* Big Star's Alex Chilton died on St. Patrick's day. What sad news.
If you're not aware of Chilton's life and music, you could do worse with a Friday afternoon than checking out the blog of Bruce Eaton who literally wrote the book on one of Big Star's signature albums. And I made a beginner's mix of some of Chilton's music both with Big Star and solo and a few covers/tribute tunes in there as well.
There are also solid obits at places like the Commercial Appeal, the NY Times, Rob Sheffield at Rolling Stone and a very nice essay on the impact of Chilton and Big Star by Sleater-Kinney alum Carrie Brownstein on her NPR blog (last one via).
More, you say? Well, this short piece on all the bands that were influenced by Chilton from the glory days of Revolver magazine before it sucked was nice to read as was Whitney Matheson's collection of videos of more folks like Elliot Smith and the Bangle covering Big Star. And if you're a recording engineer nerd, this intense rundown of the sound used to record "September Gurls" – one of the all time great pop songs of all time ever – is fun. And you can hear Chilton from some old "Fresh Air" interviews.
Finally, my boy Jesse Thompson sent me this video of Chilton on "120 Minutes" back in 1985 when I didn't even know there was a "120 Minutes":
* All right, let's talk comics! My extreme thanks go to David Pepose at Blog@Newsarama for reminding me with this post that my alma mater Michigan State University will be continuing its annual Comics Forum – a part academic conference, part gallery show anchored this year by a keynote from "B.P.R.D." artist and East Lansing-area local Guy Davis. I missed last year when fellow son of Flint David Petersen spoke at the conference because of family stuff, but I think I might be able to make this year's event. Stay tuned!
* Semi-related: Kind of bummed I didn't know Andy Schmidt was coming to Libertyville near Jami's school until after the fact. Still, fun report on it here.
* Why not Beta Test Longbox?
* From Tom Spurgeon: this Golden Age-era Wonder Woman letterhead is kind of mind blowing. Did they make this back when Wonder Woman was part of All-American but not DC? I wonder. In any event, thanks to Irene Vartanoff, a lady you should read up on here, for sharing.
* I really like reading people's analysis/theories as to what's coming next in Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin especially when folks are smart and show their work. Thanks, David Uzumeri. Thanks, Mindless Ones.
* Real news story: Weed banned on the Iditarod.
* Checking out Geek Week this week, I dug Jeff Katz's roundup of classic Red Wings/Avalanche fights and this piece pointing out how much of a total dick that Nicholas Sparks guys seems determined to make of himself.
* My buddy Joe writes about the fucking egos on writers and many other things.
* As much as I've spent the last few days feeling crummy about Alex Chilton passing, I think I'm going to feel worse this weekend as I watch the Health Care bill get put through the paces. Just so we're all a bit more informed about the historical context of what's about to play out, here's a great visual chart of how Reconciliation has been used in the past. (Thanks to Slayer)
* Just so we can wrap on something really nice, let me just add my voice to the many who think Jon McNally's theoretical all-ages Martian Manhunter book should be pitched to DC and then immeadiately greenlit like yesterday. (Props to JK Parkin on this one)