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Right now, Superchunk is focusing on its tour with Belly, a band whose major-label affiliation and presence on the current cover of Rolling Stone makes it seem like an odd match for an indie flag-waver. "It doesn't seem weird to us," Wurster counters. "Everybody else makes a bigger deal of the major-label thing than we do. We played a show with Belly in England about two years ago and got along really well, so when this came up, we said, `Sure.' It's perfect timing, because we want to start recording the next album at the end of May, and this gives us a chance to try out some of the new songs live in front of a lot of people who might not ordinarily hear them."

Not that Wurster is desperate for the Superchunk audience to double in size anytime soon. "I can't really see the band getting that massive, just because of the way we do things," he contends. "We don't have a big machine behind us. There are some bands where, when they put a new record out, they're on the cover of every magazine you pick up. We'll never have that--and I think that's a good thing. I like it when people find out about a band from a friend, or they hear a song in a club or see a video, as opposed to having it rammed down their throat.

"I mean, Jim and I open the mail that comes to the band--that's our job. And we've actually gotten a couple letters from Serbia, of all places. I'm not quite sure how they heard about us there, but the word gets out, much to my bewilderment. And that feels a lot more honest to me. Like people are into us because they found our music. And they like it."

Belly, with Superchunk and Cold Water Flat. 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, Ogden Theatre, 935 East Colfax, $16, 830-2525 or 444-

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts