We don’t like to abuse the privilege of using exclamation points in our headlines, but this one deserves at least three of ‘em.
The North Carolina indie-rock institution Superchunk, who seemed prepared to pass Minnesota by on its current tour, is in fact playing at Grumpy’s Northeast during Art-a-Whirl on May 19, as part of what’s being billed as the bar’s “20th anniversary bash.” (Other acts are TBA right now.) Its Superchunk's first Twin Cities show since 2010.
Why break the exclamation point ban for this? Well, Superchunk formed in 1989, the same year band members Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance started Merge Records, the indie label that would thrive in the early part of the 21st century with releases from Arcade Fire, Spoon, and whole bunch of other bands you like, even as Superchunk themselves took it easy.
Then in 2010 Superchunk returned with their first album in nearly a decade, Majesty Shredding, which was improbably even better than the music from their ‘90s heyday. (We had an extensive talk with Mac around that time.) And if creeping fascism has got you down, the band’s most recent album, What a Time to Be Alive, is just the soul-rousing soundtrack to resistance you need. “These indie lifers sound miraculously energized by how the sheer unacceptability of our political age requires them to rise up,” as some doofus raved on this selfsame website you’re reading right now.
Art-a-Whirl schedules are starting to pop up here and there. Notables at the 331 Club will include Mark Mallman, Charlie Parr, and All Tomorrow's Petty. The lineup to Indeed Brewing Company's Whirlygig, with headliners Black-Eyed Snakes, Happy Apple, and PHO, has been posted here. We’ll get a full list of them up as we get closer to the three-day Northeast Minneapolis art and music festival. Until then, check out this cool-ass Tom Hazelmyer poster.