The Sneakers, the dBs, working closely with Big Star, and with a unique solo career all is own, Chris Stamey has had his hand all over numerous touchstones in rock music. He speaks to PopMatters about his latest album, honoring Leonard Cohen, and how when you invite XTC's Andy Partridge to sing on your album, he just might do something else instead ...
Alex Chilton spent his musical life testing the limits of his enormous gifts and the patience of his devoted fans. He was a conflicted artist, equally talented and mistrusting of his talents. Music came easily, so he made it harder.
It's impossible with Chilton's music to not become personally engulfed; it's impossible to not feel an impenetrable attachment to it. The quintessential outsider, his music spoke to generations of fans who encapsulate those wrangled emotions.
Big Star may have long dwindled on the threshold of musical ubiquity and dangling obscurity, but it strangely seems like the only befitting legacy for artists so caught between their innate standing as pop music outsiders and their reverential, ever-striving will for superstardom.
Chernikowski's 35mm black-and-white stills (a sampling of which is included in the Museum of Modern Art’s Looking at Music: Side 2 exhibit this fall) exude more than just an appreciation for the magnetic personalities they capture, but also a sense of discovery.