Fool's Brigade celebrates The Replacements, Big Star



"Rock guitar players are all dead men walking," former Replacements front man Paul Westerberg recently wrote in The New York Times tribute piece about his mentor, Alex Chilton, who passed away on March 19. "Those who fail to click with the world and society at large find safe haven in music -- to sing, write songs, create, perform. Each an active art in itself that offers no promise of success, let alone happiness."

Westerberg inherited Chilton's knack for penning poignant, beautiful-loser pop songs, and understood well his disappointment at learning that meant nothing on the ladder of success. Westerberg's misfits and Chilton's still-underrated Big Star were forever linked by The Replacements' 1987 Pleased to Meet Me tribute track "Alex Chilton" ("I never travel far/without a little Big Star"), which made this pairing a natural for the 7th Annual Fool's Brigade charity tribute even before Chilton's passing.

Spread over two nights this year at Snug Harbor to celebrate both seminal acts, The Replacements get covered Friday, April 2 by a lineup featuring One Another, You Tonight, Dirtbag Love Affair, Spalding Grays, The Houstons, The Sammies, The Mangles and Fat Camp, as well as the annual house band led by event organizer Bruce Hazel of Temperance League.

Chilton and Big Star get the tribute love the following night, with the honors performed by Lou Ford, The Catch Fire, Raised by Wolves, (the newly minted) Elves, The Noises 10, Transmission Fields and the house band. The music both nights begins at 9 p.m., admission is $10 and all proceeds go to Project HALO.

— John Schacht

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