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Just Announced: Superchunk will play a Foolish 25th Anniversary show at World Cafe Live this fall

Superchunk | via superchunk.bandcamp.com

Close your eyes. Imagine it’s April 19th, 1994. North Carolinian indie-rock band Superchunk has just released Foolish, their fourth studio album via Merge Records. You listen to it on repeat — on your portable CD player, of course. It’s 12 tracks are beautifully gritty, combining power pop with post-punk in a way you’ve never experienced before.

Now launch yourself into the future. It’s November 5th, 2019, about 25 years since your ear drums were blessed by Foolish for the first time. You’re at World Cafe Live watching Superchunk perform a 25th anniversary acoustic performance. Sure, the audience is full of fans, but you feel like Mac McCaughan is singing just for you. It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of… Continue reading →

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Shadow Experts: Palm play LIVE plus new Big Thief, Superchunk and Alvvays on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is packed to the gills with brand new tracks from beloved bands and up-and-comers alike! Tune in to XPN at 11pm ET for a full two-hour show that’ll also serve as the chaser for this month’s What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese. In the hopper, we’ve got a live session that John and I recorded together with the now-Philly based experimental pop band Palm. The quartet has a new EP, Shadow Expert, coming this month, and we’ll hear them perform tracks from it live in the studio. Also, since it was just released this week, we’ll spotlight the new full-length from Big Thief, Capacity. Be on the lookout for new singles from Superchunk, Alvvays and Ariel Pink, too!

Check out some of the new things below:
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Folkadelphia Session: Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk & Merge Records)

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Mac McCaughan | Photo by Lisa Gotwals

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 →

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Recap: The mighty Superchunk plays a career spanning set at Union Transfer (photos, review, setlist)

Superchunk | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Superchunk | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

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.

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Listen to Superchunk’s new single “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” (playing Union Transfer on 9/24)

superchunkpress

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.

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Tonight’s Concert: Superchunk + Jenny And Johnny at The Trocadero

superchunkAs we’ve seen just as recently as last week, some seminal indie-rock bands break up, then get back together over a decade later to announce a reunion tour and reap the hard-earned benefits of their then-underappreciated work. Other bands declare an “indefinite hiatus,” quietly disappear from the spotlight, and go on with the rest of their lives without ever formally calling it quits. Then there are bands like Chapel Hill’s Superchunk, who released Here’s To Shutting Up back in 2001, then decided they’d get around to recording their next album, you know, after they took care of a few other things first. (For guitarist Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance—co-founders of Merge Records—that included other musical projects and raising a daughter, respectively; meanwhile, the quartet would play the occasional live show whenever they felt like it.) Fast-forward to nine years later, when the members of Superchunk finally got around to recording that album they had put off for so long. Majesty Shredding, the band’s ninth studio album (released earlier this month on Merge), was nine years in the making—but you wouldn’t know by listening to it. Musically, the band hasn’t skipped a beat, belting out the type of fast-paced pop-punk songs that are a logical next step in the band’s musical progression. Which means, when the band performs with pop duo Jenny And Johnny (featuring Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis and her folkie boyfriend Johnathan Rice) at The Trocadero tonight, the new material should feel right at home with the older classics. Superchunk performs with Jenny And Johnny at 7:30 p.m. at The Trocadero; tickets to the all-ages show are $19.

Here’s the video for the band’s first single off Majesty Shredding, “Digging For Something” (via Videogum):

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Party Rockers: Listen to Chrissy Tashjian of Thin Lips and Grace Vonderkuhn guest DJ on XPN Local

Thin Lips | photo by Senia Lopez | senialopez.photography // Grace Vonderkhun | photo courtesy of the artist

This Saturday night, Chrissy Tashjian of Thin Lips turns 34, and she’s eager to celebrate by sharing a hometown bill at South Broad Street’s Boot & Saddle with Wilmington rocker Grace Vonderkuhn. The two artists were on a U.S. tour together this month, but the final dates of it unfortunately had to be postponed due to the looming polar vortex. No worries, though; they’ll be back through the midwest in due time, and for Philly’s part, the Groundhog Day show is sure to be an even bigger celebration of pent-up rock and roll energy.

To warm up for the gig, Tashjian and Vonderkuhn swung by XPN studios to guest DJ on the Local Show this week. Each artist picked six songs; Tashjian, getting hype for Saturday, picked a set of party megabangers by The Muffs, Queen, Superhcunk and more. Vonderkuhn, on the other hand, went with her current heavy rotation jams, from classics by Buzzcocks and The The to currents by Mitski and Illuminati Hotties.   Continue reading →

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Music, Comedy & “Fun Topics” with Jon Wurster on the Dan And Dan Music Podcast

Jon Wurster | photo by Eric Schuman for WXPN

Meet Dan and Dan! Dan Reed, Music Director and Afternoon Host at WXPN/Philadelphia and Dan DeLuca, Music Critic and Columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer sit down on a bi-weekly basis to talk MUSIC! 

Jon Wurster is a man of many talents. He’s the drummer for some incredible rock bands like Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, and Bob Mould. He’s also an actor, comedy writer and a must-follow on social media, as you’ll hear. Jon drops by the podcast to talk about some his current projects, his favorite music books and films, and growing up in the Philadelphia area.  Lots of laughs, and lots of music with Jon Wurster.

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