Score! Merge to Release Subscription-Only Box Set

One score and minus one year ago, Merge Records formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. A lot has changed since then. The label has since relocated to Durham, North Carolina, actually charts on Billboard now, has a new beautiful logo (pictured), and word has it that the label was really founded by Win's butler and retailer Montgomery Ward.

Despite the fuzzy history, Merge is in the celebrating mood, and starting September 8, you can pre-order a special subscription-only box set, titled SCORE! Merge Records: The First 20 Years. How many the label makes depends on how many pre-orders are made from then until January 2009 (which will also mark when the first volumes get shipped out), and that will of course depend on how much money you have left from your stimulus checks, where you're at on your home foreclosure, the price of gas at the pump, and how much the cost of rice will be at the time.

But if you're privileged like me, just pre-order, sit back, and wait for exclusive goodies to plop down on your four-season porch throughout 2009. This includes 14 custom-curated Merge compilations with original artwork, as well as "additional exclusive content." Curators for the first several volumes include Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Phil Morrison (dir. Junebug), and The Upright Citizens Brigade. And according to Merge, "Curators for future volumes will include Amy Poehler, David Byrne, author Jonathan Lethem, artist Marcel Dzama, Momofuku chef David Chang and many more to be announced."

The cool part? The whole shebang will benefit charities picked by the curators. Wonder what Amy Poehler will pick!

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