Live: Superchunk parties at The Pinhook | Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Live: Superchunk parties at The Pinhook

Posted by on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 3:39 PM

click to enlarge mrg480_lo.jpg
The Pinhook, Durham
Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

At the end of a sweat-soaked, near-hour-long set last night at The Pinhook, Mac McCaughan, Jim Wilbur, Jon Wurster and newly added bassist Jason Narducy climbed back onto The Pinhook’s stage to grant an 11th song to the packed room. They’d barely grabbed their instruments before a barrage of song titles hailed from the damp crowd. “Detroit Has A Skyline!” “Foolish!” “Slack Motherfucker!”

“Turns out we’re taking requests,” McCaughan said before striking the first chords of Superchunk’s first hit. “Slack Motherfucker,” penned famously while McCaughan worked at the Chapel Hill Kinko’s, has rightly become an indie-rock anthem, and the crowd of fans who’d scored free tickets to Tuesday’s rare small-room show sang along with every word. But for a band now a quarter-century old, whose members and fans usually have children in attendance, the song has taken on an interesting tension. McCaughan shrugged it off, offering a quick “Sorry, kids,” before hitting the refrain.

The song’s tension stems also from the nostalgia inherent in playing the hits. For a room full of sympathetic fans, the old songs hold great meaning, but Superchunk hasn’t dwelled long on its legacy. In fact, this last-minute show in Durham was part of a promotional campaign celebrating the release of Superchunk’s 10th full-length, I Hate Music, a strong entry in a strong catalog, and something of a meditation on aging and mortality. What’s more, this was essentially one last open practice before Superchunk kicked off a national tour and one of the band’s first shows after the departure of founding bassist Laura Ballance (from the stage, anyway). Nostalgia seemed a particularly distant concern for Superchunk.

Narducy pushed his appropriately understated bass lines from a red Fender, nearly identical to Ballance’s, but this never felt like a concession. He stepped into the band fairly seamlessly, and Superchunk plowed forward. Beyond loud guitars and a big chorus, the youthful aggression of “Slack Motherfucker” shares little with the adult resignation of I Hate Music’s lead single “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo.” Played back-to-back, the generation gap in Superchunk’s own work became obvious.

At the conclusion of the 10-song, pre-”Motherfucker” set, Superchunk had touched on past glories with “Driveway to Driveway” and “Seed Toss” and dedicated the new sprint “Staying Home” to Durham’s unsung ‘80s hardcore heroes The Ugly Americans. But the night focused mostly on new material. The move demonstrated primarily that recent singles and I Hate Music highlights like “Jackie Mittoo” and “Trees of Barcelona” were as good—or better—than the catalog cuts.

On Tuesday in Durham, Superchunk kept it casual and concise. Whatever nostalgia they’ll concede might have to wait for what McCaughan called the “long-ass, full-length, put-you-to-sleep set on Saturday night at the Cat’s Cradle.” 
Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music

Twitter Activity


I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

Wow! I am speechless. Skylar that was amazing! You are very talented. I love your vocal range and passion. Thank …

by Rita Romaine Rakestraw on Video Premiere: Phil Cook and Skylar Gudasz Nod to Alice Gerrard in New Tribute Clips (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation