With the Merge 25th anniversary celebration kicking into full gear with the festival coming up in a couple of weeks, the Music in the Gardens series going on in Durham, an art exhibit opening next week in Chapel Hill, reissues coming out each month and even more stuff, the label took the time to film a short documentary for Google Play that premiered earlier this week.
The 24-minute documentary features label co-founders Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance along with other Merge staffers and musicians Bob Moud, Wye Oak, Mary Timony, Jon Wurster, Julian Koster and many more folks, as well as some fantastically curmudgeonly soundbites courtesy Stephin Merritt. The whole thing is narrated by Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket books. Check out the full documentary below.
Along with the documentary, you can also download a series of Merge covers performed by other Merge artists for free. Superchunk takes on Wye Oak's "I Don't Feel Young," Telekinesis covers The Magnetic Fields' "Strange Power," the Mountain Goats play American Music Club's "Who You Are," Saint Rich covers Mikal Cronin's "Am I Wrong," and Hiss Golden Messenger makes Spoon's "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" more mellow. Download the songs HERE and check out videos about each song (except The Mountain Goats) below.
Along with the covers, free downloads of songs from Arcade Fire, Archers of Loaf, Caribou, Crooked Fingers, Destroyer, Divine Fits, East River Pipe, Hospitality, Imperial Teen, Lambchop, M. Ward, The Magnetic Fields, The Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Polvo, She & Him, Spoon, The Clientele, Wild Flag, and Wye Oak are also available.