Entries tagged with: Mac McCaughan
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)