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Download Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small, by John Cook Click for printable size audiobook cover
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Cook Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For twenty years, Merge Records has remained true to their belief that you can sign bands because you love their music and respect what they’re trying to do. As giant corporate labels struggle for survival, Merge has, in the unlikeliest of times, garnered a loyal group of artists and a secure and growing fan base and, most important, has brought us some of the best music of our time.

Our Noise tells the story of how Merge did it and continues to do it, through the eyes of cofounders Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance, their fellow band members, friends, and the bands who signed on with them. It includes interviews with and profiles of Superchunk, Butterglory, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lambchop, Spoon, the Magnetic Fields, and Arcade Fire.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “The fact that they exist and that they’ve survived is really kind of amazing these days. It’s really difficult and they’ve done really well.”

    David Byrne

  • “One of the most respected imprints in an often disreputable industry, Merge has defied the odds by releasing some of the finest rock and pop music of the last fifteen years.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “From small beginnings, twenty years later, Merge has become one of the top independent labels in the world.”

    NPR’s Sound Opinions

  • “Merge always put music and musicians first…Bands like Magnetic Fields, Spoon, and Arcade Fire demonstrate how vital Merge is to the indie-rock landscape.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Located in the college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Merge embraced the do-it-yourself ethic. Founded on handshake agreements and geeky ideals, the label maintained integrity in the face of an industry that doesn’t have any. Narrator Ray Porter gets the irony to be found in the story. He takes the tone of an insider with his droll delivery as he describes the politics of the underground movement and the almost-uptight preoccupations of its participants, which make the party-down ethic of the previous generation’s rockers seem quaint. “


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jana | 2/28/2011

    " Slightly more detailed than I was bargaining for, and kind of tuned out some of it at times. Still, a good read in general. Yay, Merge! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Andrew | 2/1/2011

    " Absolutely loved it. Took away some of my fears about the modern record industry and made me excited to get back in the studio with bands that I love and create music that will last. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Matt | 1/2/2011

    " I love Merge and Superchunk, and the telling of their story here is perfect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robert | 9/28/2010

    " A very interesting read about Merge Records, one of the only successful indie record labels to survive the past two decades. Told in a roundtable narrative fashion. Highly entertaining. "

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About the Author

John Cook is a reporter for Gawker Media and has worked for Radar magazine and the Chicago Tribune.