Superchunk can cause super-hearing loss

superchunk-i-hate-music-stream

After nearly a decade-long hiatus leading up to 2010’s “Majesty Shredding,” indie rock stalwarts Superchunk have bounced back much more quickly with their 10th release, “I Hate Music.”

“We’ve never broken up,” notes bassist and founding member Laura Ballance from the Merge Record headquarters in Chapel Hill. “We knew we wanted to keep playing. We knew once we had a break that we’d probably want to make records again. When we did ‘Majesty Shredding’ it was very much of a ‘we’ll do this and see how it goes’ situation. Who knows? Maybe it would be another 10 years before we made a record — and maybe not. It depends on how much fun we have.”

But along with the fun came sadness. The new album’s ominous title, “I Hate Music,” doesn’t reflect any aging angst or irony. Music has long been an all-encompassing part of the band’s life. Besides playing in Superchunk, Ballance, and lead singer Mac McCaughan, own Merge records, one of the most influential and successful independent record labels of all time. Instead, the title reflects the inability of music to stop life’s tragedies. The record is a tip of the hat and bowing of the head to friend and film production designer David Doernberg, who passed away last year.

“This record is very much about our friend Dave,” says Ballance solemnly. “If you listen to the lyrics in that song ['Me & You & Jackie Mattoo'], it’s interpreting this frustration. Music has been this huge part of our lives and it’s so important to us, but really, what is it worth? People need music and music does have a lot of value, but it can’t change the physical reality of somebody dying.”

With a lyrical focus more mellowed and mature, McCaughan’s nasally nostalgic songs are often travelogues and reverent references to shows and people along the way. And while the subject matter may be heavy, the instrumentation is even heftier with towering guitars, searing solos and the powerful punishment of the drum kit that have long defined the Superchunk sound.

There is one thing that will be noticeably different on this tour, however. After nearly 25 years, Ballance will be sitting out her first ever shows due to hyperacusis, an oversensitivity of the eardrum related to hearing loss. Joining the band on the road will be bassist Jason Narducy.

“I started to notice my ears ringing ages ago,” Ballance notes. “Probably as soon as we started playing together. But I have noticed that my hearing is getting progressively worse. I realized that I was having an increasingly difficult time hearing people who are talking to me. I realized that I want to be able to hear my daughter and hear my grandchildren. I was not doing the right things to make that happen. I love playing for people, but I’ve done it and I’ve done it for 25 years. I think I’ve fulfilled my promise. I don’t want to limit what [the band] can do because I need to limit what I can do. I have been really worried that I was going to be really upset and sad about them playing without me. But I didn’ get upset. I felt liberated. I felt like I had done the right thing.”

Superchunk
Thursday, Sept. 26
The Paradise
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$20, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Superchunk can cause super-hearing loss
Event Category: Hot Tickets
When: September 26, 2013
Time: 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Where: The Paradise
Cost: $20


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.