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Merge Records celebrated turning 25 last week, and it capped things off on Saturday with an outdoor festival at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, N.C. with some of the best bands on its roster. The members of D.C. favorite Ex Hex wowed the crowd with their tough-yet-cheeky attitudes. The trio’s a powerhouse—-it’s hard to believe they haven’t even been together a year yet. If you missed their set at the Rock & Roll Hotel last week, block off October 5; their debut record release party will be at the Black Cat with Speedy Ortiz as an opener.
Another great trio—-Bob Mould, Jason Narducy, and Jon Wurster—-also made a hot day even hotter at Merge 25. Mould, now a D.C. expat, played tracks from his latest record, Beauty & Ruin, and even reached back to his Hüsker Dü days for the stunning “Hardly Getting Over It.” Mould brought emcee Margaret Cho onstage to sing a few songs with the band, including “See a Little Light,” and Teenage Fanclub frontman Norman Blake watched Mould’s set with a huge grin plastered to his face for the duration. Probably the best description of Mould’s set was posted on Twitter that morning by Narducy:
Friends in the Triangle Region of NC: you may hear/feel a fleet of jet engines this afternoon. Fear not. It's just Bob's guitar. #merge25— Jason Narducy (@SplitSingleband) July 26, 2014
Photos from Merge 25 Festival are in the gallery.