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Arcade Fire Signed to Merge Records for the Food

Mac McCaughan performing with Superchunk / Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford

As a company, we here at SPIN are particularly fond of music. As human beings, we are also particularly fond of food. When those two worlds interact, we are all over that business. Which is why we are kind of in love the recently launched podcast iteration of Food is the New Rock, the music-meets-munchies blog of Zach Brooks. The most recent episode, its third, is an interview with Superchunk frontman and Merge Records founder Mac McCaughan, who, it turns out, is married to a wicked-awesome, James Beard award-winning chef to whom he and Merge basically owe the signing of Arcade Fire.

McCaughan’s wife Andrea Reusing runs the kitchens at Chapel Hill Pan-Asian restaurant the Lantern, where, he explains in the podcast, he took the Grammy-winning Montrealites when Merge was wooing them back in 2003.

“Richie [Reed Perry] actually credits Lantern with them signing to Merge, because when they first drove down — before we’d signed them, but they wanted to come down and meet everyone and see the label — we ate at Lantern,” he very nearly humblebrags. Throughout the 40-minute conversation, McCaughan demonstrates that there’s obviously a reason he’s married to a chef, as he and hosting duo Brooks and KCRW’s Chuck P discuss vegetarian foodie-ism, taco trucks, and how to pronounce “McCaughan” once and for all (spoiler: fittingly for this podcast, it rhymes with “pecan”). Plus, the great question of what it’s like to get food recommendations from notable foodie bands Foodgazi Fugazi and Yo La Tengo is finally answered!

Plus, plus, this gem of a (very sarcastic) image!:

Brooks: I’m literally imagining your life to be you guys sitting on the porch with Jeff Mangum and [Arcade Fire’s] Win [Butler] and Régine [Chassagne], and you guys are just hanging out, drinking old-fashioneds made from Pappy Van Winkle, 23-year-old [bourbon]…

McCaughan: I mean, most weekends that’s what it’s like. Win and Régine come down from Montreal…Jeff comes down from New York…let’s see, who else comes over?…[Spoon’s] Britt [Daniel] just moved to LA, Zooey [Deschanel], if she’s in Chapel Hill…

Brooks: M. Ward brings the crème brûlée…

Listen and/or download the full podcast on Soundcloud or via iTunes.