Entries tagged with: Merge Records
Merge Records have become one of the latest labels to join Bandcamp. Unfortunately the whole discography isn't there -- like no Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel or Spoon -- but still this is good news. You can now stream full albums by Superchunk, Seaweed, Ex Hex, Bob Mould, Titus Andronicus, The Mountain Goats, Destroyer, Polvo, Versus and more, and get digital downloads, often for cheaper than iTunes.
Stream some great Merge albums below...
We were just saying how we're still waiting on a followup to Little Scream's 2011 debut on Secretly Canadian, and now news on one is finally here. She signed to Merge (and Dine Alone in Canada), who will release her second album later this year. Main member Laurel Sprengelmeyer said, "Merge is a cultural monolith in my world, and I'm amped and honored to be working with them. The record I just made is a crazy beast, and I can't think of a better home for it."
Stay tuned for more details on that. Meanwhile, she's also touring with Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and Saintseneca, including NYC's Webster Hall on April 13. Tickets for that show are still available.
All dates are listed, with the video for "Cannons" from her debut, below...
Waxahatchee at Glasslands last night (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Just this morning we posted pictures of Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield) at the Glasslands show she played last night (12/10), and now comes the exciting news that she's signed to Merge Records for her third full length which will be out in early 2015. Congrats Katie! Here's what she says about the signing:
I'm so happy to announce that Waxahatchee will be working with Merge. They've been one of my favorite labels for a very long time. They're wonderful people, and I'm so excited about making records with them in the future!Merge is putting the new album out in North America and Wichita is releasing it in the rest of the world. It will follow 2012's American Weekend and 2013's Cerulean Salt, which both came out on Don Giovanni (who have their 2015 showcases soon).
Watch a video from Cerulean Salt below...
In case you forgot that 'Funeral' is turning 10 this month, Merge Records posted a reminder on a Brooklyn wall at N. 10th and Driggs in Williamsburg. Is there something more to this mysterious Arcade Fire marketing campaign? Merge Records won't say yet. They have been reissuing classic albums as part of their 25th anniversary. Stay tuned?
by Andrew Sacher
Spider Bags at Bowery Ballroom in 2013 (more by PSquared)
Chapel Hill garage rockers Spider Bags have signed with hometown heavyweight label Merge Records (after opening for Merge heads Superchunk last year), who will release their fourth full length album, Frozen Letter, on August 5. The album's two singles, "Japanese Vacation" and "Back With You Again in the World," take a back-to-basics rock n' roll approach that never seems to go out of style, even if it's the 2469th time we're hearing those chord progressions. Listen to both of those, with the album artwork and tracklist, below.
Spider Bags are also going on a tour shortly after the record's release which hits NYC on August 19 at Union Pool. No advance tix ($8 at the door). Other bands TBA.
All dates are listed, with the song streams and more, below...
Carrboro, NC garage punk trio Flesh Wounds just recently welcomed their new Bitter Boy 7" via local indie heavyweights Merge Records. "Bitter Boy" is backed by both "Kennel Cough" and "Let Me Be Clear," and 7"s are available for purchase via Merge's webstore. You can hear the full 7" via Merge Radio, and stream the title track, along with a stream of their 2014 self-titled 7", below.
Next week, Flesh Wounds will be embarking on a June US tour surrounding their appearances at NYC's Northside Festival. They play Exploding In Sound's official showcase at Baby's All Right on June 15 with Creepoid, Ovlov, Krill, Guerilla Toss and others (tickets) and will also play the PopGun party at Glasslands that night with Swearin', Radiator Hospital and Bent Shapes (tickets).
All Flesh Wounds dates are listed, with those song streams, below...
The five-day RadioLoveFest is coming to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June, featuring various live radio shows with a variety of performers including Andrew Bird, Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen, They Might Be Giants, and Jonathan Coulton. On June 7th, Ira Glass will host an episode of This American Life live from BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, and though it is being billed as "one night only", it is now two shows in that one night. This is the updated description:
This American Life uses this evening at BAM as a chance to try something it's never attempted before: true stories staged as radio dramas. One of the stories will be an original mini-musical by Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of In the Heights and Bring It On. In another, The Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company will perform while Glass narrates. Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) is writing and performing a mini-musical of his own, built around a real story from This American Life, and Mike Birbiglia will narrate another true story in his inimitable comedic form.Tickets at BAM's website.
This American Life is a public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to 2.2 million listeners each week. Another million people listen each week by podcast. It's produced by WBEZ Chicago.
Stephin Merritt, who has a book of Scrabble-based poetry coming out in the fall, also has a show coming up in North Carolina as part of Merge Records' continuing 25th anniversary celebration. His Merge25 performance, not part of the actual Merge25 fest, is instead part of a special Merge parternship with the 'Duke Performances Concert Series', as part of Duke's 'Music in the Gardens' series on the Duke University campus. All shows in that series are listed below:
Reigning Sound at Wicker Park Fest 2013 (more by Lindsey Best)
Reigning Sound, the Memphis garage rock band led by Greg Oblivian, signed to Merge back in 2012 and they're now set to release their first album for the label, Shattered, which comes out on July 15 and follows 2009's Love and Curses. You can get a taste of the new album from its lead single, "Falling Rain," along with the LP artwork and tracklist, below.
Reigning Sound also have a number of tour dates planned, including a NYC show happening on May 22 at Brooklyn Bowl with local power pop trio Nude Beach, who they've toured with before and who shared a Brooklyn bill with Reigning Sound's pals Detroit Cobras earlier this year. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All tour dates are listed below.
In related news, Nude Beach announced that they've signed to Don Giovanni Records (Screaming Females, Waxahatchee), which shouldn't come as much of a surprise considering they played DG's 2014 showcase, have shared bills with DG bands recently, and Nude Beach drummer Ryan Naideau's old band Dustheads was signed to DG as well.
They have other dates coming up before the Reigning Sound show, including a previously announced tour with The Men which hits NYC on May 10 at The Wick with more garage rock faves, Obits. Tickets for that show are still available.
All Nude Beach dates are listed, with a live video, the list of Reigning Sound dates and their album info, below...
Teenage Fanclub @ Williamsburg Waterfront, 2010 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned a couple times, Merge Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, culminating in the Merge 25 festival in Carrboro, NC from July 23 - 26. They've just released the full line-up which now includes appearances from Teenage Fanclub, Mount Moriah, William Tyler, Reigning Sound, David Kilgour & the Heavy 8s, Imperial Teen, Telekinesis, Eleanor Friedberger, Hiss Golden Messenger, Amor de Días, Saint Rich, The Music Tapes, Vertical Scratchers, Hospitality, and Mikal Cronin.
That's in addition to previously-announced performers Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, Bob Mould, The Mountain Goats, Superchunk, and The Love Language. Festival passes are sold out, but individual tickets to some of the shows are still available. Day-by-day lineups and ticket info below.
Let's hope this means Teenage Fanclub, David Kilgour, Caribou and some of the other out-of-country performers work in other dates while in the U.S. The Clientele are touring, as are the reunited The Rock*A*Teens.
Merge 25 line-ups & individual show ticket info below...
Durham, NC folk singer Hiss Golden Messenger has multiple impressive releases under his belt, including the well-received Poor Moon (2011) and Haw (2013), plus the just-reissued Bad Debt, original recorded in 2010. Following this gradual rise, it's been announced that Hiss Golden Messenger has made the move to a larger label, Merge Records. No word on yet on his first release for the label but stay tuned.
HGM also has a mostly-European tour coming up, with some North American festivals in between. All of his dates are listed, with a stream from Bad Debt, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ex Hex @ Red 7, 3/15/14
As mentioned, Merge Records is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, including the four-day Merge 25 festival which happens July 23 - 26 in Carrboro, NC. Merge has released the initial line-up, which includes Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, and Bob Mould. While day schedules haven't been announced events will happen at the following venues:
July 23 Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University Campus, Durham, NCFull Festival Passes are $195 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday (3/21) at 11 am EST via the Cat's Cradle website. Individual tickets for the events in Carrboro will go on sale Wednesday, March 26 and the Duke University show goes on sale Tuesday, April 22.
July 24 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 25 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 26 Full Day Music Concert, outdoors, Carrboro, NC
Both Wye Oak and Ex Hex played our Saturday SXSW free day party this past weekend in Austin. Ex Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag) put on a killer set of glammy powerpop. Pics from their performance are in this post and you can check out Wye Oak pics here. Ex Hex also have a new video for "Hot and Cold" that costars Ian Svenonius (Chain & the Gang, Make-Up, etc). You can watch that below.
More BV SXSW day party pics of Ex Hex, plus the new Ex Hex video, below...
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.