Tag Archives: Big Star

Cheap Time, Bad Sports: Required Listening for Powerpop Preservationists

9 Oct

Cheap Time

The split 7″ between Bad Sports and Cheap Time released in August is proof that lo-fi and garage rock aren’t the only retro-favorite genres being resurrected underground. Both bands could be mistaken for the late-70s, early-80s under appreciated powerpop acts like The Nerves, The Mutants, Fastbacks, etc., producing tight, melodic, addictive arrangements with mighty guitar riffs.

Last week, Cheap Time (In the Red Records) released their second full length, Fantastic Explanations (and Similar Situations), an album with curt, power-pop filled tracks and a curmudgeon spirit. The story behind the recording sessions is just as exciting as the music. This from Cheap Time’s PR folks:

The sessions for this album have also become something of legend, when tracking for the album ended abruptly after engineer Mike McHugh suffered a breakdown and kicked the band out of the studio by gun point before they were able to mix anything. Once the tapes were retrieved over a month later, Earle Mankey (Producer of the Quick‘s Mondo Deco, and The Runaways’ Queens of Noise ex-Sparks member) was brought in to mix the final album, which turned out to be a perfect match!

Bad Sports

Bad Sports (Douchemaster Records) craft their songs similarly, but bury it slightly with a dirty sheen, invoking their garage ethos. Listen to “Days of Denton” and try not to think of Big Star.

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The Big Takeover 30th Anniversary Show!

23 Jul

Buy tickets here! Immediately! Now! Go! Don’t even read this, just go!

This incredible two-day sonicfest can only be described as the back catalog of The Big Takeover come alive! It is the celebration of Jack Rabid’s creation, his roots as a zine sire, and the labor of love in between, but it is also a reflection of the heart of The Big Takeover: the unadulterated passion for music and those who create it.

“I am amazed that all 16 bands are playing,” said Rabid, whose own Springhouse will reunite to play their album Postcards from the Arctic in full on Day 2. “The distances that some of these people are coming just to be a part of this is so humbling I can barely believe it, let alone speak of it credibly!”

Why is this show important? For one, it represents the evolution and survival of the printed word during the industry’s roughest patch in history. Secondly, the fest will bring bands to the forefront who, much like the magazine, deserve more recognition. For example, Flower (the members of which later split into Versus and French) will reunite for the first time in 16 years. Mark Burgess, leader and co-founder of Chameleons, will perform. Jon Auer, frontman of the Posies and longtime Big Star member, will perform. It’s hard to hold in the excitement when the list goes on, so let’s leave it to Rabid.

“If you asked me who I was proudest to present,” Rabid said, “the answer would have to be the Libertines U.S. and Steve Drewett, as I’ve been a fan of them for about 30 years and 26 years, and yet neither ever played here in all that time. And i feel like if I didn’t do a fest like this that sad state of affairs would have been permanent!”

Rabid’s true love, involvement and obsession for the music makes him most qualified to put on such a fest of underground heroes. So who exactly is he excited to see?

“Hmm, I would say For Against if for no other reason than they absolutely blew me away when Springhouse opened for them…in Atlanta in October 2008 I have been a fan for 23 years yet that was the only time I had seen them play since 1996 out in Arizona. The return of their original guitarist a couple of years ago has really made them a ****-hot live band, that and the amazing kid drummer they took on a few years ago as well. What a lineup they have now!”

“And of course, not seeing Flower in 20 years — their last reunion before this 16 years ago was in D.C. so i missed it — is really something I can’t personally have seen in that long! I guess I have seen all the other bands since, I even saw Libertines U.S. for the first time ever a couple of years ago by flying to Cincinnati when they reunited after being gone 20 years and interviewing them for the mag.”

Who else is gonna be there?

Paul Collins (Nerves)

Don McGlashan (Mutton Birds)

Jon Auer (Posies/Big Star)

For Against

Channel 3