©2009 Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Merge Records might be responsible for more indie-rock classics than any other label in the past two decades." (Magnet)
Using direct quotes so pervasively really took away from telling the story of this record company.
Turn down the volume on the smugness
The people were fine, just too much back-slapping
I didn't really need so much emphasis on the evils of the big-bad record companies. Just tell the story of your label, it's interesting enough as it is.
I would say that your time would be better spent reading the book yourself, which I plan to do. I love Merge Records and the story is a great one, but the performance is unbearable.
Ray Porter's haphazard application of emphasis is incredibly distracting, and is often so simply wrong that it distorts the sense of a sentence. I think his voice itself is perfect, but he reads as if he isn't taking the trouble to understand the meaning of the words. I was already rather annoyed with the performance when Porter mispronounced Stephin Merritt's name, at which point I gave up on it completely. There must be a narrator out there who knows or cares *a little bit* about this subject. Should have hired them to read it.
I would definitely watch a documentary about Merge.
With the music business in such a poor state, the story of Merge Records is an inspiration. The book is well written, and gives a good understanding of why this label is still great and so many of their early bands are still together.
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