When: Sat., Sept. 7, 1:30 p.m. 2013
When Superchunk returned from a nine-year hiatus in 2010 with Majesty Shredding, they grappled with the fact that they were decidedly grown-up but still playing music that belongs to kids. But on the band’s fantastic new album, I Hate Music (Merge), singer Mac McCaughan isn’t sweating that disconnect. He doesn’t sound self-conscious anymore about why Superchunk are still doing this—he’s got life to deal with. The album title comes from the lyrics of “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo,” which frames memories of carefree band days with the realization that music can’t be your salvation even if you pour decades into an obsession with it—an insight that frees him to feel how truly precious it is. Most of the songs deal with different kinds of relationships and enduring loves, nearly all of them seen through the lens of age, whether as memories or as ongoing concerns. McCaughan doesn’t sound nostalgic or bitter but rather appreciative—after 24 years, Superchunk seem to have decided that simply being able to keep playing music together is reward enough. Though she appears on this record, bassist Laura Ballance has retired from playing live due to hyperacusis, a condition that makes loud sounds painful—on the road she’s being replaced by Evanston bassist Jason Narducy, who’s toured with Bob Mould and Robert Pollard. I’m not sure how this will affect the group’s future, but on I Hate Music they sound as alive, engaged, and relevant as they have at any point in their career—no small feat. —Peter Margasak This set is part of the Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest; for more details, see this week’s Artist on Artist with Neko Case and Mavis Staples. Young the Giant headlines; the Hold Steady, Walkmen, Superchunk (performing at 6:30 PM), the Both (Ted Leo and Aimee Mann), Jon Langford, Girl Group Chicago with the Revelettes, and the Vision Celestial Guitarkestra open.
Price: $40, $70 two-day pass