According to Pitchfork, a number of bands will unite for a tribute to Alex Chilton-led Big Star’s Third album. The event will include Big Star’s Jody Stephens and assistance from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, Jessica Pratt, Kronos Quartet, and more. The show will kick off April 27 at Los Angeles’ Alex Theatre and will be filmed for DVD and CD release. Expect to hear the classic album, along with non-album classics such as “In the Street” and “Thirteen.”
Big Star was formed in 1971 by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. Despite receiving exceptional reviews from critics and influencing countless modern artists across genres today, Big Star never attained the commercial success that many expected of the group. Much like the bands paying tribute, the group achieved a loyal cult following spanning generations.
Jeff Tweedy rose to fame with Uncle Tupelo, but is best known for alt-country group Wilco. The band hit gold with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, spawning singles “Jesus, etc” and the slow-burning “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Five studio albums later, the group released Star Wars to unanimous critical acclaim and a well-deserved Grammy nomination.
Though they achieved limited critical success, husband/wife band Yo La Tengo has been dubbed the quintessential critics band, and developed a loyal band of followers over their prolific 30+ year career. They’ve released 14 singles from 13 albums. Their discography includes 216 original songs and 98 covers. Most recently, the band has released their cover of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love.”
R.E.M. founding member Mike Mills will perform at the tribute show. The multi-instrumentalist made headlines last year for his protest against presidential candidate Donald Trump’s use of hit song “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” on the campaign trail. Mills’s twitter tirade was not the first from a musician against the businessman turned politician.
Since his days performing power-pop with Big Star, Stephens joined supergroup End of Love in 2002. The band has most recently released the track “Fade Away.” On May 13, Stephens will release the debut album from his band Those Pretty Wrongs.