Posted in music | pictures on March 22, 2010

photos by Ryan Barkan

Big Star Tribute

Just as everyone at the SXSW Music Festival was finding their groove Wednesday, news of the death of Alex Chilton hit. "Austin's in shock about Alex," read one of the countless social media memes. On Saturday, heartsick Big Star fans got to hear Chilton songs performed by a cast of guest musicians sitting in on the regularly scheduled Big Star showcase, held down by the remaining members of the band's current incarnation, Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow and Jody Stephens...

But first a letter from Chilton's widow, Laura, who the 59-year-old musician had only recently married, was read by publicist Heather West [video below]...

...Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets lumbered through "In the Street," otherwise known as the theme song for That 70's Show. M. Ward of She & Him croaked an elegant "Big Black Car." Mike Mills of R.E.M. found his religion with "Jesus Christ." John Doe of X dispatched a crystal clear "I'm in Love with a Girl." And in what was the night's biggest surprise, Sondre Lerche provided an intense, harmonic "The Ballad of El Goodo."

And that's how it went for the entire hour and a half, with guest musicians including Chris Stamey, Chuck Prophet, Evan Dando, Amy Speace, the Watson Twins, Susan Cowsill, and original Big Star member Andy Hummel (who came in from Lithuania for the show) all getting a chance to pay tribute to Chilton. A rendition of the classic "Thirteen" was one of the final songs of the night, the lyrics of which encapsulated not only the special moment that was taking place in the storied Antone's blues club, but the entire SXSW Music Festival: "Rock & roll is here to stay/ Come inside where it's okay." [Rolling Stone]

The full setlist with more pictures and a video from the show, below...

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Big Star Tribute

Evan Dando

Sondre Lerche

GSD&M Idea City SXSW 2010 Showcase
3.20.2010
Antone's, Austin, TX
words by Laura Chilton, read by BS publicist Heather West

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Comments (21)

I like how they did this, a celebration instead of a mopy remembrance

Posted by Anonymous | March 22, 2010 11:31 AM

Right, I totally agree that this celebration was an inspired idea, and I guess that Alex Chilton would have wanted it like that too. It's really great the way that they've set the whole thing up, but it is also very touching, at least it was for me, since I was a big fan. Rest in peace, Alex Chilton.

Posted by ioana | March 22, 2010 12:00 PM

1) Paul Westerberg has a nice Alex Chilton tribute in the NY Times. I recommend giving it a read.

2) There is a live cut of Thirteen at 'thesoundofindie' blog when Big Star played Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

Posted by Avalanche | March 22, 2010 1:02 PM

Can I get some of what M. Ward appeared to have smoked?

Posted by kwhitehead | March 22, 2010 1:51 PM

YO, BV, what is with this ridiculous redesign? You cannot read the text! Gray text on a black to green gradient?

Illegible.

M. Ward looks stupid in that mustache.

Posted by Anonymous | March 22, 2010 2:03 PM

stroke it noel is the only glaring omission in my opinion. but why "Cosmos"? that was a Chris Bell song...did Alex write/play on it?

anyway, this is the only part of SXSW I'm sad I missed.

Posted by Anonymous | March 22, 2010 2:24 PM

Cosmos has been in the Big Star set since the new lineup first appeared in 1993. Jon has always sung it. Think Alex did in fact play on the recorded version, and it was always included as a sort of tribute to Chris.

Before 1992, though, none of Bell's solo stuff had ever been officially released, aside from one 7-inch on Chris Stamey's label, which was Cosmos / You and Your Sister, so think Big Star always did it as a way to bring his music more attention.

Was a nice touch of the show to have Stamey play on it.

Posted by Anonymous | March 22, 2010 2:49 PM

Right, I totally agree that this celebration was an inspired idea, and I guess that Alex Chilton would have wanted it like that too. It's really great the way that they've set the whole thing up, but it is also very touching, at least it was for me, since I was a big fan. Rest in peace, Alex Chilton.

Posted by تواقيع للعيد | August 22, 2010 10:42 AM

heeeloo I don't like so much 8 bit music, but i like very much the photos! They are so amazing! People seem to feel very happy on this eventt...ttt

Posted by دردشه | September 28, 2010 6:08 AM

I was at a Local hangout in Dallas, and this doe eyed guy comes running up, you could tell he was worried, his girl had just kicked him out of the car, I believe they were performing somewhere.
He had no place to stay the night, so I gave him a place to sleep, (and thats it).
The next day he called her at the hotel, I took him to meet her.
I didnt know who he was, until some of my friends let me know, and sure enough it was Alex Chilton!
He was a sweet soul.

Posted by deborah durham | September 30, 2010 8:38 PM

my amaznig sounds, amazing weekend.
Check out IMPROPEROPERA's full coverage of the weekends best synth rock/pop

fondly,
lady danger for IMPROPER OPERA

chat
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Posted by دردشه | October 3, 2010 8:37 PM

Some really great photos here. I'd never even heard of 8-bit music before so thanks for enlightening me! Jim.

will be fresh in my ears as long as i live.


http://up.msryh.com

Posted by مركز تحميل | October 4, 2010 8:08 AM

Acutaly this Emo Day looks like real fun, the concert seemed to be good. However the singer does not look like an Emo at all. Anyway if it is fun, its good...

for enlightening me! Jim.

will be fresh in my ears as long as i live.


http://sa-girl.com

Posted by شات بنات | October 6, 2010 7:59 PM

tee was a real treat for fans watching all those popular bands performing live.
by the way Here is a full for SXSW 2010 if

anyone wants to check it out.
بنت الكويت
http://kw-girl.com

Posted by بنت الكويت | October 6, 2010 9:31 PM

tee was a real treat for fans watching all those popular bands performing live.
by the way Here is a full for SXSW 2010 if

anyone wants to check it out.
شات دردشه
http://www.chatdrdsh.sa-girl.com

Posted by شات دردشه | October 9, 2010 12:29 AM

Some really great photos here. I'd never even heard of 8-bit music before so thanks for enlightening me! Jim.

Posted by شات | October 10, 2010 10:49 PM

Some really great photos here. I'd never even heard of 8-bit music before so thanks for enlightening me! Jim.

http://www.saher4.com

Posted by دردشه | October 10, 2010 10:52 PM

I was at a Local hangout in Dallas, and this doe eyed guy comes running up, you could tell he was worried, his girl had just kicked him out of the car, I believe they were performing somewhere.
He had no place to stay the night, so I gave him a place to sleep, (and thats it).
The next day he called her at the hotel, I took him to meet her.
I didnt know who he was, until some of my friends let me know, and sure enough it was Alex Chilton!
He was a sweet soul.....

Posted by forums | November 4, 2010 4:39 AM

Guggenheim billed it as a performance piece and it was just an installation. Resultingly, the crowd simply waited for the "show" to start, limiting anyone's ability to freely explore the space (the ground floor was packed with indian-style seaters, and the balconies were lined with people holding onto their spots like grim death.

Posted by منتديات | January 9, 2011 12:49 PM

it makes no sense for them to deconstruct the entire TD North venue to play a show the next night ~50 miles south at an amphitheater (which probably would require a different stage setup anyway). They'd play Providence or Mohegan Sun before that (and I think those are both highly unlikely).

Posted by فساتين - ازياء | January 19, 2011 4:47 PM

thank you a lots

Posted by anime | April 11, 2011 4:24 PM

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