this is not shaping up to be a stellar year for lo-fi, diy, outsider southern musicians. we lost the great vic chestnut on c'mas day to suicide & now mark linkous, better known i suppose as sparklehorse, has checked out. today we get news that memphis born & based oddball, alex chilton, has simply given up the ghost in new orleans. it can't be easy doing things your own way in the music business & each of these guys did so w/o apology. in fact, chilton just got weirder.
i have no memory of what my sources were back in c'ville during the mid-90s but i somehow stumbled onto will oldham, sparklehorse, soul coughing, vic chestnut, & the "reconsideration" of big star. w/the exception of mike doughty of soul coughing, all of these guys were southern boys doing the lo-fi thing themselves. something about their music & their approach appealed to me then(& it still does). some of it had to do w/the subjects they chose to write/sing about(greil marcus' "old weird america"), some of it w/the simplicity of the presentation.
oldham, linkous, & chestnut got better as they settled into their various, variable creative terrains & each became more musically accomplished. i'll write more about chilton later this week but here are several linkous videos, the first two songs from his first album, vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, which i owned back in c'ville & the last two from later work.
enjoy & lament. really. lament. this is a huge loss.