Superchunk Album History – Part 4 [2002-2010]

This is the final installment of this series.  I hope you have read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and have enjoyed this bit of entertainment.  I have come to think of this period in Superchunk’s history as “the lean years”, but as I mentioned in the last article I have gotten over the initial disappointment I felt when a few years had passed and there was still no Superchunk album forthcoming.  I have written a mini-essay at the end, but lets look at some of the music first.

The Clambake Series [2002, 2004, 2009]

Not only did this series bring a lot of fun Superchunk moments to the fans it also generated a lot of discussion.  The forums and whatnot were buzzing for years with suggestions for other Clambakes.

Cup of Sand [2003]

Whammo!!  A double dose of singles and rarities.  This was the first collection where I already had all of the singles ahead of time so it was great to some great unreleased tracks included.  There were a few songs that I was quite familiar with, such as Fader Rules and Basement Life, that I found when listening to them within the context of this collection I gained a new appreciation for the songs.

Misfits and Mistakes [2007]

I’m still mystified at the coming together of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Superchunk.  This is the first vinyl record I have ever purchased.  I don’t even have a record player.  Unfortunately I purchased it too late to receive a download of the Meatwad version, which I would love to have on my iPhone.  I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next collection to come out in 2014.

Leaves in the Gutter EP [2009]

This is the one that got me truly excited again.  A full EP of new material.  They’re back, baby!!  I harassed my family with this album for a few weeks before relegating it to iPhone status with the rest of my collection.

Superchunk’s Thoughts

Does “Misfits And Mistakes” give any indication of the direction that you might take on the next Superchunk LP or was it more of a memorable in-between-album-stand-alone-affair that you’re renowned for?

Mac: I have a feeling if/when we finally make another record it will indeed be along the lines of “Misfits And Mistakes”… a little more punk and a little less precious than Here’s To Shutting Up and Come Pick Me Up. I think at a certain point we were trying to do a lot of different things and while sometimes it worked really well and I like those albums, [but] it became a bit like trying to put a square peg in a round hole… we don’t do “delicate” very well and I can save that for a Portastatic record.

What drew you into covering Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” for the Guilt By Association compilation? Are you fans or was it merely a good pop song that translated well into the Superchunk idiom?

Mac: Radio, other than college radio, is pretty terrible around here, but a few years ago I found that some of the best songs were on the hip-hop and R&B station called 102 JAMZ or something. I really liked all those Destiny’s Child singles. I think I did a demo of how I thought the arrangement could go, so Jim and Laura and Jon wouldn’t bail on me as having a cockamamie idea.

Full article can be found here.

When you finished touring for Here’s to Shutting Up, did you guys foresee or discuss a hiatus that would last nearly a decade?

Mac: Not really. It’s one of those things where you just keep thinking, “Pretty soon we’ll do this and we’ll do that.” We always played a few shows every year, so we never felt like we were really gone for that long at a time. You know what I mean? But, like I said, everyone’s so busy doing other things, time just kind of goes by. You know, like, “Whoa, how long has it been since we made a record?” [Laughs] We never talked about a plan, like, “In this many years we’re going to do this,” or whatever. It’s just kind of how it happened.

Full article can be found here.

My Thoughts

Change is good and change is inevitable.  Just as my life had changed from Superchunk to Here’s To Shutting Up, so had the lives of Jim, Jon, Mac and Laura.  I think it says a great deal about this group’s approach to music and life that they did not “break up”, they simply “chilled out”.  The trickle of songs and shows over the years says a lot about priorities.  Superchunk is obviously a priority in the band member’s lives, but no longer a top priority, and as my priorities were shifting at the same time I could respect the choices being made.

I will admit, I feel a little silly spending all of this time on these Superchunk posts.  I am an adult with a grown-up job, a wife, a dog, two kids and a mini van.  I am not a gushing teenager who feels that it is important to define myself by the music I listen to.  But for some reason, nay, for many reasons, Superchunk has always struck a chord with me (insert laugh track here).  Not just the music, but the people.  Four people with an amazing dedication to life, creating a life for themselves out of that passion.

The greatest band nobody has ever heard of.  Musical “side projects” (no disrespect) that can headline tours.  A record label that defined a successful approach to the new age of the music industry a decade before anyone  knew there would be a new age of the music industry.  Forays into the worlds of art, movies and comedy that in themselves could define a single career.  A true example to the world that with hard work and perseverance you can do what you want to do.  Sure, they are not rich and famous, but they have carved out their place in the world on their terms, and in the process also carved out a little place in history that will not be forgotten.

So as I look forward to the September 14th release of Majesty Shredding it is not just because of the music, which I know will be great, but also because of the inspiration to keep working hard for the things that matter and get as much enjoyment out of life as possible.


About OneGoodMinute
Blogging about the fun and interesting things in life. Nerd stuff - movies, music, comedy, podcasts Social Media - Documenting my way through social media, blogging and online promotion. Learn from my experiences, mistakes and successes.

One Response to Superchunk Album History – Part 4 [2002-2010]

  1. john says:

    nice series, but you forgot the two most recent live albums, which rule!

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