Entries tagged with: Alex Chilton

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by Bill Pearis

Ork Records: New York, New York

In August of 1975, the world's first punk record label was born. Ork Records: New York, New York is a tale of Terry Ork, a film-obsessed fugitive of Warhol's Factory set. Ork's impresario ear would pull damaged, literate new rock music from the pregnant Bowery grime of CBGB, resulting in debut 45s by Television and Richard Hell, as well as landmark recordings by the Feelies and Lester Bangs. It's a tale of Charles Ball, who'd steer Ork Records through solo exploits by Big Star's Alex Chilton and the dBs' Chris Stamey.
For Record Store Day, the Numero Group released the Ork Records Complete Singles box set, lovingly repressing the NYC label's 7" output, including early singles from Television (label head Terry Ork was their manager), Richard Hell, Alex Chilton, Chris Stamey and more. There was also what could've been The Feelies' first single, if it had actually been released at the time, offering up decidedly more punk versions of "Fa Ce La" and "Forces at Work" than would appear on debut album Crazy Rhythms. It's an amazing "what if" and, for me, it was almost worth the price of the box for that Feelies single alone. The whole thing is pretty great, though.

You can still pick up the Complete Singles box, but for those who don't like lifting the needle so often, Numero Group will release Ork Records: New York, New York on October 30 which compiles all the singles, plus a whole lot more, on two CDs or four vinyl LPs. All versions include a 190-page book about the label with rarely-seen photographs, liner notes, remembrances and essays, and there's an edition that comes with a bonus 45 with two unreleased Feelies songs. Full tracklist and and a trailer for the comp (which features that version of Feelies' "Fa Ce La") are below. Pre-orders are available now.

Continue reading "Numero Group releasing punk label Ork Records entire output on new comp feat. Television, Alex Chilton, Feelies & more"

Russell Simins

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion released a new album, Meat and Bone, this year and we spoke to drummer Russell Simins to see what his favorite albums of the year were. There is some new stuff there, but a good chunk of the list is made up of reissues and uncovered lost recordings, and he's got some really interesting inclusions. Check out his full list below.

As mentioned, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will play a WFMU benefit (to help WFMU recover from Sandy damages) in NYC on January 13 at The Bell House with Jonathan Toubin, legendary Texas gospel funk group The Relatives (who also play Joe's Pub a day later with Debo Band), Dot Wiggin, and Di Dionyso. Tickets for that show are still available.

Russell's list below...

Continue reading "Russell Simins' (JSBX) Top Albums of 2012"

Ray Davies

Ray Davies has a new LP on the way entitled See My Friends due on November 1st. The release will see The Kinks frontman pairing with multiple bands to re-record, and sometimes re-imagine, Kinks songs. And these bands have names like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Spoon, Black Francis, Metallica, Mumford & Sons... and the legendary Alex Chilton (RIP).

"This project came about almost by accident," says Davies of the project, which was kick-started when he recorded a version of 'Till The End Of The Day' in the summer of 2009, with Alex Chilton.
The full list of collaborators is below.

Davies is getting back on the road as well, though so far he just has scattered dates in Europe, and a newly-announced show in the United States. He'll be performing his 2009 LP The Kinks Choral Collection with the Dessoff Chamber Choir at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on November 26th. Tickets go on sale at noon today (10/8). NYC got that show in 2009.

All dates, the See My Friends tracklisting, and some video are below...

Continue reading "Ray Davies re-recorded Kinks songs w/ special friends, playing NJ & other dates "

Alex Chilton @ Hoboken Arts & Music Fest 2009
The Box Tops

This year's Hoboken Arts & Music Festival will happen on Sunday, May 2nd, 11am to 6pm, on Washington Street (b/w Observer Highway and 7th St). The musical offerings include pop-rock hit-makers Fountains of Wayne (who play a sold-out show at Maxwell's the night before), songwriter Freedy Johnston, NJ roadhouse blues The Doughboys and others plus "over 300 artists, sculptors, photographers and craftspeople."

Last year's fest featured members of The Feelies (who are playing July 4th weekend shows in Hoboken) and '60s group The Box Tops (Alex Chilton RIP).

More info with the current music lineup, and videos from last year, below...

Continue reading "Hoboken Arts & Music Fest 2010 lineup includes Fountains of Wayne & Freedy Johnston (the Box Tops played last year)"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon - Relief (R. Kelly cover) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beth Orton and Sam Amidon - Thirteen (Alex Chilton) (MP3)

Footloose... coming to LPR

The new monthly Unsilent Film series kicks off Wednesday, April 7 with a free concert from Kría Brekkan (ex-Múm, Avery Tare & Kría Brekkan) as she debuts a live-improvisational score to Jean Epstein's 1928 horror masterpiece The Fall of the House of Usher. Then on April 25 Doveman will perform revised versions of tracks from his reinterpretation of the Footloose soundtrack and his album The Conformist to excerpts from the films Footloose and The Conformist. And on May 23 the series will feature jazz guitar luminary Marc Ribot doing his solo-guitar score to Charles Chaplin's 1921 slapstick comedy The Kid. [Le Poisson Rouge]
The screening tonight (4/7) is free - tickets to Doveman and to Marc Ribot are both on sale. The latter two are not new material - Doveman released a Footloose covers album in 2008 and his original The Conformist LP last year, and Marc Ribot performed with the same film as part of the NY Guitar Festival earlier this year.

Also coming up, Doveman will be opening for Patrick Watson on May 6th at the Bell House and May 7th at 92YTribeca. He'll also be performing with collaborator Sam Amidon at Sam's album release show at 92YTribeca on Saturday, April 10th. Tickets are still on sale.

Doveman also has a show on Thursday, April 15th at Barrow Street Theater with Uncle Monk (Tommy Ramone's bluegrass duo), Penny Arcade, Bandana Splits (a group that includes Dawn Landes) and Tyrone Cotton. That's being put on by NYC/Kentucky-based festival Motherlodge.

One of the songs on Sam's new record, I See the Sign, which is out now, is a dead serious cover of R. Kelly's "Relief" that's actually sort of affecting. The song is posted above. Beth Orton contributes to Sam Amidon's new album (and vice versa), and he joined her for two NYC shows in January. They also recently recorded a cover of Big Star's "Thirteen" with Dave Schramm and David Mansfield for Radio Free Song Club.

As we gathered on St. Patrick's Day to tape show number four, we learned of the death of Alex Chilton. Beth Orton and Sam Amidon were in the studio that night and worked out a version of Big Star's "Thirteen". Ted found the lyrics online, Sam picked out the chords and they sang it for the first time.
You can download that above too.

Marc Ribot will be performing in a trio with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor at Rose Live Music on April 12th. And he'll do two sets at the Stone on May 6th (1st Henry Kaiser, Marc Ribot & John Zorn; 2nd Duo with Henry Kaiser & Marc Ribot).

The film screening tonight is the only announced upcoming date for Kría Brekkan. check out a video of her and Fall of the House of Usher, both pasted below...

Continue reading "film w/ music series w/ Kria Brekkan, Doveman, Marc Ribot ++ Sam Amidon MP3s (Alex Chilton & R Kelly covers) & more "

photos by Ryan Barkan

Big Star Tribute

Just as everyone at the SXSW Music Festival was finding their groove Wednesday, news of the death of Alex Chilton hit. "Austin's in shock about Alex," read one of the countless social media memes. On Saturday, heartsick Big Star fans got to hear Chilton songs performed by a cast of guest musicians sitting in on the regularly scheduled Big Star showcase, held down by the remaining members of the band's current incarnation, Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow and Jody Stephens...

But first a letter from Chilton's widow, Laura, who the 59-year-old musician had only recently married, was read by publicist Heather West [video below]...

...Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets lumbered through "In the Street," otherwise known as the theme song for That 70's Show. M. Ward of She & Him croaked an elegant "Big Black Car." Mike Mills of R.E.M. found his religion with "Jesus Christ." John Doe of X dispatched a crystal clear "I'm in Love with a Girl." And in what was the night's biggest surprise, Sondre Lerche provided an intense, harmonic "The Ballad of El Goodo."

And that's how it went for the entire hour and a half, with guest musicians including Chris Stamey, Chuck Prophet, Evan Dando, Amy Speace, the Watson Twins, Susan Cowsill, and original Big Star member Andy Hummel (who came in from Lithuania for the show) all getting a chance to pay tribute to Chilton. A rendition of the classic "Thirteen" was one of the final songs of the night, the lyrics of which encapsulated not only the special moment that was taking place in the storied Antone's blues club, but the entire SXSW Music Festival: "Rock & roll is here to stay/ Come inside where it's okay." [Rolling Stone]

The full setlist with more pictures and a video from the show, below...

Continue reading "Big Star members & many special guests paid tribute to Alex Chilton Saturday night @ SXSW - pics, video & setlist"

Big Star @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple in November (more by Lori Baily)
Big Star

Alex Chilton, the pop hitmaker, cult icon and Memphis rock iconoclast best known as a member of 1960s pop-soul act the Box Tops and the 1970s power-pop act Big Star, died Wednesday at a hospital in New Orleans.

The singer, songwriter and guitarist was 59.

"I'm crushed. We're all just crushed," said John Fry, owner of Memphis' Ardent Studios and a longtime friend of Chilton's. "This sudden death experience is never something that you're prepared for. And yet it occurs."

Chilton had been complaining about his health earlier Wednesday, Fry said. He was taken by paramedics from his home to the emergency room but could not be revived.

Chilton and Big Star had been scheduled to play Saturday as part of the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. [Commercial Appeal]

Such sad news that rippled through Austin last night. The Saturday night show may instead turn into a tribute, but nothing announced yet. Big Star played Brooklyn in November. RIP Alex.

"Big Star served as a Rosetta stone for a whole generation of musicians." -Peter Buck, R.E.M.

Big Star

Rhino is releasing Big Star's 4-disc boxed set which includes 98 tracks spanning from 1968-1975. This power pop band created music that turned artists as diverse as Cheap Trick, R.E.M., and The Replacements into Big Star fans. The 4-disc boxed set, Keep an Eye on the Sky, includes extensive liner notes, rare and never-before-seen photos, and insightful essays about the cult of Big Star and the band's history. These influential tracks will be released September 15, 2009.

Also, on RECORD STORE DAY, a special Limited edition Big Star 7" Vinyl will be available. Only 3,500 vinyl will be pressed. These 7" vinyl will only be available at independent records on September 5th.
I'm not sure what Record Store Day has to do with anything, but that's a picture of the 7" above.

Big Star is:

Jon Auer
Alex Chilton (original member)
Jody Stephens (original member)
Ken Stringfellow
Jon and Ken, both members of the Posies, joined in 1993. The Posies recently got back together to perform "Frosting on the Beater" at Gramercy Theatre and The Bell House. Ken often plays solo shows, like when he opened for Robyn Hitchcock at the Bell House recently. Jon also plays solo shows, like the one he has scheduled at The Bell House on September 15th with Fountains of Wayne.

Alex Chilton still plays shows too, often in Hoboken, and sometimes with The Box Tops. In 2005 he survived Katrina. Posts about him are usually accompanied by comments like "Big Star please!"...

Tickets are on sale for a Wednesday, November 18th Big Star show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

Videos from a show Big Star played in Hyde Park in July, with a picture of the Rhino box set and the tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Big Star releasing box set, PLAYING NYC SHOW (on sale)"

Hoboken Arts & Music Festival, Spring 2006 (David Pfeffer)
Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival

The annual Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival is taking place this year on Sunday, May 3rd. Bands scheduled to perform include East of Venus, Yung Wu and Wild Carnation -- all of which feature members of The Feelies -- plus reunited '60s group The Box Tops.

The Box Tops were a Memphis pop music group of the late 1960s. They are best known for the hits "The Letter," "Neon Rainbow", "Soul Deep" and "Cry Like A Baby," and are considered a major blue-eyed soul group of the period...Vocalist Alex Chilton went on to front the power-pop band Big Star and to launch a career as a solo artist.... [Wikipedia]
Chilton will be there as will 4/5 of the original group.

Feelies bassist Brenda Sauter plays with Wild Carnation, East of Venus has Glenn Mercer and drummer Stan Demeski, and Yung Wu includes Dave Weckerman, Mercer and others (basically the whole band has gigged with Yung Wu at times).

The Feelies have performances together coming up, too. The band is playing an acoustic set at The Whitney on Friday, June 26th, and has a pair of July 4th-weekend shows at Maxwell's in Hoboken. The band plays ATP NY in September.

Catch a video of The Box Tops playing their most well known tune, "The Letter" -- plus a strangely intense clip of the song on American Bandstand -- with the Hoboken fest's full schedule and directions, below...

Continue reading "2009 Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival lineup - The Box Tops, three Feelies-related bands & more"

night four of Hanukkah @ Maxwell's....

Alex Chilton & Yo La Tengo - Dec 7, 2007
Yo La Tengo & Alex Chilton

More photos & video below....

Continue reading "Alex Chilton & Yo La Tengo pics/video (4th Hanukkah show)"