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MEMBERS OF R.E.M., WILCO, YO LA TENGO, AND MANY OTHERS CELEBRATE BIG STAR IN THANK YOU, FRIENDS: BIG STAR’S THIRD LIVE…AND MORE
Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … And More, the concert film and album, are due in stores on April 21st via Concord Bicycle Music as a 2-CD/DVD or Blu-Ray combo pack, as well as a stand-alone 2-CD album. The film will also be available via Digital HD and VOD on April 25th.
The 90-minute film celebrates the music of Big Star through an illustrious collective of musicians. Liner notes by Grammy Award-winning writer Anthony DeCurtis and Chris Stamey (from the dB’s, and a founding member of the Big Star Third ensemble) will round out the package.
Big Star is now considered to be one of the most influential bands in modern music, having inspired some of the biggest alt-rock artists of the 1980s, ’90s, and beyond.
The Memphis-based band’s devastatingly beautiful third album has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential records ever produced. Third is included as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Written and recorded when the legendary 1970s band was primarily a studio project consisting of guitarist Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens, Third (or Sister Lovers, as it was alternatively known) had never been performed in public with the original string and wind arrangements.
That changed in 2010, following Chilton’s untimely death just two days ahead of a much-anticipated Big Star performance at the South by Southwest Music Festival. That December, famous friends and fans assembled from far and wide to play a fully orchestrated Chapel Hill, N.C. gig in Chilton’s honor. From there, the core players (including sole surviving Big Star member Jody Stephens, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (the dB’s), plus the Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer) took the show on the road internationally, enlisting guest stars and orchestras in each city, and performing not only songs from Third, but also material from Big Star’s first two albums, #1 Record and Radio City.
That core ensemble, along with a star-studded cast of guest artists, assembled in April 2016 at Glendale, California’s Alex Theatre for the epic concert seen in Thank You, Friends. Directed by Benno Nelson of Yes Equals Yes, the film includes performances by a who’s who of indie rock, including Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone of Wilco, Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Robyn Hitchcock, Dan Wilson (Semisonic), Benmont Tench, Jessica Pratt, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, and Skylar Gudasz, as well as a full chamber orchestra helmed by San Francisco’s acclaimed Kronos Quartet and conducted by Carl Marsh, who wrote the original orchestrations for Third.
Trailer for Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … And More
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