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Music For Listeners 03/27/2010

1) The Beastie Boys-"Country Mike's Theme"  From the CD 'Anthology'.
2) The Box Tops-"The Letter"  From the compilation CD 'The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep'.
3) The Brute Chorus-"Could This Be Love?"  From the forthcoming vinyl 7" single for "Could This Be Love?".
4) Two Door Cinema Club-"What You Know"  From the CD 'Tourist History'.
5) MGMT-"Flash Delirium"  From the forthcoming CD 'Congratulations'.
6) Hacienda-"I Keep Waiting"  From the forthcoming CD 'Big Red and Barbacoa'.
7) The Radio Dept.-"The Video Dept"  From the forthcoming CD 'Clinging To A Scheme'.
8) Frightened Rabbit-"Things"  From the brand new CD 'The Winter Of Mixed Drinks'.
9) Standard Fare-"Let's Get Back Together"/"Secret Little Sweetheart"  From the brand new CD 'The Noyelle Beat'.
10) Slow Club-"Me and You"  From the vinyl 7" single for "Me and You".
11) Still Flyin'-"Runaway Train II"  From the brand new vinyl 7" single for "Runaway Train II".
12) Gorillaz (featuring. Gruff Rhys And De La Soul)-"Superfast Jellyfish"  From the CD 'Plastic Beach'.
13) Broken Bells-"Sailing to Nowhere"  From the brand new CD 'Broken Bells'.
14) Bear In Heaven-"Wholehearted Mess"  From the CD 'Beast Rest Forth Mouth'.
15) Team Ghost-"Colors in Time"  From the brand new CD 'You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me E.P.'.
16) Stricken City-"Animal Festival"  From the brand new download EP 'Animal Festival'.
17) Three Trapped Tigers-"11"  From the forthcoming CD 'EP3'.
18) The Whigs-"Automatic"  From the brand new CD 'In the Dark'.
19) Dr Dog-"Stranger"  From the brand new CD 'Shame, Shame'.
20) Cats On Fire-"The Hague"  From the download single for "The Hague".
21) Luna-"The Old Fashioned Way"  From the CD 'The Days of Our Nights'.
22) Laura Marling-"Devil's Spoke"  From the brand new CD 'I Speak Because I Can'.
23) Summer Camp-"Ghost Train"  From the vinyl 7" single for "Ghost Train".
24) Laurie Anderson-"Speak My Language From the CD 'Bright Red'.
25) Holy Fuck-"Latin America"  From the forthcoming CD 'Latin'.
26) Big Star-"Feel"  From the CD '#1 Record'.
27) Big Star-"Best Chance We've Ever Had From the CD 'In Space'.
28) Big Star-"I'm In Love With A Girl"  From the CD 'Radio City'.
29) Big Star-"The Ballad of El Goodo"  From the CD '#1 Record'.
30) Big Star-"September Gurls"  From the CD 'Radio City'.
31) Big Star-"Thirteen"  From the CD '#1 Record'.
32) "The Mid-Morning Recording"        Big Star-'Third/Sister Lovers'
The worst thing about SXSW 2010 for me personally was hearing of the passing of singer songwriter Alex Chilton. After finding Big Star with a lot of the indie community in the early 90's; mainly through new bands that cited them as an influence. It was clear from the beginning, there is just something special about the music of Big Star. Even though The Box Tops were from Memphis proper, and even though "The Letter" would become an international smash success, it was other melodies and maybe the lessons of The Beatles, Badfinger, or maybe even Hendrix that started to take ahold of him. When The Box Tops singer returned to Memphis in the early 70's, he would make his own band; a band of true friends. This band was Big Star, named after a local chain conveience store. I had always wanted to see them play live, but something always kept me from doing so. "This time, I'm going to see Big Star at SXSW. I've let the chance slip away too many times before.".

When I visited Memphis it wasn't Sun Records, Beale Street or even Graceland that I wanted to see. I wanted to see Ardent Studios, where Big Star recorded some of the best music ever made. I wanted to see Stax Records, not only for bringing us amazing soul, but also because they released albums by the magical Big Star. It took me a while, but a couple years back, I finally started to see the greatness in the 'Third' album by Big Star." It's not as pop heavy or hooky as the first two releases, but it stands the test of time for being different from those two recordings. More sounds and more soul in another ground breaking album that was totally overlooked by the masses. A pop album that wasn't recorded by just anyone, it was Alex Chilton returning with Big Star. (Something they would do again nearly 30 years later with a fourth album, 'Big Star In Space'.) Now after reading a ton of press releases this past week, it looked as if Big Star was about to mount a serious campaign to gain some of the mainstream success that always eluded them. On the heals of their brand new box set, 'Keep An Eye On the Sky', and a "comeback", high-profile apperance at SXSW 2010, they were about to mount a world tour to bring them to massive festivals and theater venues across the globe. This tour will most likely still happen with the surviving members of Big Star, along with "special guests" filling in the huge gaps left behind. They better find someone really special, because these are certainly huge shoes to fill. One thing is for sure, the music will still live on, and maybe now more people will know of their output. Maybe somewhere in the ether, Alex Chilton and Chris Bell are together again. "Thank you friends, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you." Alex Chilton (1950-2010)

33) James-"Sayonara"  From the CD 'Wah-Wah'.

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