It’s always a good time when drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, the Mountain Goats) stops by the Indie Rock Hit Parade. This time around, Jon brought with him a batch of classic and rare Philly-centric indie and hardcore, along with some new and (perhaps rightfully) forgotten tracks. Jon also chats with host Eric Schuman in an extended conversation about his comedy partnership with Tom Scharpling, and how the duo are bringing The Best Show on the road for a live tour. Speaking of, you can see Scharpling and Wurster at Union Transfer on Sunday, December 13th.
Tonight at 11pm, the Indie Rock Hit Parade welcomes back its resident guest DJ for another round of music and mayhem. Jon Wurster spends most of his time as the drummer for Superchunk, the Mountain Goats and Bob Mould, but is also one half of the celebrated comedy duo behind The Best Show, Scharpling and Wurster. The last time Jon visited the studio, almost exactly a year ago, he shared memories of growing up in and around Philadelphia and played songs that were formative in his earliest days as a musician and music fan. This time, Jon will share some rare tracks from the golden age of Philly indie and hardcore, and we’ll talk about translating the long-running Best Show into a live comedy experience. You can see Jon with Tom Scharpling (and some surprise guests) as they bring The Best Show to Union Transfer on Sunday, December 13th.
Along with Jon’s picks, we’ll hear a bunch of brand new tracks in the mix, such as…
Back in May, Folkadelphia teamed up with Drexel University’s Music Industry Program and a group of their insanely smart, inquisitive, and super helpful audio engineer students to live record a handful of in-studio sessions over a three day period. The results have been fantastic. We already shared one session with you, our encore with Christopher Paul Stelling. Now we bring you the second in this set – Mac McCaughan, best known for being the leader of Superchunk, Portastatic, and co-founder of Merge Records, which has brought you countless “this is my favorite album” albums. Continue reading →
Acting as our very first guest DJ on the Indie Rock Hit Parade, Jon Wurster brought an eclectic selection of songs to share. Each of the songs connects to a specific memory for the Superchunk/Mountain Goats drummer, many hearkening back to his days as a teenager growing up just outside Philadelphia. Wurster recalls shopping for records at the Montgomeryville Mall, befriending the Dead Milkmen and an incident while searching for the London studio where The Clash and the Sex Pistols recorded.
The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns to the XPN wavelength tonight at 11pm! It’s a very special show tonight, as we welcome our very first guest DJ to the Hit Parade: Jon Wurster! You might know Jon as the drummer from Superchunk, the Mountain Goats and Bob Mould‘s band (among others). Or maybe you know him as one half of Scharpling & Wurster, the comedy duo behind The Best Show. No matter how you know him, you won’t want to miss him spinning some of his favorite songs and sharing stories about growing up just outside of Philly. Continue reading →
Emo rockers By Surprise take over Kung Fu Necktie tonight for an evening of non-stop classic indie rock jams at the monthly Strangled by the Stereowire party. It’s their first live show since December, as well as a 90’s indie / alt showcase night where DJs Johnny and Mike spin everything from Pavement to Dinosaur Jr. to Blur and Superchunk and more. People attending can tweet their 90’s indie-alterna song requests to @SBTSW or #SBTSW. Get ready to ride the emotional rollercoaster down memory lane. Did we mention the best part? It’s free.
By Surprise is currently working on their follow up to 2011’s Mountain Smashers, so you can expect some new material tonight from the Jersey natives. You may even catch them doing a cover of Archers of Loaf, too (though not the song that the DJ night takes its name from). The show starts at 10:30 and goes ’til 2am. Free admission, 21+ to get in.
It has to be difficult, on a cultural level, to be Superchunk. To release a new album and play live shows 23+ years in to their career. The kids will say “Oh! This sounds like so and so” without ever realizing that ‘so and so’ sound like Superchunk. But Superchunk are better than I am, as people. They are above the music snobbery that I try to pretend I am not a part of, but instinctively propagate on a regular basis.
They are better than you or I, as music snobs, because they don’t talk about who Superchunk influenced or who listened to is first, they simply are Superchunk. And they kicked ass at Union Transfer on Tuesday night. And all of the people around me that had been talking about who they had seen at what venue focused on the stage and let loose as soon as the band did. It was a sight to see, the stage pushed forward as far as it would (presumably) go, and the small, but loyal, crowd pushed forward to greet them with open arms.
Playing a career spanning set of songs, the only noticeable hiccup in the evening was the obvious absence of Laura Ballance. While loosely addressed by the band themselves, there are apparent health issues involved that kept her from performing. A sad void, but understandable, and once the music was flowing through the crowds veins and the piercing, yet still melodic, vocals of Mac washed over everyone, all was right with rock ‘n roll.
Superchunk were indie before it was even a thing. Preferring to stay DIY even when their growing popularity in the 90s garnered attention from major record labels, Superchunk have been doing things their own way, releasing hard-hitting and incredibly catchy rock on their own for over 20 years.
On August 20th, the group is set to release their latest album I Hate Music, which according to the band is all about love. The second single the group’s released from the album, “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” sounds like a trip to the past bringing back some combination of power-pop, Rick Springfield-esque riffs and 90s alt-rock in one swift under-two-minutes-song. Check it out below and catch Superchunk when they come to Philly this September at Union Transfer.
With a new album and new tour, North Carolina’s Superchunk are back at it. I Hate Music will be released through the indie punk / rock band’s longtime label Merge Records on August 20th and they will support the release with U.S. tour that runs through Philadelphia on September 24th. According to Merge, I Hate Music is the yin to its 2010 predecessor Majesty Shredding‘s yang, though the overall message of the new album is love:
I Hate Music is an album about love more than anything else: love of life, love of living, love of people, and yeah, love of music. It defies its own title so completely and diligently that it never even seems like a fair fight: There’s no pain this deep or yearning this severe without the type of love earned over a lifetime…. It’s dark in here, but if we conjure the right words and sounds, maybe we’ll find our way out.
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 17th. Information for the all-ages show at Union Transfer can be found here. Below, watch an album trailer and check out the track listing.