Read this book: Our Noise – The Story of Merge Records
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Merge Records has put out a book, Our Noise – The Story of Merge Records, chronicling the history of the label from their humble beginnings pressing 7″ singles to working with some of indie rocks most beloved bands including Neutral Milk Hotel, Seaweed, The Magnetic Fields, Spoon, Arcade Fire, their “in-house band” Superchunk and many, many others. The book is an addictive inside look at how the label has remained steadfastly independent and fair to its artists. It also shares insider trials and tribulations of their learning curve, the evolving record industry, touring drama, the recording process, band member romances and everything in between. Very well written in conversation format, loaded with color photos, set lists, show posters, album artwork, etc.
Pick it up here. Trust me on this one…the (sometimes overwhelming) world of indie rock will make a lot more sense after reading this book.