The Never-Ending Mixtape: Superchunk

I encounter an alarming number of people who don’t listen to Superchunk, yet should theoretically be the biggest Superchunk fans. The Chapel Hill-based band pleases fans of punk, pop, and indie rock. If that’s not appealing, Superchunk is also responsible for Merge Records, home to Neutral Milk Hotel, The Arcade Fire, The Magnetic Fields, and a hundred other amazing bands. What’s not to like?

“I just never gave them the time of day,” said one friend.

“I guess I should like Superchunk, but I never thought about it,” said another.

“The guys who did ‘The Logical Song’?” asked my mom.

I got into Superchunk at the age of 8, after my dad brought home The Jerky Boys Movie OST on cassette from The Wiz. Superchunk actually had a song on the album (“Shallow End”) , which is probably out of print by now. (They also probably hate the song, or at least hated it when I drunkenly shouted it out during a midday free concert they played in Times Square a couple of years back.)

I didn’t go deep into indie rock until 2001, but I somehow always listened to Superchunk since ’95. They’re one of those bands that can’t release a bad album, have amazing side projects, and put on live shows that make me actually enjoy live shows. They’re on their own indie label, play obscure guitars, and just generally kick ass. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, there’s no good starting point for a curious fan, except for listen to all the goddamn albums, you putz. Since this is kind of a lot to ask for someone who just wants to try listening to a new band, I’ve rounded up the 10 best places to start in Superchunk’s catalog. This week’s mixtape contains 10 singles or songs that could be singles, easy points of entry into the massive Superchunk back catalog. Eventually, I’ll come back to the band and pick out my favorite “deep cuts.” For now, if you’re trying to get into Superchunk, this is where to start. Continue reading

The Never-Ending Mixtape: (Some of the) Best of 2014

I wish Spotify had all of Ty Segall’s discography.

2014 was a great year for music. It was such a great year for music that previously years I deemed “terrible” were probably due to the fact that I had yet to come to terms with how awful The Flaming Lips became. Or something. I don’t know.

In 2014, D’Angelo came out with his long-awaited third album. Ex Hex released the best Cars album since 1978. Merchandise released the best album on 4AD since Ivo sold the label. His Name Is Alive released another His Name Is Alive album that sounded nothing like any previous His Name Is Alive album. It was a very good year.

The following songs are from 10 amazing albums released in 2014. They’re not ranked because my favorite album of the year tends to change on a daily basis. They are, however, worth purchasing and listening to on repeat. If 2015 sees the release of 10 albums that are even half as good, then…well, that will be slightly disappointing, but not the end of the world.

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The Never-Ending Mixtape: Return the Gift

The FeeliesHas it really been close to four months since I updated the Never-Ending Mixtape?

Over the months, I found trying to come up with hour+ long playlists to be a bit of a chore. I have about 17 unfinished playlist segments in the queue, but they’re just that: unfinished. After creating this week’s segment, I discovered that compiling a pretty awesome list of 10 songs not only makes sense for a listener’s (or my) attention span, but doesn’t have me dwelling on sequencing and minutae. From now on, each playlist segment will be 10 songs long. I will also start back on the whole “releasing a playlist segment once a week” thing. Hooray!(?)

This week’s playlist includes 10 alt. rock and post-punk songs from the ’80s. I spent quite a lot of time with each of these songs over the past 12 months, and each song holds a certain significance from either this year or years past. I’ve enjoyed and discovered these bands as a kid, as a college student, or as an adult. I hope you enjoy them as well.

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A Short Break

Hey, Friends.

I took a short break due to the fact that I recently found employment. I know, right?

Anyway, I’ll be back to my playlist-making shenanigans and all sorts of fun stuff within the week.

Hope all is well.

-Scott

P.S. – Time for me to end that AdSense campaign I created to get myself hired.