Superchunk, The Mountain Goats and The Ponys rock out Metro. - Oh My Rockness

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Superchunk, The Mountain Goats and The Ponys rock out Metro.

June 11, 2007
Woah! This might be the best 1-2-3 line-up of Chicago's summer show season (festivals don't count). The mighty Superchunk return (after a long hiatus) to Chicago! The legendary band will be performing their quintessential indie guitar rock at Metro. And everyone's favorite troubadour, John Darnielle, and his Moutain Goats will be there too! And Chicago's The Ponys will open up the night right in garage-punk style. Wow. What a bill. And it's for a good cause too. This show is the Eff Cancer Benefit.

North Carolina's Superchunk formed in 1989 and are surprisingly still rocking around, albeit with less frequency than their 90's heyday. The band disappeared for a few years (they haven't released a full-length album in six years), but they never officially disbanded. Their lack of activity is probably because they've been busy as hell. You certainly can't call these guys slack motherfuckers. Merge Records (founded by members Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance) is one of the biggest indie record labels on the planet (Neutral Milk Hotel. Arcade Fire.) and Mac's other wonderful band, Portastatic, has received great acclaim and certainly keeps his hands full on the touring/studio tip.

But all the members still come together to bust out Superchunk when they can. After all, it's not often you can take part in a band that's almost unanimously considered "seminal." Superchunk's influence on indie rock (as we have come to know it) can't be overstated. They were one of the pioneers of that lo-fi guitar rock sound that, for awhile there, was known as "college rock." But you didn't have to be a Lit major to appreciate these guys. (Plus, Superchunk always managed to rock out just a little harder than Pavement.) It's good to have them back.

Also playing is The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle is a troubadour in the truest sense. In what is essentially a solo project with a revolving door of musicians, Darnielle utilizes his nasal (love it or hate it) voice and frantic acoustic guitar strumming to weave lyrical and highly metaphorical tales, epic in scope and dysfunctional in nature. At least I'm pretty sure they're dysfunctional, as oftentimes I have no idea what he's talking about. But with songs about vultures, Linda Blair and lung collapse, functional would be the last adjective I'd use. We may scratch our heads a lot when Darnielle sings out these songs, but they are every bit enthralling. I love these guys.

Starting things off are Chicago's The Ponys. This band is always up for a good garage-punk rock-out, and they've just gotten better with age. The songs on their latest album, "Turn the Lights Out," represent their most focused and complex work to date.

Get ready for a great one!

Superchunk, The Mountain Goats and The Ponys play The Metro, on Wednesday, June 20th.


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