Entries tagged with: Merge Records
Merge Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and they are planning a year-long celebration the culmination of which will be the Merge Festival which will happen July 23-26 in the label's hometown of Carrboro, NC. Line-up, tickets and other interesting details like those are still TBA, but you can watch a couple teaser videos below. (This will probably be one festival Outkast won't be at, but you never know!) They last celebrated back in 2009 with XX Merge.
Additionally, you can subscribe to Merge's "Or Thousands of Prizes" singles club where you get a new 7" on colored vinyl every month featuring 25 of the label's artists, including Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Mount Moriah, The Mountain Goats, The Clientele, Destroyer, King Khan & the Shrines, Lambchop, and more. Subscribers will also get a collector's box, t-shirt, a surprise bonus 12" single, new E-book version of The Merge Records Companion and first crack at Merge Fest tickets. You can still buy in.
There's also a Merge 25k road race on March 22 which runs from Chapel Hill to Durham and more fun stuff to be announced. They gave their website a nice redesign too. Looking good at a quarter century, Merge!
Merge Fest teaser videos below...
by Andrew Sacher
Vertical Scratchers is the new project of John Schmersal (of '90s noise rockers Brainiac and founder of the tamer but still rockin' Enon) and Christian Beaulieu (of Triclops! and recent psychedelic supergroup Anywhere), and they've announced that they'll release their debut LP, Daughter of Everything, on February 25 via Merge (making them the second group of indie rock royalty to sign to Merge in the past month). The album's first single "These Plains" is a stripped down rocker that sounds like it could have fit in with the garage rock revival of the early '00s (they namedrop The Kinks as an influence). That track makes its premiere in this post.
Check it out, along with the album artwork and tracklist, below...
When we booked Mary Timony's new band Ex Hex back to back with Mac McCaughan of Superchunk (who also happens to be the co-founder of Merge Records), we knew it was a BV-CMJ match made in heaven (not to mention Mary's other band Wild Flag is signed to Merge), but we didn't know the extent of it...
I guess Mac really liked their set, because Merge just announced they've signed Ex Hex too! Merge writes:
We are delighted to announce the addition of Ex Hex to the Merge roster. Hailing from Washington, DC, Ex Hex is Mary Timony, Betsy Wright, and Laura Harris.Mary adds:
On the occasion of Ex Hex signing to Merge, Mary contributed the following information about the band:
Ex Hex is what your older brother's friends listened to. "Roxy Roller" and "Virginia Plain" rumbling from the Kenwood in the basement.
It's what your babysitters listened to, and it's what stuck with me.
Ex Hex is a power trio: guitar, drums, and bass.
We are thrilled to have found a home at Merge.
Ex Hex will release their debut album in 2014, and a tour is in the works including the SXSW Festival in March.
I first met Mac and Laura in 1993 when Helium was playing shows with Superchunk; it's hard to believe that was twenty years ago!Congrats to Ex Hex and Merge. Read more about the BV-CMJ show HERE. Watch a video from their set below..
Merge is an iconic label with a roster full of artists that I admire and I'm so psyched that Ex Hex is on board!
by Andrew Sacher
Alt-country singer/songwriter Richard Buckner returned with a new album, Surrounded, which came out this past September via Merge. It's a somber album, with thick, haunting atmospheres, and some rich vocal harmonies that add a comforting warmth to the whole thing too. You can stream two of its tracks, "When You Tell Me How It Is" and "Mood," below, and listen to the full album on the Merge jukebox.
Richard has some dates coming up this year too. They're a little scattered at the moment so maybe more will be announced, but we at least know that he'll be in NYC for a show on November 17 at Mercury Lounge with Vandaveer. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (10/11) at noon with an AmEx presale starting today (10/9) at noon.
All dates are listed, along with the song streams, below...
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned, Ty Segall's new power trio, Fuzz, will be in town in June to play a Summerstage show at Red Hook Park on June 6. Fuzz (in which Ty plays drums and sings) just released a video for "Fuzz's Fourth Dream" which is the B-side of their debut single which came out earlier this year on Trouble in Mind. The clip was shot during this year's Burgerama festival in Santa Anna, CA and you can watch it below.
In related news, Ty Segall is on one side of the newest 7" in Famous Class Records' LAMC singles series. The instrumental track, "Music from a Film 1," is funky in a Krautrock kind of way. You can stream it below, along with the other side, a very Oh Sees-eque "Mountain" by Chad & the Meatbodies. 100% of the digital proceeds going to the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund at VH1 Save the Music - a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America's public schools. You can order it here.
And last but not least, Ty Segall's cohort Mikal Cronin will release his second album, MC II, next week on Merge. It's a terrific album, loaded with harmony-laden psych-pop and you can stream the record in full over at NPR. Mikal will play Bowery Ballroom on June 20 and tickets are still available.
Fuzz video and LAMC single streams are below.
by Andrew Sacher
Raleigh/Richmond punks Barren Girls formed back in December of 2011, and they've since signed to Merge Records, who will release their debut EP, Hell Hymns, on April 2. Frontwoman Carla Wolff sounds raised on Bikini Kill-era Kathleen Hanna, and they round out that hard edge with the garage rock organs that fill their songs. Like many great punk EPs, Hell Hymns doesn't overstay its welcome (four songs in under ten minutes) and leaves you begging for that full length. Or just hitting play again when it ends. Head below to check out the EP's closing track, "She-Devil."
Barren Girls were just down in Austin for SXSW and they'll be doing a larger tour of the US once the EP comes out. The tour kicks off with a show in their home stage opening for labelmate Bob Mould, and it hits NYC on April 23 at Death by Audio and April 24 at Cake Shop. No advance tickets for those shows and complete lineups TBA.
All tour dates are listed, along with the song stream, below...
by Bill Pearis
As a member of Ty Segall's band, Mikal Cronin stays busy, what with all the record releasing and constant touring. (Ty's tour just ripped through NYC.) But somewhere in that whirlwind of activity he managed to write and record. He'll be releasing his second solo album, MCII, on May 7 which will be his first album for Merge. That's the cover art above. "Shout it Out" is the first track from the record to be released and, Like his great 2011 Trouble in Mind album, it shows off Mikal's talent as a pop songwriter. But he's not afraid to stomp on the fuzz pedal, either. You can stream it below along with the LP's track list.
Not much in the way of touring for Mikal just yet, but he will be playing a few West Coast dates and SXSW in Austin so look for him there and his current schedule is below. Meanwhile, In the Red just reissued the split LP between Mikal and Ty called Reverse Shark Attack and you can stream that below.
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.
The 2012 Hopscotch independent music festival is underway in venues all across Raleigh, NC. Shows happen at night, and during the day. One such example of the latter is a show BrooklynVegan is co-presenting TODAY (9/7) at Pour House (Noon - 5:45PM, 21+, FREE). And it looks like this:
4:50PM - 5:30PM - Flock of Dimes (Jenn from Wye Oak)The lineup is a bit of a Baltimore/North Carolina/Wisconsin family affair, headlined by Flock of Dimes which you'll remember is the project of Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak. And like Wye Oak (who also play Hopscotch0, Flock of Dimes is now signed to North Carolina label Merge....
3:45PM - 4:35PM - Field Report (Chris Porterfield of DeYarmond Edison)
2:45PM - 3:25PM - Odonis Odonis
1:50PM - 2:30PM - Dope Body
1:00PM - 1:35PM - Made of Oak (Nick from Megafaun)
12:15PM - 12:45PM - White Life
On September 25, Merge will release "Curtain" b/w "Apparition,"the second in a series of 7-inch singles from Flock of Dimes, the solo project of Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner. Limited to 1,000 copies, each 7-inch includes a download coupon for both tracks.
Jenn launched Flock of Dimes in 2011 as a way to explore more experimental recording and songwriting outside of the burgeoning success of Wye Oak. A tour opening for Sharon Van Etten followed, and a debut 7-inch, "Prison Bride" b/w "I Can't Tell You Why (screwed mix)," was released by Baltimore-based Friends Records in April of 2011. There are more singles planned as part of this series, but a full-length is not yet on the horizon.
"These two songs function as a pair of opposites: 'Curtain' documents the thoughtless, obsessed joy of new love, whereas 'Apparition' attempts to catch sight of the ghosts it leaves behind in the wake of its absence," says Jenn.
Produced and realized with the help of Mickey Free, "Curtain" b/w "Apparition" features a beautiful cover photograph by Matthew Yake<./blockquote>If you're in NC, stop by today. Listen to "Curtain" by Flock of Dimes, along with a reminder of Wye Oak's upcoming tour dates (which will hit Maxwell's & MHOW), below...
by Tim Griffin
Divine Fits @ The Continental Club - 7/31/2012
Tonight (8/1), indie rock supergroup Divine Fits (Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks - and auxiliary member Alex Fischel) are set to play their official first show at a sold-out Beerland in Austin, TX.
But last night (7/31), they got together and played a secret show at Austin's The Continental Club. Billed as 'The Hot Skull', they were sandwiched between Austin's The Laughing (who were playing their first show) and TV Torso. Divine Fits ran through the almost the entirety of their forthcoming Merge debut (out Aug. 28, which includes a cover of Nick Cave's "Shivers") plus a take on Tom Petty's 'You Got Lucky'; pretty sure all in attendance felt like they did.
As for the rest of the country, Divine Fits haven't announced a full tour yet, but they do have a few dates set up, including stops in the members' respective hometowns. They play Dan's homebase, Montreal, on Friday, August 3 (not part of Osheaga Fest), and visit Brown's Columbus, OH stomping grounds on August 6. They also play Chicago on August 5 and Salt Lake on Aug. 9.
All tour dates are below, along with more pictures (and video) Divine Fits, The Laughing and TV Torso below...
DOWNLOAD: Imperial Teen - "Runaway" (MP3)
San Francisco indie pop band Imperial Teen (fronted by Roddy Bottum also of Faith No More) released Feel the Sound, their first new album in five years and fifth overall this past January on Merge Records. You can download album track, "Runaway," at the top of this post and watch its video below, along with the stream of another album track, "Out from Inside."
Imperial Teen have a few (mostly festival) dates coming up this summer, including a NYC show, which happens on August 17 at Knitting Factory. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
A list of all dates, video, and streams below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Redd Kross - "Researching the Blues" (MP3)
Superchunk at Pitchfork Fest 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Superchunk, who came back with a new album in 2010, have followed that release with a new single titled "This Summer." It's out today and comes with a cover of Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" on the B-side. Only 1300 copies were pressed and are available in stores worldwide. Take a listen to the A-side over at Pitchfork. The 7" cover art is below.
Superchunk only have a few dates scheduled and one of those is in NYC as part of CBGB Festival at Beekman Beer Garden on July 6 with Redd Kross and Labor Pool. Tickets for that show are not on sale yet but check ticketweb for any updates or use your CBGB Fest badge.
Redd Kross @ HoZac Blackout Fest on 5/19/2012 (more by John Yingling)
Speaking of Redd Kross, like Superchunk they were responsible for pioneering the pop punk sound that dominated the '90s, most notably doing so on their 1987 LP, Neurotica. The band reunited back in 2004, and now they're set to release their first new album of original material and it's with the same lineup they had on Neurotica. The new album is called Researching the Blues, and it's due out on August 7 via Merge (the label operated by Superchunk). You can grab an MP3 of that album's title track above, or stream it below. Though it's been a while, Redd Kross sound just as urgent on this new track as they do on their earlier records. Check it out for yourself. The album is available for pre-order at the Merge webstore and it comes with a free poster and button. Cover art and tracklist are below.
A list of all dates, that song stream, cover art and tracklist below...
Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) have confirmed the existence of their new band, Divine Fits.This news comes just a few days after Dan announced that his other band Handsome Furs was over.
Divine Fits' as yet untitled debut album will be released later this year by Merge Records in the U.S. The album was was produced by Nick Launay.
Further details regarding the record's release date, live dates, etc. will be announced as they are confirmed.
Pipe is possibly the closest thing Chapel Hill's ever had to an SST band: Their raw, aggressive roar blended the hookiness of early punk with the hard-hewn fits of early American hardcore. There's a loose-limbed abandon to songs like "Sonic Scout" and "Hammer God" that recalls the Circle Jerks, while blasts like "Bowling for Fuckers" just crank up the Marshalls and charge like the Stooges. Their fearless leader and singer, Ron Liberti, is the ringmaster taking listeners down dark hallways and through the banal indignities of life. -[Pipe bio]Pipe called it quits in 1999, but reunited before (like at Merge XX). The band is on board for a few Archers of Loaf shows and will also play Hopscotch this year, joining an eclectic lineup of everything from Altar of Plagues to The Jesus & Mary Chain.
Check out some Pipe material and all tour dates below.
Eleanor at BV Holiday Party at MHOW in 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Merge labelmates Eleanor Friedberger and Hospitality who shared a bill during CMJ with their other Merge labelmate Wild Flag, are heading out on a tour together in April and May which kicks off with a Brooklyn show at The Bell House on April 18. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, Eleanor Friedberger will be tour with Portlandia, Wild Flag's Carrie Brownstein included, this month. Eleanor made a video for "Heaven" last month. Check it out below.
You can catch Hospitality in NYC even sooner when they open for Tennis at Bowery Ballroom (3/3) and MHOW (3/5). The Bowery show is sold out but tickets for the MHOW show are still available. Hospitality also made a video last month. You can watch that below.
Speaking of Tennis, you can stream their new album which came out this week.
All dates and videos below...
Kurt Wagner's Nashville-based alt-country band Lambchop are set to release their first album since 2008's OH (Ohio); Mr. M, on February 21 via Merge. The album is dedicated to Vic Chestnutt, who passed away in 2009, and whose 1998 album The Salesman and Bernadette was recorded with Lambchop as his backing band. It includes the tracks "If Not I'll Just Die" and "Gone Tomorrow," which you can download above and stream below, along with a trailer video and the artwork and tracklist. You can pre-order the album at the Merge webstore as a CD or double LP, the latter of which includes 4 vinyl-only bonus tracks, one of which is a cover of Glen Campbell's "Guess I'm Dumb," co-written and produced by Brian Wilson. According to Merge, "While supplies last, preorders will include a poster (the first 150 of which will be signed!) featuring Kurt Wagner's original paintings used in Mr. M's liner notes and a Lambchop Mr. M coin purse."
Lambchop have a number of European dates scheduled in support of the release from February to April and are beginning to announce North American dates, including a NYC show happening on April 19 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for the LPR show are on sale now.
All currently known dates, video, streams, and album info below...
Archers of Loaf at Webster Hall (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Archers of Loaf, still reunited, have a handful of dates scheduled in 2012 so far. The seminal 90s band has a pair of West Coast dates: LA and San Francisco (as part of Noise Pop), and two East Coast dates: Bowery Ballroom on April 26th and Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on April 29th
that same week ( date TBA shortly). Tickets for the NYC shows go on sale at noon on 2/3. The last time that Archers of Loaf played NYC it was over two nights at Webster Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Archers will also be at Primavera fest in Spain in May. More dates will be announced soon, as Merge is getting ready to release more remasters...
On February 21, Merge will re-issue Archers of Loaf's sophomore release Vee Vee on dbl-CD, limited edition mossy-green LP and digital download..In related news, Eric Bachmann's other project Crooked Fingers will play LA a few days after the Archers of Loaf appearance, at the Hotel Cafe on Feb 29. The band was recently featured on NPR's World Cafe.
Re-mastered by Bob Weston and featuring new liner notes by Magnet Magazine editor Eric Miller, Vee Vee will include sixteen bonus tracks and new cover art re-imagined by graphic artist Jay Ryan. Reissues of All the Nation's Airports and White Trash Heroes will follow later in 2012.
All known tour dates and a couple of videos below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
Hospitality's long-in-the-works debut album is out next week (1/31) on Merge and the band have just released a video for the horn-filled "Friends of Friends." In addition to the band playing in someone's well-equipped kitchen, the video tells the story of a relationship stretched between coasts, as played by Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat and Videogum's Gabe Delahaye (who was also recently in Real Estate's video for "Easy"). You can download the MP3 of "Friends of Friends" at the top of this post. The whole album's terrific, one of my early favorites of the year, and Spotify users can get an early listen to the whole thing here.
You can pick up the album at Hospitality's record release show at Glasslands next Friday (2/3) which also has Glass Ghost and Dustin Wong on the bill. The band are also heading out on a quick tour of both coasts and will be in Austin for SXSW. All scheduled tour dates are below.
In other Hospitality news, the band play WFMU's Seven Second Delay at UCB this Wednesday (1/25, 6PM) and have just released a Daytrotter session. Below is the "Friends of Friends" video and those upcoming tour dates.
Yo La Tengo Hanukkah @ Maxwell's 12/21/2011 (via TheRealYLT)
Looks like Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk, Portastatic and Merge Records) had more than one reason (so far) for spending Hanukkah in Hoboken with Yo La Tengo again this year. His old friends Spent, who reunited in 2009 for Merge's 20th Anniversary, were the openers for Yo La Tengo on Wednesday (the second night of Hanukkah), along with comedians Bobcat Goldthwait (!) and Neil Innes (!). Smokey Hormel is guest YLT guitarist.
The Sea and Cake opened the first night. A picture of Spent on stage at Maxwell's below...
Stephin Merritt has a new The Magnetic Fields LP on the way due via Merge Records on March 6th. Love at the Bottom of the Sea is the band's 10th LP, and they'll celebrate its release with a string of dates this spring that will include SXSW and two shows in NYC at the Beacon Theater on April 3rd and 4th. A fan presale has started, while Beacon Theater tickets go on AMEX presale Wednesday (12/14) at 11AM and regular sale Friday.
The new tour dates also list a NYC appearance at Barnes & Noble on March 8th. Stay tuned for more info on that. All dates are listed below.
The release marks a bit of a departure from Merritt's recent work...
After putting out three synthesizer-free albums, The Magnetic Fields are returning to the signature mix of synth and acoustic sounds they established in the 90s with Merge releases such as The Charm of the Highway Strip and Get Lost. Stephin Merritt has come back to synths with a fresh approach: "Most of the synthesizers on the record didn't exist when we were last using synthesizers," he notes. The songs -- none over three minutes long -- were recorded in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York with Merritt's usual cast of collaborators: Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Johny Blood and Daniel Handler.Preorder a copy of Love at the Bottom of the Sea at Merge to get all sorts of exclusives (vinyl colorways, a signed poster and Magnetic Fields button) and check out all tour dates and the tracklisting below.
DOWNLOAD: Merge Records Winter Sampler 2011 (ZIP)
Hospitality at Bowery Ballroom in October (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hospitality recently finished up a bunch of shows in NYC during and after CMJ. They'll take a short break until they release their debut LP on Merge on January 31. The band will celebrate the release of the album at Glasslands on February 3 with fellow Brooklynites Glass Ghost. Tickets are on sale now.
Hospitality's "Betty Wang" appears on the Merge Records Winter Sampler, alongside tracks by The Mountain Goats, Archers of Loaf, Lambchop, Imperial Teen, Wild Flag, Eleanor Friedberger, and others. You can download the entire sampler above. If you hear something you like, check out the Merge Store where they're running a holiday sale.
The Merge-signed Ladybug Transistor plays Mercury Lounge with Citay and Ill Fits one day before that.
photos by Tamara Porras
Wild Flag @ Bowery Ballroom
"On Tuesday night, that act vacuuming up all the attention was Wild Flag, a new band comprised of members of old bands that sounds like the mean of those old bands, and also like many recent bands who have looked to those old bands for inspiration. (Got all that?)Wild Flag completed their 3-night attack on the NYC-area last night at Bowery Ballroom where they were joined by Eleanor Friedberger and Hospitality. Pictures of EF & WF continue below...
The self-titled Wild Flag debut album was released last month on Merge and, in places, it's blistering. But only some of that tension came through during the band's set Tuesday night at the Bowery Ballroom. The singer Carrie Brownstein is still poignant, and still wry, and still handles her guitar authoritatively. While Janet Weiss, the drummer, was firm, she wasn't at her firmest. And sometimes the keyboard lines from Rebecca Cole appeared to have parachuted in from another concert up the block." [NY Times]
photos by Tamara Porras
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - "Friends of Friends" (MP3)
Hopefully you got to Bowery Ballroom early enough last night to catch Hospitality open for Eleanor Friedberger and Wild Flag at the Merge Records CMJ showcase. Here are some pics from their opening set.
If you missed 'em don't worry, they'll be back soon. After two days on the road they'e back in NYC to play two CMJ day parties starting with the free BrooklynVegan day party at Public Assembly on Friday. All dates, the cover and tracklist of their debut album for Merge (out 1/31), and more pictures, below...
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
Hospitality @ 'Sound Bites' (more by Chris La Putt)
Speaking of Wild Flag, if you hadn't guessed it yet, the band who are opening for them and their Merge labelmate Eleanor Friedberger at Bowery Ballroom during CMJ, is in fact signed to Merge too. Congrats to Hospitality! The North Carolina label will release the Brooklyn band's debut full-length in "early 2012". Download a track above, or stream it, with all dates below...
DOWNLOAD: RIchard Buckner - "Traitor" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: David Kilgour - "Chord" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: David Kilgour - "Son of God" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: David Kilgour - "Sept 98" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: David Kilgour - "BBC World" (MP3)
He'll go on an August tour in support of the album with his Merge labelmate David Kilgour of The Clean. That tour hits NYC on August 27 at The Bell House. Tickets are on sale now. Richard Buckner will also play Truck America in the Catskills in September. All dates are listed below.
David Kilgour offers some free song downloads on his website of songs not available elsewhere. Grab a few of those tracks above. David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights' new CD Left by Soft is out now on Merge where you can also stream it.
All tour dates and a video of David performing the title track on his new album, below...