Except for a brief spurt of popularity in the early-to-middle 1990s, power-pop legends the Posies have carried on a quiet existence outside of the spotlight of the media for years, touring as a duo of lead songwriters Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer. They were around long enough to make a commercial splash in their hometown of Seattle well before the rise of grunge, get included on the soundtrack to Reality Bites, and then soldier on gamely after the major label attention had waned.
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.
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.