Results for Superchunk

interviews

Superchunk

It's a cliché to say it, but when you look up "indie rock," you do in fact see a photo of Superchunk. Since forming in 1989, the North Carolina quartet have helped establish indie rock's DIY model, as well as its sound. Superchunk bassist Laura Ballance and guitarist Mac McCaughan also founded Merge Records, one of the music industry's most successful indie labels. The label is still home to the band, as well as The Arcade Fire, Spoon and Teenage Fanclub. Mac, Laura and bandmates Jim Wilbur and Jon Wurster talk with Jim and Greg about how they've done it their way for so long. They also perform songs from their most recent release Majesty Shredding.

Go to episode 269

Bob Mould

Throughout his storied career, songwriter and guitarist Bob Mould seems to be driven by the mystical power of the number 3. He's best known for his work with a couple of power trios: the pioneering Minneapolis punk band Hüsker Dü and the successful alternative era band Sugar. He's now formed trio #3 along with bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, Scharpling & Wurster). Together they've recorded three (of course) albums, most recently the double-Buy It earning Patch the Sky. This week, Bob Mould joins Jim and Greg for the third time in the show's history, this time with Narducy and Wurster in tow. They give a blistering live performance and discusses the vitality of guitar music, finding salvation through rock, and Bob's polarizing turn toward electronica.

Go to episode 552

Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster of The Best Show

The Best Show seamlessly combines the elements of comedy and music and subsequently has built up a cult following over the years. The program began on WFMU back in 2000 and continues today as a podcast. The hosts, comedian Tom Scharpling and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, call into the show in character, adopting the guise of various inhabitants of the fictional town of Newbridge, NJ. The Best Show recently announced its 16-disc box set and live national tour to celebrate its anniversary. Scharpling & Wurster join Jim and Greg to talk about some of their favorite calls, characters and moments throughout the show's 15-year history.

Go to episode 496
specials

A Merge Records Retrospective

This economy has not been easy on independent labels, as Jim and Greg reported a couple of weeks ago regarding Touch and Go here in Chicago. So, it's that much more significant to hear of an indie label going strong for 20 years. This week Jim and Greg talk to the founders of one such label — Merge Records in North Carolina. In 1989, Superchunk members Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance founded Merge as a way to release their music and that of their friends. Twenty years later, it's still growing and has launched such bands as Spoon, The Magnetic Fields, She & Him, and Arcade Fire, who gave the label its first Billboard hit.

Go to episode 173

1991

It's hard to believe, but it has now been two decades since 1991, a year Jim and Greg believe to be as influential and significant as 1964, 1976 and other great rock years. 1991's artists, albums and events made way for big changes in the music industry, and the sounds of that year continue to be referenced today. Just look at recent guests Teenage Fanclub and Superchunk, who both released major albums in 1991 and are still filling our playlists in 2011. While Bryan Adams and Garth Brooks topped the charts, they don't tell the true story of this year. For Jim and Greg, 1991 was all about:

  • Nirvana and the birth of grunge
  • My Bloody Valentine and the growth of shoegaze
  • Lollapalooza and the rise of the Alternative Nation
  • N.W.A. and the reign of gangsta rap
  • Massive Attack and the birth of trip-hop
Go to episode 270
reviews
I Hate MusicMajesty Shredding available on iTunes

Superchunk Majesty Shredding

Over three decades in rock, Chapel Hill's Superchunk has kept true to the idealistic indie spirit of its era, regularly turning out records even as members Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance started Merge Records (still one of the most successful indie labels in the game). The band's latest album is I Hate Music. On it, Greg says he hears the band questioning the“music is life, life is music”philosophy it's always held onto. Can music still rejuvenate in the face of death, aging, and burnout? For Superchunk, Jim says, the answer is always yes, and you can hear it in those guitars. I Hate Music might not be the exuberant celebration that was 2010's Majesty Shredding, but Jim and Greg agree it's nevertheless a Buy It record.

JimGreg
Go to episode 403
Majesty ShreddingMajesty Shredding available on iTunes

Superchunk Majesty Shredding

Perhaps no band better symbolizes the indie rock underground than Superchunk. They have been committed to being "indie" both in terms of sound and practice since forming in Chapel Hill in 1989. Two of its members have gone on to run Merge Records, home to Arcade Fire and Spoon. While they never officially broke up, the band hasn't released an album in almost a decade. Majesty Shredding is worth the wait according to Greg. They do pop rock as good as anyone, and Mac McCaughan still sings with the enthusiasm of a kid. Jim agrees, adding that they did lose the plot for a little while. He's happy to hear they have returned to form - simple exuberance - and Superchunk gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 253
Silver Age (Bonus Track Version)Silver Age available on iTunes

Bob Mould Silver Age

Next Jim and Greg review the new solo album from an artist they affectionately call "Uncle Grumpy": Bob Mould. If you were a music-loving kid coming up in the alternative '80s, Jim says, Mould's band Hüsker Dü, was a revelation. The band imploded too early to cash in on the nineties alternative gravy train, so Mould founded another band, Sugar, in 1992. He also put out a prolific series of arty solo albums. Lately, Mould's moved away from music to pursue writing. He published an autobiography See a Little Light last year (and discussed it on Sound Opinions). He says writing about his life inspired him to make Silver Age, a record he's called dumb rock fun. Is that true? Jim says Uncle Grumpy's just putting the critics off the scent. Like Mould's book, this record is all about dark and light, highs and lows. It's also got a wicked sense of humor.“Star Machine,”he says, is one of the most vicious eviscerations of the corporate rock machine he's ever heard. Jim gives Silver Age a Buy It. Greg agrees. He says Mould can be a bit meticulous and fussy in his solo work, but here he's letting it fly. Plus, he's got Superchunk's Jon Wurster playing drums on his record. So how could it be bad?

JimGreg
Go to episode 354
lists

The Best Songs of 2013 - Mixtapes

We‘ve said goodbye to 2013, and now we want to salute the tunes that wowed us. There’s no better way than with a personal mixtape from Jim and Greg to you.

Go to episode 423

The Best Albums of 2013

Go to episode 419
features

Hooked on Sonics: Jason Narducy

This is the first of our new series called Hooked on Sonics, where we ask a musician to talk about a single song that turned music into their passion. For this installment, we hear from Jason Narducy. Jason tours as part of Bob Mould's band, he plays bass for Superchunk, and has his own band Split Single. The song that got him Hooked on Sonics was "Ramones Medley" from the Ramones' Rock n Roll High School soundtrack.

Go to episode 587