Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “Misfits & Mistakes” by Superchunk from the 2009 EP Leaves in the Gutter on Merge Records.
In this, the 20th Anniversary year since the humble beginnings of the now infamous North Carolinian indie label, it only seems fitting that the reason for the very founding of Merge would be celebrated in Song of the Day. Much like the Oscars and Grammys, consider this yet another Lifetime Achievement Award most deserving for a full body of work rather than the oft one-shot greatness rewarded in America’s entertainment industries. Of course the difference between a fictional award and a physical reward is that you clearly care more about KEXP than you do about a golden naked men or gramophones. At least we hope.
As Merge celebrates their last year of pre-drinking adolescence, it’s only fair to shine the brightest spotlight on Mac McCaughan and Superchunk. Despite excellent label signings such as Spoon, Arcade Fire, and M. Ward (to name a scant few), it’s always been the seemingly throwaway indie pop of Superchunk that has driven label and scene. The beauty of being a fan of Superchunk is reveling in the fact that you like a band whose releases will never be hard to find and yet will never be the ‘It’ band. In the machine that is indie stardom, the teethy cogs are often forgotten but in truth, they keep the machine in motion.
Superchunk isn’t currently on the road and there’s little beyond a few MP3s to keep you entertained on the band’s minimalistic MySpace. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or away on a distant trip, you may be aware that the band—along with many Merge artists -- will be taking over Carrboro, North Carolina, on July 22-26 for XXMerge. If you have an itch to catch Superchunk, that’s your best bet. To stop you from twiddling your thumbs and staring into space counting down the days, may we offer you a video of Superchunk classic “Precision Auto”?