Pre-order Sugar reissues now!
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. In the three decades encompassing his career thus far, however, 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 Hüsker Dü into a more focused pop/rock framework with increased emphasis 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”; and 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.
Watch this album trailer recorded at Bob Mould’s performance of Copper Blue at Noise Pop in February.
Pre-order Copper Blue / Beaster Deluxe Edition and File Under: Easy Listening or our special bundle of both now in the Merge store.
The Mountain Goats announce Transcendental Youth details
The Mountain Goats will release Transcendental Youth on October 2, 2012.
John Hodgman wrote:
Transcendental Youth is full of songs about people who madly, stupidly, blessedly won’t stop surviving, no matter who gives up on them.
I can report that it is a very good album and has many more instruments on it than his early cassette tapes, including Peter Hughes on bass, Jon Wurster on drums, and, for the first time, a full horn section. And all of this makes a very joyous noise.
Read the entire Hodgman piece at the Merge website, and find out more about the album from John Darnielle himself at mountain-goats.com.
Transcendental Youth track listing:
1. Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
2. Lakeside View Apartments Suite
3. Cry for Judas
4. Harlem Roulette
5. White Cedar
6. Until I Am Whole
7. Night Light
8. The Diaz Brothers
9. Counterfeit Florida Plates
10. In Memory of Satan
11. Spent Gladiator 2
12. Transcendental Youth
Pre-orders of Transcendental Youth will be available in the Merge store beginning July 23 and come with a special surprise, so stay tuned!
Bob Mould announces Silver Age details and fall tour
Bob Mould will release Silver Age, his first album of all-new studio material since 2009’s Life and Times, on September 4 on Merge.
The new record features Bob’s current band – drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk) and bassist Jason Narducy (Verbow) – on 10 brand-new Mould compositions in the punishingly loud, melodically sparkling pop/rock vein of the Sugar catalog, which will be reissued by Merge on July 24.
Silver Age track listing:
1. Star Machine
2. Silver Age
3. The Descent
4. Briefest Moment
5. Steam of Hercules
6. Fugue State
7. Round the City Square
8. Angels Rearrange
9. Keep Believing
10. First Time Joy
Where the current run of “Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE” dates commemorates the 20th anniversary of the 1992 release of Sugar’s debut Copper Blue, with Bob and the band playing that record in its entirety, Bob’s fall dates supporting Silver Age will be more elaborate affairs: Copper Blue will still be played front to back; however, an additional set and encores mixing the new Silver Age material with Hüsker Dü, Sugar, and Mould solo classics will complete the evening.
Pre-order Bob Mould’s Merge debut Silver Age and the newly remastered and reissued Sugar catalog now in the Merge store.
Bob Mould on tour:
Jul 10 Provincetown, MA – Boatslip (BLOWOFF DJ set)
Aug 04 Cork, IE – Liss Ard Festival (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 06 Helsinki, FI – Tavastia (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 08 Oslo, NO – Oya Festival (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 09–11 Gothenburg, SE – Way Out West 2012
Aug 11 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Grote Zaal (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 13 Codroipo, IT – Villa Mainin w/ Foo Fighters (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 15 Prague, CZ – O2 Arena w/ Foo Fighters (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 16 St. Polten, AT – Frequency Festival (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Aug 18 Hasselt, BE – Pukkelpop Festival (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Sep 07 New York, NY – Webster Hall (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 08 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 10 Boston, MA – Paradise (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 11 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 13 Chicago, IL – Metro (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 15 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 18 Seattle, WA – Showbox (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 19 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 21 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore (SILVER AGE/COPPER BLUE show)
Sep 23 Pensacola Beach, FL – DeLuna Fest (Bob Mould Plays COPPER BLUE)
Divine Fits debut album out August 28
Divine Fits, the band comprised of Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner, and Sam Brown, has confirmed that its debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, will be released August 28 in the US by Merge and in Canada by Universal. The record will be out one day earlier in the UK and Europe via Anti-/Epitaph.
Pre-order A Thing Called Divine Fits now in the Merge store and receive a free button while supplies last! Digital pre-orders receive an instant download of the first single, “My Love Is Real.”
“My Love Is Real,” can now be streamed from SoundCloud. The single will be released July 31 and will feature the non-LP B-side cover of Camper Van Beethoven’s “I Was Born in a Laundromat.” Pre-order the limited-edition 7-inch single now in the Merge store.
“Would That Not Be Nice” is included in NPR’s All Songs Considered Summer Music Preview. Listen to the podcast at NPR Music now. Hear the track on the Merge SoundCloud page, too.
Find two album “trailers” at the Merge YouTube channel as well!
The full track listing for A Thing Called Divine Fits is:
1. My Love Is Real
2. Flaggin a Ride
3. What Gets You Alone
4. Would That Not Be Nice
5. The Salton Sea
6. Baby Get Worse
7. Civilian Stripes
8. For Your Heart
10. Like Ice Cream
The Music Tapes return with Mary’s Voice
On September 4, The Music Tapes will release Mary’s Voice, the band’s third full-length album.
Mary’s Voice is the warmest and most accessible invitation yet into Julian Koster’s world–the culmination of a vision he has been realizing for over a decade.
That vision began taking shape in the ’90s, during which time Koster also became a key member of Neutral Milk Hotel and a contributor to The Olivia Tremor Control and other legendary members of the enormously influential Elephant 6 Collective. Since then, Koster (along with long-time collaborator Robbie Cucchiaro on horns) has pushed the boundaries of what audiences have come to expect from an “indie rock” band–staging unique caroling and lullaby tours, performing alongside mechanical contraptions like the 7-Foot-Tall Metronome, and displaying virtuosity on both the singing saw and orchestral banjo.
Mary’s Voice, the follow-up to 2008’s acclaimed Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, is part one of a planned two-part album and inaugurates a newly active phase in The Music Tapes’ evolution–with plans to tour the world in a circus tent later this year and an NPR radio serial in the works. Recorded with The Music Tapes’ signature method of using recording machines of both past (early 1900s, ’30s, ’40s, ’60s) and present to achieve a timeless sound, the album is, in Koster’s own words, “a holiday from what is so often mistakenly called the ‘real world’… In music, time can disappear the way it does in long summer evenings when we’re allowed to go out and play as kids, or afterwards, when exhausted, we dream.”
Mary’s Voice track listing:
1. The Dark Is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)
2. Saw and Calliope Organ on Wire
3. S’ Alive (Pt. 1)
4. The Big Beautiful Shops (It’s Said That It Could Be Anyone)
5. Spare the Dark Streets
6. To All Who Say Goodnight
7. Kolyada #3
8. Playing “Evening”
9. Go Home Again
10. S’ Alive to Be Known (May We Starve)
12. Takeshi and Elijah
Redd Kross announce new tour dates in support of Researching the Blues
Redd Kross have announced new tour dates, including an album release party on August 7 in Los Angeles at the Roxy! Researching the Blues, their first new album in 15 years, will be released on CD, LP, and digital download on August 7.
Researching the Blues features ten new songs clocking in at just under 32 minutes. With songs written by Jeff and produced and mixed by Steven, the album is by far the band’s favorite record. Steve says, “It has the most singular artistic vision of any record we’ve done. It’s just 10 really fucking awesome songs that have the ability to move you in many different ways.”
Listen to “Researching the Blues” now at the Merge SoundCloud page.
Researching the Blues is available for pre-order on CD and LP now in the Merge store.
Redd Kross on tour:
Aug 07 Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
Aug 08 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
Sep 01 Los Angeles, CA – FYF Fest
Sep 06 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore Cabaret
Sep 07 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
Sep 08 Portland, OR – MusicfestNW @ Wonder Ballroom
Sep 23 Pensacola Beach, FL – DeLuna Fest w/ Superchunk & Bob Mould
Imperial Teen announce NYC show & various festival appearances
Imperial Teen are finally heading east in support of their new album Feel the Sound. After stops at festivals in Denver and Portland, Will, Jone, Roddy, and Lynn will play the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on August 17. This will be their first show in NYC in a very long time and is definitely not to be missed! See a full list of Imperial Teen tour dates below, and visit their Merge tour page for updates coming soon!
Like the sharpest pop music, Feel the Sound gets you to keep coming back for more, but unlike so much music today, it rewards you for doing so, giving you the experience of a fulfilled and yet still yearning, lively potential, one that will be further realized when the songs are performed live. From the exhilarating, propulsive “Runaway,” which features the entire band on lead vocals (how many other groups can make that claim?), to the expansive final statement of “Overtaken,” Roddy Bottum, Lynn Perko Truell, Will Schwartz, and Jone Stebbins feel the sound themselves and, in turn, make the listener feel it in ways immediate and pleasurable but also lasting and haunting.
Watch the video for “Runaway” and find Feel the Sound now on CD, LP, and digital download in the Merge store.
Imperial Teen on tour:
Jul 20 Denver, CO – Underground Music Festival @ 3 Kings Tavern
Jul 22 Portland, OR – Portland Queer Music Festival @ Backspace
Aug 17 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
Sep 29 Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Fest
Oct 14 San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island
New Superchunk single available now!
“This Summer,” the A-side of the limited-edition 7-inch and digital single released June 12, 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.”
Produced by Scott Solter with artwork featuring photography by Harrison Haynes (Les Savy Fav), the 7-inch was pressed on hot white vinyl limited to 1300 hand-numbered copies worldwide.
The 7-inch version of “This Summer” b/w “Cruel Summer” is sold out in the Merge store but is available digitally now. If you want a vinyl copy, check with your local independent record store because they just might have one!
Superchunk on tour:
Jul 12 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Sep 06 Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Music Festival (Mac solo)
Sep 23 Pensacola Beach, FL – DeLuna Fest (w/ Bob Mould & Redd Kross)
Archers of Loaf summer tour dates; new reissues in stores August 7
Archers of Loaf have announced new tour dates! In addition to reissuing the newly remastered versions of All the Nations Airports and White Trash Heroes on August 7, the band will play shows in Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, and Minneapolis.
Also, What Did You Expect?, the new concert documentary about Archers of Loaf, has screened at various festivals in the US and Canada. Watch the trailer and check the Facebook page for more information.
Pre-order All the Nations Airports and White Trash Heroes or the special bundle on dbl-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 dbl-CD, LP, and digital download too.
Archers of Loaf on tour:
Jul 14 New York, NY – 4Knots Music Festival @ South St. Seaport Pier 17 (w/ Hospitality)
Jul 29 Charlotte, NC – Recess Festival @ Tremont Music Hall
Aug 10 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Aug 11 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Aug 18 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
Aug 24 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Aug 25 Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar
Aug 26 Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar
Screening of What Did You Expect?:
Aug 15 Minneapolis, MN – Trylon
M. Ward on tour and on NPR’s World Cafe
M. Ward visited WXPN’s World Cafe studios on his recent tour to perform songs from April’s A Wasteland Companion. Listen now at NPR.org.
Also, stream M. Ward’s performances at WNYC Soundcheck and WFUV Words and Music. The M. Ward band recently visited CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman, too. Watch their performance of “Primitive Girl” here.
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! @ Prospect Park Bandshell (w/ Yo La Tengo)
Aug 23 Salt Lake City, UT – Twilight Concert Series @ Pioneer Park
Aug 25 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theatre
Aug 30 Vancouver, BC – The Commodore Ballroom
Sep 01 Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot
Oct 12 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
New Wye Oak song for the 2012 Adult Swim Singles Program
Wye Oak was commissioned to write and record a brand-new song for the 2012 Adult Swim Singles Program. This year’s program has been expanded to include 12 consecutive weeks (that’s all summer!) with a new exclusive track debuting every Monday. The 2012 Adult Swim Singles Program will be featured at AdultSwim.com/singles from June 18–September 9 and will include all-new, never-before-released tracks from Wavves, Flying Lotus, Death Grips, Elite Gymnastics, The Field, and more.
NPR’s All Songs Considered recently premiered the stream of Wye Oak’s new song “Spiral,” saying, “Virtually everything about ‘Spiral’ departs from Wye Oak’s sound: the programmed beats, the clean guitar tones, the echo effects on Wasner’s vocal, the chugging pace. For fans of Civilian, it might be a jarring departure, but ‘Spiral’ is a grower–all the more sinister for the surprises it doles out.”
Download Wye Oak’s new song “Spiral” at AdultSwim.com.
Wye Oak will hit the road in July opening for the Dirty Projectors and have announced new headlining dates this fall with more to come. Civilian is available on CD, LP, and digital download now in the Merge store.
Wye Oak on tour:
(* w/ Dirty Projectors)
Jul 10 Brooklyn, NY – Celebrate Brooklyn! @ Prospect Park Bandshell *
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
Sep 14 Bloomington, IN – Bishop
Sep 15 Chicago, IL – Hideout Block Party
Sep 17 Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
Sep 18 Rochester, NY – Bug Jar
Sep 19 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
Sep 22 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer