Posts Tagged ‘ superchunk ’

Superchunk: December 3, 2015 Baby’s All Right

December 6, 2015
By

superchunk-qbertplaya1
[photo courtesy of Ellen Qbertplaya]

Superchunk spawned one of the most revered independent labels, revitalized the music scene of two entire towns, and continue to inspire men and women alike to pogo at the stage lip singing every word. Few bands can claim those achievements, but even fewer can claim to have not only kept, but expanded their fans’ loyalty since the early 1990s. Mac McCaughan may well be one of his generation’s few ageless indie stars, as unabashedly confessional, athletic and compelling onstage as he was when he was in his twenties. What separates his songs from those of lesser peers is that those lyrics aren’t just reflections of youthful naiveté — they just say what they need to in the most direct, compelling way. It hurts none that behind Mac is a crack band (sans, sadly, Laura Ballance these days) that has only gotten better over the years; if many drummers are hitting the kit better than Jon Wurster at any age, they ought to count themselves lucky. And that doesn’t even begin to touch the humor of Jim Wilbur (who’s a pretty darn good player, too).

The band came into Baby’s All Right on this Thursday to follow up a performance the night before at Ground Control Touring’s 15th Anniversary, meaning they weren’t here to flog a new record or for any purpose other than to remind their fans exactly why they stick around. They rewarded us with a set that drew from all over their catalog, treating 2013’s I Hate Music and their 1990s canon with equal reverence. The sold out crowd gave as good as they got in terms of energy, as the people in the front didn’t stop moving, or singing, the entire time. The band may have joked before “The Popular Music” (from Indoor Living, 1997) about how they would sit around in front of a Britney Spears poster in their practice room and wonder if a new song they were writing would “make them popular” (Mac’s reply — it didn’t) but the reality is that, in the longer run, their efforts worked. Sometimes it’s quality, and not quantity of “popularity” that counts, and Superchunk has the former in abundance. For a certain group of people, Superchunk were a foundational band, in the same way other giants of the era like Pavement (or further toward the mainstream, Nirvana) inspired countless stints as independent radio DJs, memberships in variously-successful bands, and LP/CD collections that burden many of us to this day. In 2013, we called them “the best working band in America today,” and noted that they “don’t have a bad song in their catalog,” and those sentiments remain true to this day.

To be honest, I’m not really sure if they haven’t played the first encore, “The Breadman” single in more than 20 years as claimed, but I’m not going to be that guy who disputes the band on the Internet (according to said Internet, this was only the second time it’s ever been played). I will say that “Hyper Enough,” still rings true — rocking this night with an energy that belied its twenty years in the rotation, and a song whose central premise still rings true of Mac now as when he wrote it. And “Throwing Things,” which closed the first encore, well, it was as compelling as it was when it first appeared on No Pocky for Kitty in 1991. True to their nature, the band came out for a second encore, and closed with “Slack Motherfucker.” Balance wrote the song back in 1990 and, whoever it was addressed to at the time, Mac has proven to be anything but.

I recorded this set with Superchunk FOH Matthew Barnhart’s soundboard mix, together with Audio Technica 4051 microphones onstage. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show (minus banter tracks and encore breaks):

Superchunk
2015-12-03
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Matthew Barnhart) + Audio Technica 4051 (onstage)>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust width, fades, very light compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 1:24:15]
01 [intro]
02 Like A Fool
03 Cursed Mirror
04 Hello Hawk
05 Good Dreams
06 Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
07 Punch Me Harder
08 On the Mouth
09 [banter1]
10 Rosemarie
11 Kicked In
12 Iron On
13 The Popular Music
14 Low F
15 Crossed Wires
16 Detroit Has A Skyline
17 Driveway to Driveway
18 Digging for Something
19 [encore break]
20 The Breadman
21 Hyper Enough
22 Throwing Things
23 [encore break 2]
24 Slack Motherfucker

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Superchunk, visit their website, and purchase their albums directly from Merge Records [HERE].

chunklauren
[photo by Lauren Epstein]

Mac McCaughan: May 16, 2015 Baby’s All Right – Flac/MP3/Streaming

June 23, 2015
By

Mac2
[photo by Chris Quartly – courtesy of Free Williamsburg]

Mac McCaughan has pretty much done it all in the world of music. He’s the co-owner of Merge Records, one of the foremost independent labels operating today. He’s fronts Superchunk, one of indie rock’s most beloved and prolific bands of the last twenty-five years. But Mac has never released a solo record in his own name. His side project Portastatic has released a handful of albums over the years, but the 2015’s Non-Believers is a Mac McCaughan record. Back in April, we posted Mac’s solo show from the Bull City Record Store Day concert that featured a couple of songs from the new album. And in a nice bookend, in May at Baby’s All Right we captured this show which featured a full band (openers Flesh Wounds as Mac’s backing band) performing four Non-Believers tracks among Superchuck classics, selected Portastatic tracks and two neat covers. Mid-set Mac played a mini solo show before the band returned to close out the night ripping through some classics and three well-deserved encores.

Mac will be playing a few select dates during the Summer before we catch him again at Hopscotch Fest in September. Yesterday, Mac announced some new dates for the West Coast in September after Hopscotch, all dates here.

This set was recorded by Baby’s FOH Harrison. We mixed Harrison’s excellent board mix with the room mics and the result is a superb recording. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream “Only Do”:

Stream “Teenage Kicks” (Undertones cover):

Mac McCaughan
2015-05-16
Babys All Right
Brooklyn, NY USA

Digital Soundboard + Audience
Multitrack Recording

Multitrack Soundboard (engineer Harrison) > Harrison mix Wav files + Room mic wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and Tagging via Foobar)

Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:14:39]
01 [introduction]
02 Josephine
03 Lost Again
04 Only Do
05 White Wave
06 Angels of Sleep
07 Come Upstairs
08 [banter]
09 Driveway to Driveway
10 Breaking Down
11 Me and You and Jackie Mittoo
12 The Popular Music
13 Home at Dawn
14 Learned to Surf
15 Detroit Has a Skyline
16 Naked Pilseners
17 Drill Me
18 Box Batteries
19 Noisy Night
20 [encore break]
21 Teenage Kicks [Undertones]
22 San Andreas
23 Pull Down the Shades [Toy Love]

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, PLEASE SUPPORT Mac McCaughan by visiting Merge Records and buying Non-Believers and his other releases there.

Mac McCaughan: April 18, 2015 Chaz’s Bull City Records (Durham, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

May 8, 2015
By

photo by PJ Sykes

photo by PJ Sykes courtesy of Merge Records

What you first notice when you hear Mac McCaughan play Superchunk and other material of his solo is how it puts the band’s most vital characteristic front and center: lyrics. It’s not that you wouldn’t like to also hear the surge and kick of a backbeat to go with that plaintive voice that still sounds like a 22-year old; it’s just that, without as much racket, you finally get a chance to hear and feel what Mac (and by extension, his band) had to say. What you find are keenly-observed images — data piling up like magazines,  alligator clips on glasses, dancing on a propane tank, somewhere deep in the country — that curdle a certain kind of nostalgia, for places you may or may not have been, people you probably don’t know. People say that Superchunk, as a band, has gotten older with grace, and a listen to Mac’s words, and his style, proves that out. He wears his older words well, even as they sidle up to the new.

Mac (not to mention his co-owned label Merge) was a huge part of the success of this Record Store Day show at Chaz’s Bull City Records in Durham, NC. Serving as the leadoff for the three Merge bands on the bill, Mac drew in an instant crowd, many of them no-doubt hungry to hear tunes from his brand-new Merge release, Non-Believers. Indeed, we got three songs’ worth here, plus a mix of old and new Superchunk. But one of my biggest favorites was the lone Portastatic number, “Drill Me”, from the newly-reissued 2003 LP, The Summer of the Shark, a song that takes aim at existential doubt with some of Mac’s best lyrics yet. Just before tearing into “Digging For Something” to close out his set, Mac exhorted us to all to support our local record stores every day of the year. Over his own career, Mac has given us plenty of excuses to do so.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from NC engineer John Koelle, plus Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones at the stage lip. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Direct download of the complete set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the entire set:

Mac McCaughan
2015-04-18
Chaz’s Bull City Records
Durham, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: John Koelle) + Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 31:04]
01 Lost Again
02 Hello Hawk [Superchunk]
03 Overflows [Superchunk]
04 Only Do
05 Box Batteries
06 Home at Dawn [Superchunk]
07 Drill Me [Portastatic]
08 Detroit Has A Skyline [Superchunk]
09 Digging For Something

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Mac McCaughan by visiting Merge Records and buying Non-Believers and his other releases there.

nyctaper Top Ten Concerts of 2013 + Live Mix Tape

December 29, 2013
By

taper large

Another banner year at the site and seeing shows in NYC (and sometimes beyond). This “best of” only encompasses the shows that I, nyctaper, saw. Remember that the site has had nine contributing tapers this year, and I did not even record and post the most shows — that honor goes to the indefagitable acidjack, who we hope will come along soon with his own list.

I’ve also attached an mp3 compilation to this post. Its mostly of a mix of “honorable mentions”, just really cool songs I recall from this year, some new songs, some older songs, but all performed and recorded in 2013. Enjoy!

nyctaper Top 10 Concerts of 2013:

1. Wilco – June 21, 2013 Solid Sound Festival North Adams MA
PSquared and I drove a long way in a short time to see this show, and then drove all the way back almost as soon as it was over. And it was infinitely worth it. Wilco playing an entire two and a half hour show of covers, some popular classics and some fairly obscure, but all in their own style and all requested by fans. This one-off is very unlikely to happen again and we’re so fortunate to not only have been there to but have captured an “event” of this kind. Our recording got us mentioned in Spin Magazine, Paste Magazine, Fuse TV, WXRT radio, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, The Examiner, Prefix Magazine, Gothamist, and a hundred other smaller sites. 20,000 people have downloaded this recording from our site. There are 24,000 plays on the “Marquee Moon” soundcloud sample (posted below). Its my own personal highlight of the year, and one of the best moments in the history of the site.

2. Yo La Tengo – December 16, 2013 Bell House Brooklyn
Sure, they appeared on the site six times this year, including the final four shows of the year at Bell House and of course the historical final YLT show at Maxwell’s (RIP) in June. But I believe this show was the most fully formed, most inspirationally played, and including some absolute classic selections. I’ve seen this band live about fifty times, and this may be the most completely realized performance of all of them.

3. Thee Oh Sees – October 27, 2013 285 Kent
In a cruel bit of synchronous irony, on the same day this month that word spread that the venue 285 Kent would soon close, Thee Oh Sees announced an “indefinite hiatus”. It was only about six weeks previous that this band played this venue on the day that Lou Reed died and it was a moment in time that anyone in attendance will not soon forget. One of the best live bands around played with an enormous amount of energy and inspiration and the packed crowd responded with equal energy.

4. Deervana (Deer Tick) – September 13, 2013 Brooklyn Bowl
This is another show selected because of its historical signifance. If perhaps the performance wasn’t technically perfect, the spirit and energy that Deer Tick brings to its “Deervana” performances is clear. On the 20th anniversary of the release of In Utero, the album was played from start to finish. It was a celebration, not some mournful exercise, and the love of the music was obvious from both the band and the crowd. In terms of the importance to the site, this recording also saw us get mentioned all over the web, including Spin, Consequence of Sound, The Examiner, MTV, Stereogum and a bunch of other places.

5. Superchunk – September 28, 2013 Bowery Ballroom NYC
They are indie vets both as a band and as a label, but Superchunk continues to produce excellent material. And this year’s new album I Hate Music was one of their best. This show at Bowery, the first of two sold-out shows in NYC was like most Superchunk shows a kinetic and crazy run through material old and new and their was a celebratory and special air in the room. Perhaps the most fun show we saw all year.

6. The Complete Last Waltz – November 27, 2013 Capitol Theatre, Portchester NY
The original Last Waltz was perhaps the greatest concert in the history of rock music, so a complete performance nearly forty years later would have to be a pale comparison, right? Only it wasn’t. We were absolutely stunned at the quality of the performances and the reverence with which the entire ensemble treated the material.

7. Deafheaven – February 22, 2013 Saint Vitus Brooklyn
Yes, I realize that Deafheaven has appeared on virtually every best of 2013 list compiled on the web in the last month or so, but this is different (aren’t we always), this is a concert that we recorded early in the year before their game-changing album Sunbather had even been released. We saw them again in July, which was also a phenomenal show but we’re sticking with the first experience of this “take your breath away” band who are destined for bigger places than the great Saint Vitus in 2014. But we were there then. As it ever was.

8. Kevin Devine – November 22, 2013 Webster Hall NYC
He released two of the best records of the year, and unless you read Paste Magazine every day or saw our post about Kevin in November, you wouldn’t even know it. He is perhaps the best current purveyor of power pop and his prolific songwriting ability is a thing to behold. This concert was the home show after a lengthy US tour and Kevin and band were in a fine form from start to finish.

9. Ty Segall – August 30, 2013 Bowery Ballroom NYC
Ty Segall released a true departure album this year, the somewhat-quiet and contemplative Sleeper. This Bowery show was a seated affair, with the new album performed almost entirely to start the show. Ty is a performer of great proficiency and this show highlighted his maturity and versatility.

10. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – January 26, 2013 Brooklyn Bowl
Easily the best single performance of Grateful Dead material since the demise of the original band nearly twenty years ago. My review was pretty harsh regarding “post-Jerry” projects and that generated a bit of a comment war, but thankfully most people agreed with me — and nearly everyone agreed that this show was immense.

Honorable Mention:
This is a 16-track MP3 mix of songs from other excellent concerts I attended this year. Its by no means a comprehensive list of musical highlights, but consists of tracks that caught our ear this year. We included three tracks from the Top Ten because fit they thematically, but 13 songs are from shows that were certainly important enough to deserve mention. Download [HERE].

Superchunk: September 27, 2013 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

October 2, 2013
By

superchunk-71
[photos by PSquared Photography]

I couldn’t make the Friday night Superchunk show, as I was attending The Suburbs at Mercury (recording very soon). But fortunately, intrepid correspondent neild was there for the capture. Neil reports:

“First things first: Not to contradict our fearless leader, but Superchunk didn’t technically go on hiatus after 2001’s Here’s to Shutting Up. There were occasional shows and EPs here and there, whenever Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance could take time away from their main gig running Merge Records. But the band’s masterful 2010 CD Majesty Shredding still deserves to be ranked with the most impressive comeback albums of all time, featuring instant classics like “Digging For Something” and “Learned to Surf” that melded the band’s guitar crunch with McCaughan’s pop hookery more deftly than ever before. And this year’s I Hate Music (spoiler alert: they don’t actually) is more of the same – or rather, another step forward in the same direction, stretching the band’s boundaries while still staying true to its strengths in rocking out.

This show was the first of two nights at the Bowery Ballroom (the second is available here), and the sold-out crowd was not disappointed: From the opening clap-along bars of “This Summer” (a throwaway single release from last year that might just be their catchiest tune ever), the band was in fine form, with McCaughan bouncing around the stage for almost the entire hour and a half of music. (As my spouse, a Superchunk first-timer, remarked with understatement, “Mac sure has a lot of energy.”) With Ballance sidelined by ear problems, drummer Jon Wurster’s Bob Mould band mate Jason Narducy subbed in as a replacement, and was an excellent fit both on bass and on backing vocals. The setlist featured a spate of songs from I Hate Music, plus a selection from the band’s catalog that managed to be almost entirely different from the next night’s set; “Skip Steps 1 and 3,” “Hyper Enough,” “Rope Light,” and “Driveway to Driveway” (streaming below) were among the highlights here that didn’t reappear on Saturday.

I recorded this from the Bowery’s left balcony, which made for reduced crowd noise and a nice direct sound from the left speaker stack. It was recorded with two sets of mics, Core Sound Binaurals and Church Audio CA-14 cardioids, which were later mixed to provide optimum depth and presence.

Do not sell this under any circumstances, buy all of Superchunk’s records if you don’t have them already (did you get their 2008 EP Leaves In The Gutter? you probably believed that “hiatus” thing and missed it, didn’t you?), and by all means, do yourself a favor and go see them live when they come to your town.

(Special thanks to nitcomb for the setlist.)

Stream “Driveway to Driveway”:

Download the Complete Show [MP3] or [MP3] (off site) / [FLAC] or [FLAC] (off site)

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Superchunk
Bowery Ballroom, NYC
September 27, 2013

Source 1: AUD > CoreSound Binaurals > MM-EBM-1 battery box (with bass roll-off) > Line In > iRiver H320 (Rockboxed) > AIFF
Source 2: AUD > Church Audio CA-14 Cardioids > Line In > iRiver H320 (Rockboxed) > AIFF
Mixing: AIFF > Sound Studio > FLAC > XAct (for SBE and tags) > FLAC
Recorded and mastered by neil d
Extremely light dynamic compression in Sound Studio

01 intro
02 This Summer
03 FOH
04 Me and You and Jackie Mittoo
05 Learned to Surf
06 Skip Steps 1 and 3
07 Staying Home
08 Void
09 Out Of The Sun
10 Kicked In
11 Nu Bruises
12 Low F
13 Animated Airplanes Over Germany
14 Rope Light
15 Digging For Something
16 Slack Motherfucker
17 encore break
18 Tiny Bombs
19 What Do I
20 Brand New Love (Sebadoh)
21 Hyper Enough
22 encore break 2
23 Driveway To Driveway
24 The First Part

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Superchunk, visit their website, and purchase I Hate Music directly from Merge Records [HERE].

Superchunk: September 28, 2013 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

September 30, 2013
By

superchunk-34
[photos by PSquared Photography]

I don’t believe its quite accurate to say that Superchunk is the best working band in America today, but you’d be hard pressed to name one that’s actually better. For more than two decades, minus a few years hiatus, Superchunk has consistently released high quality albums filled with excellent songs. There’s not a clunker among any of their ten studio albums — heck, there isn’t even a bad song in their catalog. The newest release came out last month, and I Hate Music not only continues the streak, but its one of the strongest albums in their history. The band is currently on tour in support of the album and performed two shows at Bowery Ballroom this weekend, and we were there for Saturday’s barnburner. Superchunk opened the show on high octane, working through a democratic mix of songs from the new album interspersed with the classics in an hour-long set that barely came up for air. And the very-sold out crowd was with them throughout. From our standard balcony perch we could see the craziness on the floor, but the manic crowd response even spread to the balcony itself, where we witnessed enough pogoing to shake the floor of the upper deck. But it was in the ten song encore segment where all hell broke loose. The band welcomed out Merge recording artist Eleanor Friedberger for two legendary punk covers (we’re streaming the Patti Smith one below) and then just continued to play a series of their own deep tracks in maniacal fashion. The show reached its climax when Mac laid down his guitar, took over behind the kit and drummer Jon Wurster came out to deliver a couple of hardcore covers to end the night.

I recorded this set with the Sennheiser cards mixed with an excellent board feed. There is a couple of minutes of static near the very end of the set caused by a problematic mic on the snare drum, but otherwise this is a superb capture. Enjoy!

We will also have a recording of the first night of Superchunk’s Bowery shows. That recording should be available by the end of the week.

Stream “Free Money” (Patti Smith cover with Eleanor Friedberger):

Stream “Digging for Something”:

Download the Complete show [MP3] or [MP3] (off site) / [FLAC] or [FLAC] (off site)

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

superchunk-80

Superchunk
2013-09-28
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper 2013-09-29

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:32:11]
01 Breaking Down
02 FOH
03 Crossed Wires
04 Detroit Has A Skyline
05 Punch Me Harder
06 Staying Home
07 [banter – video]
08 Void
09 Like A Fool
10 Tower
11 Iron On
12 Water Wings
13 [banter – requests]
14 Out of the Sun
15 Me and You and Jackie Mittoo
16 Cast Iron
17 Digging For Something
18 Trees of Barcelona
19 [encore break]
20 Seed Toss
21 [Eleanor introduction]
22 Free Money [Patti Smith]
23 Oh Oh I Love Her So [Ramones]
24 Slack Motherfucker
25 Precision Auto
26 [second encore break]
27 Animated Airplanes Over Germany
28 Throwing Things
29 Fishing
30 20 Eyes [Misfits]
31 My War [Black Flag]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Superchunk, visit their website, and purchase I Hate Music directly from Merge Records [HERE].

Mac McCaughan: October 18, 2012 Merge Records CMJ Showcase, Mercury Lounge – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

November 5, 2012
By


[Photo by Jill Harrison of For the Love of Brooklyn]

Merge Records co-founder and Superchunk and Portastatic frontman Mac McCaughan has more than earned his beloved status in the indie rock community. His contributions to the Chapel Hill and Durham, NC music scenes, and music in general, could have taken two lifetimes, and his confessional, direct songwriting continues to resonate and remain fresh more than two decades into his music career. As for Merge, the label has been one of those remarkable and rare successes in music, remaining staunchly independent and committed to promoting quality releases – and finally earning a Grammy for its current mega-artist, Arcade Fire. So, after we wrapped up our own CMJ showcase down the street at Cake Shop, the NYCTaper crew headed over to Mercury Lounge where McCaughan joined William Tyler, Mount Moriah, Reigning Sound, Eleanor Friedberger and Telekinesis for Merge’s CMJ Showcase.

McCaughan performed as a solo act, an uncommon treat to see in the New York area. As usual, this set combined new and old Superchunk songs with Portastatic classics like “Autumn Got Dark.”  The set also included a brand new number that McCaughan said should appear on a Superchunk release next year, which we are streaming below. Though the singer-songwriter format lacked some of the punch of a normal Superchunk gig, it gave McCaughan’s lyrics and voice the spotlight. McCaughan’s exuberant, earnest delivery still comes across like that of a brash, young artist, and the themes of his writing continue to prove their timelessness. On a night that in many ways celebrated McCaughan’s success, this set was another one.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed provided by house engineer Kevin Mazzarelli, with Schoeps MK5 microphones providing just a bit of room ambiance. The quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream “Autumn Got Dark”

Stream “[untitled new Superchunk song]”

Direct download of MP3 files [HERE] | Direct download of FLAC files [HERE]

If the FLAC link is no longer working, email nyctaper for the FLAC files

Follow acidjack on twitter

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Mac McCaughan
2012-10-18
Merge Records CMJ Showcase
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

Soundboard (engineer: Kevin Mazzarelli) + Schoeps MK5 (cardiod, ROC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>> Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity 3.0 (mixdown, set fades, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro]
02 Trash Heap
03 Good Dreams
04 Rope Light
05 Through With People
06 Autumn Got Dark
07 Home At Dawn
08 Driveway to Driveway
09 [banter]
10 A Small Definition
11 [new song 1]
12 Digging For Something
13 [banter]
14 I Wanna Know Girls
15 [banter]
16 San Andreas

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Mac McCaughan and Merge Records by visiting the Merge website and buying the many fine releases available there, including Superchunk and Portastatic’s albums.

Our Top 25 Concert Moments of 2010 (with MP3 Download and Streaming Songs)

December 31, 2010
By

We were treated to a lot of amazing music this year, and the site has continued to grow. This year, we reached our 600th recording posted since 2007 – a pretty incredible number considering that this is only the fourth year of the site.  As a final New Year’s treat to our readers, we thought we would share a “mixtape” with you of some of our favorite concert moments of 2010.

Out of the two hundred-plus shows that we saw, we selected 25 moments that we thought were particularly memorable (among the shows we recorded, at least). There is a wide range of music, styles and artists represented: folk, rock, Scandinavian pop, punk and much more. There are new bands who are just breaking into the mainstream, as well as mainstream acts continuing to perform at a high level. The only consistent theme is that these artists all touched us in some way, giving performances that stayed with us long after the last notes were played.

The following list is in no particular order. Links to download the entire compilation, as well as selected numbers streaming, are below.

Want to keep up with the latest concert updates and recordings on the site? Follow @nyctaper and @acidjacknyc on Twitter.

Download the entire mixtape [HERE]

1. Built to Spill – “Carry The Zero” – September 20, 2010 Rocks Off Concert Cruise. This show was nuts – on a boat, with a tiny main floor, with a crowd that was loud, drunken and rowdy, and a veteran band doing what they do best. We saw Built to Spill a ton of times over the past two years, but this show was the clear standout.

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2. Oh Land – “Lean On Me” – November 8, 2010 Brooklyn Bowl. We first saw this young Danish artist play Brooklyn Bowl back in July. Although she was still getting comfortable with her new material, her talent and unique stage presence were already on display. After seeing her again at the Backyard Brunch Sessions, we caught her again a month later at Brooklyn Bowl. Her evolution blew us away – displaying newfound poise and confidence, designer clothing and a new percussionist, Nanna dominated the stage. Though many of her songs lend themselves to dancing, I have always been partial to this more precious number. She may now be the face of Missoni, but Oh Land is far, far more than a pretty face.

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3. John Vanderslice – “The Parade” – October 21, 2010 Mercury Lounge. On the night after our Unofficial CMJ Day Party at Cake Shop, we caught one of our favorite acts, the inimitable songwriter John Vanderslice at Mercury Lounge. John has always been a supporter and friend of the site, but we were especially gratified by his heartfelt intro to this song when he thanked nyctaper from the stage.

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4. The Dirty Projectors – “As I Went Out One Morning [Bob Dylan]” – September 11, 2010 Terminal 5. After this band blew us away at the tail end of 2009, we were thrilled that Johnny Fried Chicken Boy was able to catch their show at the massive Terminal 5. This Dylan cover was among many special songs played during another show that wowed us with its musical skill.

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5. Pavement – “Fight this Generation” – September 19, 2010 Williamsburg Waterfront. Pavement‘s return was probably my personal musical highlight of the year – nobody ever thought it would happen, and when it did, they were exactly as nonchalant about the whole thing as you would expect. Everything went right at their first NYC show in ten years, and the irony of Pavement – an iconic band for Generation X – playing “Fight This Generation” on the Williamsburg waterfront to an entirely new generation of fans was perfect. This loose, jammy rendition killed, too.

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6. Superchunk – “Digging For Something” – September 19, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. While I was checking out Pavement, nyctaper was down the street taking in an equally amazing performance from another 90s indie darling, Superchunk. Supporting their first new album in almost a decade, Superchunk gave us even more than we could have imagined when special guest John Darnielle joined them for this number.

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7. John Roderick w/ Nada Surf – “The Commander Thinks Aloud” – March 26, 2010 Bell House. Nada Surf‘s multi-night series of full album performances had many memorable moments, but my favorite of all came from John Roderick of The Long Winters, the opening act at the Bell House/The Weight Is A Gift show. With Nada Surf as his backing band, Roderick capped off his acoustic set by tearing through a fully electric version of this big number that showcases Roderick’s unique voice. You can stream and download this song, and the entire show, on the Live Music Archive [HERE].

8. Natureboy – “I’ll Keep It With Mine” – May 15, 2010 Piano’s. This show was a special day for us, as we celebrated the third anniversary of the site with some of our favorite bands. Natureboy drew a strong crowd as our first act of that evening, and they made our night by performing, our request, their cover of this Dylan-via-Nico classic.

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9. Fucked Up – “Son the Father” – February 18, 2010 Maxwell’s. I had the pleasure of seeing Fucked Up three times this year, and each show was awe-inspiring. Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham is a punk rock showman without parallel: on the mic, he is extremely hardcore; in between songs, he chats up the crowd like each person is his best bud. “Son the Father” is one of the band’s best songs, and it was at about this point during the Maxwell’s show that (as has to be the case at every Fucked Up show) all hell broke loose.

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10. The Black Keys – “Same Old Thing” – July 28, 2010 Terminal 5. There was a huge response to our post of The Black Keys‘ show at Terminal 5, and for good reason – it is an excellent recording of a band that is rapidly ingratiating itself with the mainstream. This song is a four-piece version of this song, with Leon Michaels on keyboards and Nick Movshon on bass.

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11. Panda Bear – “Song For Ariel (Guys Eyes)” – September 11, 2010 Governor’s Island. On the same day as the epic Dirty Projectors show back in Manhattan, Panda Bear was giving a magical performance on Governor’s Island that blew our minds both for the incredible quality of the sound (which did not always receive such good reviews for other shows) and the clarity and focus of the performance. This guitar-heavy and reworked version of this song was one of many highlights of an amazing show that also featured some new songs.

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12. Soft Black – “I’m Not Afraid of You” – August 7, 2010 A Backyard in Bushwick. This whole show was a testament to the power of the local music community and the DIY spirit of the moment. Soft Black were supposed to be playing on a rooftop elsewhere in the ‘hood as part of a benefit show for the people of the Gaza Strip. That show was shut down by the cops three acts in, while it was still light outside. But instead of giving up and calling it a night, the fans and bands rallied to move the show to one of the musicians’ backyard. Soft Black dedicated this haunting song, with its defiant refrain, to a kid who got arrested when the police shut down the rooftop show. The song itself is quite dark, but the moment was joyful, and powerful, in a way that I will never forget.

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13. Real Estate – “Reservoir” – June 25, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. Real Estate is another band that has wowed us both with their consistent playing as well as their respect for their fans. We had seen them open for labelmates Woods a number of times, but this time, they found themselves as the headliner of the Woodsist showcase at the Northside Festival. This showcase was one of the best experiences of the entire Northside Festival, but Real Estate’s set in particular stood out, as the more mature band showed off some new songs, including the excellent “Reservoir.” Download the entire set [HERE].

14. Maps & Atlases – “Solid Ground” – August 12, 2010 Mercury Lounge. I caught Maps & Atlases back in 2009 touring behind their previous record, the EP You, Me and the Mountain. I liked what I saw – the unusual combination of freak folk and math rock, vocalist Dave Davison’s vocals, the dual percussionists – but they didn’t seem quite there yet. For one, while I liked their sound, I wasn’t completely blown away by the songs. That all changed with the release of this year’s Perch Patchwork, which was one of my favorite records of the year, and a massive leap forward artistically. For this show, the band was greeted by a spirited crowd literally screaming for more, and in particular, this song (you can hear a drunk dude yelling “Solid Ground!” in between every other song on the set before they finally play it). When the band finally played the song, the payoff was huge, and the jam at the end clinches it. After an outstanding set, Maps broke down their gear and put some chairs and drums in the center of the floor and played an acoustic set for those willing to wait. The performance was not only the most improved of any band that I saw this year, but also one of the flat-out best. It didn’t hurt any that the recording came out flawlessly, too. Download the entire set [HERE].

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15. Holly Miranda – “I’d Rather Go Blind [Etta James]” – May 26, 2010 Bowery Ballroom. A Bowery Ballroom headlining gig has become a barometer of a band’s success these days – for a New York band on their way up, there is your time on the scene before Bowery, and your time after, and after, things are never the same. This show represented Holly Miranda’s Bowery breakout, and she treated the event with the reverence due it as she ripped off a lengthy set representing her latest record The Magician’s Private Library, and played two covers, including this jaw-dropping rendition of an Etta James classic.

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16. Wilco – “Thank You, Friends” – April 2, 2010 Wellmont Theatre. The challenging acoustics of this venue did not deter Wilco from delivering one of the most epic sets we have seen of theirs (well over three hours long). This Big Star cover played tribute to their singular frontman, singer and songwriter Alex Chilton, who sadly passed away this March. Alex and his many contributions to rock music will be dearly missed.

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17. Sharon Van Etten – “One Day” – October 8, 2010 Rock Shop. It is no secret that this site has been a huge booster for Sharon Van Etten, and we are thrilled to see her career taking off in a big way (you can hear one of her songs, “I Fold” in the closing sequence in a recent episode of the Showtime series The Big C). In the two shows she played at Rock Shop this year, Sharon’s maturity and outstanding songwriting made us fall in love with her music all over again.

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18. Woods – “Bend Beyond” – May 13, 2010 Abrons Arts Center. In a music scene that is strong but fragmented, Woods have emerged as bi-coastal scene godfathers of sorts, in the way that Sonic Youth have been for a generation. The Woodsist label, for which the band is the anchor, has produced a roster of like-minded acts from the East and West Coasts that share a common affinity for the psychedelic, folk-influenced sound the label is known for. While they have been building a formidable presence with the label, Woods themselves have evolved far beyond the “freak folk” tag into a full-blown indie rock jam band of sorts, turning four-minute album tracks into epics that showcase their virtuosity on their instruments. This show, featuring the band backed by the Joshua Light Show, was especially sprawling, and never moreso than on this nearly twenty minute “Bend Beyond.” This show proved that this was a very different band than the act I saw opening for Dungen in 2009 – that band was a great “freak folk” act, if you will. This band is legendary.

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19. Spoon – “Car Radio” – September 13, 2010 Cake Shop. After we caught their set opening for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden, we weren’t sure we would have another chance to record Spoon this year. But then along came this secret show at Cake Shop, a live video recording for “Nobody Gets Me But You,” that proved to be one of the most exciting and intimate performances we saw all year. These guys remember where they came from (Austin) and we trust that they will never stop being one of the most consistent, most fan-friendly acts in the country. Download the entire set [HERE].

20. The Loom – “The First Freeze” – October 10, 2010 Backyard Brunch Sessions. We enjoyed many of the Backyard Brunch Sessions sets we saw this summer and fall, but perhaps none more than this performance by our friends The Loom, who proved that great musicians do not need extra amplification or trickery to make powerful music. Set up in a humble backyard in Bushwick, rocking a homemade bass made out of a washtub, they wowed us with their modern, folk-influenced sound. This song was my favorite of all, not least of which because of the added humor of some rowdy neighbors making noise in the background (who cannot be heard on the recording) – making a bunch of noise right before this (the quietest song of the set) song began. Once it got going, it was the most mesmerizing vocal performance of the day.

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21. Yo La Tengo – “Little Eyes” – December 7, 2010 Maxwell’s. If you have read this site once in December, you know that Yo La Tengo’s 2010 Hanukkah shows have been our main focus this month. These eight nights of unique setlists, special guests, and fan camaraderie at one of our favorite venues in the city, Maxwell’s, are some of the best nights of the year every time that YLT decides to do them. This song, from the Summer Sun album, is an expanded version augmented by the guitar wizardry of the legendary Nels Cline, who joined the band for most of this night’s set. Although we loved the December 5 show featuring Mission of Burma, this show on the 7th turned out to be our favorite of them all – a perfect balance of the band’s harder and softer dynamics that showcased them at the height of their powers.

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22. Bear In Heaven – “Lovesick Teenager” – November 19, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. Bear In Heaven was another band that stepped up in a big way in 2010. A year’s worth of touring took what had been a great album act but somewhat uneven live band and turned them into the juggernaut that we witnessed at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Whereas previous shows had always faced technical limitations (primarily with respect to sound), everything was perfectly dialed in for this show, with the Music Hall sound system delivering crystal clear sound and a light show that dazzled the sold-out crowd. Not but twelve months ago this band was playing the cozy Zebulon down the street. This show was obviously this band’s “Bowery moment.”

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23. The Joy Formidable – “Austere” – January 12, 2010 Pianos. Whereas a Bowery Ballroom show tends to cement a band’s status in the scene, Pianos is Manhattan’s best incubator. Shows there tend to capture the nervous energy of bands trying to make their break who know that this could be it. We are pleased to say that since this show, The Joy Formidable did make it in a big way (including their own Bowery moment), playing tons of NY-area shows (almost all of which we saw) and bringing their music to new fans each time. Their massively loud sound is probably better suited a bigger venue, but we loved this Pianos show best of them all (and our recording sounded great).

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24. The National – “Terrible Love” – December 8, 2010 Maxwell’s. Though it borders on heresy (and is not an opinion shared by all who work on this site), I was not an instant convert to The National‘s critically acclaimed High Violet. I didn’t hate the album, but after a three year break from recording, I was not sure what I should expect from the band. High Violet didn’t grab me in the way that earlier records like Alligator did, and it didn’t help that I first saw the songs live in the sonically deficient Terminal 5, where the sound was so poor that even The National’s sound engineer commiserated with us about the venue’s challenges. Luckily, I was given a second chance at this rare set opening in the (relatively) tiny Maxwell’s for Yo La Tengo on the final night of their Hanukkah shows. This time, in this intimate setting, the subtle beauty of the High Violet songs shone through, especially on the set’s closer, this fantastic rendition of “Terrible Love.”

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25. We Were Promised Jetpacks – “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” – February 15, 2010 Knitting Factory. I went to this show on a lark, having never heard this Scottish trio before. Apparently I had missed the memo, as the Knitting Factory was so packed I was literally crushed against the soundboard. In the best of ways, We Were Promised Jetpacks are what I like to call Scotland’s answer to U2 – their songs rely on anthemic riffs and vocalist Adam Thompson’s throaty choruses. The band worked this crowd into a froth, the energy seething through the room, as Thompson belted out song after song in a way that could have melted the ice outside. In a show full of them, this song was a particularly stirring anthem.

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Special thanks to all of the artists, management, labels, photographers and other music sites that have supported NYCTaper this year. And of course, a huge thank you to our readers, who we hope to continue to provide with high-quality, artist-sanctioned recordings, reviews and photos throughout 2011. Happy New Year!

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