OUT ON THE WING: Superchunk — sans Laura Ballance — plays Union Transfer on Tuesday.
Let’s talk about “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo.” It’s the first single from Superchunk’s I Hate Music (Merge), and it’s a total heartbreaker. Starts off with a classic down-staircasing rock riff, kinda clean, a little muted. The drums come in with the vocals, Mac McCaughan’s upper-register everyman voice declaring: “I hate music. What is it worth? Can’t bring anyone back to this earth.” That stings a little. After decades co-steering one of the most beloved indie-rock bands and most respected indie labels on the planet, Mac knows a thing or two about what music can and can’t do. Two breaths later, he’s resigning himself to the path he’s chosen with a line that’s both exhilarating as pre-chorus ramp-up and heavy with futility: “But I’ve got nothing else so I guess here we go.” Makes my scalp tingle, the way he sings it. And the scene that follows is that old indie-rock American dream: crammed into a van, feet on the dash, reggae in the cassette deck, sweet summer breeze. So the dream is alive? Or is Mac just looking back? “A half an hour at the Record Exchange. We were always together. We were never the same.” It’s beautiful and it hurts.
Tue., Sept. 24, 8 p.m., $10, with Spider Bags, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 215-232-2100, utphilly.com.
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