Big Star

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I love that album! It was a recent discovery for me. It's absolute proof that he was in complete sympathy with all things Rock n Roll. "Hey! Little Child" is amazing with its "Whold Wide World" beat* and Chuck Berry-level teenage lechery.

"Oh little fool, are you learning anything in school
maybe you might drop out, maybe travel somewhere down south
Hey hey little child"

*is there a better name for this beat? I had heard it all my life, but it never really came to life until I heard the Wreckless Eric song

people explosion, Thursday, 8 May 2008 17:28 (6 years ago) Permalink

hehe! very observant. I really dont know though, have to do some research...

silkworm exploding, Thursday, 8 May 2008 17:31 (6 years ago) Permalink

Radio City: best guitar and drum sound, ever. perfect. archetypal.

nerve_pylon, Thursday, 8 May 2008 17:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

@people explosion:

it's called the "Cha-Cha".

Steve Shasta, Thursday, 8 May 2008 17:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=JC0Wa3P_dO0&fmt=18

from the dvd accompanying the Oxford American Best of the South issue this month

will, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 13:13 (6 years ago) Permalink

that is sweet! thanks.

tylerw, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 14:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

the 'aptly titled number one record' thing's kind of off though, right? i thought that lazy stax distribution meant that they never really did much, sales-wise.

i'm seeing them in a couple of months. i think i'd maybe prefer to see alex play skewed guitar solos and clichés stuff alone, but, still, way exciting.

schlump, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 14:57 (6 years ago) Permalink

aptly titled 'cause it was their first.

cool video!

G00blar, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 15:17 (6 years ago) Permalink

"Hey! Little Child" is a cha-cha. xp

whisperineddhurt, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 15:23 (6 years ago) Permalink

why in the world would they couple this footage with that tune?

andrew m., Wednesday, 23 July 2008 15:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

aptly titled 'cause it was their first.

ahhh, thanks.

schlump, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 15:58 (6 years ago) Permalink

have the ardent studio sessions been discussed here yet?

dell, Friday, 25 July 2008 10:55 (6 years ago) Permalink

I think what the fella meant was that it was No 1 Record as in it's NUMBER ONE, man. As in, Fuckin A, totally bodacious etc.

Freedom, Friday, 25 July 2008 12:35 (6 years ago) Permalink

have the ardent studio sessions been discussed here yet?

is that the thank you friends comp? i think this is where i heard about it. i was pretty excited to hear the demo of downs, because there's a story about the recording of it in the book. apparently they were playing it, when some ardent a & r guy bowled in saying, this could be a HIT!, this song has POTENTIAL!, and so alex said 'i want to use a basketball for the snare drum'. well good.

schlump, Friday, 25 July 2008 12:42 (6 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Could someone explain where the song "Jesus Christ" came from? That is to say, they never had, to my knowledge, any other songs with any religious content and yet it seems to be unironic in its sentiment. The "we're gonna get born now" perhaps belies this a small bit.

Freedom, Monday, 20 October 2008 16:31 (5 years ago) Permalink

"it seems to be unironic in its sentiment."

are you kidding. just listen to the way chilton sings the verses.

Shacknasty (Frogman Henry), Monday, 20 October 2008 16:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

"they did rejoice/fine and pure of voice/and the wrong shall fail/and the right prevail": this couplet seems so completely trite that maybe it has to be ironic given that the album as a whole is about fucky uppyness, but I dunno, does chilton discuss it anywhere?

Freedom, Monday, 20 October 2008 16:36 (5 years ago) Permalink

also there's loads of incongruous, disconcerting elements to the music which are clearly mocking or doubting the chorus.

Shacknasty (Frogman Henry), Monday, 20 October 2008 16:36 (5 years ago) Permalink

mm, i don't know. he likes playing around with traditional song forms, and i've heard him intro it live as his 'christmas song'. maybe it's just him writing a carol.

schlump, Monday, 20 October 2008 16:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

i think chilton tips his hand when he sings "we're gonna get BORN!" haha.
still, there are a couple tunes on #1 Record (Chris Bell's, I think) that are, to me, at least a little bit informed by the christianity. maybe just "my life is right" now that I think of it. "Lord, I've been trying ..." I think Bell was fairly conflicted with being a gay/southern/christian/rocknroller. And who wouldn't be?

tylerw, Monday, 20 October 2008 16:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

I've never thought this was ironic, nor the VU one

Niles Caulder, Monday, 20 October 2008 17:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

i dunno, i don't think that the VU's "Jesus" is ironic, necessarily -- though I suppose an argument could be made for a Jewish guy writing a hymn of praise to Jesus is ironic in some sense -- but it's not just a straightforward song. as reed has said, that third VU album is about love in all forms -- physical, spiritual, etc. i mean, i don't think lou has ever come out as a believer or anything. ANYWAY, i do think that Chilton's "Jesus Christ" is at heart a genre exercise, his own version of a christmas carol. i don't think it betrays any deepseated christian longings in the man though. fucking amazing song either way.

tylerw, Monday, 20 October 2008 17:35 (5 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

Big Star Albums Re-Released with New Tracks

Jazzbo, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 13:54 (5 years ago) Permalink

cool, i'll probably buy the LPs

some dude, don't make it dad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 12 May 2009 15:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

Big Star box set on the way http://blurt-online.com/news/view/2303/ Wonder how much overlap there'll be with the Thank You Friends comp (which is great).

tylerw, Sunday, 24 May 2009 16:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

tantalizing stuff here http://bigstarbook.blogspot.com/ As unified as Radio City sounds as an album (thanks in large part to John Fry behind the mixing board), it was actually somewhat cobbled together from a variety of sessions. What's Going Ahn stands out as the only track recorded outside the main RC sessions that was engineered by John Fry as a formal session (She's A Mover and Mod Lang came out of late night informal sessions by Chilton and Richard Rosebrough and Morpha Too and I'm In Love With A Girl were done by Chilton after the formal RC sessions).

Alex's acoustic demo for this song is simply stunning and will hopefully be included in the forthcoming Big Star box set. (There's also an equally strong demo for Life Is White.) Unlike a lot of demos, these are something far more than vague or rough sketches. The entire arrangements for the band are laid out in detail with just one guitar. Alex's vocals will send shivers down your spine – they're on par with Thirteen.

tylerw, Sunday, 24 May 2009 16:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

I keep meaning to order that book, it looks awesome.

Bathtime at the Apollo (G00blar), Sunday, 24 May 2009 16:12 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah i didn't even know it was out -- it does sound pretty great, like the author got a lot of access.

tylerw, Sunday, 24 May 2009 16:13 (5 years ago) Permalink

I enjoyed the 33 1/3 book, but maybe its release was rushed a bit, since it's littered with typos.

Craig D., Sunday, 24 May 2009 16:48 (5 years ago) Permalink

http://www.rhino.com/store/ProductDetail.lasso?Number=519760
great song from the box set streaming: the seed that grew into stroke it noel when alex heard the string part i guess. there's SO much unreleased big star stuff i'd love to hear; the javanovic book from a couple of years ago talked about alex eradicating all the backing vocals from takes of third era stuff to make a whole new record.

corps of discovery (schlump), Saturday, 30 May 2009 05:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

oh man this song is pretty good

i am rubber, t u.r.koglu (k3vin k.), Saturday, 30 May 2009 06:01 (5 years ago) Permalink

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

vintage challops

L. Ron Huppert (velko), Saturday, 30 May 2009 06:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah song is nice; description of what's going ahn demo sounds great too, that song's pretty perfect. there are all these beautiful stories about the backstory (like a GREAT one i think i typed somewhere before about jim dickinson's crutches on nature boy), and one of them is a similar sort of thing as above about watch the sunrise; when big star were rock city but starting to hang out with alex, they ended up in the studio asking him if he had any songs or what he could do, and he sat and played it, and that's it, just with an overdubbed twelve string at the start. so great.

corps of discovery (schlump), Saturday, 30 May 2009 06:39 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah, the "Lovely Day" streaming on the Rhino site is awesome! Thought it was going to be the solo acoustic thing from the Thank You Friends site, but i guess not! Can't wait for this box ...

tylerw, Thursday, 4 June 2009 21:02 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah me neither; I'm thinking of pre-ordering it this weekend after I get paid, just so I don't forget about it when it comes out.

scott seaward (G00blar), Thursday, 4 June 2009 21:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

whoah that demo is amazing!! totally different lyrics/melody, but the weirdo rhythm of the backing track and the descending riff are all there - bizarre.

Kool G Lapp (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 4 June 2009 21:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

It's a neat historical document, but that song definitely isn't as good as "Stroke It Noel." In fact, it sounds a bit incongruous to me, kind of like an odd mashup.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Thursday, 4 June 2009 22:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

nah, it's not as good, but I pretty much love hearing ANYTHING by this band

tylerw, Thursday, 4 June 2009 22:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, not as good as "Stroke It Noel," but it sure beats anything on that In Space crap.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 5 June 2009 01:59 (5 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

keep an eye on the sky has leaked, apparently

dorroughmac (k3vin k.), Sunday, 13 September 2009 06:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

another box set i cannot afford at the moment. :'(

tylerw, Sunday, 13 September 2009 18:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

Anyone heard it? Is the previously unreleased stuff any good?

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 13 September 2009 18:37 (4 years ago) Permalink

cool interview! this box set does sound amazing ... if yr like me and have to wait before buying, there's this very neat recording: http://doomandgloomfromthetomb.tumblr.com/post/187210978/dusted-in-memphis-in-honor-of-yet-another

tylerw, Thursday, 17 September 2009 20:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

There's nothing revelatory in the unreleased stuff, just a lot of little bits and pieces that are nice to hear. I lol'd at this bit in the Pitchfork review "adding incomprehensible backing vocals to the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale""

Number None, Friday, 18 September 2009 17:24 (4 years ago) Permalink

incomprehensible if you don't speak French

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Friday, 18 September 2009 17:53 (4 years ago) Permalink

hee hee!
is the live stuff as good as some are saying? better than the live ryko disc?

tylerw, Friday, 18 September 2009 18:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

I guess elementary French isn't a job requirement at Pitchfork. Haven't really delved into the live disc yet.

Number None, Friday, 18 September 2009 18:06 (4 years ago) Permalink

tbf those bkg vocals ARE really slurred n blurred. I thought they were done by Alex's gf tho.

Hat Trick Swayze (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 18 September 2009 18:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah, think they're done by "Leeza" who gets a shout out in "Kizza Me" ...

tylerw, Friday, 18 September 2009 18:15 (4 years ago) Permalink


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