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I Still can't believe I get to say this, but starting now, I have a brand new split 7" out with Mac McCaughan (yes...of Superchunk, Portastatic, and MERGE Records)! It's out on Joyful Noise Recordings and is available as a part of their "Cause&Effect" series/VIP Mystery Singles club.
Here's a book report I sent to Joyful Noise to convince them to let me do this:
The so called "2nd wave emo" scene of the late 1990's was very popular in my high school. I have a distinct memory of my pal Brad bringing Sunny Day Real Estate and Saves the Day CDs into our Spanish class where the teacher would let us listen to music at the end of the day. I had never heard anything quite like it and it really switched me on for a while. A common practice of mine in those days was going to On Cue after payday at my hardware store job and grabbing a couple of CDs from bands I knew nothing about, but whose names I'd read on patches and t-shirts of my super cool friends at school.
One day, I picked up The Get Up Kids', "Something To Write Home About", and I loved it.
Soon after that, I moved to Bloomington for college and had unlimited, full-time access to the internet for the very first time. I was non-stop visiting all kinds of weird and wild websites at that time, and one of them was The Get Up Kids' official site. I remember moseying over to their corner of the internet one afternoon and reading a blog-ish post they'd made in response to some reviews of "Something To Write Home About", which, as discussed previously, was an album I loved. They were vehemently defending comparisons to a band I'd never heard of called Superchunk. Apparently, according to the post, someone was accusing TGUK of ripping off this Superchunk band. So, I hopped on my bike, rode down to the basement of TD's CDs & LPs, and snatched up the very first Superchunk CD I could find. By chance, it was "Indoor Living", and it cracked my coconut wide open.
I started listening to "Indoor Living" on my discman everyday as I walked to class. I believe it was in a blowoff meteorology class I was taking that I scrawled "new bruises aren't old bruises" on the inside back cover of my notebook about 15 times, just obsessing over that simple lyric.
My obsession was further entrenched when I read the liner notes and realized that "Indoor Living" had been recorded right here in Bloomington. I couldn't believe it. I felt so connected to this music already, and reading that nugget made it feel like my next-door neighbor. I started buying every Superchunk CD and LP I could get my hands on. There's not a stinker in the bunch. And when "Majesty Shredding" came out after a near 10-year hiatus, and it was immediately my favorite Superchunk album, I thought this band could do no wrong.
All of this is to say, it's an extreme and unthinkable dream-come-true that Mac agreed to appear on this split 7" with me. In terms of "Cause & Effect", it's really impossible for me to measure what an influence Mac and his music has been on me over the years. I'm so enamored, not only with Mac's catchy and thoughtful songs that hit my spot just right, but also his clear and seemingly unrelenting love for all kinds of music. In terms of songwriting, Mac writes clear hooks and thoughtful lyrics on everything he does, and he's prolific. I try really hard to do that, in part because I've seen/heard him do it so well. I also get the impression that Mac does what he wants when it comes to music. What genre is Superchunk, exactly? It's hard to say, because it's all diverse and pulls from all sorts of influences. I want to be like that. And in terms of longevity and dedication, I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone else as consistent and steady as Mac.
This is all from a distance, by the way. I don't know Mac McCaughan personally.
So, Mac, should you ever read this thing, thanks a million for taking some time out for a dude like me. It really means a lot. Thanks to Joyful Noise for inviting me to participate in this project and for pulling all the strings to make my little fantasy a reality. This is a really bonkers release, and I feel very humbled and so excited that it exists.
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