The personal blog of Andrew Kueneman. I like to talk about music, old junk, buildings & houses, tools, tv, and pictures.

  1. Song O My Soul (alternate version)
    Artist Big Star
    Album Keep An Eye On The Sky

    I can’t seem to find when this track was recorded or mixed, but it is a far more produced and psychedelic approach than the more rough and ‘live’ mono version that appears on the record proper. This is amazing though. 1973.

  2. Song Daisy Glaze
    Artist Big Star
    Album Radio City

  3. Song Walking Dead
    Artist Alex Chilton
    Album Alex Chilton's Lost Decade

    Chilton’s Lost Decade sounds a bit like recent Paul Westerberg material.  Or the other way around actually. You can find it here. If they used this as the theme song maybe that crappy soap opera of a TV show would be better.

  4. Song Born To Rock & Roll
    Artist The Byrds
    Album Byrds

    Rounding out my trilogy of posts featuring The Byrds. In 1973, after the band had survived a series of line-up changes and a few major reformattings, Roger McGuinn rustled up the five original members to record what would become their very last record. The title of this unintended swan-song was simply Byrds (Amazon has it wrong). For the most part, the founding fathers (Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke) put together a rather unremarkable album. With three covers (2 of them Neil Young) and a few songs already recorded by some of the guys in their respective solo-modes, Byrds just fails to blow you away. However, as with any unremarkable album by a group of such potential talent, there are a few hidden and crusty gems to be found. One of these is “Born To Rock & Roll”. By this point in his career, McGuinn was so damn good at sounding like he didn’t give a shit, he had inadvertently planted the seeds of what would become the slacker side of punk. The attitude, the delivery, and the rejection of lame corporate professionalism - this is what Roger brought to the mainstream. This was not very popular in 1973. Alex Chilton would bridge the gap and fill in the blanks.

  5. Song All The Things
    Artist The Byrds
    Album (Untitled)

    You can hear the influence Roger McGuinn most certainly had on Alex Chilton (and to a lesser extent Chris Bell) of Big Star in this track. It has been stated in a few biographies that Alex spent some time hanging with McGuinn in the early 70s, learning how to develop and use his natural voice, weaning himself off of the faux smokey soul style he employed with The Box Tops. But back to The Byrds. (Untitled) was released in 1970 and is a damn near perfect double album (half live/half studio) - with the big exception of the 16 minute long live jagoff of “Eight Miles High.” This is the part of the concert I’d be off waiting in line for the bathrooms. But besides that, this album is essential Byrds.

  6. Song Can't Seem To Make You Mine
    Artist Alex Chilton
    Album Bangkok (7 inch Single)

    This is one of my favorite covers. Alex Chilton doles out a decent amount of justice as he rips through The Seeds’ Can’t Seem To Make You Mine. This was originally released in 1978 as the flip side to the 7-inch Bangkok single (warning - extremely stupid and offensive lyrics), but you can acquire it, along with many other Chilton gems, on Lost Decade

  7. Song Hey! Little Child
    Artist Alex Chilton
    Album Like Flies On Sherbert

    I’ll close out 2010 with a song from a real artist, a true punk, who passed away this year. Alex Chilton began his career at the very tip top of it - at 16 he had a number one hit with his band The Box Tops. Following that anomaly, throughout the 70s with Big Star and as a solo artist, his commercial appeal and success would steadily decline - but his work edged nearer and nearer towards that raw, honest portrayal of himself that he was always seeking. It’s evident in the evolution of his voice more than anything.

    Chilton would leave a trail of destruction and influence that is immeasurable today. Every working “rock” band that is worth two shits will tell you Chilton and Big Star were something, and if they don’t - they simply don’t know it. Like Flies on Sherbert is a total wreck of an album, recorded in 1978-79 during some foggy dark nights in Memphis and featuring a cover photo by American photographer William Eggleston. In this song, one cannot hear much at all of the melodic power-pop that endeared Big Star to so many, but one can hear the sharp survey and the gleeful roast of the contemporary punk movement that surrounded Alex at the time.

    [Editor’s Note: It just dawned on me that Heather and I were at the very last Big Star show in November of 2009 - possibly the last time Alex played? I’m not sure, but it was a very special night for me. Part of the rehearsal for that night in Brooklyn can be seen in an early trailer/screener for a documentary that has been in the works for quite some time.]

Based on the Vignelli theme by Robbie Manson