Entries tagged with: Mac McCaughan
by Bill Pearis
photo: Mac @ BVSXSW 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Mac McCaughan has a new 7" out next week, "Box Batteries," which is a different version of the song that appears on his forthcoming solo album, Non Believers. (Preorders are available.) Like most of his songs, "Box Batteries" has an instantly catchy chorus but has an almost low-fi approach that tips towards The Clean or other Flying Nun acts. Here's what Mac says:
An ode to making sure you have the power to listen to your homemade cassettes in even the most remote locations, "Box Batteries" is perhaps the most rocking song from Non-Believers and captures of the spirit of the album. The special 7-inch version features a pounding Farfisa, various types of distortion, and a tireless drum machine.The song makes its premiere in this post and you can stream it below.
The limited-edition hand-numbered "Box Batteries" 7" will be available at independent record stores and at Mac's shows beginning April 7. Mac's tour hits NYC at Baby's All Right on May 16. Tickets are still available. McCaughan has also added a show on May 14 at WFMU Monty Hall in NJ and tickets are on sale for that show as well.
The Merge-signed Flesh Wounds open both NY-area shows (and many of the May dates) and here's a bit more about them from McCaughan:
"Flesh Wounds are an awesome punk band from Carrboro who will be opening the shows but also then performing with me on songs from Non-Believers as well as songs from "the back catalogue"The Brooklyn date also has And The Kids opening. All dates are listed, along with the "Box Batteries" stream and album trailer, below...
photos by Tim Griffin, words by Andrew Sacher
Rat Fist / Pianos Become The Teeth / Single Mothers
The three 2015 BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 continued on Friday (3/20), once again bringing a handful of bands to the venue's two stages from noon to 6 PM. This one was co-presented with Invisible Oranges.
Unfortunately, Walter Schreifels' band Vanishing Life had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, so Creepoid were moved from the outside stage to the inside stage and the show got a slightly later start. But other than that (and some rain), day 2 went off without a hitch.
Philly's Creepoid, who since ran into some legal trouble, started the day on a psychedelic note, with hazy smoke machines filling the room and their bass and their swirly logo (emblazoned on their bass drum) lit up from inside the drum. It was the perfect setting for their rocking shoegaze. After them it was Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band. The band's currently a power trio, and while Kevin's equally (or better) known for acoustic singer/songwriter stuff, they stuck mostly to their harder material which was a great fit for the day's bill. After them was The Velvet Teen, the shapeshifting rock band who are about to release their first full length in nine years on Topshelf. They played mostly stuff off that album, and the new songs sound good: like a mix of their indie rock early years and the artier tendencies they took on later on.
After Velvet Teen, the inside stage went officially into heavy mode with Canadian punks Single Mothers. They were in beast mode as usual and got a good amount of the crowd rowdy as well, with a handful of people up front shouting along. Then came their Canadian neighbors KEN mode who have a new bassist and a new album on the way that they previewed a handful of songs from. The new stuff has them sounding a little less metallic and a little more AmRep noise rock. It sounded great. They were followed by Power Trip, who recall a handful of early thrash and crossover bands but sound way too urgent to come off as retro. Like they tend to do, they had the whole room turned into a total madhouse. Wrapping up the inside stage was United Nations, one of Geoff Rickly's current bands. Their album makes a joke out of punk rock (while also being a killer punk album), and they did the same at their show, pairing their crushing set with stage banter that sarcastically poked fun at things like McDonald's' presence at SXSW. And for one song, Geoff broke out his old mask.
Meanwhile, the outside stage began around 12:30 with Rat Fist, a trio featuring members of No Age and Pissed Jeans who played a solid set indebted to garage and early punk. They were followed by Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, who are currently on their first US tour and were one of the bands we were very excited to finally check out. They sounded great, and their singer's excitable stage presence was fun to watch too. Then came their Run for Cover labelmates Pity Sex, whose hard-hitting shoegaze sounded as good as ever. Up next was Pianos Become the Teeth (who share a rhythm section with United Nations), who played an intense set pulling almost entirely from their newest album, the post-hardcore band's first without screaming. Then the day ended with two veterans: first Mac McCaughan of Superchunk who previewed his upcoming debut solo album, and then shoegazers Swervedriver who just put out their first album since 1998 that (perhaps thanks to bands like Pity Sex and Creepoid) doesn't sound dated at all.
Thanks to our sponsors Dropkloud, Esurance (who let 30 people skip the line each day) and MailChimp for helping make the party possible. If you unlocked our party playlsts on your phone with the DropKloud app, you can go listen to them now. If you're still in Austin, you can still unlock them when at Red 7 with the app installed on your phone. Thanks also to Sailor Jerry for helping keep our artists relaxed.
Pictures from Thursday HERE. Saturday coming shortly. More from Friday below...
photo: Mew at Webster Hall in 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
photo: Power Trip at BV-RBSS in 2014 (more by Ryan Muir)
The three FREE BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 in Austin begin TODAY (Thursday, 3/19). We're taking over both stages of the 6th & Red River venue from noon-6pm and doing it again Friday (3/20) and Saturday (3/21) too. You can RSVP for all three days. If you're in Austin, hope to see you there!
Over the course of the three days there's sets from Mew, The Pop Group, Swervedriver, Frank Turner, Ceremony, Iceage, Screaming Females, METZ, Speedy Ortiz, Power Trip, United Nations, Pianos Become the Teeth, Superchunk's Mac McCaughan, The Octopus Project, Broncho, Frog Eyes, Girlpool, Mitski, Chastity Belt, Alex G, Yumi Zouma, KEN mode, Kevin Devine, The Velvet Teen, Pity Sex, Makthaverskan and more.
Check out the flyers and set times for all three days, below...
We're happy to announce that we're returning to Red 7 for three FREE BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties this year on the Thursday (3/19), Friday (3/20) and Saturday (3/21) of SXSW. RSVP in one spot for all three days.
We'll be taking over the 7th & Red River venue's two stages from noon-6pm each day, Thursday's lineup is HERE. Saturday's lineup will be announced soon, here's the Invisible Oranges co-presented Friday lineup!
FRIDAY, MARCH 20 @ Red 7 (FREE)Please RSVP for all three days.
12:30 Vanishing Life (featuring Walter Schreifels & mems of Trail of Dead)
01:15 Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band
02:00 The Velvet Teen
02:45 Single Mothers
03:30 KEN Mode
04:15 Power Trip
05:15 United Nations (featuring Geoff Rickly)
12:45 Rat Fist (No Age/Pissed Jeans)
02:15 Pity Sex
03:10 Pianos Become the Teeth
04:05 Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk)
The Friday inside show begins with Walter Schreifels' (of Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc) new band with two Trail of Dead members, Vanishing Life, followed by a full-band set by long-running singer/songwriter Kevin Devine (who's in the midst of a series of splits with Nada Surf's Matthew Caws, Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves and more). Then comes The Velvet Teen, who just announced their first LP since 2006 on Topshelf Records. After that, the inside stage gets heavier, with snotty Canadian punks Single Mothers, sludgey post-hardcore band KEN mode, crossover thrashers Power Trip, and finally the screamo band of former Thursday singer Geoff Rickly, United Nations.
Outside, the day begins with Philly shoegazers Creepoid (who have a new LP coming), followed by Rat Fist, the new-ish punk band with No Age and Pissed Jeans members. Then it's Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, their shoegazey Run for Cover labelmates Pity Sex, and atmospheric post-hardcore band Pianos Become the Teeth (who also have members in United Nations). The day wraps up with two veterans: Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan (who has his debut solo LP on the way) and reunited shoegazers Swervedriver.
This year we're proud to be partnering with DropKloud, a new app that is launching just in time for SXSW. Recently acquired by TuneCore, DropKloud uses GPS technology to allow people to unlock exclusive music content in specific geo-targeted locations. You'll be able to try it out at our parties at Red 7 where we'll have special content from the artists playing our shows. Once you unlock it, you can listen later. Stay tuned for more details, but meanwhile get that app on your phone via Google Play or iTunes.
Thank you also to esurance who will provide expedited access to our shows to some people who are following @Esurance on twitter each day, and to MailChimp who powers the daily BrooklynVegan newsletter you'll get on if you RSVP for our shows.
Listen to some of the bands playing, below...
photo: Spoon taping for ACL TV in 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Spoon are the focus of La Blogothéque's latest Take Away Show, with Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel performing beautiful acoustic renditions of "I Just Don't Understand" and "Inside Out" from last year's full-length They Want My Soul. The session was shot last October while the artists were visiting Queens' Knockdown Center during the setup for "Debut", which Blogothéque director Derrick Belcham co-designed.
The band have a tour announced for this summer (including Brooklyn's renovated King's Theatre in June), but first they'll be heading back to their spiritual home of Austin for a slew of performances during SXSW. Their first performance is actually going down before the festival's music portion even starts, playing the SXSWi Umbelmania party this Friday, March 13 at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. The party also features DJ Chicken George and luchadors, so it'll surely be an interesting time. The party is free with RSVP, admission is first come, first serve.
Britt and company will also be headlining another SXSWi party -- the free Tumblr and Entourage presented Fuck Yeah show at The Mohawk on Monday (3/16). The party hosts a wide variety of support in RAC, Yung Lean & Sad Boys, ASTR, Badbadnotgood, Kali Uchis, Holy Child, Tei Shi and Twin Peaks. No RSVP needed.
Spoon will also be making an appearance at this year's edition of the Hype Machine Hype Hotel as headliners for the Syndicate curated 'Conflict of Interest' show on Tuesday (3/17). The party also features Parlour Tricks, Amason, San Fermin, Milo Greene and Odesza. Check out the rest of the week's massive Hype Hotel presented by Feed the Beat lineup here and RSVP to get into the week's worth of parties.
If you won't get into town until the music festival officially starts, you can catch Spoon at FLOODfest's Wednesday (3/18) night showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard with support from DJ Windows 98 (aka Arcade Fire's Win Butler), Speedy Ortiz, Basecamp, Dotan and Taymir. FLOODfest's night shows are official showcases, so you'll need a badge or wristband to get in.
The band headlines the official SXSW showcase at Auditorium Shores on Thursday night (3/19) with support from Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Superchunk's Mac McCaughan and My Jerusalem. The show is free and open to the public provided you secure a Guest Pass, and they're taking badges/wristbands as well.
There's also a listing for an official showcase featuring Spoon on Saturday (3/21) but the venue and other acts aren't yet announced.
All upcoming Spoon dates (SXSW and otherwise) are listed, along with the Take Away performance of "I Just Don't Understand" and "Inside Out" as well as the Fuck Yeah schedule and flyers for FLOODfest, below...
by Bill Pearis
photo: Mac McCaughan @ Baby's All Right, CMJ 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Mac McCaughan has shared a song from his forthcoming solo debut, Non Believers, which is out May 5 via Merge. "Lost Again" is a lovely, heartfelt number with the Superchunk frontman's propensity for hooks still apparent in this pared-down setting. It's a really nice song and you can listen below.
photo: Mac McCaughan @ Baby's All Right, CMJ 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Twenty-five years into his career, Superchunk's Mac McCaughan will release Non-Believers, his first solo album under his own name, on May 5 via Merge. (Portastatic began as a solo project but later became an actual band.) On it, he's exploring the sounds of the introspective side of early-'80s post-punk, when bands began "using keyboards and drum machines to relate through their music a disaffection or alienation." Pre-orders of the album are up now, and there will be a single, "Box Batteries / Whatever Light," out in April. You can check out a trailer for the LP, below.
Mac will be on tour this spring, playing Baby's All Right on May 16 with Flesh Wounds. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/13) at noon. You may remember Mac played Baby's All Right's second day in existence, which was a Brooklynvegan CMJ party.
All dates are listed, along with teaser video and album art, below.
by Bill Pearis
Mac McCaughan @ HiFi during CMJ (via @marcviloria
I make no bones about my love of '80s goth: Bauhaus, Siouxsie, Xymox, Xmal Deutchland, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The Bolshoi etc...I'm all for it. (Fields of the Nephilim, not so much.) But my favorite is probably The Sisters of Mercy whose first two albums -- 1985's First and Last and Always and (especially) 1987's Floodland -- are pretty much stone-cold classics that I can listen to anytime of the year, but I tend to OD on around Halloween. I was, in fact, listening to them today when I saw that Superchunk frontman and Merge mogul Mac McCaughan had just posted a cover of "First and Last and Always" on his soundcloud. Mac keeps the inherent drama but gives it the Portastatic treatment, stripping it down to acoustic guitar and synths. (Mac adds, "Doktor Avalanche was not available for the session.") You can stream it below.
Mac was just in NYC for CMJ, playing a solo show at HiFi. Anybody catch his set? Mac's take on the Sisters, plus a mix of classic '80s goth for your Halloween listening, below..
Mac w/ Superchunk at Riot Fest Chicago 2014 (more by James Richards IV)
Superchunk just wrapped up the few 2014 dates they had scheduled, including Riot Fest Chicago in September and The Jam Room Music Festival in Columbia this past weekend (10/11), but singer Mac McCaughan has an upcoming show scheduled. He'll play NYC during CMJ on October 23 at HiFi Bar, the bar on Avenue A that used to be Brownies (where Superchunk have played) which only rarely hosts live music now. The show will be opened by J Fernandez (whose new EP comes out this week), and $8 tickets are on sale now.
Mac played solo at BV's CMJ show last year and at the Merge showcase in 2012, making this his third solo appearance at CMJ in a row. Watch a video of him playing "Learned to Surf" at last year's show, below...
words by Andrew Sacher, photos by Amanda Hatfield
"Ex Hex casting a spell on the @brooklynvegan party " - Amanda Contrada
Mac & Ex Hex @ BV CMJ @ Baby's All Right - 10/19/2013
After our Friday CMJ day party on opening day of new Williamsburg venue Baby's All Right, we returned the next morning for an all-day Saturday party that went from noon til just after 2 AM, and with even more complimentary Sailor Jerry flowing.
Eight hours in, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan played a rare solo set that reminded me of a past BV-CMJ party when Ted Leo did a similar thing -- scrappy and powerful like he is with his main band, but still stripped down and intimate. His setlist, which you can see below, included Superchunk and Portastatic songs, and a Mary Lou Lord cover (video of that one below).
Then Mary Timony (Wild Flag, Helium, Autoclave), whose guitar Mac was borrowing, made the NYC debut of her new band Ex Hex. Betsy Wright of The Fire Tapes plays bass, Laura Harris of Aquarium is on drums, and it was a killer first set from the trio. It was immediately appealing to fans of Mary's previous bands while also the most riffy rock n' roll thing she's ever done. Their set consisted of basically every song they have so far, including "Hot and Cold" (listen on NPR). Everyone had a blast. A couple of videos are below.
More about the other artists on the show in a minute. Here's pictures from Mac and Mary's set. More of them with videos and Mac's setlist, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Superchunk Mac/Florence & the Machine
"The DeLuna Stage was set up on the beach, facing away from the Pensacola pier that stretches into the Gulf of Mexico. On the opposite side of the beach looking back was actually the Heritage Stage, a stage filled with the sounds of New Orleans jazz music. The quarters weren't as sprawling as Hangout [Festival in Alabama], but the Windcreek Stage location, in the adjacent parking lot, made for a much easier human traffic flow between the two primary stages. That concrete often kept the festival from feeling like it was intended, but its proximity also kept fans from missing anything from the weekend's largest acts.Florida beach music festival, Deluna Fest, wrapped up its third year back on Sunday, 9/23. If you've been following along, you already saw a big set from the first day, the Bad Brains shots, Joy Formidable, and the rest of the pictures from the second day. Now here's our final set of pictures which include Bob Mould (who also played with the Foo Fighters the night before), the Corin Tucker Band (who then toured her way to NYC for two shows), The Wallflowers, Fitz & the Tantrums (who are on the soundtrack to the new movie "Butter"), Superchunk (whose frontman has a show coming up at Mercury Lounge), and Florence & the Machine. Check out the rest of the pictures and a Mould video, below...
Then, the setup allowed for unrestricted access to the ocean. So, you give and you take.
NBC Sports sponsored a "sports bar," lined with no fewer than 10 HD flat screens. The welcome addition allowed a region which loves college football to lounge near the beach and catch their favorite team on Saturday. Alabama's pay-per-view contest against Florida Atlantic was not carried, but most other national broadcasts were, including Auburn's near-miss against LSU." [Birmingham News]
Merge Records have added two new artists to their roster: Memphis, TN's long-running garage greats Reigning Sound (previously on In the Red), and Lambchop guitarist William Tyler whose 2011 instrumental solo album, Behold the Spirit, was well-received (stream it at Spotify). Neither act have specific release news but look for albums from both in 2013.
Meanwhile both Tyler and Reigning Sound will be part of Merge Records' official CMJ showcase which will be at Mercury Lounge on October 18 with Telekenesis, Eleanor Friedberger, Mount Moriah and Superchunk frontman/label domo Mac McCaughan also on the bill. It's the first CMJ showcase Merge has had since 2008. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 21 at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/19) at noon.
The only artist on the Merge CMJ showcase that has any other upcoming tour dates listed is Telekinesis, though none in NYC. Those are listed below.
Yo La Tengo Hanukkah 2011 Night 1 (photo by Jack2point0)
Yo La Tengo played their first of eight Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's last night (12/20). We have a full set of pictures coming, but in the meantime, check out last night's setlist complete with openers/guests listed, via Frank & Earthy, below...
Chris Swanson (Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian/Dead Oceans): I'm not sure that people don't know labels now. I still think the music geeks know labels.Check out the whole thing at Carrie's NPR blog.
Portia Sabin (Kill Rock Stars): I think labels are caught in a cultural bind: No one really wants to know what a label does; it's like the sausage factory. Even long-established bands have a hard time talking about what labels do.
Gerard Cosloy (Matador): I mean, HoZac couldn't have a singles club otherwise.
Mac McCaughan (Merge): I'm one of those people that doesn't pay attention, either, I guess; I don't know what HoZac is!
Carrie Brownstein: I don't know HoZac, either.
Gerard Cosloy: GOOGLE THAT S---.
Mac McCaughan: GTS!
Maggie Vail (Kill Rock Stars): http://www.hozacrecords.com/
by Andrew Frisicano
Mac and Britt embrace (Triangle Music)
The much anticipated XX Merge Festival took place last week in North Carolina with a five-day (July 22-July 26), Wednesday to Sunday run of shows. Last night (Sunday)'s show with She & Him, American Music Club and Wye Oak was the only fully announced lineup. The other four nights (and one day) were a grab bag of any number of Merge bands past and present. Did you go? What were the highlights?
Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, who recently played a pair of big NY shows, headlined the fest's first night (which also included Magnetic Fields). Superchunk, which features Merge founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, topped the bill of the second night. The third night included the reformed/reunited lineups of Spent, Polvo and Pipe.
Mac McCaughan came out on stage before [Pipe] instead of the night's emcee and announced that there was a lone protester outside. He invited him up on stage and it was Jon Wurster decked out in Phillies gear as Philly Boy Roy. He was holding a sign that said "Boycot MERGE." He complained that Merge didn't have any Philly bands on their roster and Mac said that they have bands from Jersey, which is close to Philly. You never compare Jersey to Philly in front of Philly Boy Roy. It was hilarious.You can see the partial setlist from Spoon, who headlined that night, below.
All of this led to the introduction of New Jersey punks Pipe. As soon as they kicked into their first song, beer cans and plastic bottles started flying. Frontman Ron Liberti ate it up and even put himself in the line of fire, headbutting some of the cans while kicking some back into the crowd. Liberti bounded around the stage, essentially taunting the crowd. The crowd loved the band's antics as did I (but that may have been different if I hadn't managed to stay dry). [triangle music]
In addition to the Cat's Cradle shows (the venue for 4/5 of the night shows), Saturday featured a day show that included Julian Koster solo as Music Tapes and Mac McCaughan with violin accompaniment as Portastatic. A few videos from that set, below.
M. Ward, who's playing the Central Park Summerstage this Saturday (August 1st), played at the fest's Saturday night showcase. Zooey Deschanel joined him for a cover of the Beatles' "Birthday." Not too big of a surprise considering She & Him headlined the Sunday night show.
Other XX Merge artists who recently stopped in NYC include The Clientele and Richard Buckner (they played Music Hall of Williamsburg last Sunday), Versus and Superchunk (they played South Street Seaport last Friday), and Spent (they played Coco 66). Spoon didn't play a NYC show, but they were spotted in the audience of Paul McCartney's third of three shows at Citi Field in Queens. Destroyer is on his way up. He plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Mark Eitzel (as American Music Club) played Le Poisson Rouge and Maxwell's before XX Merge, and now he's on his way back for a show at The Bell House.
Lineups for each night of XX Merge, with videos, and a bunch of setlists, below...
The dB's @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ - Dec 6, 2007 (CRED)