Could Our Noise, out Sept. 15, be the best-read rock book since Our Band Could Be Your Life?
It tells the story of Merge Records, and how the bedroom-born label, started in the '90s in Chapel Hill by Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance, has not only stuck around for 20 years, but has also shaped the careers of the Chunk itself--as well as modern-day indie-rock knockouts Lambchop and Arcade Fire. In between, it has promoted/distributed/championed records by a shit-ton of bands you probably like (or at least that I like): Dinosaur Jr., Lou Barlow, Versus, Spoon, Verbena, Polvo, and on and on and on. It was a label you could count on for the jangly and dissonant, for the poppy and twee, for the sloppy and lo-fi, something reasonably in your '90s collegiate taste range, and their bands took up the tour club circuit left off by many of the acts explored in Our Band Could Be Your Life.
Gawker has an excerpt with links to more info, so get a preview there, but what already looks promising is that the book is an oral history--and anyone who read We Got the Neutron Bomb or Please Kill Me, two excellent examples off the top, knows the way oral histories can be far more memorable than even the best-researched chronology. Also, drummer Jon Wurster--also known for his hilarious personas on "The Best Show on WFMU," a collaboration with Tom Scharpling--is hilarious.
Again, the book is out Sept. 15--that's this Monday--so place an order now if you're so inclined.