Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records Is Available for Pre-Order
I've written a book. Co-written it, actually, with Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance--the co-founders of Merge Records and one half of Superchunk. It's an oral history of the best American rock band since the Replacements and the record label that has, over the past 20 years, defined indie rock by helping to make Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, the Magnetic Fields, and the Arcade Fire happen. It's the result of more than a year's work and interviews with more than 75 of the coolest people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to, from Britt Daniel and M. Ward to Ian MacKaye and Mike Watt. It's the story of how Mac and Laura took Merge from a bedroom project in Chapel Hill, N.C., to a celebrated indie giant that has launched multiple Top 10 records without the resources or moral and aesthetic shortcuts available to the major labels. It's the story of how those major labels tried and failed to mine the indie rock moment in the 1990s and went on to self-destruct for lack of apprehension of the simple truths that Mac and Laura understood. It's got hundreds of beautiful rock photos and memorabilia, an introduction by Ryan Adams, and chapters on Matt Suggs, Lambchop, NMH, the Arcade Fire, and Spoon.
And it's on sale for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's not due in stores until September, but if you act now you can be the first on your block to own a copy. Copies will also--hopefully, if the production schedule holds--be available at Merge XX, the label's 20th anniversary festival in North Carolina in July.
I hope to start using this blog a little more frequently in the coming months to drum up interest in the book and share moments from it, so hopefully it will become an actual working site again. Our Noise is pretty much the coolest thing I've ever done, and I'm very excited for people to read it.