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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Stereogum: Merge Records Took Over Last Night’s Durham Bulls Game

Mikie Mahtook having Superchunk’s “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” (spelled as Mitoo. oof!) as his walk-up song might be the greatest thing ever.

The indie giant Merge Records is a hometown institution in Durham, North Carolina, and it’s maintained ties with another hometown institution: The Durham Bulls, the local Triple-A baseball team. When SPIN’s David Bevan wrote his great profile of the label last year, much of it took place at a Merge-themed night at the local stadium. And last night, as part of Merge’s 25th anniversary celebrations, the label again took over the ballpark. As SPIN reports, all the players walked to the plate last night to songs from Merge releases (see below), Mount Moriah’s Heather McEntire sang the national anthem, and label co-founder and Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan threw out the first pitch, tweeting afterwards, “Bounced it… Looks like I’m not getting called up after all.”

Repoz Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:01 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: music

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:22 AM (#4720852)
I think Wilson Betemit going to the plate to a song called "We Exist" is the best part. I'm shocked to discover that he's only 32; he's been around forever. I'm also shocked to discover that it's 20 been years since Mac was hazily wandering around the Cat's Cradle in a tuxedo at Merge 5. My goodness.
   2. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4720856)
Indie giant?
   3. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4720860)
Hak-Ju Lee is my new favorite player.
   4. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4720933)
This is pretty cool, but I'm pretty sure Wilson Betemit has never listened to Arcade Fire in his life.
   5. TFTIO can't talk like this -- he's so sorry. Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4720940)
That Redd Kross record was really great, btw.
   6. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4721147)
2 - they have arcade fire, that goes a long way...

Debated between this and post-game fireworks the next night: the demands of fatherhood topped hipster urges once again
   7. eddieot Posted: June 09, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4721891)
No one walked up to Archers Of Loaf on Merge Records night? That's criminal. "Wrong" would be an awesome walk-up song.
   8. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: June 09, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4721904)
If I were a relief pitcher, I'd be tempted to walk out to the opening banjo line from Archers' "Underachiever's March and Fight Song".
   9. Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: June 09, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4721967)
Serious lack of Mountain Goats on that walk up set list. They have several baseball-themed songs, not to mention the dozens of "I will triumph when the Earth turns to ash" tunes that are clear badass.
   10. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 09, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4722016)
No one walked up to Archers Of Loaf on Merge Records night? That's criminal. "Wrong" would be an awesome walk-up song.

The Archers were never really a Merge band. They put out one single on Merge in the '90s, and Merge re-released their albums a couple of years ago, but the original albums came out on Alias (baseball content: Alias was owned by the wife of a part-owner of the San Francisco Giants). The single version of "Wrong" was put out by a local zine.
   11. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 09, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4722103)
Alias was owned by the wife of a part-owner of the San Francisco Giants

Hmmm - didn't know this.

This is likely part local bias, but Merge is a pretty great label - I've bought dozens of releases from them over the years (many before I ever lived here).
   12. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 09, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4722118)
Alias was owned by the wife of a part-owner of the San Francisco Giants

Hmmm - didn't know this.

The story Back In The Day was that a handful of albums set to come out in 1994, including the first ones from the Archers and from fellow locals Small 23, were going to get a big promotional push from the money that was going to go to the Giants' ownership from the 1993 playoffs. Then the Braves won 104 games and so the Alias budget was scaled way back and not nearly so many units were moved. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I prefer to believe that it is.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 09, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4722130)
The story Back In The Day was that a handful of albums set to come out in 1994, including the first ones from the Archers and from fellow locals Small 23, were going to get a big promotional push from the money that was going to go to the Giants' ownership from the 1993 playoffs. Then the Braves won 104 games and so the Alias budget was scaled way back and not nearly so many units were moved. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I prefer to believe that it is.

So that's why the Loud Family never got onto Top 40 radio.

I also thought Alias was a North Carolina label, like fellow pseudo-indie Mammoth.
   14. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 09, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4722134)
Then the Braves won 104 games and so the Alias budget was scaled way back and not nearly so many units were moved. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I prefer to believe that it is.


Coulda signed with Daemon or Matador and avoided this problem, Giants fans.
   15. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 09, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4722155)
I also thought Alias was a North Carolina label, like fellow pseudo-indie Mammoth.

San Francisco (wikipedia agrees). They just signed a couple of North Carolina bands.

(And FWIW, Mammoth was a real indie before Disney bought them and turned them into a pseudo-indie. My impression was that Alias, at least through the '90s, was never owned by a bigger label, just run by people with money and lots of business connections.)
   16. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 09, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4722171)
13 - only fan letter I ever wrote was to Scott Miller...

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