M. Ward on the road, the radio & your TV
M. Ward released his critically acclaimed seventh solo album, A Wasteland Companion, last month and is currently on a tour of the US. The M. Ward band will visit CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman on Friday, May 11. Tune in at 11:35 p.m. ET.
M. Ward will also perform live on WNYC’s Soundcheck on Wednesday, May 9, at 2 p.m. ET. Stream the performance live at WNYC.org.
Watch M. Ward and his band bring the magic to Conan O’Brien’s studio
“…Ward’s songs are at their best, and at their most enduring, when his songwriting bears the weight of mistakes made and life lived.” ~NPR
“Ward sheds his old-bluesman tics for a soul-folk croon–and the guitars, as usual, are sublime” ~Rolling Stone
M. Ward’s A Wasteland Companion is available on CD, LP and digital download now in the Merge store.
M. Ward on tour:
May 08 Boston, MA – House of Blues
May 11 New York, NY – Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)
May 12 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
May 13 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)
May 15 Durham, NC – Page Auditorium at Duke University
May 16 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
May 17 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
May 18 Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Music Fest
May 20 Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Music Festival
May 22 Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
May 23 Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre
May 24 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
May 26 Missoula, MT – Wilma Theatre
May 27 George, WA – Sasquatch! Music Festival
Jul 27 Niigata, JP – Fuji Rock Festival
Aug 07 Brooklyn, NY – Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park Bandshell w/ Yo La Tengo
Redd Kross sign to Merge!
Redd Kross are back and delivering their signature brand of genuine rock ’n’ roll with a vengeance. On August 7, Merge Records will release Researching the Blues, the first new album from Redd Kross in 15 years.
Researching the Blues features 10 new songs clocking in at just under 32 minutes. With songs written by Jeff and produced and mixed by Steven, the album is by far the band’s favorite record. Steve says, “It has the most singular artistic vision of any record we’ve done. It’s just 10 really fucking awesome songs that have the ability to move you in many different ways.”
Founded 34 years ago in Los Angeles during the first wave of LA punk rock by brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald (then respectively 15 and 11 years old), Redd Kross cut their teeth opening for Black Flag at a middle school graduation party. Their debut recordings caught the attention of Rodney Bingenheimer, who quickly became a fan as he spun their Ramones-inspired songs like “Annette’s Got The Hits” and “I Hate My School” on the world-famous KROQ.
In 2006, Jeff and Steven announced their reunion with the “classic Neurotica” line-up, joined once again by guitarist Robert Hecker (It’s OK) and drummer Roy McDonald (The Muffs). Redd Kross have been playing to enthusiastic audiences at sold-out select shows and festivals such as the Azkena Festival; Coachella; The HooDoo Gurus’ Invitational, “Dig It Up”; All Tomorrow’s Parties; and Pop Montréal.
Researching the Blues is available for pre-order on CD and LP in the Merge store. Redd Kross have a couple of shows in May with more dates to come this year!
Redd Kross on tour:
May 18 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club (Blackout Festival)
May 19 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
The Magnetic Fields share new video for “Quick!”
Today, The Magnetic Fields premiered their new video for “Quick!” from their most recent album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea.
Directed by James Spinney, and showcasing vocals from Shirley Simms with harmonies from Claudia Gonson, “Quick!” is one of the standout tracks from a record described by Blackbook as “the band’s most consistently entertaining album since 69 Love Songs.” The video introduces us to a woman living in a trashcan as she discovers another of her kind and perhaps kindles a little romance.
Watch the new video for “Quick!” now
The Magnetic Fields are currently on tour in Europe. Keep up with them at their tour diary, and check out US merch girl and writer Emma Straub’s entries for The Paris Review, too.
New from Superchunk: Summer-themed 7” + Clambakes 5 & 6
On June 12, Superchunk will release a new single just in time for the warmer weather! “This Summer,” the A-side of this limited-edition, hand-numbered 7-inch, is the first new Superchunk single since the 2010 release of their widely acclaimed album Majesty Shredding. The B-side features the band’s own take on Bananarama’s ’80s hit “Cruel Summer.” As a bonus, the single will include a digital download code for an acoustic version of “This Summer.”
Produced by Scott Solter with artwork featuring photography by Harrison Haynes (Les Savy Fav), the 7-inch will be pressed on hot white vinyl limited to 1300 copies worldwide.
Click for more information on the 7-inch and to pre-order yours now
Also, Superchunk has made The Clambakes Vol. 5: Cup of Clams and The Clambakes Vol. 6: One in a Row! available via digital download in the Merge store. Previously available only as bonus downloads with recent reissues of Foolish and Here’s Where the Strings Come In, both are now available exclusively in the Merge store.
The Clambakes Vol. 5: Cup of Clams was recorded October 16, 2003, at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC. The show took place during a small tour in support of Cup of Sand and includes rarely performed B-sides and a few then-unreleased songs. The Clambakes Vol. 6: One in a Row! is a recording from 1994 of Superchunk’s show at First Avenue in Minneapolis during the Foolish tour. Laura claims to be able to hear herself failing to play the songs correctly: “There is some comfort in someone acknowledging how badly you just blew it! Well, at least I get it right about half of the time.”
Visit the Merge store for the recent Superchunk reissues of Here’s Where the Strings Come In and Foolish, which still include bonus downloads of these Clambakes, or complete your Clambake collection by downloading these now.
Crooked Fingers release acoustic version of Breaks in the Armor
Crooked Fingers have released acoustic versions of each song from their new album Breaks in the Armor. Previously available only as a bonus download for pre-orders in the Merge store, these songs are now available for purchase at iTunes and in the Merge store. Also, both the album and the acoustic demos are streaming now at Spotify!
Eric Bachmann wrote the following about the acoustic versions:
Recording a stripped-down version of a song reveals its flaws. It also lets you hear the space you have to work with before you crowd it with ideas that can muddle the point. I don’t like to add drums or arrange songs with Crooked Fingers until I feel like the writing itself has reached a point. That’s why I record demos as stripped-down versions.
These Breaks in the Armor demos were recorded with Andy Baker in Athens, GA. There were earlier versions that I had recorded in Taiwan and Athens, but they were on a hard drive that was “misplaced” at the Sasquatch Festival of 2011. In some ways these versions are an unnecessary re-do. But in other ways they represent so much more. They are a living symbol, a metaphor for strength–and perhaps even an allegory to the Great Sasquatch herself:
So listen to these demos… And just as the Yeti-Mother’s Spirit drapes her protective arms around her fragile cub, there will echo a howling: a tender asylum to the wild and a blood-curdling scream to the urbane. I can hear the sound now. And if you listen closely you can hear it, too. And perhaps this sound that we can hear together is the sound of the Big Foot and her demon cub smashing the shit out of my lost hard drive against some rock in the Columbia River Gorge.
Crooked Fingers’ Breaks in the Armor is available on CD, LP and digital download in the Merge store. The acoustic demo version of Breaks in the Armor is available via digital download in the Merge store and at iTunes. Stream both now at Spotify.
Keep up with Crooked Fingers tour dates via their Merge tour page , and with the band at Twitter and Facebook.
Hospitality visit NPR’s “Tiny Desk” & extend summer tour
Hospitality visited the infamous “tiny desk,” aka the NPR Music hub, in Washington, DC, to perform stripped-down versions of songs from their self-titled debut album released earlier this year. Visit NPR Music to listen and watch the performance.
Watch Hospitality’s Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music
Hospitality just finished touring with labelmate Eleanor Friedberger but will return to the road on May 12 to play the Tom Tom Festival in Charlottesville, VA, and then will continue on with Here We Go Magic beginning May 14. A full list of dates can be found at the Merge tour page. Watch video from their SXSW performance in the parking lot of Waterloo Records, and find their self-titled debut Hospitality on CD, LP and digital download in the Merge store.
Imperial Teen visit the northwest & chat with Grammy.com
Imperial Teen will play shows in Seattle and Portland this weekend!
Listen to their live session for Seattle’s KEXP recorded at SXSW, and watch this interview with Jone, Lynn, Roddy, and Will at Grammy.com.
And if you haven’t already, download your Imperial Teen masks from the “Runaway” video!
Imperial Teen’s new album, Feel the Sound, is available on CD, LP and digital download now in the Merge store.
Imperial Teen on tour:
May 11 Seattle, WA – Barboza
May 12 Portland, OR – East End
New Lambchop videos
Lambchop were recently guest editors at MagnetMagazine.com, and in addition to sharing a few of their favorite things, they premiered a series of interviews with Kurt Wagner about each song on Mr. M.
Read the Q&A with Kurt at MagnetMagazine.com and find the videos compiled on our YouTube page.
Also, Lambchop premiered the new video for “2b2” at Slate.com. Featuring footage from the recent European tour, the video captures the excitement of the live Lambchop experience.
Watch “2b2” now via YouTube
Pitchfork recently interviewed Kurt Wagner for Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 feature. Kurt discusses albums that were important to him at different ages, and some pretty great stories emerge. Read Kurt Wagner’s 5-10-15-20 feature at Pitchfork.com
Order Mr. M now on CD or limited-edition dbl-LP in the Merge store. Find Lambchop on Twitter, Facebook, and at Lambchop.net.
Lambchop on tour:
May 08 Dallas, TX – Club Dada
May 09 Austin, TX – The Cactus
May 11 Birmingham, AL – Secret Stages 2012
May 12 Nashville, TN – VFW Post 1970 (tickets at the door)
The Clean & Times New Viking on tour!
The Clean will make a rare visit to the US for shows this summer with labelmates Times New Viking!
David, Hamish, and Robert will start their tour in Los Angeles and make a stop at the Chaos in Tejas Festival before joining up with Times New Viking in Boston. Get your tickets now!
The Clean’s latest release, Mister Pop, is available along with other great selections from their catalog in the Merge store. Times New Viking’s Merge debut, Dancer Equired, is available on CD, LP and digital download in the Merge store, too.
Listen to songs from The Clean and Times New Viking at the Merge SoundCloud page.
The Clean on tour
* = w/ Times New Viking
May 30 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
Jun 02 Austin, TX – Club DeVille (Chaos in Tejas Festival)
Jun 04 Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *
Jun 05 New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge *
Jun 06 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s *
Jun 07 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel *
Jun 08 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 *
The Mountain Goats announce summer west coast solo tour dates
The Mountain Goats will head to the west coast in June for a rare solo tour. Beginning in Seattle on June 23 and playing at smaller venues, the solo tour will end on July 3 at the Folk Music Center in Claremont, CA. Visit mountain-goats.com for John’s announcement of the tour and the story behind it.
Also, the Mountain Goats have announced two special performances in one night at the Fletcher Opera House in Raleigh, NC, as part of the 2012 Hopscotch Festival in September. Tentatively titled “Nearer My Hateful Mankind Plague to Thee” and featuring one set of requests and one set of metal covers, the show is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Read an interview with John at Hopscotchmusicfest.com.
The Mountain Goats’ latest album, All Eternals Deck, is available on CD, LP and digital download now in the Merge store.
The Mountain Goats on tour:
May 08 Katoomba, AU – The Clarendon
May 10 Melbourne, AU – The Corner Hotel
Jun 22 Vancouver, BC – The Rio Theatre
Jun 23 Seattle, WA – Columbia City Theater
Jun 25 Portland, OR – The Mission Theater
Jun 27 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
Jun 28 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
Jun 30 Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s Guitar Shop
Jul 01 Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s Guitar Shop
Jul 03 Claremont, CA – Folk Music Center
Sep 07 Raleigh, NC – Fletcher Opera Theater (Hopscotch Music Festival)
Merge partners with Southern Folklife Collection at UNC
Merge Records is excited to announce that we are partnering with the Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library to archive music, art, and ephemera from 23 years of releasing music we love. Beginning in 2013, the entire Merge archives will be catalogued and opened to the public courtesy of the SFC.
“We’re deeply honored to work with Merge to preserve and provide access to their archives. The Merge Records Collection is an invaluable resource for the study of music, art, and culture of our region,” says Steve Weiss, Curator of UNC’s Southern Folklife Collection.
The Southern Folklife Collection ranks as one of the nation’s foremost archival resources for the study of American folk music and popular culture. SFC holdings extensively document all forms of southern musical and oral traditions across the entire spectrum of individual and community expressive arts, as well as mainstream media production.
Big tours this summer
In addition to those already mentioned, our bands are working hard to bring you the rock this summer. Archers of Loaf are in North Carolina this weekend (with Pipe!) before heading to Europe and then Canada. Richard Buckner is taking a break from being awesome at Twitter to play some shows in Europe, while Caribou get ready for two months opening for Radiohead! Wye Oak have announced over a month of dates with the Dirty Projectors beginning in July. The full-band Destroyer hit the road again in June to support last year’s critical favorite Kaputt, and Conor Oberst has added some surprise solo dates.
Crooked Fingers, Imperial Teen, and others continue to sneak in more dates, so as always, we remind you to bookmark the Merge tour page!