Jon Wurster? More like Jon Bester? Superchunk’s Drumming Rules!

I think we can all agree that Superchunk lives and dies on the strength of it’s drumming, and by “agree” I mean “argue”, because obviously I do not think this is true and every member of the band plays a vital part so stop trying to hog the spotlight, Jim!

Regardless of who the best is (Laura) we do really need to talk about Jon Wurster’s drumming.  It really is great.  Just ask Laura:

On the Mouth was the first album with Jon Wurster on drums. What was the difference between him and Chunk Garrison?

Chuck is a really great drummer and so is Jon. But they are great in different ways. Chuck swings, where Jon is tighter and more efficient. I also have found playing with Jon to be really different because he puts all these markers in the songs, especially when we are playing them live…and I don’t know if he does it consciously or not…but those markers tell me where we are in the song and what is coming up. It’s kind of amazing!

Full article can be found here.

But wait, there’s more.  I know we all think of Mac as the leader of the band because when the rest of the band is sulking and refusing to play Mac says screw you and gives his songs to Portastatic, but Jon may actually be the brightest star.  Look at all of his “screw you” hookups.

The Mountain Goats

Regal Dudes


A.C. Newman / The New Pornographers

There are too many band members to ever be able to see the drummer!


Bob Mould

This may be one of the coolest pictures ever


Conan O’Brien

Where's Max?


And many more

Of course, it is not just about the quantity of output (take that, Jim!) but really about the quality.  I can’t really bothered to listen to any of those other bands (joking) so let’s just focus on Superchunk.  Using a technologically advanced screening process (listening, bobbing my head and jotting down notes) I have determined the top 15 Superchunk Drumming Songs.  The following list is in no particular order, grouped by album and with my in-depth comments on why these songs Rule.  Lucky number 21 is the count for this list.

On The Mouth

  • Precision Auto – Love the way the drums and guitars play off of each other
  • From the Curve – The drums define the chorus



  • The First Part – Jon is in the driver’s seat for this song, right from the classic drum opening
  • Saving My Ticket – Great snare run in the chorus
  • Keeping Track Great – Banging fun when the drums kick in for the loud parts


Here’s Where The Strings Come In

  • Detroit Has a Skyline – Another example of a crazy awesome drum assault
  • Yeah, It’s Beautiful Here Too – Snare!!!
  • Eastern Terminal – I think you could take away everything except for the drums and I could identify the song


Indoor Living

  • Unbelievable Things – Another great drum opening, drums steal the show
  • Nu Bruises – Great switching between driving and off-beat
  • The Popular Music – Drum gun, lots of cymbal
  • European Medicine – Starts off with awesome driving beat, finishes off with style


Come Pick Me Up

  • Tiny Bombs – This seemingly simple song (Spoon inspired, perhaps?) relies on the smartness of how the parts are brought together and the drums definitely steal the show
  • Low Branches – Less rocky, more swinging than usual

Here’s To Shutting Up

  • Art Class – Opening solo rocks, followed by the rest of the song rocking
  • What Do You Look Forward To – On an album with a lot of fairly straight-up rock beats this is refreshingly different

Cup of Sand

  • Basement Life – Snare!!!
  • Clover – Lots-O-Tom keeping it funky fresh
  • Becoming a Speck – No drum feels lonely on this one
  • Fader Rules – Dare I call this a jam song?
  • Dance Lessons – Let’s Go Crazy!!

I like to drum


I have heard that Majesty Shredding contains a hidden 25 minute drum solo and on the tour Jon will be launched from the drum set on stage to alternate drum sets placed all around the stadiums, all the while never missing a beat (and probably adding extra beats, just to show off a bit).

Jim: "Hey, where'd Jon go?"


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.

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