Big Star

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i don't know, the first two seem relatively straightforward to me. don't get me wrong, it's great pop, and repeated listens earlier today i was enjoying them (and i'll keep checking them out and i'm sure at some point i'll revive this thread and feel like a dumbass for not loving them from the beginning), but Third really hits at something a bit skewed that really appeals to me.

Z S, Sunday, 12 February 2012 06:27 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, that's the difference. first two are brilliant, aching power pop gr8ness. 3rd is alltime rip yr guts out weirdo darkness shit. and i'm way more in that camp, but you know, i'm cool with brilliant aching power pop too.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Sunday, 12 February 2012 06:42 (five years ago) Permalink

i'm sure at some point i'll revive this thread and feel like a dumbass for not loving them from the beginning

one week later!

ok, i'm officially obsessed. i don't think i've listened to anything else in the last week, and since i just started digging into the demos/i am the cosmos/icewater/rock city shit it's only going to deepen from here.


tmi but (Z S), Sunday, 19 February 2012 16:58 (five years ago) Permalink

having said that, with that said, that being said, that having been said, i am a little afraid to wade into the alex chilton solo stuff. also, that big star biography mentioned upthread by rob jovanovic has some nice tidbits and i'm glad i took a few hours to read it, but it really is pretty terrible.

tmi but (Z S), Sunday, 19 February 2012 17:01 (five years ago) Permalink

Chilton album 1970 is well worth time even without having to try to "get" Chilton

Euler, Sunday, 19 February 2012 17:08 (five years ago) Permalink

oh, definitely. it's more the post big star output that i'm wary of. is there a good collection that picks out the good stuff?

tmi but (Z S), Sunday, 19 February 2012 17:11 (five years ago) Permalink

It sounds like Third is the Big Star record for me by what you guys said above. How do Big Star compare to other bands on the Ardent label like Hot Dogs or Cargoe?

JacobSanders, Sunday, 19 February 2012 17:51 (five years ago) Permalink

xpost re: good stuff. Speaking as someone whose favorite Chilton song is the fucked up version of "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It" I'm not sure how anyone could define "good" with reference to his post-Big-Star stuff. That 1970 album is pretty good without getting too complicated about things...been listening to it a lot since it appeared on Spotify.

dlp9001, Sunday, 19 February 2012 19:16 (five years ago) Permalink

How do Big Star compare to other bands on the Ardent label like Hot Dogs or Cargoe?

Oh Jacob.

Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 19 February 2012 19:28 (five years ago) Permalink

What?? So I've never heard Big Star, their records aren't cheap ya know

JacobSanders, Sunday, 19 February 2012 20:02 (five years ago) Permalink

i've never heard any other bands on Ardent. But check out youtube! just search for big star +

september gurls
the ballad of el goodo
big black car
what's going ahn

and so on

tmi but (Z S), Sunday, 19 February 2012 20:10 (five years ago) Permalink

impressive that anyone would've heard of hot dogs and cargoe without hearing big star first -- they're basically footnotes to the big star story. those records are decent, but imo they pale in comparison to big star.
as for chilton the top 30 comp is a pretty decent overview. i've grown to love pretty much anything he's been involved with, but suffice to say he was taking a radically different approach to music making in his post big star days.

tylerw, Sunday, 19 February 2012 20:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Surely he was trolling?

Dalai Mixture (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 19 February 2012 22:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I wasn't trolling. I've been hoping to find their records while out record hunting. With certain groups I put off listening to them until I find them. I could go on you tube and listen to big star or I could wait until magic happens and I find one at a flea market. It's silly but it's also fun leaving certain groups to be heard.

JacobSanders, Sunday, 19 February 2012 23:25 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, i can understand that! with big star, though, i don't think i've ever seen one of their records on sale! they had major distribution problems back in the day (they were on Stax for the first two) and very few records were printed in the first place (i think 5K or so for the first, maybe 20K or so for the second).

tmi but (Z S), Sunday, 19 February 2012 23:28 (five years ago) Permalink

One trip through Tennessee didn't turn up a Big Star record, but I'll be there again this summer. What I really want is the Chris Bell solo record, if anything for being called I Am The Cosmos. What I love about the Cargoe record is the flashes of a southern feel underneath the power pop. I assumed that had more to do with Terry Manning though, I'm hoping Big Star have that too.

JacobSanders, Monday, 20 February 2012 00:00 (five years ago) Permalink

O man the beginning this thread. lol Old ILX. Ethan, such a worthless critic.

President Keyes, Monday, 20 February 2012 00:08 (five years ago) Permalink

aside from a 45, Chris Bell had no solo vinyl.

Mike Love Costume Jewelry on Etsy (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 20 February 2012 00:13 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh it's a collection of demos and stuff.

JacobSanders, Monday, 20 February 2012 00:40 (five years ago) Permalink

It is, but it wasn't issued until 1992 and only on CD not vinyl

That one 45 though, I Am The Cosmos b/w You And Your Sister is spectacular. Perhaps even a bigger vinyl score than the first two Big Star albums.

Lee626, Monday, 20 February 2012 00:54 (five years ago) Permalink

For some reason I assume it was a actual release, on pair with Dennis Wilson's solo record.

JacobSanders, Monday, 20 February 2012 01:06 (five years ago) Permalink

i am the cosmos (the collection) has had at least one vinyl reissue

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 20 February 2012 01:10 (five years ago) Permalink

Wasn't aware of that. I see there's also a new "deluxe edition" 2-CD Chris Bell set out with alternate versions on the second disc, including a later version of "Get Away" with Chilton on guitar.

Lee626, Monday, 20 February 2012 01:21 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah they put out i am the cosmos on vinyl around the time of that deluxe edition iirc. not the sort of thing i'd expect to find for cheap though!

tylerw, Monday, 20 February 2012 02:19 (five years ago) Permalink

"I Am the Cosmos" is not the touchstone that so many would indicate. I appreciate the sentiment, but it's not as engaging as anything Big Star or This Mortal Coil haven't released.

suspecterrain, Monday, 20 February 2012 12:09 (five years ago) Permalink

the posies' cover introduced me to this song, and it's still my favourite tbh

the world is just a racist onion (stevie), Monday, 20 February 2012 14:13 (five years ago) Permalink

Vinyl reissues of all the Big Star stuff are very very available.
Originals, not so much.

Trip Maker, Monday, 20 February 2012 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

i know someone (maybe on this thread) was repping hard for how great the recent third vinyl reissue on 4 men w/ beards is. haven't herad it though!

tylerw, Monday, 20 February 2012 18:21 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, it's wonderful. both sound & sequencing couldn't be better.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 20 February 2012 18:42 (five years ago) Permalink
kind of wish i could read this!

tylerw, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:17 (five years ago) Permalink


skip, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:23 (five years ago) Permalink

i don't think i've heard them, but i believe that's Peter Holsapple's band?

tylerw, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:24 (five years ago) Permalink

that's awesome. where'd you find it, tylerw?

Z S, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:26 (five years ago) Permalink

"Like Flies on Sherbet" is a hilarious/awesome record fwiw

many xposts

erotic war comedy pollster (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:27 (five years ago) Permalink

"my rival... I'm gonna stab him on arrival" = classic

erotic war comedy pollster (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:27 (five years ago) Permalink - this site has a bunch of fun chilton-y stuff.

tylerw, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:28 (five years ago) Permalink

in some ways it's the next logical step from Third - the performances and arrangements become even more unhinged/sloppy/off-kilter but the nihilism and sentimentality are replaced with lust, sneering cynicism, and reckless abandon


erotic war comedy pollster (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Is that a Pete Frame tree? My copy of the omnibus edition of RFT vol 1 & 2 doesn't have that one.

xp, aha, "Pete Frame-style"

Steamtable Willie (WmC), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:30 (five years ago) Permalink

yes, it's not his handwritng

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:31 (five years ago) Permalink

"Cut my gut, stab me in a alley. Call me a slut in front of your family..." also = classic.

dlp9001, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:37 (five years ago) Permalink

"As soon as I go out/ Forget what I’m about"

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:42 (five years ago) Permalink

Stroke It Noel is the greatest, most joyous song ever recorded by anyone ever, anywhere, ever, in the world.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Saturday, 25 February 2012 09:55 (five years ago) Permalink

Big Star’s Third Landmark Album to be Performed At SXSW 2012

GSD&M Presents An All-Star Collective Including Jody Stephens of Big Star, Mike Mills and Peter Buck of R.E.M., Chris Stamey of the dBs and More

Evening To Include Screening of Big Star Documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me

Thursday, March 15 at Austin’s Paramount Theater

"…a Rosetta stone for a whole generation" Peter Buck

In a night that will combine the best of SXSW 2012 Film and Music, an all-star group of musicians will gather at Austin’s historic Paramount Theatre on Thursday, March 15th to celebrate the Big Star legacy through a complete performance of the band’s seminal Third album. This highly anticipated event comes two years after the untimely death of legendary Big Star singer/songwriter Alex Chilton and a hastily organized tribute show that became an emotional and musical highlight of SXSW 2010.

Prior to the musical performance the SXSW Film Festival will host the debut screening of the feature-length documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Work-in-Progress), also at the Paramount Theatre. The film is a portrait of talented musicians who never got traction within the confines of the music industry but went on to craft three albums now recognized as pop masterpieces and influenced countless musicians including R.E.M., the Replacements, Wilco, Teenage Fanclub, Ryan Adams and many more.

As with previous live performances of the album in New York City and North Carolina which drew enthusiastic crowds and critical acclaim, the SXSW show will consist ofa core of top-tier musicians who will perform the album in its entirety including Jody Stephens of Big Star on drums; Mike Mills of R.E.M. on bass; Mitch Easter of Let’s Active and Chris Stamey on guitars; Charles Cleaver on piano; and for this performance, guest guitarists Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies, as well as a wide range of guest vocalists who are still signing on for the evening. Austin's own Tosca String Quartet, along with guest brass and wind musicians including Memphis's Jim Spake, will perform the original orchestrations from the album. Austin’s GSD&M is the show’s executive producer in conjunction with SXSW and High Road Touring.

The event is open to SXSW Film, Music, Gold and Platinum Badge holders, as well as SXSW Film Passes and Music Wristbands. For those without Badges, Passes or Wristbands, a limited number of advance single tickets are available for $25 via the Paramount website ( Advance Ticket sales will end at midnight the day before the screening. Advance Ticket purchases do not guarantee reserved seating or entry to the theatre. Badge holders receive priority entry, followed by Film Passes and Music Wristbands. Once Badges, Passes and Wristbands have entered, Advance Tickets will gain entry, and then as capacity allows, day-of-show single tickets, which m ay be purchased for $25 at the Paramount Theatre box office approximately 15 minutes prior to the screening. For those who wish to attend the performance only, $25 tickets will be sold starting at 8:45pm if seats are available. Advance Ticket holders for are still advised to arrive to the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to the screening time. In the event that a screening reaches capacity before an advance ticket purchaser can be admitted to the theatre, the purchase price will be refunded at the Paramount Box Office (refund valid only within 20 minutes of screening start time).

There were brilliant moments in the studio,” said Big Star drummer Jody Stephens. “Performing this album after all those years, with these talented people, brings the songs to life in a way that is pure joy.” One of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time, Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers, has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. "There's something about this record that connects with my generation, and apparently many generations" said Chris Stamey, musical director for the show and member of 1980s power pop group the dBs. “With this performance we hope to breathe life into a bittersweet album that ha s come to mean so much to so many musicians and fans.”

A signed commemorative poster will be available at the show with proceeds benefitting the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic. Donations to this worthy organization are encouraged. Further information is available at

Please note absolutely no filming will be permitted inside the Paramount Theatre. Still photography with flash must be limited to the first three songs, and subsequently only permitted without flash.

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:42 (five years ago) Permalink

when Auer/Stringfellow weren't mentioned in the headline i was gonna cry foul but ok they're in there

DNRIYHM NATION 1814 (some dude), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 18:01 (five years ago) Permalink

still kind of funny to see two guys who've been in the band for 20 years now billed as 'guest guitarists'

DNRIYHM NATION 1814 (some dude), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 18:04 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Hey! Has anyone got a recording or a link to the WLYX broadcast from 1975, sometimes bootlegged as Beale Street Breakdown, and sometimes credited to Sister Lovers? Looking for it for work purposes. Thank you kindly.

Manfred Mann meets Man Parrish (ithappens), Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I checked Tyler's blog - but both those links are expired.

Manfred Mann meets Man Parrish (ithappens), Sunday, 22 April 2012 13:21 (five years ago) Permalink

i have the files on my hard drive and could prob send them to you pretty easily - you on yr work email today?

I accidentally sonned your dome (stevie), Sunday, 22 April 2012 13:31 (five years ago) Permalink

I am: thanks ever so much Stevie. Much appreciated. Robert Gordon suggested I hear them for an insight into AC live round Sister Lovers time.
As public thanks, here's this amazing live performance of Holocaust, with a band made up Chris Stamey and Will Rigby, from 1978:

Manfred Mann meets Man Parrish (ithappens), Sunday, 22 April 2012 13:33 (five years ago) Permalink

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