Big Star's Third at 9:30 Club Saturday, Aug. 23

Big Star’s 1978 masterpiece Third/Sister Lovers is to bandleader Alex Chilton as SMiLE is to Brian Wilson: It’s zany, a little all over the place, and bursting with uncanny brilliance. Like SMiLE, it also has a folklorish backstory about its creator’s descent into insanity and loss of his bandmates’ support during its creation. But, as a song like the harpsichord-laden, baroque pop “Kangaroo” reminds us, Third, which largely abandons Big Star’s recognizable garage-rock sound, could only have been made by someone on the brink of madness. Now, a few years removed from Chilton’s death, Third finally gets the proper live production it deserves. Original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens will play the record from start to finish with R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris, Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter, and D.C. mainstay John Davis, among others. It’s a fitting, diverse lineup united in one essential way: None of their projects would exist without Chilton’s influence. And Third was where that influence peaked. The performance begins at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $30. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.

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