Google has released a free documentary about indie label Merge Records, home to influential bands such as Arcade Fire and Spoon, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The search giant's documentary is narrated by the author of the "Lemony Snicket" books, Daniel Handler, and covers the history of the label, from its genesis with future bandmates who worked together at a pizza shop, to releasing some of the biggest albums of the last few years.
The documentary could be seen as a companion piece to the excellent book "Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records" and includes an at-times humorous look -- the founders discuss putting out a record of "farts in a bathtub" -- at its most influential recordings of the last 25 years.
The film includes interviews with a number of musicians who are part of the label's current roster, including Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) and Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) as well as co-founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan of Superchunk. Sadly, there's no conversation with members of Arcade Fire, whose album "Funeral" essentially brought the label into mainstream prominence.
In the documentary, Laura Ballance details how the label is different from the majors because they're passionate about the music.
"In our minds, every record we put out is great, otherwise we wouldn't be putting them out", she says.
The documentary is also accompanied by 25 free Merge tracks, including 5 exclusive recordings from Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, Telekinesis, Saint Rich, and Hiss Golden Messenger. Watch the embedded video above or check out this page to see the video and access all of the free tracks as well.