Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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 song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” by Superchunk from the 2013 album I Hate Music on Merge.
Formed in 1989 by vocalist/guitarist Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance, Superchunk became one of the ’90s most beloved indie rock groups through their D.I.Y. spirit and eternally energetic songwriting. After becoming a local presence in the band’s hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the band self-released their first single, McCaughan’s kiss-off to a lazy co-worker “Slack Motherfucker”, to critical acclaim on both sides on the Atlantic. Soon after, the group signed to Matador and solidified their still-current lineup (Ballance, McCaughan, guitarist Jim Wilbur, and drummer Jon Wurster) after releasing the 1991 classic No Pocky for Kitty. Although the band’s profile was already growing by the time “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the airwaves, the post-Nirvana landscape led multiple major labels to court Superchunk, who opted to stick with Matador and later return to their own label, the now-iconic Merge Records.
The band continued to be active until the turn of the century, when they took a few years off to pursue other projects. Since reactivating in 2007, the band has produced two albums, 2010’s great Majesty Shredding and this year’s I Hate Music. Incredibly catchy and incredibly time-efficient (it barely lasts two minutes), “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” shows the band to be aging gracefully without losing any of the spunk that made them underground heroes to begin with. “I hate music, what is worth?/Can’t bring anyone back to this Earth”, poses McCaughan on the song’s opening line and one of 2013’s most-discussed lyrics. “Me & You”, and I Hate Music as a whole, aims to tackle such a broad proposition without becoming overbearing or cynical, but if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s the N.C. indie rock veterans who, to one degree or another, have been involved with the development of American independent music for the last two decades.
Superchunk is going to be at Bumbershoot 2013, where they will also be playing for KEXP at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge. The entry list for the latter session is already full, but you can still get tickets for Bumbershoot here. Watch the band tear through “Slack Motherfucker” live at Pitchfork Music Festival 2011 below.