4th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash to Clobber The Empty Bottle (Chicago)

Sunday, December 28th at The Empty Bottle in Chicago. Info below.

In December of 2005, Larry O. Dean of The Injured Parties decided to throw a party in celebration of one of rock and roll’s most unique musical personalities―and one of Larry’s biggest infuences―Alex Chilton. The idea was hatched while Larry observed fellow hard-popping pals Paper Airplane Pilots rip through a Chilton cover at one of the band’s gigs.

Afterward, Dean mused to Pilots honcho Jeremiah Wallis that he knew a number of performers who had at least one Chilton-written number in their arsenal. “Wouldn’t it be cool to hear an evening devoted to those covers?” And lo, the bash was born!

The resulting event featured a veritable slew of Chicago’s indie pop intelligentsia, covering songs from all phases of Chilton’s career in a variety of idioms, some more slavish than others to Alex’s oft inscrutable oeuvre. Everyone had a blast, and once the dust had cleared, beer was mopped up, and the symbolic birthday cake on its way to being digested. Plans were already being bandied about for another existential and cathartic tip o’ the fedora to Memphis’ native son.

In 2006, the 2nd annual bash commenced. Despite a handful of last-minute cancellations due to illness, aught-six was a worthy successor to the previous year’s edition. Twelve artists performed―acoustic acts vied with rafters-rattling electric combos, each playing to its own strengths―including Doleful Lions, The Joy Poppers, and Recent Photo. The crowd ate it up, and once again, the Chilton aura glowed throughout the room.

The 3rd annual bash made for another memorable night of music. Songs that had unaccountably slipped through the cracks in previous years were performed, with a welcome emphasis on Alex’s solo years. (Perhaps most inspiring―Kevin Junior of The Chamber Strings, playing a heretofore unheard Chilton composition rescued off a crinkling cassette and bequeathed to Junior by mentor Epic Soundtracks!)

Of course, the Big Star catalog was also well represented, with stunning performances from the triumvirate of 1970s classics, #1 Record, Radio City, and 3rd/Sister Lovers, as well as pithy renditions of numbers culled from the band’s 2005 “reunion” album, In Space. Last year’s alumni include Daemon Familiar, The Pawners’ Society, Star, and The Uncontrollable Few. In all, another killer night of music, fraternity, and good times in honor of LX.

Now in its fourth year, the bash―cheekily christened LXBB-IV this time, and sponsored by upstart online radio station CHIRP―has become something of an institution. Dean has once again vigorously organized an eclectic palette of performers, embracing acolytes from Wisconsin and Michigan in addition to Chicago, making for a Midwestern who’s-who of smart, and largely loud, interpreters of Chilton’s Memphian by way of Manhattan and New Orleans musical melting pot madness.

LXBB-IV acts:
Certain Stars
Dolly Varden
Evening Bells
The Injured Parties
¡Jerk Alert!
Jeremy Porter
Red Wigglers
Welcome to Ashley

Sunday, December 28th, 8:00 p.m.
The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 66022

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