Music Lesson: Merge Records

mergedigital_newsA while ago I did a series on the differences between what makes a record label major or indie. Today I’d like to point some attention at a local NC label that is doing a little celebrating this year, Chapel Hill’s own Merge Records.

In 1989 the group Superchunk (originally just Chunk) decided they wanted to release a record, so they made up their own label and decided to call it Merge. Exactly 20 years later Merge has gained one hell of a track record, from being the relocated home to some of the Elephant Six Collective (Neutral Milk Hotel, Music Tapes), to an outlet for locals like the Rosebuds Merge is one of the best labels in indie music today. (For a complete listing, check it here).

Don’t think that Merge is going to sit back and do nothing when as their 20th birthday passes by. They’re giving us a 5-day festival of Merge artists all in our favorite college town of Chapel Hill and slapping it with the sexy name XX from July 22 – 26. Five day passes are sold out, but you can buy tickets for individual shows on May 13.

Here are the details we have so far on the lineup:
July 22-25 (at Cats Cradle) 
Lou Barlow
The Broken West
Richard Buckner
The Clientele
Erectus Monotone
The Essex Green
Imperial Teen
The Ladybug Transistor
The Magnetic Fields
The Music Tapes
Oakley Hall
Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band 

July 26 (at memorial hall)
She & Him
American Music Club
Wye Oak 

Special surprise performances? I’m betting on it. Perhaps a Jeff Mangum sighting, maybe a little Neutral Milk action. Some Superchunk? It’s an exciting time for NC music!


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