Obscure even by Big Star standards Van Duren's legacy is one of heartbreak and setback. But as a new film and soundtrack reveal, there's plenty to celebrate about an artist who sounds fresh, vital more than 40 years after cutting his debut.
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.