Today we at Prefix got word that Merge Records will be releasing a deluxe, subscription-only box set called Score! The First 20 Years of Merge Records. We don’t yet have a track listing, but we do know who will be curating the first volume: none other than R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Phil Morrison, a music video director who also directed Junebug, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and going way back, an episode of The Adventures of Pete & Pete (though if you’re looking for things to come full circle, he did not direct the episode Michael Stipe guest starred in).
There will be multiple volumes celebrating Merge’s 20th, and Amy Poehler and David Bryne are among those already slated to take a stab at curating. Sub Pop has gotten all the hype, for sure, and it’s certainly the more famous and historically significant label. But Merge has been around for nearly as long, as was just as influential in the North Carolina scene as Sub Pop was in the Pacific Northwest. This was the label that released In An Aeroplane Over the Sea and Arcade Fire’s Funeral, after all.