Tag Archives: Merge

New Mountain Goats wrestling video featuring Chavo Guerrero

Video: The Mountain Goats – “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero”

The Mountain Goats "The Legend of Chavo Guerrero" (Official Music Video)

Just like every middle school aged boy in the early 80s, I got into professional wrestling for a while. It probably started with seeing Hulk “Thunderlips” Hogan in Rocky III, but who knows? Wrestling was booming with Cyndi Lauper videos featuring Capt. Lou Albano and Hulkmania spreading everywhere. My pals and I would attempt figure-fours and piledrivers on each other in our basements. I can no longer remember who was a good guy and who was bad, but they were all impressive characters: Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Iron Sheik, King Kong Bundy, Brutus Beefcake, Big John Studd, Sgt. Slaughter. Very exciting stuff when you’re a kid.

I’d never heard of Chavo Guerrero. As John Darnielle admits, Guerrero was “almost completely unknown outside of Texas and the west coast.” But I love him now because of this video. By now, we all know Darnielle’s back story as covered on 2005’s breakthrough album The Sunset Tree: his stepfather was abusive and cruel, but also intellectual and complex. “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” rises above being just a tribute to a childhood hero in the verse where Darnielle directly addresses his stepfather:

He was my hero back when I was a kid
You let me down but Chavo never did

At this point in the video, JD has one hand on Chavo’s shoulder and points straight at the camera with his other hand. In the previous verse Darnielle admitted, “I hated Chavo’s enemies, I would pray nightly for their death,” and in recent interviews he has said that his stepfather always rooted for the heels. So the next lines are even more powerful:

You called him names just to get beneath my skin
Now your ashes are scattered in the wind

Chavo makes a “Whoa!” face in the video, sort of like “Dude, did you just say that? Did you just suggest that your prayers were answered? That your stepfather was my enemy and you prayed for his death and now he’s dead? Whoa, dude!”

It’s awesome.

Beat the Champ is out now on Merge Records.

New Mountain Goats video: Cry for Judas

Video: The Mountain Goats – “Cry for Judas”

The Mountain Goats – Cry for Judas

Looks like Merge Records gave the Mountain Goats a video budget! Peter Hughes plays the dad and he has two daughters, one with a bloody nose and one who worships Satan.

His wife apparently once cheated on him in the garage with Jon Wurster, the very same garage where Hughes now helps his Satanic daughter fix her bike. Ultimately, Hughes murders John Darnielle in the very same garage. Or perhaps the wife actually cheated with Darnielle, and the murder scene is a flashback. Who knows?

Regardless, the message is clear: we all do bad things. Wives cheat, husbands kill, daughters get knocked up, other daughters worship the devil and make spooky art. And yet the important thing is to survive. “I’m still here, but all is lost.”

The acting in this is remarkably good for a music video. Especially Peter Hughes and both daughters. Subtle but sublime. Of course, the rat steals the show, that little fucking ham.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Cry For Judas” (SoundCloud link)

Mountain Goats releasing 100% analog 7-inch

In his characteristically verbose new album announcement, the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle revealed a pretty exciting bonus item for those who pre-order the album:

On this last tour that I just got home from, I went into Cloud City with Brandon and recorded four more songs by myself directly to 1/2″ tape without overdubs, and from those four, two will be cut directly from the tape to a 7″. The first pre-orders of the album will come with a copy of this 7″, whose songs will probably be available digitally before long; the actual vinyl single, though, will be the end-point of a truly live all-analog chain that was never converted at any point to ones and zeroes, which as one of Those Guys makes me ridiculously happy.

For the previous album, All Eternals Deck, pre-orders came with a cassette tape of acoustic demos. That was cool and very lo-fi. This new 7″ has the potential — if mastered properly — to be the highest fidelity recording the Mountain Goats have ever released. Which is kind of funny if you think about where they started (boombox recordings released on cassette). Anyway, this is the kind of thing that makes geeks like me super excited.

The new album, Transcendental Youth, is due October 2 on Merge Records, and pre-orders begin July 23.

1. Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
2. Lakeside View Apartments Suite
3. Cry for Judas
4. Harlem Roulette
5. White Cedar
6. Until I Am Whole
7. Night Light
8. The Diaz Brothers
9. Counterfeit Florida Plates
10. In Memory of Satan
11. Spent Gladiator 2
12. Transcendental Youth

Also, be sure to read John Hodgman’s biographical details regarding John Darnielle and the Mountain Goats.

Video: The Mountain Goats – “Transcendental Youth” (live)

Video: The Mountain Goats – “White Cedar” (live)

New She and Him video: Don’t Look Back

Video: She & Him – Don’t Look Back from Merge Records

Good heavens, just when you think there’s no way that Zooey Deschanel could possibly get any cuter, she releases yet another video that ramps up her adorability factor once again. I’ve recently been revisiting Nancy Sinatra’s catalog for the first time in a while, and She & Him definitely fit within that tradition. This video premiered on Design*Sponge, which makes sense considering the props, but who can pay attention to the furniture when Miss Zooey is doing the Shimmy?

She and HIm: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, eMusic, MOG, wiki

Wye Oak – Civilian

MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian” from Civilian, due March 8 on Merge.

Listen to this one all the way through. It gets better. And then once you think it’s done getting better, it gets even better.

Wye Oak: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, eMusic, MOG, wiki

Continue reading Wye Oak – Civilian

Congrats to Arcade Fire and Merge Records

Arcade Fire - The SuburbsAnother great sales week for independent music. Merge is one of the coolest record labels out there, so it’s great to see them with the best selling album in the country. I’ve still only listened to The Suburbs one time through, and I skipped their set at Lollapalooza on Sunday, but I’m still proud of the band.

It’s no secret that Amazon was selling the MP3 album for $3.99 all week, and 62% of its sales were digital. Not sure how many of those 97,000 downloads were via Amazon vs. iTunes (who sold it for $9.99), but regardless of how that shakes out, the bottom line is that 156,000 people bought The Suburbs last week. I actually hope the $3.99 deal becomes a trend. That seems like a fair price for a lossy download. Billboard 200:

1. Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs” – 156,000 (debut)

2. Eminem – “Recovery” – 152,000 (down 4%)

3. Avenged Sevenfold – “Nightmare” – 45,000 (down 72%)

4. Bun B – “Trill O.G.” – 41,000 (debut)

5. Rick Ross – “Teflon Don” – 39,000 (down 37%)

6. Lady Gaga – “The Remix” – 39,000 (debut)

7. Justin Bieber – “My World 2.0” – 37,000 (down 2%)

8. Drake – “Thank Me Later” – 31,000 (down 9%)

9. Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now” – 29,000 (up 4%)

10. Buckcherry – “All Night Long” – 28,000 (debut)

Continue reading Congrats to Arcade Fire and Merge Records

The Extra Lens – Only Existing Footage

MP3: The Extra Lens – “Only Existing Footage” from Undercard, due October 19 on Merge.

Formerly known as the Extra Glenns, the collaboration between Franklin Bruno and the Mountain Goats‘ John Darnielle has already produced one fine album, Martial Arts Weekend (Absolutely Kosher, 2002), and judging from this new song it seems as though they’ve done it again. “Only Existing Footage” tells the story of the doomed film production: “Blocking’s pretty good but there’s a gate hair on the lens / And the script girl’s wandered off so we improvise the plot / Lousy continuity. The coats won’t match from shot to shot.” But of course, it’s about much more than that: “Annihilation’s been pouring since it found out where I drink.”

In related news, the Mountain Goats have signed to Merge after six albums for 4AD.

Extra Lens: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Continue reading The Extra Lens – Only Existing Footage

Superchunk – Digging for Something

Superchunk - Digging for SomethingMP3: Superchunk – “Digging for Something” from Majesty Shredding, due September 14 on Merge.

And if that’s not enough Chunk for you, Merge is also issuing remastered versions of classics No Pocky for Kitty (1991) and On the Mouth (1993) on August 17. Here’s a taste:

MP3: Superchunk – “Skip Steps 1 & 3” from No Pocky for Kitty.

These are good times to be a Superchunk fan.

Superchunk: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, twitter.

New She and Him video: Thieves

Video: She & Him – “Thieves”

Grainy…and magical! Directed by Norwood Cheek. From the album Volume Two.

MP3: She & Him – “Thieves” (via fr0k)

She and Him: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Superchunk at Taste of Randolph Street

Superchunk in ChicagoWhat better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to leave your kid with a babysitter and head down to a street festival to see Superchunk? That’s as good as it gets, as far as I’m concerned. And by the looks of the crowd last night on Randolph Street, there are plenty of other dads who would agree with me.

Streets fairs are a summer ritual in Chicago, happening every weekend in neighborhoods across the city, but most of them feature the same crappy vendors and the same bland cover bands. You still go, of course, because it’s summer in Chicago, and it feels great to finally be warm and to walk down the middle of the street with a $5 plastic cup of Miller Lite. But Randolph Street boasts some of the best restaurants in town, and whoever books the entertainment for the event knows what they’re doing. Last year’s Taste featured the Posies, Tinted Windows, and the Hold Steady. Several years ago I saw Evan Dando (with Juliana Hatfield!) there.

Continue reading Superchunk at Taste of Randolph Street