North Carolina indie rock institution Merge Records celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. They’ve already announced a four day music festival to mark the occasion, but today, Google Play shares a documentary that looks at the history and importance of the label.
The film is narrated by Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) and features a whole host of interviews with the likes of Superchunk’s Mac Macaughan and Laura Ballance (who started the label), the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, Bob Mould, and Julian Koster of the Music Tapes and Neutral Milk Hotel among many more.
Merge has also shared a free compilation featuring current artists covering some of the label’s classic tracks. Superchunk take on Wye Oak’s “I Don’t Feel Young,” Telekinesis covers the Magnetic Fields’ “Strange Powers,” Hiss Golden Messenger does Spoon’s “The Beast and Dragon, Adored,” and Saint Rich offers a version of Mikal Cronin’s “Am I Wrong.” The Mountain Goats are also supposedly set to have a cover featured on this sampler, according to Pitchfork, but it hasn’t been released yet.
Watch all of those covers below and the trailer for the documentary above. You can stream the full film over at Google Play.
While you wait for Merge 25, read SPIN’s own celebration of the storied label’s history from last fall.