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Welcome back to another edition of MERCH PARTY – a monthly round-up that typically shouts out of all the best band merch comin’ to a venue near you, ’cause supporting your favorite artists in more ways than one is just part of bein’ a good fan! We’re still gonna do that right now, but with a little twist – we’re gonna shout out five bands slingin’ some solid back to school appropriate merch, regardless of whether or not the homies have a show near us anytime soon. Got that? Let’s get into what’s good RIGHT NOW:


Whenever I think about Rubblebucket, I just get vibes of PURE JOY! There’s a reason their shows consistently sell out (at least here in NYC), and I imagine this joyous feeling has at least a little to do with it. (You know, in addition to slaying the whole music making thing, which they do.) And do you know what else gives me PURE JOY? Coffee! Especially when I’m drinking it in an effort to self-motivate re: work and/or study. And I just feel like delightful camping mug is PERFECT for delivering all the best vibes. Can you not just see yourself sitting near a bunch of plants (outside plants or, in my case, houseplants) and listening to a focus mix and GETTIN’ SHIT DONE whilst sipping on some coffee or tea?! Grab one for $10!

DC – U Street Music Hall 10.27
Chicago – Bottom Lounge 11.17


Japanese Breakfast has pretty much the best merch store of all time, so you should cruise on over to check out how much great stuff there is! (IF you’re willing to get dangerous with your dollars, that is.) Personally, I’m going to suggest sticking to a practical, well-within-budget set of 10 graphite pencils, which will run you a very reasonable $12 per pack. Excellent for all those notes you’re gonna take, right?!

Chicago – Museum of Contemporary Art 9.15
NYC – Brooklyn Steel 1.17 (2019)
Baltimore – Sound Stage 1.19 (2019)


And speaking of taking notes, Wye Oak comes to the rescue with this VERY vibey $15 notebook. Contains 96 sheets of blank grid paper for all your thoughts ‘n doodles. Get those good ideas and bad feelings OUT.

Chicago – The Riviera Theatre 10.3
DC – The Anthem 10.11
NYC – Hammerstein Ballroom 10.12 + 10.13


Talk about solid back to school merch, y’all! You never don’t need a flash drive, so why not support your favorite band with this ultra-practical investment?! (It also doubles as a bottle opener for all the hard-earned brewskies you’ll wanna crack open after you’ve finished your work.)

Chicago – Chop Chop 9.26
NYC – Brooklyn Steel 10.24
Baltimore – Sound Stage 10.25
DC – 9:30 Club 10.27 + 10.28


I don’t think it should come as any surprise that HAIM’s merch selection is v. strong, but this T-shirt is by far my favorite design of the bunch, and it’s PERFECT for back to school nostalgia since it’s got major picture day throwback feels. $30, super great.