J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Thursday, March 25, 2010

J's Indie/Rock Mayhem - 24th March 2010

[Welcome to another edition of J's Indie/Rock Mayhem. Tonight's show is dedicated to the memory of the late Alex Chilton who died last Wednesday at the age of 59.

As a founding member of Big Star, Chilton's work has had as an enormous impact on the shaping of power-pop, indie-rock and the indie aesthetic in general with his uncompromising vision of the art that pop could create. His loss is incredibly sad and even two hours isn't enough to truly convey the reach and scope of his brilliance. All the music on tonight's show is written by or shaped by Chilton in really important ways and I hope you enjoy this look back at his work.

Now, onward.]

J's Indie/Rock Podcast: 24th March 2010 show

Theme Song - Peaches - "Rock Show"
the Box Tops - "The Letter" [alex's first (and only) number one hit - recorded at the age of 16 for a band that would sire another top ten hit and then be ground up by the record industry. it's an experience that would shape his entire recorded output and his decisions about artistic integrity, no doubt. still, it's a great song.]
Alex Chilton - "Every Day as We Grow Closer" [recorded for alex's debut solo record after leaving the box tops, it wouldn't be released for over 25 years. it gives insight into his growing sense of melody and pop mastery.]
Big Star - "Feel" [the first track from #1 record, their debut album. most of the songs on this album are co-credited to chilton and founding member chris bell, another great, late songwriter.]
the Box Tops - "Cry Like a Baby" [the other top ten hit for the box tops. another fun, catchy piece of late 60s pop.]
Big Star - "In the Street" (alternate mix) [from keep an eye on the sky. sometimes i let things bother me that shouldn't, and while i should've been happy for the additional attention landing this song as the theme to that 70's show, i initially recoiled at it. mostly because it wasn't the original version. all the same, a lot more people know, indirectly, who big star was as a result of that.]
Big Star - "Don't Lie to Me" (live) [from keep an eye on the sky. a nice live run through of one of the more raucous numbers from one of the first records.]
Big Star - "Thirteen" [from #1 record. this is one of the best known big star songs and for good reason - it's beautiful and melancholic. sweet and wistful and longing.]
Big Star - "When My Baby's Beside Me" [from #1 record. this set was, mostly, full of some of the more rockin' songs from the first album. this song's no exception. jason isbell recorded a cover of this - check it out over at aquarium drunkard.]
Rock City - "Try Again" (early version) [from keep an eye on the sky. an early version of a song that would end up on #1 record. rock city was the first band formed by chilton and chris bell. big star would be their second.]
Big Star - "The Ballad of El Goodo" [from #1 record. "well there ain't no one going to turn me around." a truer motto for the artistic life of chilton i've yet to hear.]
Big Star - "O My Soul" [from radio city. i've always enjoyed this song a lot - it also clocks in as one of the band's longest. here's where we shift to the band as dominated by chilton.]
Big Star - "She's a Mover" (live) [from keep an eye on the sky. another lovely live track from the new box set.]
Big Star - "You Get What You Deserve" [from radio city. i've often had a hard time thinking of radio city and #1 record as separate albums thanks to the rykodisc 2-in-1 CD of the two records, but they are quite different beasts in a lot of ways. both equally great.]
Big Star - "Life is White" [from radio city. another gloriously gorgeous song from the second record.]
Big Star - "I'm In Love With a Girl" [from radio city. this is the last song on that second album and it's as simple, forlorn and perfect a song like this can be.]
Big Star - "September Gurls" [from radio city. in a lot of ways the quintessential big star song. perfect from note to note, front to back.]
Big Star - "Thank You Friends" [from third / sister lovers. one of the songs I always think of when i think of this album's despairing, resolved tone. the way the song just sort of falls to a close rather than wrapping up gives the whole record a desperate feel.]
Big Star - "Stroke It Noel" [from third / sister lovers. every song on the album has a classic quality to it that gets subverted by jabs of noise or seemingly chaotic instrumentation. the stately waltz of this one sounds like it's being performed by very unsure, but knowledgeable hands.]
Big Star - "Nightime" [by request. from third / sister lovers. i heard evan dando really nailed this one at the alex chilton tribute show at south by southwest last saturday.]
Big Star - "Take Care" [from third / sister lovers. this one sort of speaks for itself in the light of everything.]
Big Star - "Kizza Me" [from third / sister lovers. the chaotic album's first track - it seems to portend something 'modern,' and interestingly it becomes one of the record's more dated sounding tracks.]
Big Star - "Kanga Roo" [from third / sister lovers. the late jeff buckley took stabs at this one live and it became a powerful weapon in his hands. the original was no slouch either and where buckley's voice leant it a stately, forlorn air, chilton's is cracked, dissolving, a dying fall.]
Alex Chilton - "My Rival" [from like flies on sherbert. chilton's solo work, especially this album recorded later in the 70s, picked up where third / sister lovers left off, but with an even more chaotic feel.]
Big Star - "Holocaust" (demo) [from keep an eye on the sky. the album version of this classic adds strings and everything else, but this demo, with just alex at a piano, is one of the most haunting versions of this song in existance.]
the Replacements - "Alex Chilton" [from pleased to meet me. right before this i read paul westerberg's remembrance of alex chilton from the new york times. it's a great piece if you haven't read it. and then played the replacements' famous song tribute to chilton.]
Big Star - "O Dana" [from third / sister lovers and a little big star. the line in "alex chilton" about "i never travel far / without a little big star" is used here as a pun, playing a track from the collection of the same name.]
the Replacements - "Nowhere Is My Home" [from boink!! an outtake from sessions recorded around the time of the tim album - chilton produced this particular song.]
the Replacements - "Left of the Dial" [from tim. a fitting going away song for any one of the indie rock persuasion, but chilton also sings back up vocals on the song as credited on the tim album.]
Big Star - "September Gurls" (live) [from big star live. one more run through of my personal favorite big star song, this is a great live version from the 1992 ryko live release from a 70s radio appearance.]

That'll do it for this week - we'll be back next week with the regular line up of new and awesome music. Until then, as Alex said, take care.

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