Big Star

Episode 287: Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live...and more

Episode 287: Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live...and more

In 2010 Memphis's legendary Big Star, one of the most influential bands in rock n roll history, was set to finally get their due, but it was not to be. Just days before a planned showcase at SXSW in Austin, TX, frontman/chief songwriter Alex Chilton passed away, and what was meant to be a celebration and validation of their remarkable career instead became joyous wake featuring some of the biggest names in music. Fast forward to 2017, and the magic of the touring version of that celebration, a band that features original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, dB's mastermind Chris Stamey, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Kronos Quartet, Robyn Hitchcock, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Dan Wilson (Semisonic), and newcomers Skylar Gudasz and Brett Harris, has been captured on film in the new documentary Thank You Friends: Big Star's Third LIve...and more

Kevin and neighbor Michael are digging deep into the film's soundtrack to to to find out why Big Star was such an important band, ponder the power of tribute, and speculate where this collection of master musicians should go from here. 

PLUS! Skylar Gudasz's Oleandar was one of the best albums of 2016. We've got a track to help remind of of that very important fact. 


Episode 232: Skylar Gudasz

Episode 232: Skylar Gudasz

Singer/songwriter Skylar Gudasz's debut LP, Oleander, is a sublime exploration of modern romance that wears its influences on its sleeve and is bursting at the seams with humor, heart, and class. It's also one of the best albums of 2016.

When she's not busy making great albums, Gudasz can be found palling around on stage with members of Big Star, Wilco, R.E.M., and more.

She's KINDA a big deal.

Lucky for you, Skylar had time to hang out with us in the basement to talk about her unique approach to songwriting, the making of Oleander, performing with music legends and much more.

Guys...we're gonna need you to get hip to this, OK?


INTERVIEW: Brett Harris (Solo Artist / Big Star's "Third")

INTERVIEW: Brett Harris (Solo Artist / Big Star's "Third")

Since his 2010 debut Man of Few Words, Durham, North Carolina based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Brett Harris has been garnering accolades everywhere he goes. Part of the reason for that is that besides his own work and time on the road as a member of the dB’s, he has been a core member of the Big Star’s Third touring company since its inception. Part tribute, part exploration, and all rock n’ roll, the Big Star’s Third tour has brought together some of the world’s best musicians to bring to the masses some of the greatest pop/rock music ever made.

This Saturday Brett, along with his friends Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Chris Stamey (The dB's), Skylar Gudasz, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, Lesa Aldridge and more are bringing the magic of Third to DC at the legendary 9:30 Club. We caught up with him in advance of the show to ask him a few questions about the tour, the music of Big Star, and what effect it’s had on his own songs.


Daily Listen: Big Star - "Don't Lie To Me"

Did I mention that this week is sorta Blitzen Trapper week. Well it is.

With the band releasing American Goldwing, it's time travelling, genre redfining new album just yesterday (read our review here) we figured now would be a great time to take a look back at the band that very clearly have their hooks in the bands DNA. And one of those bands is without a doubt Big Star. 

Big Star combined MASSIVE guitar hooks with the smart, poignant lyrics of songwriter Alex Chilton to produce what many consider to be THE soundtrack of the 70's. Their music bled cool, and if you're gonna even attempt to capture that Econline vibe that the bulk of popular music form the 70's is known for, then your lessons postively have to begin and end with Big Star.

This track off of their album #1 Record, could have been put out by any variety of "retro" bands today, but they would never have been able to capture the off the rails bad assness of the real thing. That is unless you're Blitzen Trapper. Slide this song into any slot on American Goldwing and not only would you be surprised how well it fit, you might be fooled outright as to who is actually perfoming it. That's a testament to the quality of both bands music, and in the end what makes both bands the legends/near legends that they are.

Big Star - "Don't Lie To Me"

 


Daily Listen: Big Star - Feel

If you don't have any Big Star in your life then you ain't got nothing. That's a fact. Look it up. Big Star was one of the best, biggest, unknown bands that have ever been. Powered by songwriter extraordinaire, Alex Chilton, they less fit into any specific genre than actually are one in and of themselves. Fuzzed out 70's rock, psychedelic explorations, gorgeous folk melodies; It's all there for you to find. NPR recently did a piece on Big Star's #1 Record that does a pretty good job of explaining what the band was all about, but really it's best that you discover this stuff for yourself and there's no better place to start than the first track off of that record. We can't post the whole record here, but there's nothing stopping you from heading to your favorite record shop, finding a copy of this on vinyl and then relaxing with a doobie with a lava lamp with some tapestries with some friends tonight while you take in a fantastic record from one of the greatest bands that ever was or will be.

Big Star
"Feel"
#1 Record

 

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