Bradley's Almanac

Year-End Giveaway: Mucho Merge Records Merch!

Posted on December 31, 2009 at 1:23 pm | No Comments

Let’s send off the year with an Almanac giveaway, shall we?

As 2009 fades into the sunset, so does the year-long celebration that marked the Merge Records’ 20th Anniversary. The beloved North Carolina-based label, which has helped soundtrack nearly the entire second half of my life, commemorated in a variety of ways: with some special releases, a 5-day live music blowout in July, and the massive, subscription-only SCORE! CD service. That insane undertaking finished up last week with the shipment of the final volumes (#13 and #14, for those keeping, um, score), along with a sturdy box to gather them all together. The collected discs are a thing of beauty, indeed…

If you look closely, you’ll see 17 CDs and a book: 14 lovingly-curated Merge mix discs, 3 special compilations (Merge remixes, Merge cover songs, and a Scharpling & Wurster comedy album), and the Merge Records Companion book, which pulls together the cover art for every release they’ve had so far. Impressive is an understatement, especially when you look at the list of those who were invited to create those mix discs: Peter Buck, Phil Morrison, David Chang, Georgia Hubley, Jonathan Lethem, Alex Ross, Zach Galifianakis, Marcel Dzama, David Byrne, Miranda July, Kara Walker, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, and Andrea Zitel. Something new showed up in my mailbox every month this year, like clockwork, and gave subscribers a close look at the Merge-related musical tastes of that varied list of celebrity fans. How the label is going to top this for their 25th anniversary is a true mystery. Sure do hope they try, though.

While I won’t be sad to see 2009 in my review mirror (in summary – it sucked), there was one standout highlight: That five-day fest, aka XXMerge, down in Carrboro, NC, where I traveled all the way from my Boston home. Not just the musical high-watermark of my ’09, but maybe my life, no foolin’. I spent too much time enjoying myself to properly document it here on the Almanac, but I did twitter a fair amount, and took a whole mess of photos. Can’t look at them without wishing I was back inside the Cat’s Cradle, hanging out at the OCSC, or on the kickball field. So much freakin’ fun.

Alright, enough with making you envious… on to the point of this here post, which was not just to mark the end of SCORE! and Merge’s wonderful 20th year, but to pass on a little anniversary present to an Almanac reader: A whole pile of Merge-related merch that I’ve gathered together with help from the label, and from Algonquin Books. Have a look…

Yes, one lucky sucker will be gifted with the following…

  • The book: A copy of “Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small”, from Algonquin Books. It’s a fantastic read, written by John Cook and label heads/Superchunk bandmates Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance, with a load of great photos from throughout their 20 year history. I’ve read a lot of music-related books, and this measures up to the best of ’em, as far as insight into how a label can be run the right way (as well as how so many majors do it wrong).
  • The music: Two short-players that Merge released this year: Superchunk‘s “Leaves In The Gutter” EP and Spoon‘s “Got Nuffin” single.
  • The art: Five posters, including one from Merge’s 10th Anniversary, its 15th Anniversary, and a couple from July’s XXMerge (the official XXMerge poster had a limited, numbered print run of 500, one of which will be yours).
  • The schwag: A handful of buttons from the label and their artists (including a couple of XXMerge ones) along with some Merge stickers, and an “Our Noise” bookmark.
  • The newspaper: The special Merge-centric edition of the Independent Weekly, the North Carolina-based paper who blew me away with their extensive coverage of the anniversary and the XXMerge bash.
  • So there you go, probably the best giveaway I’ve ever thrown down. I’ll say this in my best Rod Roddy voice: All this can be yours for the low, low price of sending me an email titled “Merge Merch!” to giveaways [at] bradleysalmanac [dot] com before 12 Noon on Monday, January 11th. Two conditions: Tell me what your absolute favorite Merge-released album is, (note – this condition was added on the morning of January 1st, for my own amusement, no worries if you’ve already entered without naming one), and also be sure you live in the continental US or Canada, as the postage is already going to set me back a bit (remember, the Almanac runs on love, not pesky ads). I’ll pick one random winner that very afternoon.

    Ok then, off to your email program with ya. Oh, and Happy New Year and all that best wishes stuff. Oh, and one more thing – Thank you, Merge. For helping me make it through this year, and so many that preceded it. Keep the good stuff coming.

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  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
    - The Kids In The Hall

    "One good minute could last me the whole year..." - Superchunk
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Wednesday, October 17th
    Goo Goo Dolls
    “Dizzy Up The Girl
    20th Anniversary Tour”
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, October 18th
    BOSTON EMISSIONS TEN!
    Anngelle Wood celebrates 10 years
    as host with a live broadcast & bands:
    Exit 18, Parlour Bells, & Stars Like Ours
    7:30pm @ ONCE Somerville


    Thursday, October 18th
    Big Thief
    The Range of Light Wilderness
    michael
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 18th
    The Proletariat
    Savageheads
    Silver Screams
    @ Sonia


    Friday & Saturday
    October 19th & 20th
    Nine Inch Nails
    The Jesus & Mary Chain
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Friday & Saturday
    October 19th & 20th
    The Town & the City Festival
    dozens of artists over 2 days
    in Lowell, Massachusetts


    Saturday, October 20th
    Mitski
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday & Sunday
    October 20th & 21st
    Chvrches
    Lo Moon
    @ the Orpheum


    Sunday, October 21st
    Johnny Marr
    The Belle Game
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 21st
    Courtney Barnett
    Waxahatchee
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, October 22nd
    Guided By Voices
    Park Doing
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 23rd
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 23rd
    Garbage
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, October 24th
    Lily Allen
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 25th
    Minus the Bear
    Caspian
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 25th
    Pile
    The Spirit of the Beehive
    Lilith
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 26th
    We Were Promised Jetpacks
    Hurry Up
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, October 26th
    The Bevis Frond (two sets)
    @ the Rockwell


    Saturday, October 27th
    Mountain Man
    The Dead Tongues
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 28th
    Wavves
    Beach Fossils
    Kevin Krauter
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 28th
    Monster Magnet
    Electric Citizen
    Dark Sky Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 30th
    Violent Femmes
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, October 30th
    Minus the Bear
    Caspian
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, November 1st
    Lemuria
    Bethlehem Steel
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, November 1st
    Mom Jeans
    Just Friends
    Awakebutstillinbed
    Retirement Party
    Two shows @ Once Ballroom


    Thursday, November 1st
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 2nd
    Hot Molasses (album release show!)
    Sugar Cones
    @ the Lilypad


    Friday, November 2nd
    Roky Erickson
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, November 3rd
    Ian Sweet
    Young Jesus
    Sean Henry
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, November 5th
    Maggie Rogers
    Mallrat
    @ the Royale


    Monday, November 5th
    Shannon & the Clams
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 5th
    Tenacious D
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday & Tuesday
    November 5th & 6th
    Lucinda Williams & Buick 6
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 6th
    Fucked Up
    Bad Waitress
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 6th
    The Joy Formidable
    Tancred
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 8th
    Julien Baker
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Lucy Dacus
    (solo & together)
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, November 8th
    Cursive
    Meat Wave
    Campdogzz
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 9th
    Low
    In/via
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday & Saturday
    November 9th & 10th
    Hassle Fest 10!
    Boston’s Underground
    Music & Art Festival
    all ages shows
    @ Brighton Music Hall (on 9/10),
    Lilypad, Studio 550, Green Street
    Studios, Hardcore Stadium, & more


    Saturday, November 10th
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Monday, November 12th
    Saves the Day
    Kevin Devine
    An Horse
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 13th
    Pale Waves
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Richard Thompson (trio)
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, November 14th
    The Alarm
    The Gobshites
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Wild Nothing
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 15th
    Jason Narducy (Split Single,
    Superchunk, Bob Mould’s band)
    @ an Allston living room


    Thursday, November 15th
    Weakened Friends
    Nervous Daters
    Save Ends
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 16th
    Kal Marks
    Maneka
    Nice Guys
    Rong
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 16th
    Robyn Hitchcock
    @ City Winery


    Friday, November 16th
    Jim James (from MMJ – solo)
    Alynda Segarra
    (from Hurray for the Riff Raff)
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Friday & Saturday
    November 16th & 17th
    Letters to Cleo
    American Hi-Fi
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, November 18th
    (Sandy) Alex G
    Half Waif
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 20th
    Echo & the Bunnymen
    Enation
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, November 24th
    Death From Above
    Le Butcherettes
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, November 24th
    Thom Yorke
    Oliver Cooke
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, November 24th
    Kurt Vile & the Violators
    Jessica Pratt
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, November 26th
    Stove
    Pet Fox
    @ O’Brien’s


    Monday, November 26th
    Preoccupations
    Protomartyr
    Rattle
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 27th
    Speedy Ortiz
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 29th
    Kississippi
    gobbinjr
    Ruler
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, November 29th
    Peter, Bjorn, & John
    Georgi Kay
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, November 30th
    Cloud Nothings
    The Courtneys
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, December 1st
    Snail Mail (two shows!)
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, December 2nd
    The Helio Sequence
    Wild Pink
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 3rd
    Cults
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, December 5th
    Lindsey Buckingham
    @ the Wilbur Theatre


    Wednesday, December 5th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    & Junior Brown with
    The Blasters
    Big Sandy
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 7th
    Soccer Mommy
    Ratboys
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, December 8th
    Marissa Nadler
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, December 8th
    Phosphorescent
    Liz Cooper & the Stampede
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, December 9th
    Old 97s Holiday Extravaganza
    Caseymagic
    Rhett Miller
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, December 9th
    Justus Proffit & Jay Som
    Kal Marks
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 10th
    Priests
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, December 12th
    Gang of Youths
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, December 13th
    J Mascis
    Luluc
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, December 15th
    Night Birds
    Dark Thoughts
    Conmen
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 17th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ The Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 18th
    Beach Bunny
    Field Medic
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, December 28th
    Bad Rabbits
    STL GLD
    Haasan Barclay
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, December 29th
    Hop Along
    @ Paradise Rock Club


    Monday, December 31st
    The Felice Brothers
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, January 14th
    The Lemon Twigs
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, January 17th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Thursday, January 24th
    Neko Case
    @ the Royale


    Friday, January 25th
    Rubblebucket
    Diet Cig
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, February 13th
    Joe Jackson
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Friday, February 8th
    Sharon Van Etten
    Nilufer Yanya
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, February 13th
    Metric & Zoe
    July Talk
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, February 14th
    Car Seat Headrest
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Julia Holter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, March 8th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, March 11th
    Teenage Fanclub
    @ the Paradise