Troubadour Presents


Rosemount Hotel (North Perth, WA)
Tuesday, 10 December 2024 7:00 pm
138 days away
18 Plus

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General Admission 18+
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In 1994, Superchunk released their fourth LP during a difficult time for the band. “Foolish,” characterized by its raw emotion, gritty aesthetic, and big hooks, captured the essence of an era and etched itself into the hearts of its listeners. The album resonates through its urgent sound, encapsulating the intensity of personal strife between band members that feeds into the emotional force of each track.

Brian Paulson led the production of "Foolish," which was intentionally raw yet crystal clear. The lyrics and rough instrumentation were able to cut through the noise. The album was recorded in the spacious Pachyderm Studios and mixed in Steve Albini's cozy setup, giving it a fresh and unprocessed sound. It's more than just music, though. It's a cathartic outpouring of the soul, with heart-wrenching stories woven into the sturdy strums of indie rock.

"Driveway to Driveway" and "Like a Fool" are standout tracks, showing off how Superchunk can craft catchy melodies that pack an emotional punch. The album's real magic is its ability to sneak up on you with hooks that stick in your head and a depth of expression that's easy to overlook.

Now, as "Foolish" celebrates its 30th anniversary, it's a classic that has influenced countless musicians. The album's lasting appeal is a testament to its raw power, timeless storytelling, and musicianship. Superchunk's performances were always dynamic and emotional, and they've kept their vital presence within indie rock.

Let's jump in if you're ready to revisit the rugged charm of "Foolish" with us. Explore how the textures of pain and resilience are woven into Superchunk's poignant delivery, and join us in revisiting a pivotal chapter in indie rock history. Whether you're a fan or just starting to listen, "Foolish" is a trip back to '90s rock that hits you right in the feels.

Superchunk evolved out of the fertile indie scene in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the late nineteen-eighties. Their lineup hasn’t changed much. McCaughan sings and plays guitar, Jim Wilbur also plays guitar, and Laura Ballance plays bass. The band’s first drummer was Chuck Garrison—Chunk, the band’s original name, was a misspelling of his name in the local phone book. He was kicked out after two records; Jon Wurster joined up and still mans the kit.

McCaughan and Ballance also co-founded Merge Records, in 1989, to release seven-inch singles by Superchunk and other Chapel Hill bands. Merge is now best known as the label that broke Arcade Fire. McCaughan and Ballance were a couple during the band’s early years. As recounted in the book “Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records,” an oral history of the label and its artists, Mac taught Laura to play bass essentially as a ploy to date her. “Foolish” is about their breakup—and yet they both play on the album; the band didn’t break up. Instead, they made their best record and kept going by doing something un-rock and roll: growing up.

To date, Superchunk has released twelve full-length albums, including, most recently, “Wild Loneliness,” and three collections of singles and rarities. That’s a huge discography for any indie band. Their 1990 self-titled début is loud and punky, presaging the rise of grunge over the next couple of years. It’s not unlike Green Day’s contemporaneous early music—catchy but full of sharp edges, especially on the song “Slack Motherfucker,” an obscure Gen X anthem. This record, as well as the subsequent year’s follow-up, “No Pocky for Kitty” and “On the Mouth,” were all released by the fledgling Matador Records, which would go on to be the standard bearer of nineties indie music. When Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out, major labels swarmed around Superchunk and its peers, desperate to sign anything that might grab the attention of Nirvana’s MTV-inspired fans.

Then came McCaughan and Ballance’s break up, which resulted in “Foolish”—Superchunk’s breakout, their “Nevermind,” though on a much smaller scale. Superchunk fended off the major labels and decided to leave Matador when the label signed a distribution agreement with Atlantic, opting to release their fourth album on their own label, Merge, keeping control of their art and helping to launch Merge toward its glorious future. No selling out for Superchunk. According to the liner notes for the 2011 reissue, “Foolish” became one of Merge’s biggest sellers, and it brought Superchunk to the attention of kids like me, who were only just tuning in to underground sounds.