What can I say? Alex Chilton is dead. As part of Big Star, he wrote some of the best music of the 1970s, and his work has influenced so many — Jeff Tweedy, Califone, Elliott Smith, The Replacements. The list goes on.
I’m just sitting here playing the YouTube video for this old song over and over again. Those harmonies get me every time. Goodbye, Alex.
Mark Linkous, the frontman of Sparklehorse, has committed suicide. Sparklehorse’s albums—particularly 2001’s It’s A Wonderful Life—are some of the saddest and most beautiful music you’ll ever have the pleasure of hearing. A reader named Alex from the Rolling Stone article sums up Linkous’ contributions wonderfully: Continue reading →
As if living in a world without Ted Kennedy weren’t bad enough, today also saw the passing of Ellie Greenwich. Through her collaborations with Jeff Barry and Phil Spector, Greenwich’s songwriting had a profound influence on American pop music in the 60’s, with masterpieces like “Be My Baby”, “Then He Kissed Me”, “Going to the Chapel”, “Hanky Panky”, and “Leader of the Pack” being just a handful of the songs to her credit.
She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991, and her songs continue to be revered as pop classics. Aspiring songwriters can check out her charmingly antiquated tips for writing a hit song here. Greenwich died earlier today of a heart attack while undergoing treatment for pneumonia at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. She was 68.
In her honor, we’ve got a video (well, actually it’s just audio with a still image) of We Are Scientists performing Greenwich’s greatest song, “Be My Baby”, after the jump, as well as the famous long take from Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, set to “Then He Kissed Me”. Continue reading →
Terkel, known for his portrayal of ordinary people young and old, rich and poor, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for his remembrances of World War II, “The Good War.”
In a 2005 interview with the AV Club, Terkel told Tasha Robinson “I don’t intend to fade out, I intend to check out.” Says Robinson, “True to his word, he worked right up to his death today at age 96; his latest book, P.S.: Further Thoughts From A Lifetime Of Listening, is due out in November.”