Like the works of Henry David Thoreau, the two-party system and that burger that's served on a donut instead of a bun, the venerable indie rock band Superchunk is a distinctly American institution. Formed in 1989 and steadily releasing albums ever since, the quartet of singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan, guitarist Jim Wilbur, bassist Laura Ballance, and drummer Jon Wurster has left an indelible mark on the world of independent music through the release of numerous classic albums and the foundation of big-time indie label Merge Records. It's Merge's 25th anniversary this year, so Superchunk has remastered and reissued their long out-of-print, classic 1997 album Indoor Living, as part of the label's anniversary reissue series. The band is also set to perform at the Merge 25 festival in North Carolina this July, and at Riot Fest in Chicago in September.
In this installment of "What's In My Bag," McCaughan, Wilbur and Wurster make a special visit to Amoeba San Francisco. Superchunk may be synonymous with the punk/indie DIY ethos, but their collective musical taste is all over the map. In honor of the City by the Bay, Wurster starts things off with the Kevin Epps documentary The Black Rock aka Black Alcatraz, a look into the long-ignored black experience at the famous island prison. Wilbur picks up a Leonard Bernstein recording of Mahler's Symphonie No. 2 and shares a story about a personal experience with the famed conductor. McCaughan delves into Philly soul with Major Harris' My Way and '80s Nigerian funk with the comp Brand New Wayo: Funk, Fast Times and Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983. Check out all the band's picks, from crust-punk to classical, in the full episode below!