Beloved and seminal North Carolina indie rock label Merge Records — home to such historically important indie rock bands as Archers of Loaf and Polvo and current chart-toppers Arcade Fire — celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and Merge is throwing one hell of a yearlong party.
There’s the Or Thousands of Prizes subscription series, which will include 12 seven-inches (split singles, mostly) on colored vinyl featuring exclusive, newly recorded tracks from 25 Merge artists including Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Mount Moriah and The Mountain Goats. Then there’s the Merge 25k Road Race, a 15.5-mile run from Merge’s old home in Chapel Hill to its new home in beautiful downtown Durham. Along the way, Merge will release re-packaged back catalog favorites each month — Lambchop’s Nixon and Superchunk’s Indoor Living are the first two to have been announced.
But the jewel in Merge’s birthday crown is the midsummer festival Merge is throwing in Carrboro. (Spin broke the news yesterday.) No details on the festival are available yet, save for July 23-26 dates, but it’d be a fair wager to bet that the lineup will be packed with bands from Merge’s exemplary stable. Plus, label co-head Mac McCaughan teases the festival will have a “Mountain Goats-Mount Moriah Misty Mountain Magic Misting Tent” and a “Lambchop Petting Zoo.”
Man, I’d pay good money to see a Mountain Goats-Mount Moriah split set. And a Bob Mould-Richard Buckner back-to-back would kill. Or maybe an Arcade Fire-Superchunk double headliner. Maybe I can finally see Archers of Loaf. OK, I’m salivating now.
Speaking of: Man, Laura Ballance can spit really far.