Here's my weekly reminder to listen to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM PST. Their guests this week will be the Henry Clay People, who will perform live. I just got back from their record release party at the Scene and as usual, it was all about fun. Several covers, guests jumping on stage to play and sing and Joey handing his guitar down to an audience member for a solo during "Rockin' in the Free World." Sylvia and Todd will also be giving away Eels tickets.
Each week I pick a song and then write about it here. On February 14th, in honor of Valentine's Day, my pick was Big Star's "I'm In Love wit a Girl." I don't remember when I first got into Big Star, but anybody who reads a lot of record reviews eventually gets turned on. Every few years, there's a cycle of artists who cite Big Star as an influence, and rock critics love to compare bands to them. And of course the Replacements famously wrote a song called "Alex Chilton" and Elliott Smith did some fantastic Big Star covers.
Alex Chilton's the songwriter most people associate with Big Star. He was responsible for "I'm In Love With a Girl" and most of the other great songs. I would be willing to bet that if you played this track for teenage Elliott Smith fans, you could convince them that it was a lost Smith track. And while Chilton wrote most of the great songs, Chris Bell was an integral part of #1 Record (his solo record, I Am the Cosmos is well worth picking up too). Very weird that Big Star's most recognizable song at this point is the theme to That 70's Show (as covered by Cheap Trick). Ah, the power of television.....
I recently read a pretty good bio on the band, but I'm way too tired to write anything else at this point. If you're a major music fan and don't own the first three Big Star albums, there's a serious hole in your collection. By the way, the Wikipedia entry on Chris Bell is crap. Don't bother with it.
Big Star on Myspace
Big Star performing "Ballad of El Goodo" on Youtube