The most treacherous territory Superchunk had to negotiate to make Majesty Shredding, the band's first album in nine years, had nothing to do with music. It was -- and you aspiring rockers can relate -- those pesky day jobs.
Frontman Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Balance, of course, are co-founders of Merge Records, which has had a pretty fair year, releasing albums by Arcade Fire, Spoon and She & Him, among more than a dozen others. McCaughan told NPR:
"What allowed this record to happen was us figuring out a way to make a record that worked for everybody, doing what we're all doing now. Everybody's busy."
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Majesty Shredding is an album with twentysomething energy made by fortysomethings -- buzzing guitar rock with a exuberant let's-show-the-kids-how-it's-done feel. And it's been warmly welcomed, including by the audiences at the recent "Matator at 21" shindig in Las Vegas.
Superchunk's tour stop tonight at the Music Box offers another seminal band from decades past: The Vaselines, whose first album 20 years, Sex With an X, has been met with warm reviews.
Elsewhere: Manu Chao, fresh off a weekend set at the Cypress Hill SmokeOut, visits the Troubadour. ... Broken Social Scene finishes off a two-month, 26-date U.S. tour by headlining the Wiltern .... And Deer Tick, along with J Roddy Walston and the Business, rocks the El Rey Theatre.
Also: Interpol and White Rabbits at the Fox Theater in Pomona; Ra Ra Riot at the Glass House in Pomona; Jason Diaz' album-release show for "Stomp Out the Sun" at the Bootleg Theater; Butterfly Bones at Spaceland; Scout Niblett and Fort King at the Echo; Milktooth and Thurlow at the Silverlake Lounge; Northstar Session at the Hotel Cafe; Andy Grammar at the Roxy; Accept at the Key Club; Amy Speace, Andy Friedman and Dave McGraw at the Mint; and the Shoos at the Viper Room.