Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner & Sam Brown are Divine Fits
Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) have confirmed the existence of their new band, Divine Fits.
Divine Fits’ as-yet untitled debut album will be released later this year by Merge Records in the US. The album was produced by Nick Launay.
Watch a trailer featuring a brief portion of a song from the band’s as-yet untitled debut album
Further details regarding the record’s release date, live dates, etc. will be announced as they are confirmed. Follow Divine Fits on Twitter, at their website divinefits.com, and find them on Instagram @divinefits.
Hear the title track from Redd Kross’ Researching the Blues
Redd Kross have shared the title track from Researching the Blues, their first new album in 15 years!
Redd Kross have always been too good, too perfect, too true, to believe. Mythic. Could Jeff and Steve really have been born and raised in the Beach Boys’ hometown of Hawthorne, California, and did Jeff really see the Beatles live in 1966? Did one of them, dressed in Gene Simmons makeup, really kill a Bruce Springsteen impersonator onstage? Is that really their hair? Could Researching the Blues, their first studio album in 15 years, be not just the hottest thing since Cher went solo but the best start-to-finish Redd Kross record ever?
Somehow, the answer to all the above is improbably, wonderfully, beautifully YES. Long have Redd Kross rocked, and long have critics, devoted fans, Rodney Bingenheimer and fellow musicians from Seattle (Nirvana) to New York (Sonic Youth) to Driftwood, Texas (Butthole Surfers) to Hollywood (everybody) bowed before the Kross and their self-aware pre-spandex Glam bubblegum garage psychedelic Cheap Trick/Kiss/Revolver post-Kim Fowley rock and roll. Degenerate, sweet: tongues in cheek, song-long winks. Commercial success may never have been theirs (if time and space had been aligned correctly, they’d have been blitzing ballrooms in the early ’70s instead of opening for Stone Temple Pilots in the early ’90s), but Redd Kross have endured and endeared because they’ve always had the best possible attitude: smarts, smiles, and total commitment to live hair-spinning showmanship.
Listen to “Researching the Blues” now at the Merge SoundCloud page
Researching the Blues will be in stores on August 7 and is available for pre-order on CD and LP now in the Merge store.
Merge to reissue Sugar catalogue on July 24
Through both his solo work and as a frontman for the legendary Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould pioneered a signature wall of guitar sound and unmistakable vocal style that has imprinted a defining influence on more than one generation–impacting artists including Dave Grohl, Ryan Adams and Britt Daniel of Spoon, all of whom paid homage to Mould by performing songs from all stages of his career at a tribute show last year at L.A.’s Disney Hall. In the three decades encompassing his career thus far, however, Bob Mould saw his greatest success during his stint as lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for iconic early ’90s trio Sugar.
With Mould on guitar and vocals, David Barbe on bass and vocals, and Malcolm Travis on drums, Sugar harnessed the sonic chaos of Mould’s previous band Hüsker Dü into a more focused pop/rock framework with increased emphasis on the songs’ exciting melodies and irresistible hooks, as well as the increasingly accomplished musicianship behind them. Critics and audiences alike warmed to Sugar’s fresh and innovative balance of punishing volume and pop sparkle, with many regarding this phase as their favorite of Mould’s entire career.
Sugar’s 1992 debut album Copper Blue sold over 250,000 units upon its original release and received overwhelming praise. Rolling Stone christened it “thunderous”; Vogue dubbed it “smashing.” NME would ultimately name it their 1992 Album of the Year. Currently, Mould has been commemorating Copper Blue’s 20th anniversary by playing the record in its entirety with his current band of Jason Narducy (bass) and Jon Wurster (drums).
Recorded and mixed during the same intense sessions that produced Copper Blue, the Beaster EP was originally released in April 1993. Notably darker in tone than the widescreen power-pop of Copper Blue, Beaster nevertheless boasts some of Mould’s most powerful songwriting.
File Under: Easy Listening–the third and final album by this short-lived but brilliant trio–was originally released in September 1994, featuring songs such as “Your Favorite Thing” that endure as mainstays of Mould’s solo performances to this day.
Stream and download the first three tracks from Copper Blue performed live by the Bob Mould band at Noise Pop’s 25th Anniversary on February 24, 2012
Also, watch and share this video trailer heralding the re-issue of these beloved albums!
Visit the Merge store for more information, including track listings and bonus material details, and to pre-order our special LP and CD bundle options of the deluxe Sugar reissues. Copper Blue / Beaster Deluxe Edition and File Under: Easy Listening Deluxe Edition are also available to pre-order individually.
Final two Archers of Loaf albums to be reissued August 7
On August 7, Merge will reissue All the Nations Airports and White Trash Heroes, the final two albums from Archers of Loaf. Both records have been remastered by Bob Weston and feature re-imagined cover art, new liner notes and copious bonus material. Also, each album will be available on double-CD, colored vinyl, and digital download. Pre-order both albums now individually or together as a special bundle in the Merge store.
With All the Nations Airports, the band did not compromise its efforts to push itself in new directions. Archers of Loaf delivered an album that included the straightforward indie-rock songs that had made them famous, interspersed with instrumental tracks, layered tape loops, and even a solo piano song. In Stephen Thompson’s liner notes for the Airports reissue, he says, “It’s music that exists because it must, with all the bile, beauty, and bluster of youth and all the disaffected paranoia of a perpetually worried mind. The album might not have fulfilled Archers of Loaf’s commercial potential at the time, but that makes an awful lot of sense. The band tended to craft its greatest art when it saw fit to scribble in the margins.”
Archers of Loaf almost called it quits after All the Nations Airports due to the strain of touring and the rut of the album cycle (i.e., make record, make video, do interviews, tour, tour, tour; repeat) but decided they would make one more album and see how they felt after that process. They again enlisted the help of Brian Paulson to record the album that became White Trash Heroes. On this album, the band added keyboards to several songs as well as vocoder, and debuted the lead vocals of Matt Gentling on the track “I.N.S.” “Banging on a Dead Drum” found all the members swapping instruments and featured some of the worst cowbell ever attempted.
In the liner notes for Merge’s reissue of the Archers’ final album, Josh Modell says, “In hindsight, it’s easy to read White Trash Heroes as both the stormy end to a legendary band and as the beginning of something else: Bachmann’s next project, Crooked Fingers. Hints of what came two years later abound here, particularly on the keyboard undercarriage and restrained energy of ‘Dead Red Eyes’ and the epic, sequencer-assisted title track.”
Pre-order All the Nations Airports and White Trash Heroes or the special bundle on double-CD or colored vinyl now in the Merge store and receive an email download of the remastered original albums. Visit the Merge store to find our recent releases of Icky Mettle and Vee Vee remastered and reissued on double-CD, LP and digital download, too.
Superchunk 7-inch in stores June 12; Mac performing at Origami in L.A. to celebrate
On June 12, Superchunk will release a new single just in time for summer! “This Summer,” the A-side of this limited-edition seven-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 physical single will include a digital download code for an acoustic version of “This Summer.”
This 7-inch will be in stores on June 12, and to celebrate, Mac will perform a solo set at Origami in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. on release day.
Produced by Scott Solter with artwork featuring photography by Harrison Haynes (Les Savy Fav), the seven-inch will be pressed on hot white vinyl limited to 1300 hand-numbered copies worldwide.
The Clean and Times New Viking on tour together now!
Legendary New Zealand pop masters The Clean are on tour now with labelmates Times New Viking supporting! The Clean have always been a band that makes music whenever they happen to find themselves in the same place. This method of on-again/off-again recording as The Clean suits David, Robert, and Hamish’s creative desires and keeps them clear of the machinery that threatened to interfere with that process from the moment they threatened to get awfully popular awfully quickly nearly thirty years ago with their hit “Tally Ho.”
The New York Times described The Clean: ”This New Zealand band, which has been going off and on since 1978, plays a jangly, damaged kind of guitar pop and was a primary influence on Pavement and Yo La Tengo, and therefore virtually all of current indie rock.” Merge released Mister Pop, the most recent album from The Clean, in 2009.
Merge labelmates Times New Viking will join The Clean on the bill, playing songs from 2011’s Dancer Equired and new songs, too!
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.
The Clean & Times New Viking on tour:
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
M. Ward performs for public radio & Late Show with David Letterman
M. Ward has been visiting some of his favorite radio stations in support of April’s A Wasteland Companion. Stream the performances now at WNYC Soundcheck and WFUV Words and Music.
Also, the M. Ward band recently visited CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman. Watch their performance of “Primitive Girl” here.
“…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:
Jul 27 Icheon-si, KR – Jissan Valley Rock Festival
Jul 29 Niigata, JP – Fuji Rock Festival
Aug 07 Brooklyn, NY – Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park Bandshell w/ Yo La Tengo
Aug 23 Salt Lake City, UT –Twilight Concert Series
Sep 01 Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot
Oct 12 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
Destroyer on tour; Rubies now available on white vinyl
Destroyer is now on tour in the US with the Kaputt band, and Destroyer’s Rubies is available on double white vinyl.
Previously only available on ruby red vinyl for Record Store Day, the double-LP is now available on hot-white vinyl and features “Loscil’s Rubies,” a 24-minute bonus track remixed by Scott Morgan (Loscil), who also collaborated with Dan Bejar on the Kaputt LP’s bonus material.
Upon its release in 2006, Destroyer’s Rubies received near universal critical praise and was hailed as Bejar’s defining work up to that point. The full-band Destroyer is touring North America once again in support of last year’s critically acclaimed and Juno-nominated Kaputt.
Destroyer’s Rubies is available on white vinyl double-LP, CD, and digital download now in the Merge store. Destroyer’s latest album Kaputt as well the rest of the band’s catalog can be found in the Merge store as well. Listen to “3000 Flowers” at the Merge SoundCloud page, too.
Wye Oak tour with the Dirty Projectors
Wye Oak have announced summer tour dates, including an opening slot for the Dirty Projectors as well as festival appearances at Celebrate Brooklyn!, the Forecastle Festival, and the Hopscotch Festival.
Jenn and Andy also plan to debut new material at these shows in advance of recording the follow-up to their critically acclaimed album Civilian.
Civilian topped the list of the A.V. Club’s best music of 2011 and appeared on year-end lists from NPR, Paste Magazine, Magnet Magazine, and more. Civilian is available on CD, LP and digital download now in the Merge store.
If you missed it, check out this video of Young L’s “My Thoughts” which features a sample of Wye Oak’s “Civilian.”
Wye Oak on tour:
(* w/ Dirty Projectors)
Jul 05 Hamden, CT – The Space
Jul 06 Wellfleet, MA – The Beachcomber
Jul 07 Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall
Jul 08 Hudson, NY – Club Helsinki
Jul 10 Brooklyn, NY – Celebrate Brooklyn! *
Jul 14 Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival
Jul 15 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
Jul 17 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant *
Jul 18 Lawrence, KS – The Granada *
Jul 20 Denver, CO – The Bluebird Theater *
Jul 21 Salt Lake City, UT – In the Venue *
Jul 23 Seattle, WA – The Showbox *
Jul 24 Vancouver, BC – The Commodore Ballroom *
Jul 25 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom *
Jul 27 Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre *
Jul 28 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern *
Jul 29 San Diego, CA – House of Blues *
Jul 31 Marfa, TX – The Crowley Theatre at Ballroom Marfa *
Aug 02 Austin, TX – Emo’s East *
Aug 03 Dallas, TX – Kessler Theater *
Aug 04 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues *
Aug 05 Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
Aug 17 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
Sep 06 Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Music Festival
Hospitality cover Steely Dan and perform at a restaurant supply store
Hospitality visited A-1 Restaurant Equipment in Manhattan earlier this year where they performed an intimate rendition of “The Birthday,” a track off the Brooklyn band’s self-titled debut album. Hospitality drummer David Christian even added percussion via tongs and an ice cream scoop.
Watch Hospitality perform “The Birthday” at the Bowery Presents’ YouTube channel
Hospitality also recently visited the A.V. Club offices in Chicago to offer their take on Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” Amber told the A.V. Club that this was the first cover song they had ever learned! We agree with the A.V. Club who said, “I think they nailed it, adding a bit of Can/Neu/Stereolab-style chug and rubbing a bit of rock dirt on such a pristine original. Enjoy!”
Watch and listen to Hospitality’s take on Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”
Hospitality are on tour now with new dates including the 4Knots Festival, with more still being added all the time! Keep up with their schedule at the Merge tour page, and follow the band on Twitter and Facebook.
Hospitality is available on CD, LP, and digital download now in the Merge store.
Hospitality on tour:
Jun 05 Tucson, AZ – Plush
Jun 08 Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall
Jun 09 St. Louis, MO – Firebird
Jun 10 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Street Fair
Jul 05 Roskilde, DK – Roskilde Festival
Jul 14 New York, NY – 4Knots Festival
Sep 28 Champaign, IL – Pygmalion Music Festival
Merge Record Store Day releases now available digitally
Our 2012 Record Store Day releases from Richard Buckner, M. Ward, and Arcade Fire are now available at all of our usual digital outlets including the Merge store, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
Richard Buckner, “Willow” b/w “Lost” – Two new Richard Buckner songs! Stream “Willow” now at our SoundCloud page.
M. Ward, “Primitive Girl” b/w “The Twist” & “Roll Over Beethoven” – “Primitive Girl,” the first single from his record, as well as two non-album b-sides including long-time live favorite “Roll Over Beethoven.”
Arcade Fire, “Sprawl II” b/w “Ready to Start” (Remixed by Damian Taylor & Arcade Fire) – The original versions of “Sprawl II” and “Ready to Start” can be found on Arcade Fire’s GRAMMY-winning album The Suburbs, but now you can add the remixes of the two songs by Damian Taylor and Arcade Fire to your collection.
New Merge Spring Sampler available now at iTunes!
Visit iTunes to download the new Merge Spring Sampler! Featuring songs from our recent releases as well as a song from our forthcoming reissue of Sugar’s Copper Blue, the sampler makes a great mixtape for your spring BBQ, all for the low price of $2.99.
Visit iTunes to download Merge Records’ Spring Sampler 2012 now
Visit the Merge store to find full-length albums from these artists, and bookmark our SoundCloud page where we are adding new songs all the time!
1. The Magnetic Fields, “Andrew in Drag”
2. Sugar, “A Good Idea”
3. Times New Viking, “Try Harder”
4. Eleanor Friedberger, “Heaven”
5. The Rosebuds, “Second Bird of Paradise”
6. Archers of Loaf, “Dead Red Eyes”
7. Wild Flag, “Electric Band”
8. Imperial Teen, “Out from Inside”
9. Hospitality, “Friends of Friends”
10. M. Ward, “The First Time I Ran Away”
11. Stephin Merritt, “Forever and a Day”
12. Lambchop, “Gone Tomorrow”
13. Crooked Fingers “Heavy Hours”