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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Superchunk

Posted by Amoebite, June 19, 2014 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Superchunk

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!

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what is coming out on August 21st?...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 21, 2007 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Out today is the new album from your favorite San Francisco band "Imperial Teen." They may not all live in San Francisco anymore, but they will always be a San Francisco Band. They became a band in San Francisco in the mid 90s and released their first album "Seasick" in 1996. This was also the year I moved to San Francisco. So this band is sort of special for me. I think this band is super special for anybody who discovered them in the 90s.  I was listening to a lot of super depressing and dreary bands in the 90s. I still love all those bands but I think I really needed some Imperial Teen in my life. I was always a bit afraid of pop music. I thought it would make me too happy. Around this time I started listening to bands like Heavenly, Henry's Dress, the Aisler's Set, and the Softies. But Imperial Teen combined great fun pop music with that sort of San Francisco indie rock that is hard to explain. I don't know if it just sounds like that cause I heard all these bands play live in San Francisco so much. Or if it really is a certain type of sound. I just can't separate the bands from the city.

Seasick was a great album and everybody who heard it loved it. But it was really in 1999 that Imperial Teen started getting more popular. They released the amazing second album, "What is Not To Love."  They also had their hit song "Yoo Hoo" on the Jawbreaker soundtrack. It was sort of hard to to get away from that song that year. But I really loved that record. Just like Imperial Teen will always be tied to my memories of San Francisco, "What is Not To Love" will always be tied up with the year 1999. It is part of my own little soundtrack to that year and the end of the 90s. In 2002 I had moved to Hollywood. A couple members of the band also ended up down there and they released the album "On." They left their major label for the indie Merge. Both those first albums are now out of print. So it is up to Merge to do some little reissues for some essential ablums that nobody should really be without.

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