Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mac and Laura launch 'Our Noise' in Durham with performance and Q&A

Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance stopped by The Regulator Bookshop in Durham last night to to celebrate the release of Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records.

The evening started with a duo performance of "Driveway To Driveway" followed by Laura reading a letter she wrote after Merge's five year anniversary. The letter's theme was essentially "How did we get here?" and here they are fifteen more years later from that point.

Mac then read a passage about Matt Suggs from the book and followed it with a performance of Suggs' song "Where's Your Patience Dear?" Mac then played the Lambchop song "The├Âne" followed by a passage from the book about Lambchop. It was a beautiful tribute to two Merge artists who have been with the label for many years. Watch videos of the performances after the break.

The duo closed the performance/readings portion of the evening with a classic Superchunk song "Throwing Things" which they joked about because Jim Wilbur was in attendance.

Then came the question and answer portion. The majority of the questions were thoughtful and on-topic, but there was one big exception. One man in attendance asked a question about the state of the record store business sharing his thought that he thinks record stores are doing just fine and are making plenty of money (don't tell that to some local record stores). Later came the truly bizarre question, though. He asked about a rumor he heard about James Taylor going to Durham Academy at some point during his life and being kicked out of the fifth grade for packing a joint in his lunchbox. He wanted to know if Mac and Laura could confirm this or had any other information about James Taylor. He also mentioned something about the "Dukes of Hazzard" at some point too. Mac politely pointed out that they have no personal insight into the life of James Taylor and moved on. There was certainly a feeling of bewilderment that rolled over the crowd during the question, but it the end it was good for a laugh.

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