SXSW Day Party: Mac McCaughan

Superchunk captain rides pretty smooth on just an acoustic

Superchunk leader and Merge Records founder Mac McCaughan showed up to Mellow Johnny’s bike shop downtown with just an acoustic guitar and some songs. Shocking, right? While there wasn’t much rockness to it, stripped of the thrash and pop, some of the songs hold up remarkably well. Others less so.

Photo by Sandy Carson

Fitting nicely into the former category were a trio of songs from last year’s Superchunk comeback, I Hate Music, the best of which was “Overflows,” a song McCaughan copped to never having played live. “Breaking Down” and “Me and You and Jackie Mittoo” were similarly smooth on just an acoustic. Dare we say the latter sounded macka fat?

On the other ends of the spectrum was closer “Detroit Has a Skyline,” which fulfilled a request, but doesn’t work as well without full-band backing. In between were a couple of Portastatic songs from Summer of the Shark and Be Still Please. Gonna guess McCaughan hasn’t spent a significant amount of time wandering amongst the masses, because he opted not to go with “Through with People.”

Throw in a couple of tracks from Superchunk’s recently reissued Indoor Living (“Watery Hands” also holds up) and that was pretty much it. Short and to the point, though the point could’ve had a slightly better song selection. Given McCaughan’s catalog, that’s totally nitpicking.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Angel Olsen Entrances Mohawk
Angel Olsen Entrances Mohawk
Her other shoe drops tonight at the Red River favorite

Abby Johnston, Feb. 7, 2017

Out of the Gutter
Out of the Gutter
The Bulemics grow up

Tim Stegall, April 1, 2016

More by Michael Bertin
Margaret Moser Tribute: Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

June 30, 2017

SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
Little packages of just-so honesty

March 15, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Mac McCaughan, SXSW Music 2014, Superchunk, Portastatic, Merge Records, Mellow Johnny’s

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle