Big Star

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For giving Teenage Fanclub a career, classic. For inspiring every other halfwit Glaswegian indie band, dud.

Agree with dave q, the soppy gurly ballads win over the rockers everytime (esp on #1 record), and yup Sister Lovers is overwrought and overrated but any Lp with Holocaust, jesus christ and Kanga roo is ok by me (though I prefer This Mortal Coil's versions).

I will pass on the Raspberries coz' all I know about them is that they taste nice in trifle.

Billy Dods, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Weeellll I've never been that partial to "#1 record" unless I'm completely in the right mood for it, the rockers sound forced but the ballads are wonderful, especially the last few on side two. "Radio city" is end to end genius without doubt. "Sister lovers" has too much of a reputation hanging around it of 'tortured genius' to ever live up to it - didn't NME vote it most depressing album of all time a few years back? Oh come on! But it still has moments. And I'm probably the only person here who'll admit that they like the Columbia live album (but hell I love the Posies so what do you expect?) The rockier songs from "#1" sound better on "Columbia" than the originals - discuss.

Rob M, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The three BS albums are like a drunk's progress. First album - happy buzz, sociable and 'up'. Second album - nasty, sloppy, mean-minded, initially amusing but unpleasant to be with. Third album - all the grief, dysfunction and ultimate serenity of the hangover. I like a lot of their stuff, I love a bit of their stuff - ultimately Chilton has to take some of the indirect blame for lo-fi's cult of the fuck- up.

Tom, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Nice comparison Tom. Why didn't I have that idea? "Kangaroo" is the delirium tremens isn't it?

alex in mainhattan, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Never heard them in my life.

the pinefox, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'Like Flies on Sherbert', the solo alb AC made after 'Sister Lovers', is the real good'un - we're talking one last reckless binge before the Betty Ford clinic beckoned. So ramshackle and woozy it makes the Dead C seem like King Crimson.

I also like 'I Am The Cosmos',the posthumous Chris Bell alb.

Andrew L, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Foxy: you might actually like 'em quite a bit, especially the slower moments (Ballad of El Goodo, for ex., and of course the immortal Thirteen.)

Everyone else: The first two records rock Third's world. Radio City is, I think, my favorite of the moment, b/c tho it has fewer instant hits it feels mature and thoughtful as opposed to angsty. Also, because of Septermber Gurls. Third has probably the most breathtakingly stunning songs, but I can't listen to something so morose that often. I need lifestyle music, eh?

Sterling Clover, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

dave q: I like the Raspberries reference. Very, very nice.

JM, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Big Star weren't on Stax proper but rather Ardent, a Stax subsidiary with which Stax misguidedly took on the white rock market. I don't think it was much of a priority for Stax, which was a mixed blessing in that it allowed such a singularly weird band to pretty much do what they wanted but hurt them in that the Stax guys didn't have much interest in or aptitude for promoting anything other than soul.

fritz, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, Rob, I liked Columbia too, also being a fan of the Posies. I think it's maybe telling that I like a lot of the bands that Big Star influenced a bit more than I like Big Star proper (esp. Replacements), but mostly because they are more powerpop and eliminated most of the rawk cliches of those first two albums, whether they invented them or no.

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

anyway, what's wrong with kiss?

g, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

or Teenage Fanclub for that matter? They have gotten a bit boring...

g, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The first time I heard "Thirteen" I nearly cried. I *heart* this band so much.

Helen Fordsdale, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Big Star totally live up to the hype. Their history is nearly as compelling as their music. "Radio City" defines it's era, much like X's "Wild Gift" defines it's own era.

Mole Man, Saturday, 20 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Sean - doncha love it when everyone gets sidetracked?

I heard Big Star before I heard either the Posies or Replacements or even the Fannies (a brother who had exceedingly bad taste most of the time finally got something right when he got "#1 Record" / "Radio city" in '91), and I've converted my fellow bandmate (a Fannies / Replacements / Smithereens fan) into a BS fan, his trying to convert me on the 'Mats and Smithereens has never worked in my direction for some reason. But we're totally agreed on the Posies and the Fannies though. Odd. I just can't get my head around the 'Mats at all, I've tried loads of times with different LPs of theirs, but still nothing. Mind, Paul Westerburg's last solo LP was rather good!

Rob M, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Call me old fashioned but I think one property of an era-defining record ought to be people actually buying it during that era, not 20 years later.

Tom, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Smithereens - AAARGGGGHHHH (makes retching sounds)

dave q, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It is an era defining record, era being 1990 unfortunately.

TFC way, way better than BS.

Billy Dods, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Could somebody PLEASE explain TFC's appeal? Start a new thread if you have to. This one really perplexes me.

dave q, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

From my experience, Teenage Fanclub is exemplary of most Britpop bands - Hey! We like such-and-such bands! Let's pay homage to them through shameless, lifeless emulation! Everyone'll LOVE us!

Bandwagonesque was all fine & good, but a bit slow (even when going fast) and surprisingly bland as a whole. Pleasant in certain situations, though. This is the only album I can confidently speak on, so feel free to ignore my pronouncements.

David Raposa, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Basically TFC = Big Star with 'originality' replaced by 'lyrics and sentiments early 90s students could relate to better'. As an early 90s student I hugely preferred them.

Tom, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

From my experience, Teenage Fanclub is exemplary of most Britpop bands

'Britpop' = term with huge ever growing scope creep

Nick, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
"Thirteen" is such a fucking good song.

NA (Nick A.), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 20:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Isn't it just.

Sick Nouthall (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 20:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like the third one the best myself. "Radio City" is the most fully realized of the three "official" BS albums, but "Third" really did something that hadn't been done before, I think.

The Stax org was in such disarray in the early '70s that it's a wonder the records even got out there as much as they did. I've read that each of the first two albums only got into the marketplace in ridiculously small quantities...4000/5000 is a number I've seen.

I don't know if they "define" any era. A post above maintains that to define era, their records would've have to been bought by somebody. So I guess they were one of the first true indie/critic's bands...the reviews were mostly glowing. In retrospect they do seem to define the period much better than any number of more popular acts, though. I see nothing wrong with revisionist nostalgia myself.

For a long time I loved them without reservation, then went thru a period during which I'd just heard them too much. For a lot of us they were like the Beatles, the absolute gold standard of pop records. Now I just accept them as a great pop band, period, and wish people would quit gushing about them so much, or maintaining that they weren't really all that good. As a live band they seem to have sucked; but I can't think of any better-conceived record than "Radio City." Such style. And they seem to define not an era but a state of mind, one epitomized by the Eggleston "red ceiling" photo that graced the original "RC" LP...bad dreams and vibes in an oversexed room, distilled into melancholy, perhaps? With a few good times vaguely recalled? Maybe that's the '70s, I don't know.

Interesting to see what the new Big Star album will be like...

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 21:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

a friend of mine is assisting with the engineering at Ardent. He says it sounds amazing.

of course, Chilton & company could scrape a chalkboard with rusty chisels and this guy would say it's the best thing ever.

(I think I listen to Third the most, too)

Will (will), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 22:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

there is a new studio album?

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 22:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, they've been recording at Ardent since March, I believe.

I wonder how committed Chilton is to the whole idea of Big Star these days. Probably not very. I didn't think much of "Hot Thing."

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

When did 'Hot Thing' come out?

de, Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Umm, it was sometime after the Columbia reunion...maybe '95? It's on the somewhat misbegotten Rkyo "Big Star Story."

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, £15 for a 'best of', £10 for #1 Record/Radio City. Hmmm.

de, Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Really? That's so wrong.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

guys seriously I love "Ballad of El Goodo" so much

I want to be in a band that covers this

iiiijjjj, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

don't make me say a bunch of shit about it, just fire back re: yes this would be a pretty good thing to do, be in a band that covers this

iiiijjjj, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah

ghost rider, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I purchased the Blitzen Trapper song 'Summer Town' just because the vocal hook reminded me of BS' 'Thirteen.'

calstars, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

iiiiijjjjj where do you live?

calstars, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ya know, Evan Dando covered "El Goodo".

Pleasant Plains, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

'Thirteen'>>'El Goodo'

Drooone, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

fucking love them. i honestly feel sad for anyone who who passes them by.

Frogman Henry, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

drooone otm but it doesn't even matter

ghost rider, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

overrated Grandpappy Indie (VU notwithstanding); not worthless, but nor are Wishbone Ash, for goodness sake
-- mark s, Wednesday, October 17, 2001 5:00 PM (5 years ago)

"overrated"

gershy, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 05:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

overrated Grandpappy Indie (VU notwithstanding); not worthless, but nor are Wishbone Ash, for goodness sake

-- mark s, Wednesday, October 17, 2001 5:00 PM (6 years ago) Bookmark Link

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

ENLIGHTENING

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

uh x-post

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

and 'mod lang' is what needs to get cover treatment

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Mod Lang" is quite easy to play, so a cover would be cool.

whisperineddhurt, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 15:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

and somehow, strangely, Big Star lives on.
http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=gb_london&query=detail&interface=shepemp&event=257724
wish i could go ... is this one of them Don't Look Back things? Are they playing Radio City in its entirety?
i'll also take this opportunity to say that Alex Chilton probably has one of the top 5 singing voices in rock and roll history. Serious.

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 15:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

Actually, listening to Radio City and Third, Alex Chilton kind of reminds me of a vanilla Barrett Strong Rude from Lethem's "Forttress of Solitude." Moments on Third definitely sound fucked up enough to come from three-week coke binges.

That being said "Blue Moon" and "Stroke it Noel" totally PWNs! The former is better than "Thirteen" (which, sadly, contains no oboes).

Drugs A. Money, Wednesday, 12 March 2008 02:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

sweet jesus this band is good. they seem to have such a unique and effortless ear for hook and melody. such a pleasure to listen to.
and on another note, 'i'm in love with a girl' appeared on a shuffle the other day. i was feeling a little absent-minded and it took me about 30 seconds to recall who it was without checking. such a sweet, simple song and yet it feels about 20 years ahead of its time.

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 8 May 2008 16:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

But wait, there's more! Speaking of country repression and compression, you've just reminded me of this, from xgau's 70s Guide:

Alone Again [Epic, 1976]
Although it sticks too close to heart songs, this comeback-to-basics statement is the best country album of the year and far surpasses the rest of Jones's recent work. I'm getting to like the over-forty Jones as much as the rawboned honky-tonker anyway--what's amazing about him is that by refusing the release of honky-tonking he holds all that pain in, audibly. The result, expressed in one homely extended metaphor per song (the only one that's too commonplace is "diary of my life"), is a sense of constriction that says as much about the spiritual locus of country music as anything I've heard in quite a while. A-

Not that there isn't or can't be more to it, but def pertains. (and there's an interest in writing like that: hold it in, let it leak, if it will, however it can, except not that way over there, yuck)

dow, Thursday, 25 August 2016 21:06 (three days ago) Permalink

That article says "Stroke It Noel" was supposed to be the opener.

I Don't Sound Like Nobodaddy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 26 August 2016 00:31 (two days ago) Permalink

Don't know about that; the piece is from 2011 and my understanding is that Dickinson always said "Thank You Friends" was supposed to be first. So did Alex go with Dickinson to shop the record? Given that Dickinson took it away from Alex, I'd have to see some proof of that. Alex sitting in Lenny Waronker's office while Lenny got more and more perturbed with every song is something to mull over.

Edd Hurt, Friday, 26 August 2016 01:03 (two days ago) Permalink

Ha, yes, indeed. Trying to remember my recent readings about two very different artists from Minneapolis interacting with Lenny and Mo. In any case, yes, that piece is from 2011, not familiar with the writer of what his source is for that information.

I Don't Sound Like Nobodaddy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 26 August 2016 01:17 (two days ago) Permalink

yall dismissing 2011, because?

Finally occurs to me that my foggy notion of what Big Star might sound like, before I heard 'em (not knowing that Chilton's voice was no longer Box Top), is sort of like Ian Curtis, already reaching past Brit-tries-to-sound-US-Southern, to something shared in the slightly halting I-can't go-on-I'll-go-on reporting.

dow, Saturday, 27 August 2016 17:23 (yesterday) Permalink

yall dismissing 2011, because?

Um, because new information may have come to light? Not that it actually did of course.

He seems to say that something in that particular package box set indicates that "Stroke It Noel" was indeed supposed to be the lead off track, but doesn't give further details. I was hoping you would shed some light based on the information in the latest package.

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 17:37 (yesterday) Permalink

With the album “finished,” so to speak, and Ardent parent label Stax about
to go under, Fry and Dickinson went on a fool’s errand, flying to New York
and L.A. to play it for the major labels. Dickinson had vivid memories of
the bizarre experience. “Karin Berg [Chilton’s old friend and champion,
then at Elektra] accused me of destroying Alex’s career,” he began. “Lenny
Waronker [of Warner Bros.] said, ‘I don’t have to listen to that again, do I?’
[Atlantic’s] Jerry Wexler told me, ‘This record makes me feel very uncomfortable.’”
The responses were painful, but not unexpected.

The running order for the test pressing they shopped was “Stroke It Noel,”
“Downs,” “Femme Fatale,” “Thank You Friends,” “Holocaust,” “Jesus
Christ,” and “Blue Moon” on Side One; “Kizza Me,” “For You,” “O, Dana,”
“Nightime,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Kanga Roo,” and “Take Care”
on Side Two. Pawelski has followed this initial sequence in her running order
for the album proper on Disc Three of the set, adding “Big Black Car,”
“Dream Lover,” and “You Can’t Have Me,” all of which first appeared on
the PVC release, “Till The End Of The Day” from the Rykodisc version, the
original “Lovely Day” from Rhino’s Keep Your Eye On The Sky box set, and
“Nature Boy” from the Ryko edition.

Possibly originally titled Beale Street Green, the album was given the title
Third when it was finally released, randomly sequenced, on indie label PVC
in 1978. A notably different 12-song version was released that year in the
U.K. on Aura, while 17-track compilations came out in Britain and Germany
nine years later. Rykodisc’s 1992 release, renamed Third/Sister Lovers,
was expanded to 19 tracks with the inclusion of “Till The End Of The Day”
and “Nature Boy,” the tapes provided by Dickinson, who was extremely
helpful, to a point. “The Rykodisc people asked me if I wanted to sequence
it,” he recalled, “but when I went back to my production notes, I realized
that my ideas and Alex’s were so different that it wouldn’t be fair. There is
no sequence.”

dow, Saturday, 27 August 2016 17:57 (yesterday) Permalink

I personally have nothing against 2011, I was just confirming the date of origin, it was Edd who read significance into that fact.
ha xp

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 17:58 (yesterday) Permalink

xpost From notes in box

dow, Saturday, 27 August 2016 18:00 (yesterday) Permalink

Figured. Thanks!

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 18:00 (yesterday) Permalink

Karin Berg didn't give up an Alex; she financed the Elektra demos he did in 1977. Still think that his demo of "She Might Look My Way" is one of the best things he ever did, all two minutes of it.

Edd Hurt, Saturday, 27 August 2016 19:33 (yesterday) Permalink

Dipping into the Holly George-Warren book, finding confirmation of some things, such as Alex intending "Thank You Friends" as the opener, and some some amusing anecdotes I may post later. Also keep meaning to ask if there is a meaningful comparison to be made of Alex and Peter Stampfel as song collectors.

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 20:08 (yesterday) Permalink

Back in town, Dickinson had cut his own eclectic LP, Dixie Fried. He then spent months with Dan Penn producing his solo album Emmett the Singing Ranger Live in the Woods. That unreleased venture ended in a disagreement between the two. (“ I could have made him the psychedelic Dean Martin,” Jim later quipped.)

George-Warren, Holly (2014-03-20). A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (p. 168)

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 22:34 (yesterday) Permalink

Somebody asked Cropper if he would come in and put guitar on ‘Femme Fatale.’ He showed up at the appointed time. I already had a guitar lead to plug him in direct, I already had the level, he was in the speakers, we played the tape, and Cropper walked inside the door, plugged his guitar in, and didn’t come any closer into that control room but one step. He was freaked out. It was this bizarre song with Lesa singing— talk about some confused boys!” Later, when Alex tried to erase Lesa’s parts, Jim demanded they stay on.

George-Warren, Holly (2014-03-20). A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (p. 173)

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 22:35 (yesterday) Permalink

And third one is the charm:

Those early singles with the Box Tops were still remembered by Barry Lyons at tiny Amherst Records, which specialized in releasing LPs by ’60s stars like Jackie DeShannon. Based in Buffalo, New York, Lyons tracked down Alex in Memphis and sent him a plane ticket to fly north and discuss the possibility of cutting a record. He drove Alex to Toronto to jam with Bob Segarini, a like-minded musician from California who, since ’68, had been on several major labels, releasing albums with different bands including Family Tree (during which he collaborated with Harry Nilsson), Roxy, the Wackers, and most recently the Dudes, all with little or no commercial success. Lyons’s idea was to put together a pop-rock supergroup composed of Segarini, Alex, and possibly such players as former Raspberries bassist Wally Bryson and guitarist Nils Lofgren. Alex got together with the Dudes, but after they didn’t click musically, they instead got wasted.

George-Warren, Holly (2014-03-20). A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (pp. 188-189).

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 22:38 (yesterday) Permalink

(I baited the trap but the bears must be hibernating)

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2016 23:53 (yesterday) Permalink

I like that version of "Femme Fatale", Lesa and all - its "confused", halting quality has a lot of charm - but her version of "That's the Story of My Life" (linked below) is rougher. I wonder how much more off-kilter the album would have sounded if her vocals were left on....

http://youtu.be/z0SbXKjUR94

one way street, Sunday, 28 August 2016 01:00 (seventeen hours ago) Permalink

I love the drum sound on "Femme Fatale"--Dickinson's close-miking (?) captures the texture of a drumhead unlike anything I've ever heard on a recording.

a full playlist of presidential sex jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 28 August 2016 01:54 (sixteen hours ago) Permalink

So Dickinson starts working with Penn on the Emmett the Singing Ranger record, and Penn's written a song called "Tiny Hogs and Hinys," about how ladies love motorcycles. They're at Sam Phillips with Knox Phillips and Knox is as crazy as Penn and Dickinson, so he lets Dickinson bring in a couple of Harleys to provide the rhythm track for the song. One of the guys doesn't quite get it, he's just kind of idling, but the other guy--from the local Nomads, apparently--is into it, and the beat is great. The studio is filling up with smoke, because Campebell Kesinger was playing lead Harley and choking out the bike by using a screwdriver, and Mike Post, who was going to use the studio the next day, comes by, is appalled but then realizes what a great idea this is. Gene Chrisman plays drums to the Harleys and Dickinson says the track turned out great. "What, did you think I was going to use amateur Harley riders?" Where the fuck is this album??
I've heard the late-'60s Bob Segarini stuff with the Family Tree. Kinda psych-sunshine-pop. I do like the Wackers OK and I have a soft spot for the Dudes' album (which apparently was screwed up by producer Mark Spector to the point that the Dudes were very unhappy; there seems to be a second Dudes album out there on a collection that includes some of the original mixes of We're No Angels). I recall reading an interview with Chilton in which he said he "knew more" than Segarini. The Segarini style was a lot closer to Tiven's than to Chilton's. Apparently Segarini's still around, working in radio.

Edd Hurt, Sunday, 28 August 2016 02:00 (sixteen hours ago) Permalink

Family Tree: "so run along," FLOMP, "after it's warm..." Aerial Pandemic Ricky-Tick.

Edd Hurt, Sunday, 28 August 2016 02:05 (sixteen hours ago) Permalink

Read about Dickinson and Penn at Sam Phillips here.

Edd Hurt, Sunday, 28 August 2016 02:10 (sixteen hours ago) Permalink

Robert Gordon says Emmet the Singing Ranger Live in the Woods is languishing in an unknown corner of the Arista vaults

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 28 August 2016 11:05 (seven hours ago) Permalink

This thread has been a revelation. The recent flurry of posts has led me back into listening to Big Star for the first time in a while - a band I've always liked a good deal, without ever really 'holding' as a complete thing, if that makes sense. This weekend (my last before going back to school - teaching) I've gone down a complete rabbit hole, listening intensively (in various settings), watching the documentary and reading, reading. It's been one of those periods where you come close to somehow regrowing your ears, and I feel like I've finally made sense of the band's architecture: that moment in listening where time seems to pause and expand and you step inside, walk around, look into the eaves - for crows, for glyphs, for spent carnival balloons. Third has always been 'the one' and it's where I'm still getting those vital, disturbing punctum moments, but they've been coming at regular intervals, right across the three albums. Thanks for the thread. I love the internet.

Sunn O))) Brother Where Art Thou? (Chinaski), Sunday, 28 August 2016 15:52 (three hours ago) Permalink

There needs to be a collection of 'smirks on record' - Chilton's at the end of 'Nature Boy' is a masterpiece of the genre.

Also, it was great, after following various routes down the wormhole, to end up at the Everlys' 'Pretty Flamingo':

Sunn O))) Brother Where Art Thou? (Chinaski), Sunday, 28 August 2016 16:51 (two hours ago) Permalink

Ha, I believe I many have gone down that particular rabbit hole a decade ago. Over that decade I finally came to grasp the concept of the composite minor scale and learned the technical name of that particular harmonic trick I was asking about.

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 28 August 2016 17:46 (one hour ago) Permalink

One more bit of trivia I dredged up/was reminded of last week. Bill Cunningham, bassist for The Box Tops, concentrated on the upright and went on to a career as a classical player, and used his relevant skills to arrange the strings for Chris Bell's "You and Your Sister."

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 28 August 2016 17:56 (fifty-seven minutes ago) Permalink

Another, unrelated song, called "You and Your Sister" that sounds a little like the Everly Brothers backed by the VU.

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 28 August 2016 17:59 (fifty-four minutes ago) Permalink

The Vulgar Boatmen are a fascinating (well, sort of) lack of success rabbit hole in their own way.

Had the same thought about Big Star before hearing them as well, another surprise upon first listen. Wondered if he decides to sing high because

... it was closer to his natural voice?

I barely remember one or two of the reunion gigs I saw, but iirc the Posies guys sung the higher stuff and Chilton the other songs? I got the vibe he had them singing the songs he did not want to sing, even though he could.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 28 August 2016 18:01 (fifty-two minutes ago) Permalink

Alex Chilton is the Goldilocks of vocalists, range-wise.

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 28 August 2016 18:04 (forty-nine minutes ago) Permalink

Also, now have this image of Alex and Prince having a conversation and then singing together, having an amusing discussion about how to divvy up the vocal parts.

Put Out More Flag Posts (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 28 August 2016 18:08 (forty-five minutes ago) Permalink

That Vulgar Boatmen made me think of Gary Louris (or do I mean Mark Olson?) - something in that melody and the cadences. Great track.

Thanks for those links, JamesRedd. This wormhole is deep, deeeeep. (Idle musings, but do these things 'lead' anywhere, as such? By which I mean, does having the tools to decode the relative patterns in harmonic scales etc, lead to anywhere definitive, or do the songs, the patterns just evaporate the closer you get to the source? I suppose it's a question of music's ultimate lack of concrete reality and how it remains a non-representative medium (notation aside). I'm babbling.)

Sunn O))) Brother Where Art Thou? (Chinaski), Sunday, 28 August 2016 18:17 (thirty-five minutes ago) Permalink


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