Watch Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan Cover Jonathan Richman With Kelly Hogan
Merge Records honcho and Atlanta singer-songwriter duet on a Chicago bus
It’s understandable that Mac McCaughan told the A.V. Club he forgot how many verses there are to Jonathan Richman’s “That Summer Feeling.” This simple, clear-eyed song about a certain ineffable emotional state has appeared on at least two Richman studio albums, and the version the Merge Records boss and Superchunk frontman has chosen to cover is the longer one, from 1992’s I, Jonathan.
All good: The extra length gives McCaughan an excuse to asks Atlanta singer-songwriter Kelly Hogan (no relation to this author) to help him on vocals as he sings and strums. “That Summer Feeling,” like the Smiths’ “Rubber Ring,” is a song about looking back that can make you look back on when you first heard the song itself, and how much it meant to you. McCaughan and Hogan performed their stripped-down, faithful rendition on top of a double-decker bus as it rolled down Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. If you have any aching spot inside you for Chicago, for “That Summer Feeling,” or for that actual summer feeling, their Richman cover could haunt you. One day in your life, anyway.
Also watch a gorgeous solo acoustic version by Richman below from 1983. This one strips away the excessive backing vocals of the same year’s Jonathan Sings recording and uses fewer lyrics than the I, Jonathan track.
Superchunk are set to release their 10th album, I Hate Music, on August 20 via Merge, and the indie rock legends have already shared the party-starting “F.O.H.”; unfortunately, Superchunk bassist and Merge co-founder Laura Ballance has revealed she won’t be touring with the band due to a hearing disorder.