From The Desk Of Mac McCaughan: Durham Farmers’ Market

mac_mccaughanlogo110bbOutdated reference point or not, the anti-apathy sentiment on Superchunk‘s sophomore single “Slack Motherfucker” still seems characteristic of Mac McCaughan 20 years after he wrote it. The recently dormant Superchunk is moving again, and McCaughan also fills his time with Portastatic and co-ownership of Merge Records. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, McCaughan is guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week.

dfm400McCaughan: Yes, we have a bountiful and popular farmer’s market in Carrboro/Chapel Hill, but the revitalized Durham Farmers’ Market often warrants an extra drive for us on Saturday mornings for the usual farmers’ market delicacies: fresh eggs, cheese and green garlic this time of year, but only at the Durham market can one find donut muffins. They are often gone by 9.30 or 10, and they are exactly what they sound like, only 10 times better. The best are the buttermilk donut muffins, covered with cinnamon sugar. Baked by Phoebe Lawless of Scratch Baking. I think there’s butter in buttermilk.

This concludes “Mac McCaughan Week” here at magnetmagazine.com. Thanks to Mac for writing about some really interesting stuff. Be sure to check out Superchunk’s new EP, Leaves In The Gutter, and attend XX Merge in July.

Portastatic covers Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/WhatsSoFunnyBoutPeaceLoveAndUnderstanding.mp3

MP3 At 3PM: Great Northern

greatnorthern400You and your slob bandmates might as well own up to being jealous of Great Northern, the ultra-attractive, cool modern-pop duo from L.A. that soundtracks NBA commercials and pals around with its neighbors in Silversun Pickups. Singer/guitarist Solon Bixler and singer/keyboardist Rachel Stolte unleash sophomore album Remind Me Where The Light Is (Eenie Meenie) on April 28, then hit the road with the Dears for a U.S. tour in May (which they promise to Twitter about). Check out album track “Houses” below, a shoegazey marvel of four sharp chords, femme angst vocals and a divebombing My Bloody Valentine guitar motif. Attn: freeloaders—MAGNET subscribers got an exclusive download of “Snakes,” another track off Remind Me Where The Light Is.

“Houses” (download):

In The News: The Pixies, The Avett Brothers, Franz Ferdinand, Rivers Cuomo And Free MP3s

pixies360The renewed interest in the Pixies (pictured) continues with news of the release of Minotaur (Artist In Residence), all five Pixies albums packaged together on CD and Blu-ray. The box includes reinterpreted artwork by Vaughn Oliver, who created the original LPs’ covers. This monster undertaking is available for pre-order beginning June 15; the deluxe edition is a bargain at $175, with the limited edition going for a measly $450 … The Avett Brothers are in the midst of a 48-show North American tour, with a new album, I And Love And You (American), set for August 11. The jaunt includes eight dates supporting the Dave Matthews Band and one with Widespread Panic. Not sure why. Download “Murder In The City” … Alt-disco divas Franz Ferdinand are releasing Blood (Domino) on June 1. Before you get all excited about new Franz product—and you were getting excited, right?—know that it’s a dub version of this year’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. You can thank—or blame—us later for that information. Download “No You Girls (The Rough Element Remix)” … April 28 sees the release of, regardless of how annoying the guy seems like he might be sometimes, a pretty interesting record from Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live At Fingerprints documents an in-store jam session at the titular Long Beach, Calif., record shop. Cuomo invited 150 fans to bring instruments to the store and form a makeshift band, and the ad-hoc group proceeded to rock out on Weezer classics and other tunes … Feeling charitable? Online magazine Tiny Mix Tapes is selling Tiny Mix Tapes Vol. 1: Darfur, with profits donated to the International Rescue Committee. Xiu Xiu, Jim O’Rourke and others contributed exclusive tracks … Austin instrumentalists Explosions In The Sky are celebrating their 10th anniversary this summer with shows in Los Angeles (June 27), New York (June 30), Chicago (July 2) and Austin (July 4). Of particular note is the New York gig, which will feature Jason Lytle and the Constantines as special guests. Download “Welcome, Ghosts” … While the title of her upcoming record, Abnormally Attracted To Sin (Universal Republic), confirms how annoying she generally is, we’re obliged to let Tori Amos fans know that if they pre-order the deluxe version of the LP at iTunes, they’ll get a special password with access to exclusive concert tickets and other giveaways. The goodies include a download of the first single, “Welcome To England,” and a video interview on release day, May 19 … In these tough economic times, we need leaders to help tax-paying Americans weather the storm. Failing that, Hank Williams Jr. brings us the Bocephus Bailout Package, wherein a lucky contest winner gets some cash ($2,500), the opportunity to be an honorary crew member for a day and a meeting with Bocephus himself. Are you ready for some Hank?!

From The Desk Of Mac McCaughan: Amber Tamblyn “The Loneliest”

mac_mccaughanlogo110bbOutdated reference point or not, the anti-apathy sentiment on Superchunk‘s sophomore single “Slack Motherfucker” still seems characteristic of Mac McCaughan 20 years after he wrote it. The recently dormant Superchunk is moving again, and McCaughan also fills his time with Portastatic and co-ownership of Merge Records. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, McCaughan is guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week.

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McCaughan: In the age of digital dowloadability, this is the kind of art project/art object that can make you feel connected to people and the art, too. Actress Amber Tamblyn wrote haiku poetry; one per page appears in The Loneliest accompanied by collages by artist George Herms, who apparently has had a long and fascinating career at the fringes of The Art World. (I don’t know this because I’ve followed his work for six decades; I read it on the Internet.) But his collages are pretty and Tamblyn’s poetry is off kilter, like the the music of Thelonious Monk, which inspired this “book” (I say book in quotes because it actually is a nicely printed stack of sheets of paper that comes in a cardboard box with a picture of Monk on the front) and seems alternately addressed to a jealous lover and Monk himself. To my knowledge, he and Tamblyn were never involved.

From The Desk Of Mac McCaughan: Amadou And Mariam

mac_mccaughanlogo110bbOutdated reference point or not, the anti-apathy sentiment on Superchunk‘s sophomore single “Slack Motherfucker” still seems characteristic of Mac McCaughan 20 years after he wrote it. The recently dormant Superchunk is moving again, and McCaughan also fills his time with Portastatic and co-ownership of Merge Records. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, McCaughan is guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week.

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McCaughan: There aren’t many acts that I would still try to figure out a way to travel long distances to see, but I’m sitting here with Amadou & Mariam‘s tour dates (supporting their new album, Welcome To Mali) trying to figure out a way to see these wonderful Mali magicians do their thing in person. Their music is a kind of music that makes it hard for me to imagine how people play it and sing it. Not that it’s not human; it’s superhuman in some way, just warm and driving and important.