Merge at 30

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 7.17.48 AM

seems like i’m fated to go, honey

Merge at 30 is a party for the record label located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina or Carrboro, July 24-27, 2019. That implies the label was founded in 1989. I first heard about Merge or attended a Superchunk event at Cat’s Cradle in 1991, October.

I actually, apropos of the doomed or dented football hero Darrell Page, started to “Swede in” a photo of Mary Frances Spatola also known as Mary Frances Sabo getting out of a car parked in a black neighborhood in Birmingham near Legion Field, On October 5, 1991. Could that me the name of a band: Mary Frances Getting Out of A Car Near Legion Field, October, 1991?

Back in the day I would zip down to Chapel Hill at the drop of a hat.

1 was for a fashion show by Mary Michele Little, the hat maker — actually in Raleigh.

2 was to have lunch with Albertin Montoya and Kyle Campbell, at Applebees, the soccer heroes of the U-17 national team, and NC State.


never did get the story behind this, I think it was a job that Mrs. McCaughan did before she met Ralph

3 was to record an album with Chris Cotton and Justin Markovitz at the Efland Ranch of Katherine Whalen and Jimbo Mathus, the week that Shorty run off or was kilt.

4 was the time that I took the train from Palo Alto California Ave to Raleigh, stopping in Chicago to get a goodnight’s rest, then flying home.

5 was for the wedding of Richard Durante and Brooke Baker.

On trip number 6, I also went up to Greensboro to have lunch with Rosemary Yardley and see the lunch counter than helped launch Civil Rights movement. I recall giving her a couple baseball cards from the 1950s, maybe the Bowman TV era, that were in plastic sheaths and I suggested she use them — all were Southerners — as coasters. 6 and 2 might equal 1, in Plastic Alto math.

I said this about 50 times here already but: Jim Yardley, who I knew from the year that Rosemary was a Knight Fellow at Stanford, called to say that his friend Jack McCook was leaving Superchunk and visiting SF, would I show him around? 1991. That fall I was on a southern tour, old friends, some football and yes Southern Belles (especially RA in AL) and I noticed a Superchunk flyer, and hat to go. Lane and the future Mrs. Wurster gave me a ride back to Rich and Brooke’s place, and in that ride – -after he got off work at Crooks Corner, we became friends. (although the last time I spoke to Lane I was in SF because my Dad was having back surgery and I was chatting him up by phone, walking near Union Square — near A/X — and a woman was assaulted by a crazy street person so I hung up abruptly on Lane.

Also I recall watching Carolina Courage sitting next to Mac of Merge.

Also Superchunk played my Earthwise at 5 event.

These 5 illustrations are Mergelike:


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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