Musical palate cleanser, Big Star tribute edition

Per Rolling Stone,

In April 2016, an all-star band featuring R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills, Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone, and many more gathered onstage at Glendale, California’s Alex Theatre to perform Big Star‘s classic Third/Sister Lovers in its entirety.

A live album and concert film from that performance will be released April 21st as Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … and More. Ahead of the concert film’s premiere at the SXSW Film Festival on March 16th, Rolling Stone presents the supergroup’s take on Big Star’s #1 Record classic “In the Street.”

A labor of love, and it shows.

By the way, Third/Sister Lovers is one of the strangest great albums I’ve ever listened to.  Alex Chilton had written a bunch of incredible songs, which he then proceeded to deconstruct out of some weird sense of disgust with the music industry and Big Star’s fate (not that it wasn’t understandable).  It literally got to the point where he was told by the producer to shut the record down after he pulled a drunk off the street to help record a song.

That notwithstanding, Third/Sister Lovers is also one of the most compelling albums I’ve ever listened to.  The paranoia and love wound together and expressed in “Nightime” give me chills every time I hear the song.

Yeah, I’ll have to see the movie.

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3 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, Big Star tribute edition

  1. Tommy

    The documentary “Nothing Can Hurt Me” is pretty great too, although I recall spending portions of it wanting to strangle Chris Bell’s sister. (Germantown and the east Memphis suburbs are crawling with wealthy, sanctimonious, “I’ll pray for you” evangelical Christians … and maybe I should stop there.)

    Alex’s death right before the 2010 SXSW show is one of the biggest musical heartbreakers I’ve ever experienced. Glad I caught ’em a few times.

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  2. playmakers in space

    I remember getting into Big Star via the first 2 records and then listening to “Third / Sister Lovers” and genuinely not understanding why that one was so lauded by the critics. It took me at least 6 or 7 full listens before I really began to appreciate it for what it was. Now it’s one of all-time favorites.

    Chilton was one of a kind.

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    • Dawg Vegas

      I had a similar experience, and I still love those first two so much. There’s a more immediate reaction to them. T / SL is amazing and affecting, but the weirdness and overall downbeat mood keep it just short of one of my desert island records. I do love all three.

      My freshman year, REM opened their 1985 Preconstruction Tour with a free show at Legion Field (the pre-fence years), and Alex Chilton opened by himself. I loved it, but was too young to appreciate him fully. Still have a flyer on my basement wall.

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