Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tonight On WGXC Radio: The Alex Chilton Belated Birthday Special

WGXC, the community radio station for Greene and Columbia counties (New York), will be presenting their Alex Chilton tribute from 9:30 to midnight Eastern Standard Time. To listen to WGXC streaming, click here.

Now, readers of this blog know that I'm a huge fan of the music of Alex Chilton in all its phases and incarnations. He was great with The Box Tops, the ill-fated but wonderful Big Star and on his many solo albums, which try out everything from punk to soul music covers to experimental rock to standards.

Never afraid to tackle varied material, both as producer and performer, Alex was often the only person to perform covers of various 1960's R&B chestnuts and goofy novelty songs. For example, this 1967 hit by Brenton Wood, which qualifies as both:

He also produced one of the most original and incendiary albums of crazed rockabilly ever recorded, Songs The Lord Taught Us by The Cramps.

The 1996 Live in Glasgow recordings Alex did with Teenage Fan Club are, IMO, a standout among his later work.

Alex couldn't care less about current fads or what the recording industry wanted and, sadly, paid a price for being true to himself and his artistic vision; the fact that he could not afford to see a doctor about recurring chest pains directly led to his untimely passing on March 17, 2010.

Since he shared with Elvis Costello and Mike Patton a musical taste that was gleefully, aggressively all over the freakin' map, one can present a veritable panorama of clips and just barely scratch the surface of Alex' sonic oeuvre. He could not be contained.

This - and a sense of person behind the performer - is best expressed in the following article, The Alex Chilton Panel At SXSW, written by Ann Powers for the L.A. Times not long after Alex' passing.

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