XX Merge marathon
touring & eating in Japan
Bill Callahan – I Wish We Were An Eagle
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Amadou & Mariam – Welcome To Mali
Jim O’Rourke – The Visitor
Cass McCombs – Catacombs
St Vincent - Actor
Girls – Album
Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t
Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
Mountain Goats – The Life of the World To Come
Wilco – Wilco (the Album)
Leonard Cohen live at Coachella and in Durham, NC
Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Open Strings: Early Virtuoso Recordings, by Various LP Box Set
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
Obits – I Blame You
AC Newman – Get Guilty
XX Merge marathon
Portastatic’s new digital EP of Merge covers, Make It Sound In Tune, is available now exclusively in the Merge store! All of the proceeds for this release will benefit the charities chosen by the SCORE! curators.
Here are a few words from Mac on the EP:
The idea for a whole EP of Merge covers stemmed from both listening to the SCORE! Merge covers compilation and from doing bookstore events to promote the Our Noise book, wherein we’d play some acoustic covers of songs that came out on Merge. Time permitting, this really could have been a much longer record, but in the spirit of quitting while I was ahead and also turning this in before the end of the year, I stopped at seven songs. Obviously, the Merge catalog is full of hundreds—thousands, actually—of songs I love, so I picked ones I either knew well or thought I could re-create without defiling too harshly. It wasn’t easy to narrow down, so I just tried not to think about it too much, and then time constraints set in…
Make It Sound In Tune EP:
1. Where’s Your Patience, Dear? (Matt Suggs)
2. Anything You Want (Spoon)
3. Old Orchard Beach (The Magnetic Fields)
4. West (Spent)
5. The Saturday Option (Lambchop)
6. Foam Hands (Destroyer)
7. A Million Lights (The Renderers)
Jeff Mangum, Portastatic, Yo La Tengo and more contribute to “Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox;” get it now!
On June 11, 2009, musician Chris Knox suffered a life-altering stroke at his home in Grey Lynn, New Zealand. Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox is a celebration of Chris and his music. He was instrumental in bringing New Zealand punk and alternative music to international audiences with Tall Dwarfs, Toy Love, and his solo work. Artists from the U.S. (Jeff Mangum, Yo La Tengo, The Mountain Goats, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Lambchop, Stephin Merritt, Portastatic, Bill Callahan, Lou Barlow, Jay Reatard), New Zealand (The Bats, The Verlaines, The Chills), and the world over have donated their time and talent covering songs from Knox’s extensive catalog so that all proceeds can go towards assisting Chris with his recovery.
Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox is available for download now from the Merge store and our usual digital outlets. The 2-CD limited-edition release will be available in stores on February 23, but you can pre-order it today and receive the digital download via email after your order is complete!
Visit the fantastic Stroke website for updates on Chris Knox, information on all of the artists who contributed their versions of Knox’s songs, and for previews of many of the tracks—originals and covers.
*Tracks are arranged chronologically
1. Jay Reatard – Pull Down The Shades
2. The Checks – Rebel
3. The Bleeding Allstars – Ain’t It Nice
4. Peter Gutteridge – Don’t Catch Fire
5. The Chills – Luck Or Loveliness
6. David Kilgour – Nothing’s Going To Happen
7. The Crying Wolfs – All My Hollowness To You
8. Stephin Merritt – Beauty
9. Portastatic – Nostalgia’s No Excuse
10. The Mint Chicks – Crush
11. Jay & Sam Clarkson – I’ve Left Memories Behind
12. Sky Green Leopards – Burning Blue
13. Shayne Carter – The Slide
14. Pumice – Grand Mal
15. Hamish Kilgour – Knoxed Out
1. Boh Runga – Not Given Lightly
2. Red & Zeke (Feat. Bill Doss and Neil Cleary) – Bodies
3. Jeff Mangum – Sign The Dotted Line
4. Bill Callahan – Lapse
5. Genghis Smith – Growth Spurt
6. Yo La Tengo – Coloured
7. AC Newman – Dunno Much About Life But I Know How To Breathe
8. Alec Bathgate – Glide
9. Don McGlashan – Inside Story
10. Sean Donnelly – The Outer Skin
11. Lambchop – What Goes Up
12. The Mountain Goats – Brave
13. The Tokey Tones (and friends) – Round These Walls
14. The Bats – Just Do It
15. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – My Only Friend
16. The Finn Family – It’s Love
17. Jordan Luck – Becoming Something Other
18. The Verlaines – Driftwood
19. Lou Barlow – Song Of The Tall Poppy
20. The Nothing – Napping In Lapland
21. Tall Dwarfs – Sunday Son
From last week’s Our Noise reading at Housing Works in New York City:
photos by Bradley Searles unless otherwise noted
Luke DeCock, sports columnist from the Raleigh News and Observer asked Mac to come up with a list of selections to replace the deplorable “arena rock” used at the RBC Center during Carolina Hurricanes’ games. We hope they take his suggestions!
Mac is the guest editor at the Magnet Magazine website this week. The first entry is a Q&A about Merge, Portastatic, Superchunk & hockey. Be sure to check the guest editor page all week to see what else Mac has cooked up for us.
Radar Bros. and Wye Oak contributed covers of traditional folk songs for Splice Today‘s first annual mix of original recordings of traditional folk music, The Old Lonesome Sound. They are joined by Headlights, Deer Tick and many more. Visit Splice Today to listen & download The Old Lonesome Sound
Radar Bros. and The Broken West contributed covers of songs from Paul McCartney’s RAM for Aquarium Drunkard’s RAM on LA: A Los Angeles Music Sampler. Radar Bros. chose “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” and The Broken West give their take on “Eat at Home”.
The RAM love continues tonight on WFMU. Portastatic, Ted Leo, Aimee Mann, Death Cab for Cutie and others have covered the songs of RAM as a benefit for The Best Show on WFMU. Portastatic covered “Ram On” as his contribution.
If you visit the WFMU website or call 800-989-9368 tonight between 8 and 11 PM EST during The Best Show and pledge at least $75 you will receive a prize pack that includes both a new Scharpling & Wurster cd of guaranteed hilarity, but also a CD of various artists covering the entirety of Paul and Linda McCartney’s album RAM.
Mac McCaughan reads two pieces for Daytrotter’s Bookery series this week! From Mac:
One is really short. It’s a poem by Billy Collins called “Picnic, Lightning” and the other is longer — an excerpt from the Jonathan Lethem book Fortress of Solitude.
Jonathan Lethem is one of the fourteen curators of SCORE! Merge Records: The First 20 Years.
photo from Metromix by Ryan Muir
See lots more Merge showcase photos and mini-interviews at Metromix Reports, photos and videos are rolling in from CMJ 2008. Post ‘em if we missed some!
Nicholas Roberts for NY Times