Archive for the ‘News’ Category

New Section & Review

Posted by on January 5th, 2011 with 0 Comments

We’ve added a new section to the site called Media. Here you can find photos and videos from both shows at the Cradle. Thanks to everyone who helped document our event!

We also want to share a really nice review of the December 10 performance here at The Big Takeover.

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Picture Perfect

Posted by on December 18th, 2010 with 0 Comments

I’ve been looking this morning at some of the really great pics of the Cat’s Cradle show that are up on Flickr right now. And just thinking how different the event would have been if Lane Wurster and Steve Balcom, of the Splinter Group, hadn’t been involved. Locally it’s no secret that they excel in “making things happen,” from publicity and promotion to graphic design and Web design. So when Frank Heath told me that they, too, loved the record

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Full House at Overdub Lane

Posted by on December 6th, 2010 with 0 Comments

Last night was our first rehearsal with strings and winds and brass all together, I think we had 20 people in the room? So cheering to see a bassoon peeking up over the cello, not to mention flute, sax, trumpet, F horn, trombone . . . ! And Django and Matt and Brett Harris and Sidney Dixon stopped by, as well, to sing through some of the ones they are doing. It was a glorious sound. Ari Picker conducted for

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Mellotron and the Endangered Species

Posted by on December 6th, 2010 with 0 Comments

On my first day of composition class at UNC, years ago, I had a bit of a verbal joust with Roger Hannay (who was later to become a good friend). I made some fond comment about Mellotrons, and he replied that they should be banned, as they were going to put orchestras on the breadlines when record producers realized that they could save money by just pressing the sluggish keys of this new invention, which had been popularized by the

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“For You” Changes the Gameplan

Posted by on November 28th, 2010 with 0 Comments

As I understand it, Jim Dickinson’s arrangement of “Kanga Roo” was one of the events that jumpstarted the Third Big Star album’s expansiveness. Another one was certainly the recording of Jody’s “For You.” Just as the Beatles’ cessation of touring allowed them to open up their studio creations to include things that couldn’t be performed by the basic quartet, the recording-only status of the duo of Alex and Jody meant they were no longer constrained by stage practicalities. So Jody

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The Continuing (R)evolution of “Kanga Roo”

Posted by on November 28th, 2010 with 0 Comments

We (Alex Chilton and the Kossacks) were playing a show somewhere in the wilds of New Jersey, on a bill with the Dwight Twilley band, who were riding high on the wings of (I think) “I’m On Fire.” We’d played many of the songs from the Sister Lovers during regular sets at CBGB’s and Max’s–I remember “Nighttime,” “Holocaust,” and “Thank You, Friends,” among them. Waiting backstage for our soundcheck, Alex started playing through “Kanga Roo” (probably my fave track from

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Amazing!

Posted by on November 19th, 2010 with 0 Comments

We had such an amazing morning last Sunday. It was our first rehearsal of the string parts for the Big Star Third show. The copyist in Nashville, Stephen Lamb, had already sent all but “For You,” Jody’s song that had really started the ball rolling with the orchestrations on the record. I awoke on Sunday morning at around 8 a.m. to read an email from him saying he’d have it for us in time for our evening rehearsal–the problem with

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Where It Began

Posted by on November 16th, 2010 with 1 Comment

This expedition actually started over five years ago. I’d helped Frank Heath put together a core band of some of my fave studio players, including Tyson Rogers, John Heitzenrater, Jeff Crawford, and Roman Candle, for an evening of Elliot Smith music, “Either/Or,” in 2005. Not only was this a huge musical success, but it felt good to all involved to have a community project that showed that we could do something musically excellent–Elliot’s songs are, of course, harmonically, emotionally, and

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"Big Black Car" and the "Unanswered Question"

Posted by on February 28th, 2010 with 0 Comments

Trying to reverse-engineer the arrangements of the songs in order to make valid concert versions has brought up some tricky questions. I feel a new respect for the much-maligned musicologist! I know Alex always liked first takes and didn’t mind if things occasionally went awry. In fact, I was talking to NYC-based tech-guru Jon Klett the other day, who helped engineer the sessions Alex did for Elektra Records’ Karin Berg when we were playing together. Jon remembers Alex coming back

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