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Superchunk – Acoustic Foolish – New LP
Merge Records

Superchunk – Acoustic Foolish – New LP

Regular price $ 20.00 $ 0.00

Acoustic Foolish is a re-recording of their 1994 album Foolish. Long considered to be one of the most tender and well-received albums in their storied history, the band was interested in re-exploring what the songs mean to them 25 years later. To quote bandleader Mac McCaughan, don’t expect some kinda “acoustic demos recorded 25 years after the fact” thing here… This is full-band with new arrangements and contributions. Guest vocals by Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes) and Allison Crutchfield (Swearin’, P.S. Eliot). Owen Pallett (the Mountain Goats, Frank Ocean, Arcade Fire) provides string arrangements while Peter Holsapple (The dB’s, R.E.M.) plays piano and Matt Douglas (the Mountain Goats) is on saxophone.

Recorded mainly live in the studio by John Plymale at Overdub Lane.
Strings recorded by Owen Pallett. Sax recorded by Matt Douglas.
Mixed by John Plymale and Mac.

Mac’s notes:

Our original idea for an all-acoustic album was for it to be a selection of songs from all our albums, played in the style of an acoustic performance in a record store or a radio station, which we have done quite a bit of over the years (and documented on the first of our “Clambake” series in 2001).

But with 2019 being the 25th anniversary of the Foolish album, it seemed weirder and more interesting to record an acoustic version of one whole album. I didn’t want this to sound like “acoustic demos recorded 25 years after the fact” or a band trying to “rock out” except on acoustic guitars, though to be fair we do some rocking out. Once we got into the process of learning how to play the songs on acoustic guitars—some of which we had never performed at all—it made sense to make this record its own thing altogether.

When Foolish came out, people kind of freaked out that all the guitar sounds weren’t as distorted as they had been, and it was treated as a radical departure from what we had been doing. Which is funny listening to the original album now because it pretty much sounds like our other records. But I started thinking about the acoustic version of the album as “what Foolish would have sounded like if it were as different as people acted like it was.” So—we have guests, we have strings, we have piano, we have a saxophone!

The songs themselves, extracted from the drama of the moment and what people wanted to write about then, are more applicable to Real Life than I thought they would be. Without the embarrassing angst of the 25-year-old, they are just songs about transitions, holding grudges or trying not to, letting go of things that aren’t healthy, moving through difficult situations and relationships and trying to be “normal” in the course of all that, even though there’s no such thing.

We are lucky to have Allison Crutchfield, Matt Douglas, Peter Holsapple, Owen Pallett, and Jenn Wasner lend their great talents to the record and also lucky that Jon has an arsenal of small bells and a vibraslap.

released May 31, 2019

Superchunk is Laura Ballance, Mac McCaughan, Jim Wilbur and Jon Wurster.

Strings on “Like a Fool and “In a Stage Whisper” arranged and played by Owen Pallett.
Additional vocals on “The First Part” by Allison Crutchfield.
Piano on “Driveway to Driveway” and “Stretched Out” by Peter Holsapple.
Saxophone on “Saving My Ticket” by Matt Douglas.
Additional vocals on “Keeping Track” by Jenn Wasner.

Recorded mainly live in the studio by John Plymale at Overdub Lane.
Strings recorded by Owen Pallett.
Saxophone recorded by Matt Douglas.
Mixed by John Plymale and Mac.
Mastered by Chris Boerner at The Kitchen.

Dogs by Laura, rabbits by Diane Jefferis.
Like a Fool (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:37
The First Part (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 4:14
Water Wings (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:45
Driveway to Driveway (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 4:05
Saving My Ticket (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:29
Kicked In (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:50
Why Do You Have to Put a Date on Everything (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 4:17
Without Blinking (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:14
Keeping Track (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 4:01
Revelations (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:02
Stretched Out (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 4:00
In a Stage Whisper (2019 Acoustic) Superchunk 3:47

Formed in 1989 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk is Mac McCaughan (guitar, vocals), Jim Wilbur (guitar, backing vocals), Jon Wurster (drums, backing vocals), and Laura Ballance (bass, backing vocals). Since releasing their first 7-inch in 1989, Superchunk has run the gamut of milestone albums: early punk rock stompers, polished mid-career masterpieces, and lush, adventurous curveballs

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