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

Posted 29 Feb 2012 in Music + TV News


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 

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 limitednumber 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 may 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 has 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.
Here’s a piece that NPR did on Big Star

Posted by Larry Carta

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