The sad news that seminal musician and producer Alex Chilton died started spilling out over the Internet on St. Patrick’s Day evening, just as SXSW was getting started in Austin. Chilton’s band Big Star was scheduled to play at the festival on Saturday, at a much-anticipated show (which will now be a tribute/memorial show featuring members of both Big Star as well as other musicians).
Famous for not only Big Star, but also for his teen band The Box Tops, Alex Chilton caught the attention of several generations of music fans who discovered him not only through his own music, but also via odes to him penned by others (cue the Replacements’ song “Alex Chilton” here) and through covers of his songs.
As I read through comments from fans after his death, I noticed that someone mentioned first encountering his music through the 4AD project This Mortal Coil. In the amazing This Mortal Coil 1983-1991 box set , ethereal supergroup This Mortal Coil covered various artists, including Rain Parade, Talking Heads, Tim Buckley, The Apartments, and Big Star. Additionally, a CD was included of the same songs by their original artists, so suddenly goth-loving folks in their 20s got introduced to the genius of Big Star’s tracks “Holocaust” and “Kangaroo.”
Today as I drove around the city, I scanned my radio dial, hoping to catch some Alex Chilton tunes to help make me feel better about this huge loss. Thanks to a DJ at KUSF, I heard a couple of tunes, but I’m craving more. Here’s a quick look at some radio shows that have been paying tribute to Alex Chilton already as well as those with specials coming up in the next few days. If you know of other radio memorials, please post them in the comments section:
Thursday, March 18th:
The Voice of Energy radio show (online) tribute from 8-10pm (Pacific)
Friday, March 19th:
963 Classic Rock Las Vegas doing a tribute
Saturday, March 20th:
KFJC show “No Way Out” hosted by Zero Gravity from 9pm to Midnight (Pacific Time)
CJTR Community Radio, Al from “Mouth Radio” from Noon to 1pm
Sunday, March 21st:
WRXP “Vinyl Experience Show” from 9-10am (Eastern Tim)
Paul Cavalconte will be playing music from The Box Tops, Big Star and the Replacements…all on vinyl.
No Set Date:
Ah, Mr. Chilton Station on Pandora