Merge Records defies everything you?ve heard about the music business. Started by two twenty-year-old musicians, Merge is a lesson in how to make and market great music on a human scale. The fact that the company is prospering in a failing industry is something of a miracle. Yet two of their bands made the Billboard Top 10 list; more than 1 million copies of Arcade Fire's Neon Bible have been sold; Spoon has appeared on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show; and the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs is a contemporary classic.
In celebration of their twentieth anniversary, founders Mac and Laura offer first-person accounts?with the help of their colleagues and Merge artists?of their work, their lives, and the culture of making music. Our Noise also tells the behind-the-scenes stories of Arcade Fire, Spoon, the Magnetic Fields, Superchunk, Lambchop, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Butterglory. Hundreds of personal photos of the bands, along with album cover art, concert posters, and other memorabilia are included.
As the story goes, Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan sat down in a bedroom in 1989 and decided to form their own label to release the music of their band Chunk (later Superchunk) and the music of a few of their Chapel Hill, NC, peers. Twenty years later, Merge Records resides in the elite company of a handful of independent labels to have lasted and succeeded. (In fact, their success is noteworthy even in comparison with major labels at this point.) Working with such indie luminaries as Lambchop, the Magnetic Fields, and the Arcade Fire, Merge has weathered the music-industry storm and given the world a catalog of original, uncompromising records. This dandy little book chronicles the ups and frequent downs Merge faced on its rocky road to survival. Their story and anecdotes will certainly interest indie rock fans from all camps, but should also be inspirational to industrious entrepreneurs of all stripes.
- Biography + Autobiography, Music
- General, Composers + Musicians, Genres + Styles / Pop Vocal
- September 15, 2009
- September 15, 2009
- Laura Ballance, John Cook, MAC Maccaughan