Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
Everything anyone ever wanted to know about Merge Records and more lies inside this nearly 300-page congratulatory volume. Twenty years after its creation by Superchunk's Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, the North Carolina label celebrates its triumph over recording industry standards—and rightly so—with photos, first-person accounts and a compilation CD (which, strangely, neglects the early days).
These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.
Hirie • pop, reggae • Nattali Rize • The Riddims • roots, rock • Positrax
By Robin Babb
Listen, all you really need to know about Hirie is that her tour is called “The Woman Comes First Tour.” Ok, I guess you should also know that her album Wandering Soul contains a song called “Sensi Boy,” which is really great. The talented reggae singer brings along Nattali Rize, Riddims and Positrax as openers…
CD Release Party • Get Action! • The Angel Babies • garage • Prism Bitch • punk • Shadows Creep
By August March
In the Sonic Reducer dated Nov. 2-8, 2017, Alibi music critic August March characterized the new Get Action! record as being in possession of “blazing guitars, an overdriven rhythm section and petulant vocals that herd listeners right over the edge of what is socially acceptable.” Was the old git right? Find out for your bad self…
There's a preponderance of evidence to suggest the Canucks are way ahead of us warmth-spoiled southerners with regards to rocanrol. From Rush and April Wine to Common Grackle and NoMoreShapes, those dang northerners are rocking the hell out, cold weather be damned … Anyway, check out the latest iteration of this sub-arctic phenomenon when post-darkwave, folky freaky, soulful psych-singer Chad VanGaalen…