Various Artists, ‘Old Enough to Know Better: 15 Years of Merge Records’ (Merge)
It’s only appropriate that the mentor-minded underachievers of Superchunk open their label’s anniversary set with another band–Neutral Milk Hotel, whose leader Jeff Mangum disappeared after two intimately surreal indie-rock masterpieces. This triple-CD is less a best-of (no “Slack Motherfucker,”etc.) than an alumni reunion where no one bogarts the mic and everyone has something worth saying, even if you can’t always remember it afterward. Underclass-mates Camera Obscura, M. Ward,the Clientele, and the Third Eye Foundation prove these are the good ol’ days, too.