Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Behind the 'Stache

Who is this mysterious figure at the microphone? He somewhat resembles Ross from The Broken West, but we can't be sure because of the strange growth on his upper lip. Watch the video or go see the band on tour and help us solve the mystery behind the 'stache!

Check out an mp3 and track review on Pitchfork today HERE

And you can buy The Broken West's debut, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, HERE

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

M. Ward woos them in Park City

M. Ward is making the rounds at Sundance this year, helping to promote his work on the soundtrack/score for Martin Hynes' The Go Getter. Over the weekend he stopped by the Wholphin party-condo to kick some ass in foosball and later performed a duet with Zooey Deschanel, one of the stars of the film, at the Celcius Lounge.

The folks over at the Wholphin Blog have the SCOOP.


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Guest Bloggers: The Rosebuds!

We have been invited to go to Russia for a show in February.

I wish I could read this in the original Russian, but here is a translation of an Aleksandr Pushkin poem called The Prophet.

Tormented by spiritual thirst I dragged myself through a sombre desert. And a six-winged seraph appeared to me at the crossing of the ways. He touched my eyes with fingers as light as a dream: and my prophetic eyes opened like those of a frightened eagle. He touched my ears and they were filled with noise and ringing: and I heard the shuttering of the heavens, and the flight of the angels in the heights, and the movement of the beasts of the sea under the waters, and the sound of the vine growing in the valley. He bent down to my mouth and tore out my tongue, sinful, deceitful, and given to idle talk; and with his right hand steeped in blood he inserted the forked tongue of a wise serpent into my benumbed mouth. He clove my breast with a sword, and plucked out my quivering heart, and thrust a coal of live fire into my gaping breast. Like a corpse I lay in the desert. And the voice of God called out to me: 'Arise, O prophet, see and hear, be filled with My will, go forth over the land and sea, and set the hearts of men on fire with your Word.'

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Friday, January 19, 2007


If, like me, you completely spaced and missed Portastatic's performance and interview with David Dye on yesterday's World Cafe broadcast, fear not...the internets are here to save you.

Through the wonder of streaming audio technology and something called "archiving", one can now listen to Mac and the gang performing 4 songs in-studio, as well as an engaging conversation about Portastatic, Superchunk and Merge...the past, present and future of all three...and much much more.

Very engaging stuff. Check it out HERE.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the internet is way cool!


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MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (FINAL ENTRY)

LAURA BALLANCE (Merge Records/Superchunk)
(*Pictured here with Julia Rydholm of the Essex Green & Ladybug Transistor)

Well, normally I don't do these top ten things, and I wasn't going to this year either. I have a two year old baby, and I really am still all about that and can't seem to fall too hard for anything that does not have to do with her or feeding or entertaining her, and who wants to hear about that!? When I saw that Mac was put up on this blog as "our fearless leader" I had to wonder what my title, as the other half of the Merge foundation would be according to the publicity department. Curiosity overcame me. It could easily be "Our Fearful Leader" as that seems to be my role very often! You gotta have someone saying "No, No, No!" Anyway, who am I to say no one wants to read about my preoccupation with food and children's books? There are parents I know of who like Merge. Maybe they will like reading this. - Laura

1. The Story Of Ferdinand: One of my favorite kid's books of all time, plus the name a friend of ours 5 foot blacksnake buddy, who accidentally wound up at our house when his truck was brought over to our house for repair. The snake came out of the truck and all sorts of wacky hijinks ensued in order to get him captured so that he could be safely transported back to the farm where he belonged. We have told the story several times. The Story of Ferdinand.

2. Owl Babies: a very sweet story, that I don't mind reading over and over again.

3. Making yogurt: I learned how to make yogurt this year, and I feel seriously empowered.

4. Salty licorice

5. Tortellini Soup: chicken stock, parm rind, garlic, tortellini, kale, a little salt. Can't beat it.

6. Ron's bread: This amazing man in our neighborhood, who in real life is some sort of scientist, becomes a baking superman on the weekends and makes the best bread I have ever eaten and delivers it, piping hot, to our houses.

7. Pomegranates, avocados, artichokes, sweet potatoes, and tiny bananas. Wow, is it possible that I am hungry?

8. The Portastatic/ Lambchop/ M. Ward show at the Cradle. We got a sitter and both the husband and I went out, and man, it was worth it.

9. The Science of Sleep. Ok, I saw two movies this year, this one and Borat. I was definitely NOT into Borat, much to my disappointment..

10. Sweet Juniper: a blog about being a parent. They like music too.

(ED note: We started out these Best of 2006 lists back before the holidays with an entry from Superchunk and Merge co-founder Mac McCaughan. Many thanks to everyone who took part and to all of you who left your comments (sorry about the lack of Bejar, I tried, really, I tried!!) Now, what better way to wrap things up than with an entry from the other (usually silent in these matters) half of our leadership team - our fearful leader? ... ( I kid Laura, really, I kid - Look!! You contributed to the blog!!)...Hope you all enjoyed the fun. Until next year... - martin)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 15)

MARTIN HALL (Merge Records)

These are a few of my favorite things from 2006...

GAME 7 - Stanley Cup Finals - Being there. Amazing.
Carolina Hurricanes - 2005-2006 Stanley Cup Champions
The Office- TV Show
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - TV Show
My Name Is Earl - TV Show
Christmas In A Box - SNL
We Jam Econo - The Minutemen (DVD)
MiddleSex - Jeffrey Eugneides
Drop City - T. C. Boyle
Election Night - 2006
The Daily Show - Ten F#@king Years - The Concert - Superchunk rocking the house old-school style.

(and some music...)

Cailfone - Roots And Crowns
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Cat Power - The Greatest
Six Organs Of Admittance - Sun Awakens
Girl Talk - Night Ripper
Ornette Coleman - Sound Grammar
Eric Bachmann - To The Races
Oakley Hall - Gypsum Strings / Second Guessing
Swan Lake - Beast Moans
Tom Waits - Orphans & Brawlers
The Dead C - Vain, Erudite and Stupid: Selected Works 1987-2005

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THE BROKEN WEST - "Artist Of The Day" -

In advance of the Jan 23rd release of their debut CD, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, Merge recording artists The Broken West have been selected as the Artist Of The Day on SPIN.COM.

You can check out the feature HERE.

And don't forget to Rate It on the drop down menu to the right of the page.

The ratings are tallies and totalled to select Artist of the Week, Artist of The Month and eventually Artist of The Year.

Vote early. Vote often.


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 14)

BILL BAREFOOT (Merge Records)

The old man weighs in...

My Top 13 Reissues for 2006 [in no particular order after The Clash]:

The Clash - Singles Box
Gram Parsons - The Complete Reprise Sessions
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend - Legacy Edition
Pulp - His 'N' Hers, Different Class & Hardcore - Deluxe Editions
Pretenders - Pretenders I & Pretenders II - Deluxe Editions
Karen Dalton - In My Own Time
Johnny Cash - Live At San Quentin - Legacy Edition CD/DVD Box
David Byrne & Brian Eno - My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
R.E.M. - And I Feel Fine-The Best Of The I.R.S. Years
The Cure - The Top, The Head On The Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me & The Glove - Blue Sunshine Deluxe Editions
Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road - Deluxe Edition
Spoon - Telephono/Soft Effects
The dBs - Like This

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 13)


Top 10 of 2006

1. Becoming a homeowner!
2. Being crowned Team Clermont's PBR Prom Queen
3. Sexiest Phone Voice award winner from CMJ
4. 'Canes winning the cup
5. Canadian Adventure
6. Birth of the JizzBlog!
7. My sister's wedding in October.
8. The Broken West and White Whale joining the Merge family
9. Hardwood floors
10. Take 5's

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 12)

SAN FAYDL (Ladybug Transistor)

Hmmm, so last year I sent you guys something, and it actually APPEARED (!) on your website.... YIKES! So here I go again, pushing my luck. As per usual, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with top 10 albums, films etc. (My Top 10 albums have been
roughly the same since 1967.... :0). Hope you like it. :) Love & miss you guys, San in Swizzy. XOXO


10 You get plenty of healthy excercise, carrying gear up and down horribly steep steps, to trains, busses and venues without elevators.

9 You face daily the wonderful challenge of trying to explain to your family and friends, the joys of playing music for less than the minimum wage.

8 You end up posessing a deeper sense of appreciation in simple things, that most people take for granted.... such as food.

7 When you do finally get that job in your local suburban music store, it's actually a step up.

6 You get to hear and see in person, so many trendy young bands passing you by on their way to the top.

5 You will never feel the unbearable pressure to kill yourself, because you're on your way down.

4 At least you're not a struggling "Slam Poet".

3 You are happy and secure in the knowledge that your love life will always be new and exciting, because absolutely no one is stupid enough to stay in a long term relationship with you.

2 You have "cred" by default.

1 Because successful musicians are such GOD AWFUL BORES!!!

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Monday, January 08, 2007

THE BROKEN WEST - FREE shows in LA / Walkmen tour

Hey Kids,

If any of you find yourselves in the LA area tonight looking for something cool to do, skip on over to Spaceland in Silverlake to catch The Broken West. Tonight is the first in a month long series of shows at Spaceland. The Broken West will be performing for FREE every Monday night until the end of January (1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29). How cool is that? There will also be a free CD Release show at Sea Level Records in LA on Jan 23rd.

Also on the Broken West tour news front, the lads recently confirmed a whole slew of dates opening for the The Walkmen (March 9th - 23rd). You can check out all of the band's currently confirmed dates for 2007 HERE.

More dates to come for sure, so stay tuned.

Tour Dates for The Walkmen/The Broken West:

03.09.2007 Baltimore MD (Ottobar)
03.10.2007 Columbus OH (Little Brothers)
03.11.2007 Chicago IL (Schuba's Tavern)
03.12.2007 Newport KY (Southgate House)
03.13.2007 Louisville KY (Headliners Music Hall)
03.18.2007 New Orleans LA (The Parish at House of Blues)
03.19.2007 Tallahassee FL (Beta Bar)
03.20.2007 Athens GA (40 Watt Club)
03.21.2007 Asheville NC (Grey Eagle)
03.22.2007 Chapel Hill NC (Local 506)
03.23.2007 Washington DC (Rock and Roll Hotel)


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MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 11)

PAT SULLIVAN (Oakley Hall)

1. Post-War - M Ward
2. Living With War - Neil Young
3. Happy New Year- Oneida
4. Return To Cookie Mountain - TV on the Radio
5. Rabbit Fur Coat - Jennie Lewis & The Watson Twins
6. Get Right With God - The Dirty Faces
7. Awesome Color - Awesome Color
8. Sexteen - Home
9. In My Own Time (reissue) - Karen Dalton
10.Show Your Bones - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

JESSE BARNES (Oakley Hall)

1. Return to Cookie Mountain - TV on the Radio
2. Live at Fillmore East - Neil Young & Crazy Horse (circa 1970)
3. Age of Winters - The Sword
4. Conference of The Birds - Om
5. From a Compound Eye - Robert Pollard
6. Axis of Evol - The Pink Mountaintops
7. Fishscale - Ghostface Killah
8. Show Your Bones - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9. Avatar - Comets on Fire
10. The Life Pursuit - Belle & Sebastian

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Friday, January 05, 2007

ACADE FIRE - NYC SHOWS (Feb 13th-17th)- SOLD OUT!!!

As anyone who was trying to get them knows by now, tickets went on sale for the upcoming ARCADE FIRE shows in NYC (Feb 13th-17th) this morning and promptly sold out in a MATTER OF MINUTES.

For those lucky enough to get tickets, congratulations! For those not so lucky, do not depair - you will have plenty of other opportunities to see the band in the coming year, in venues with much larger capacities. Patience young grasshoppers.

If any of you who were not able to get tickets were planning on trying to score a pair via eBay, Craigslist, etc...

PLEASE NOTE the following from the Bowery Presents website:


The ticket purchaser must enter the venue.
Copies of ID, Credit Card or Confirmation email WILL NOT be accepted for entry.
Only complete parties will be admitted.
Please DO NOT buy tickets on eBay, Craig's List, etc.

These policies have been put in place to protect you, the fervent Arcade Fire fan, from weasel-faced scalpers who would try to fleece you of a month's rent (or more) just to see a rock show. This might seem harsh at the moment, but believe me you will thank us later, when you are not kicked out on the street for failure to pay your bills. $2000 for tickets to see a rock show? That's just silly.


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MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 10)

BRIAN WHELAN (The Broken West)

1. Guitars Forever - The World Record
2. Born Again in the USA - Loose Fur
3. The Life Pursuit - Belle & Sebastian
4. Sugarfinger - Randy Weeks
5. The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 - PJ Harvey
6. St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley
7. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
8. The Devil You Know - Todd Snider
9. Samme Stof Som Stof - Under Byen
10. Till the Sun Turns Black - Ray Lamontagne

ROSS FLOURNOY (The Broken West)

I decided to do my top 15 songs (unranked) of 2006. I'm the kind of person who, if I fall in love with a song, will play it on repeat for 3 to 4 days straight. Here are 15 songs released in 2006 I did that with:

"Pushover" -- The Long Winters
"Serious" -- The World Record
"Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken" -- Camera Obscura
"Chinese Translation" -- M. Ward
"Incinerate" -- Sonic Youth
"The Blues Are Still Blue" -- Belle & Sebastian
"U.S. Mustard Company" -- Robert Pollard
"Ever Thought of Coming Back" -- Kelley Stoltz
"Hey Chicken" -- Loose Fur
"Breaking the Ice" -- Mojave 3
"It Looks Like Love" -- Josh Rouse
"Beanbag Chair" -- Yo La Tengo
"Sour Shores" -- Portastatic
"Confidence Man" -- Oakley Hall
"Don't Take My Sunshine Away" -- Sparklehorse

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 9)

WILSON FULLER (Merge Mailorder/Dungeon Master)

favorites: non-merge; alphabetical:

Au Revoir Simone - Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad Of The Broken Seas
The Coup - Pick A Bigger Weapon
Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens
The Exploding Hearts - Shattered
Mew - And The Glass-handed Kites
Mountain Goats - Babylon Springs EP
Saturday Looks Good To Me - Sound on Sound
The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 8)

CHRISTINA RENTZ (Merge - Publicity/Radio)

1. JizzBlog - Check it out for yourself: - you won't be sorry!
2. TV Podcast - Listening to nerds talk about TV makes you forget you are, in fact, a nerd, too!
3. Go Fug Yourself - Snarky commentary about terrible Celebrity Fashion. I want to be a Fug Girl soo bad!
4. White Whale @ SXSW - 3/18/06 - You just had to be there. A legend is born. WHITE FUCKING WHALE!
5. Carolina Hurricanes - I am a newly christened 'Caniac. Hockey is Carolina's Game!
6. Office Hottie Wall - Hot Doctors, Jens, Neko Case and so much more. A wall of hottness, indeed.
7. Matt Morseth - My newly adopted son who makes everything more fun. Everyone needs a little Morseth in their life! Cheers to you, Noodle D!
8. Merge Super-Tuesday: Portastatic, M. Ward & Lambchop @ The Cat's Cradle -9/19/06 - Wow. I can't believe I saw this show.
9. The Broken West Live Merge Debut - 11/3/06 - America, you just wait!
10. DVR - Recording TV with the press of a button. So much for my social life . . .

Oh yeah, and some records...

Fave Non-Merge releases of the year:

Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Eric Bachmann - To the Races
Hot Chip - The Warning
Catfish Haven - Tell Me
Soul Jazz - "Tropicalia"

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

MERGE - Best Of 2006 - The Lists (entry 7)

JULIA RYDHOLM (Essex Green/Ladybug Transistor)

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (and live in Sweden!)
Kelley Stoltz - Below the Branches
Yo La Tengo - I'm Not Afraid of You, And I Will Beat Your Ass
Band of Horses - "The Funeral" (single)
Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Phoenix - "Long Distance Call" (single)
Jackie DeShannon - Laurel Canyon (reissue)
The Decemberists- 'O Valencia!' (single)
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Justin Timberlake
Da' Bears

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