, 29 January 2010 16:28 (3 years ago) Permalink
and speaking of those pics, pretty awesome that it's eggleston playing piano on "nature boy" ... really beautiful recording -- chilton and him should've done a whole album of standards together.
― tylerw, Friday, 29 January 2010 16:29 (3 years ago) Permalink
The "Cheshire Cat smile" of Alex's mentioned in the Crawdaddy article, I have experienced it and indeed it is not pleasant.
― the clones of tldr funkenstein (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 29 January 2010 16:32 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah, from everything i've read, chilton is at the top of my list of artists i love who i'd never want to meet. him and lou reed, i guess.
― tylerw, Friday, 29 January 2010 16:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
― Trip Maker, Friday, January 29, 2010 11:25 AM (9 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
not according to wikipediaThe Friday's restaurant chain was founded in 1965 in New York City, Their second location was established in 1970 in Memphis, Tennessee's Overton Square district; that location has since closed.
― mizzell, Friday, 29 January 2010 16:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
Shoot I don't know nothing. I always thought the Overton Square one was the OG.
― Trip Maker, Friday, 29 January 2010 16:39 (3 years ago) Permalink
http://www.bigstarstory.com/Seems like a recipe for a lot of panning over photographs and talking heads, but, who knows, maybe they've unearthed some cool stuff ...
― tylerw, Monday, 15 February 2010 20:48 (3 years ago) Permalink
so wow uh RIP Andy Hummel:
― TN's only candidate for Governor with a handgun carry permit, so... → (will), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 00:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
see here: Alex Chilton RIP 2010
― Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 00:35 (2 years ago) Permalink
what the fuck
― bug holocaust (sleeve), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 00:46 (2 years ago) Permalink