RIP Alex Chilton


I feel like I’m just marking memorials these days. First singer Kate McGarrigle (RIP post here), now Big Star frontman Alex Chilton.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about my surprise at learning that the Alex Chilton I knew for “Thirteen” and “The Ballad of El Goodo” had been a teen idol with The Box Tops. Check out the post and many Youtubes here.

RIP Kate McGarrigle


She seemed so happy: she was going to put the situation out of her mind and drink up the world to her fullest. She travelled back and forth to Europe, she saw my and Martha’s shows, she went on a grand tour of the world, she swam in lakes in the country. She was a true individual, unique.
-[son] Rufus Wainwright

“Swimming Song”
[audio:09%20Swimming%20Song%201.mp3|titles=Swimming Song|artists=Kate & Anna McGarrigle]

Rare Aretha

Rare early footage of my favorite Aretha Franklin song, “One Step Ahead.” She must be about 20 years old here. The video is from before she signed with Atlantic Records, when she was still with Columbia, in the early ’60s.

Mos Def sampled “One Step Ahead” in 1999 for “Ms. Fat Booty” – a bit different feel, but also a great track.

mp3: Aretha Franklin – “One Step Ahead”

mp3: Mos Def – “Ms. Fat Booty”

Found footage, surreal siren

Second in an apparently ongoing series of mine in which I post two things, one of which is a Lady Gaga video.

Like science fiction inspiring the direction of space research, we’ll soon have great video remixing tools to scan and search footage for patterns of dialogue and cadence. And it will all be due to this video:

Plus, as advertised, new over-the-top Lady GaGa. Fimoculous called it: she’s totally the new Matthew Barney. Concert in the Guggenheim? I would fly across the country.

Both via Fimoc.

You’re in high school again (Nirvana)

One of the perks about growing up in Seattle in the 90s was being in the right place at the right time, music-wise. I was a freshman in high school when I went to one particularly legendary rock show — Nirvana’s record release party for Nevermind, held at Beehive records (Peaches) in Seattle.

It was awesome – hundreds of fans jammed into this random record store for the all-ages show – we must have gotten there early because I don’t think I was even ten feet from the band. Things got pretty crazy considering it was in a fluorescent-lit record store at 7:30pm — a mosh pit started up and people were actually crowd surfing in the store.

After the show, the band hung out outside for a while. I got them to sign the flyer for the show, a full-page ad on the back of the Rocket or some other weekly. Krist and Dave were friendly and kidded around with me, Kurt stood back a bit. And then it was over, and time for homework and dinner with my mom. I skipped school a week or so later to go buy the album when it was officially released…and it was 1991, so yes I bought the TAPE.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana at Beehive Records in Seattle, September 16, 1991:

“School” – Nirvana at Beehive Records in Seattle, September 16, 1991:

The story of the show, from a book about Nirvana:

And for diehard grunge fans, footage of the entire concert: