The exceptionally untimely death of Alex Chilton, one of the most dynamic talents of American popular music, period, got me thinking and listening hard. While I'm having trouble digging up my copy of High Priest (a record that was underappreciated and misunderstood in its time, but that I think gives a really thoroughgoing picture of everything Chilton was about), the recent Big Star box set Keep An Eye On The Sky has been a near-constant companion in recent weeks. (Not only is it filled with fantastic music, by the way; its sonics are absolutely magnificent, best I've ever heard the group on CD.) And of course, next time I go to my barber, odds are extremely good that I'll hear The Box Tops' "Cry Like A Baby," as the place's radio is perpetually tuned to WCBS-FM. What an odd career.
Chilton's music hasn't been particularly widely represented in Hollywood motion pictures, but where and when it has been, it's been pertinent, noteworthy. Over at The Auteurs' Notebook today I do a little ruminating on Chilton in the movies, with the help of some generous observations from writer/director Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers, Superbad, Adventureland). You may read the piece here.