These may not be the “best” records of the year, but they are records that ended up meaning a lot to me, for one reason or another. Most were by women, perhaps because women have made the most interesting new music in the genres I follow most closely. This is in no particular order although the ones toward the top are records I spent more time with.
In 2010 Memphis's legendary Big Star, one of the most influential bands in rock n roll history, was set to finally get their due, but it was not to be. Just days before a planned showcase at SXSW in Austin, TX, frontman/chief songwriter Alex Chilton passed away, and what was meant to be a celebration and validation of their remarkable career instead became joyous wake featuring some of the biggest names in music. Fast forward to 2017, and the magic of the touring version of that celebration, a band that features original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, dB's mastermind Chris Stamey, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Kronos Quartet, Robyn Hitchcock, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Dan Wilson (Semisonic), and newcomers Skylar Gudasz and Brett Harris, has been captured on film in the new documentary Thank You Friends: Big Star's Third LIve...and more.
Kevin and neighbor Michael are digging deep into the film's soundtrack to to to find out why Big Star was such an important band, ponder the power of tribute, and speculate where this collection of master musicians should go from here.
PLUS! Skylar Gudasz's Oleandar was one of the best albums of 2016. We've got a track to help remind of of that very important fact.