Update: The Thursday show in Greensboro isn't coming to pass. Friday in Durham is still on.
As he was in 2008, Mac McCaughan is out to motivate N.C. voters. This week, the Superchunk frontman and Merge Records co-founder will play three rallies across the state in support of early voting, including a Friday appearance at Durham Central Park. Wednesday he’ll be in Wilmington,
Thursday in Greensboro. At all three dates, he’ll be supported by the magnificently un-serious rock trio Spider Bags. In Durham, New Jersey's Titus Andronicus will play as well, lending their rabble-rousing bombast to the cause.
“We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band,” says Spider Bags singer Dan McGee. “We’re not political at all, but I think voting is important and to have people come out and do something that makes people aware that there are places to go to vote and places to go to register, that’s cool. We’re not involved in politics at all. Having said that, if the Republican Party called and asked me to play, I don’t think I’d be inclined to do that. It’s tough. There’s a lot of people that are not happy, but nobody really knows what to do about it. But any way you can make people aware of the political process and how they can be a part of it is important.”
In 2008, Superchunk played two N.C. dates with Canada’s politically potent Arcade Fire to bring voters to the Democratic primary. There was also an early voting event at UNC-Chapel Hill that year that included appearances from England’s protest-inclined Billy Bragg and local acts such as Bowerbirds and Megafaun. Though their music espouses no political ideology, Titus Andronicus’ energetic bar-punk anthems are rife with social issues, inhabited by bitter burnouts who scream furiously at the world that put them down. But singer Patrick Stickles isn’t playing the blame game. The band’s new LP, Local Business, is a bruising battle cry in support of personal accountability.
“With freedom comes a lot of responsibility,” Stickles says of the record’s message. “You have got the power to make your own values and stuff, but that’s a little bit scary too. Nobody can really do it for you. It’s something that you have to do yourself, and it takes a lot of responsibility and you kind of have to put yourself out there with a little more than just going with the herd and just following whatever society says is important.”
The Durham rally runs 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and is free to the public. More details and the lineup are here.