I can’t say that I, personally, was ever a huge Big Star fan. For me, they’re just one of those bands that I missed the boat on, and now I fill my time with new bands so I don’t have time to go back. That being said, Big Star, and in particular Alex Chilton’s, influence can not be denied. Bands like Wilco, Teenage Fanclub, but most notably The Replacements, have allowed the songs of Big Star to be major factors in the music they make. And now it is time again to honor the man behind them all with The Empty Bottle’s 8th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash!
It’s been a couple years since the man’s death, but I don’t think these honorary evenings will end any time soon. This time around there are 12 bands sharing the stage, each playing a couple songs from Chilton’s back catalogue-from his early work with The Box Tops, his solo albums, and of course Big Star.
This year the bands are:
AZITA, CERTAIN STARS, LIAM DAVIS & THE CONTESTANTS, GO TIME, THE GRAND PRIXX, MICHAEL HEATON, HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS, THE INJURED PARTIES, PETER JOLY, LETTERBOMB, PURITAN PINE, SUNKEN SUGAR, URBAN TWANG, WELCOME TO ASHLEY
I haven’t heard all of these bands, but you may recognize that last one from some previous posts. Welcome To Ashley played a show in Chicago earlier this year to raise money to help Kim Collins, drummer for The Buddies-a band that shares three members with WTA-as she battled breast cancer. When I last saw The Buddies at Empty Bottle, they all took notice that Big Star was being featured on the speakers, so I’m not surprised that WTA will be playing.
At least five of the bands listed played previous sets over the years The Empty Bottle has been doing this, so I’m guessing there will be some passionate performances to be seen. If nothing else you can guarantee that the music being played will be better than what most venues have to offer.