Daily Archives: March 13, 2009

Thirteen Again

Didn’t we just do this a month ago?

And do you really want to tempt fate with superstition when you are here? Many teams had their bad luck earlier this week, so what will the 13th bring? Syracuse had one of the most heartbreaking almost-buzzer-beaters I’ve ever seen, but it was (rightfully) dismissed by a millisecond. Little did they know that the game of the yearmaybe the best game ever – would continue into SIX overtime periods!! Years from now, fifty thousand people will claim they were at Madison Square Garden to witness the event.

People always claim they were “there” for the seminal events, don’t they? If everyone who claims to have bought Big Star albums in the early 70s actually did, Big Star wouldn’t be a cult band.

But enough suffering…let’s put a good light on this day, shall we? How about one of the best pop songs ever written?

Maybe Friday I can / get tickets for the dance

Maybe Friday I can / get tickets for the dance

The studio version of “Thirteen” is absolute pop perfection; bottling that teenage lust/angst, the “no one understands us” mentality that we all go through at some point. Hearing this song for the first time when you’re in that zone…wow. You probably have the album(s), but if not…don’t deny yourself any longer. Just playing those clips should seal the deal if that 2-for-1 price doesn’t.

What Big Star threw out on that landscape in the early 70s was like a torch in the musical darkness. I read the review of #1 Record in Creem, hit the record store circuit until I found a copy, and I haven’t stopped playing it since. Frankly, I don’t know may people who have. Radio City is Chilton taking charge, and although bolder and different it’s about neck-and-neck with the first one. I’ve got two different CDs that combine the first two on one disc; one in order, one scrambled, and the sequencing on both seems logical. Hard to screw up two dozen great songs on a disc.

I wasn’t a big fan of the third album; I preferred the melody to the chaos. And I was pretty let down by the recent “new” album, although it had its moments. Similarly I really like the two live albums recorded in the 70s much more than the more recent one from the 90s. Although the Posies/Chilton version of the band looks great on paper, the innocent fearlessness of the original band trumps them hands down. (But let’s be fair, thirty-five years plus wears on anyone). The history of the band is a fascinating story, captured in book length by Rob Jovanovic. For those with a gnat-like McNugget attention span, this might be more your speed. (I’m sure most people landing here are well-versed on the band, but I must post that last link on the slim chance that I’m popping someone’s Big Star cherry.)

So screw you, Jason Vorhees. This Friday belongs to “Thirteen”.

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