I don't know if any of you use Google Books or not. The interface is a bit klunky, but there is some really good content. And some really, well, bubblegum content. A great example of the latter would be every single issue of SPIN magazine ever published.
Now I know SPIN ain't the greatest magazine ever, and it certainly never quite reached the heights that Rolling Stone did. But, for me, SPIN is a time and a place that's fun to visit again. It's college and alternative radio and bands like XTC or The Cult or The Pretenders. This is a fantastic time-waster. If only to see how gloriously out of touch they were at times, like choosing Jimi Hendrix for a cover piece on his continuing relevance in April of 1991. An issue that contained a one-sentence blurb about "Seattle's" Nirvana. Yowch.
And last week we lost one of those un-sung heroes of American music when Alex Chilton died. I arrived late to the party when it came to Alex Chilton. I first heard of him as the titular hero of The Replacement's song "Alex Chilton" in the late 1980's, and to be honest...I didn't think he was a real guy. Or a real famous guy, at least. But I soon found out, from people much smarter than me, that he was the lead singer for the Box Tops on their amazing #1 hit "The Letter". He was only 16 at the time he recorded that. Amazing.
He went on to front the influential 70's band Big Star. A band that continues to inspire musicians all over the map. When it came time to pick a theme song for That '70's Show, the producers of the show chose "In the Street" from Big Star because, well...it sounded like the 1970's. Chilton received $70 in royalties every time an episode of That '70's Show aired. Nice coin, if you ask me. Chilton kept on writing, kept on recording, kept on performing until his untimely death.
Well, so long Alex Chilton. I'm damned glad to have known your music. Here he is from a segment of MTV's 120 Minutes from back in 1985. The video quality sucks, but the segment it top notch.
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. "I'm in love. What's that song? I'm in love with that song."