Late last year, Mulcahy's wife Melissa died unexpectedly, leaving him to take care of his three-year-old twin daughters. If Mulcahy is going to keep making music, he'll need help. And fortunately, he's getting it.
On September 29, Shout! Factory will release Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy, a tribute album to Mulcahy that will also serve as a benefit for him. An amazingly stacked lineup of indie rock greats have contributed their versions of Mulcahy songs. Thom Yorke takes on "All for the Best", Michael Stipe turns in his version of "Everything's Coming Undone", and the National handle "Ashamed of the Story I Told". Dinosaur Jr., Mercury Rev, and Frank Black also contribute songs. Tracklist below. Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy:
01 Thom Yorke: "All for the Best"
02 The National: "Ashamed of the Story I Told"
03 Michael Stipe: "Everything’s Coming Undone"
04 David Berkeley: "Love's the Only Thing That Shuts Me Up"
05 Dinosaur Jr.: "The Backyard"
06 Chris Harford and Mr. Ray Neal: "Micon the Icon"
07 Frank Black: "Bill Jocko"
08 Vic Chesnutt: "Little Man"
09 Unbelievable Truth: "Ciao My Shining Star"
10 Butterflies of Love: "I Have Patience"
11 Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne: "Cookie Jar"
12 Frank Turner: "The Quiet One"
13 Rocket From the Tombs: "In Pursuit of Your Happiness"
14 Ben Kweller: "Wake Up Whispering"
15 Josh Rouse: "I Woke Up in the Mayflower"
16 Autumn Defense: "Paradise"
17 Hayden: "Happy Birthday Yesterday"
18 Juliana Hatfield: "We're Not in Charleston Anymore"
19 Mercury Rev: "Sailors and Animals"
20 Elvis Perkins: "She Watches Over Me"
21 Sean Watkins: "A World Away From This One"
Mark Mulcahy and I go way back. We're both New Haven, Connecticut natives (although I grew up in a suburb, Wallingford) and MM plays every year at the annual Daffodil Festival in nearby Meriden, CT. The clearest memory I have of his music comes from Polaris, a side project of his band Miracle Legion. In the fall of 6th grade, I ordered a cassette tape from the back of a cereal box, "Music from The Adventures of Pete & Pete." Three songs, narrated by Big Pete, by Polaris. I popped the tape into my red walkman and listened to it everyday on the school bus that fall. I remember one day sitting on the bus, listening to "Staggering," looking out the window at my suburban town rushing by on that autumn day, and realized how much I liked this song, this band. This was at a time when I was completely turned off by what was going on in modern music. At 11 years old, I didn't understand the appeal of grunge, of being fashionably depressed. I thought Nirvana was really obnoxious. In retrospect, by liking Polaris when I didn't like anything else, it was close to a revelation. Certainly it was a breakthrough. I still have that tape, in its dogeared little cover box. Since then, I've listened to more of MM's music and now that I live in Washington, it's nice to have music to remind me of home. To hear that MM lost his wife truly saddens me. I'm glad EP is a part of this project and I can't wait to buy my copy of MM's tribute album.
MM playing "Ivy Boy" from The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Nov. 2007 in Middletown, CT
MM playing "Hey Self Defeater" Nov. 2007 in Middletown, CT
MM at the Daffodil Fest, 2008