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Merge 25K Training Report: April Henry, Merge fan

Merge staffers and friends from all over are taking part in the Merge 25K race on March 22 and will be sharing their training stories. Register here & visit our race page for all of the details of our course and finish line party!

If you would like to share your training story with us, please email m25k@mergerecords.com.

From April:
Training for the Merge 25K is nearly over. I completed a grueling 12 miles with a little help from friends Elizabeth and Molly on Saturday March 8th. Would you believe me if I told you that I gave birth to my second child nearly 12 weeks ago? Yes, I am out of my mind. Just last week I ran a total of 23 miles under severe sleep-deprivation. I am determined to see this race through to the end.

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Merge 25K Training Report: Camelia Brennan, Merge Mailorder & College Radio

Merge staffers and friends from all over are taking part in the Merge 25K race on March 22 and will be sharing their training stories. Register here & visit our race page for a custom training plan from our friends at Bull City Running Co. and yoga from Sage Rountree.

If you would like to share your training story with us, please email m25k@mergerecords.com

From Cami:
I'm a little over 10 weeks into training, and I haven't fallen down once! There have been a lot of close calls. Sometimes I've hoped I might fall down and lay there forever, but for the most part, my training has been a success! The weather was great yesterday, and I ran 12.5 miles. I set out to do 14 miles… so I'm a little bummed I had to cut it short, but overall I’m pretty confident I'll be good to go on race day. I plan to do mostly shorter runs between 4-6 miles until the race. 
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Merge 25K Race-Day Events!

The Merge 25K race is less than one month away, and registration is at nearly 75%! Please help us spread the word! Details of the event are coming together quickly, and we're updating our race page with all the important info, so keep checking back. Please see below for the official schedule of events. We can't wait to see you there!   More >

Merge 25K Training: Recovery tips from Sage Rountree

Listen to our recovery playlist and get tips and more from local yogi Sage Rountree below! This week, we are giving away a 5-day pass to the Carrboro and Durham Yoga Companies! All race registrants are automatically entered to win, so sign up before Monday, March 3 to win!

Don't forget, the FREE & comprehensive Merge 25K training plan created by our partners at Bull City Running Co. can be downloaded here, and you can still register at our race page. What are you waiting for?

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Merge 25K Training: Recovery tips from Sage Rountree

Listen to our recovery playlist and get tips and more from local yogi Sage Rountree below! This week, we are giving away a 5-day pass to the Carrboro and Durham Yoga Companies! All race registrants are automatically entered to win, so sign up before Monday, March 3 to win!

Don't forget, the FREE & comprehensive Merge 25K training plan created by our partners at Bull City Running Co. can be downloaded here, and you can still register at our race page. What are you waiting for?

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Merge 25K Training Report: Patrick Hill, Word Productions Atlanta, GA

Merge staffers and friends from all over are taking part in the Merge 25K race on March 22 and will be sharing their training stories. Register here & visit our race page for a custom training plan from our friends at Bull City Running Co. and yoga from Sage Rountree.

If you would like to share your training story with us, please email m25k@mergerecords.com

And here's a little video of The Rock*A*Teens to go along with Patrick's story:
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Merge 25K Training Report: Will Spears, Merge enthusiast

Merge staffers and friends from all over are taking part in the Merge 25K race on March 22 and will be sharing their training stories. Register here & visit our race page for a custom training plan from our friends at Bull City Running Co. and yoga from Sage Rountree.

If you would like to share your training story with us, please email m25k@mergerecords.com.

From Will:
I was really excited to hear about the Merge 25K, but had some work to do to get ready for it.  I run regularly, but not competitively, and not for anything as far as 15.5 miles. 
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Merge 25K Training Report: Keith Artin, General Manager

A few of our staffers are taking part in the Merge 25K race on March 22 and will be sharing their training stories. If you want to share yours, please email m25k@mergerecords.comRegister now and get $10 off with code MERGENEWYEAR!

From Keith:
A few weeks into training, and things are going well so far. Four runs per week, with the weekend run getting longer each week. Got outside for a 5-mile run while visiting family in Delaware last weekend. Cold but not freezing, it felt great. The killer hill in the first mile was easy to tackle knowing I'd have a downhill finish - I know a point-to-point race offers no promises like this, but I'll take the predictability of an out-and-back run, especially early in my training.

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2013 Year End Lists: Mac McCaughan

(Non-Merge, as usual)
Yo La Tengo - Fade
Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...
The Blow - The Blow
Dick Diver - Calendar Days
Sonny and the Sunsets - Antenna to the Afterworld
Rob Delaney in Asheville
Fred Hersch Trio at Casbah
Melt-Banana live at Local 506
Marc Maron in Raleigh
Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
Joyce - Tudo
Wangechi Mutu at the Nasher Museum
Brandy Clark - 12 Stories
Bill Callahan - Dream River
The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Caitlin Rose - The Stand-in
Ohneotrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
Alan Constable's 10 Cameras at South Willard
Flesh Wounds at Pinhook
Tim Berne & Snakeoil
Kyle Kinane in Chicago
Simone Shubuck at Taylor de Cordoba
singing on top of a bus w Kelly Hogan
Camera Obscura - Desire Lines
Classix - Hanging Gardens
Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe
Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Sunny Daze
Oblivians - Desperation
Mind Spiders - Inhumanistic
Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
Courney Barnett - "Avant Gardener"
John Hodgman as Ayn Rand
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2013 Year End Lists: Laura Ballance

I have been doing a lot of work on my yard this year, so I am obsessed with plants, and...uh, yard accessories. And also, I have been using the heck out of Pinterest. I might have to count that among my favorites too. It has been an excellent tool. Here is what I am into at the moment, in no particular order.

hens and chicks/sedums, HOTT!
Japanese forest grass
ornamental grasses = less lawn
recycled materials
amethyst in snow
agave
concrete balls
homely topiary
un-procurable pizza ovens
spurge, pretty much all of it.
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2013 Year End Lists: Adam Jackson, International Distro & Project Management

Califone - Stitches
Lloyd Cole - Standards
Desert Heat - Cat Mask at Huggie Temple
Adam Franklin & the Bolts of Melody - Black Horses
Hiss Golden Messenger - Haw
Chuck Johnson - Crows in the Basilica
King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
Kingsbury Manx - Bronze Age
Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day
MV & EE - Fuzzweed
Cian Nugent & The Cosmos - Born With the Caul
The National - Trouble WIll Find Me 
Poltergeist - Your Mind Is a Box (Let Us Fill It With Wonder)
Dean Wareham - Emancipated Hearts
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2013 Year End Lists: Jay Lowe, Indie Retail Coordinator

Top 10 Records:
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Kvelertak - Meir
Heartsounds - Internal Eyes
Mikal Cronin - MCII
The Love Language - Ruby Red
A Wilhem Scream - Partycrasher
Alkaline Trio - My Shame is True
William Tyler - Impossible Truth
Baroness - Live at Maida Vale - BBC
Touché Amoré - Is Survived By

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2013 Year End Lists: Keith Artin, General Manager

A great year for music, tough to narrow down to a short list of favorites, and impossible for me to get down to 10. So here are my favorite 13 releases of 2013 (excluding all Merge releases), in alphabetical order:

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...
Connections - Private Airplane
Deerhunter - Monomania
The Dentists - Some People Are on the Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now (Reissue)
Jacco Gardner - Cabinet of Curiosities
Fuzz - Fuzz
Golden Gunn
Holograms - Forever
Johnny Marr - The Messenger
Purling Hiss - Water on Mars
Ty Segall - Sleeper
John Vanderslice - Dagger Beach
Yo La Tengo - Fade
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2013 Year End Lists: Nick Cain, Senior Accountant

Ducktails The Flower Lane
Endless Boogie Long Island
Black Twig Pickers Rough Carpenters
Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park
Hiss Golden Messenger Haw
Camera Obscura Desire Lines
Sam Phillips Push Any Button
of Montreal Lousy with Sylvianbriar
Daniel Bachman Jesus I'm a Sinner
William Onyeabor World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?
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2013 Year End Lists: Becky Mormino, Project Manager

Music:
Who is William Onyeabor?
Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
Mikal Cronin - MCII
Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
Savages - Silence Yourself
Drake - "Hold on We're Going Home"
Superchunk - "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo"
Miguel "Adorn"
James Blake - "Retrograde"
Arcade Fire - "Reflektor"
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2013 Year End Lists: Vanessa DeJongh, Ad Department / Art Department

Favorite albums of 2013:
No Joy - Wait to Pleasure
Anna Von Hausswolff - Ceremony
Savages - Silence Yourself
Alex Calder - Time
Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - UZU
Causa Sui - Euporie Tide
Plankton Wat - Drifter's Temple
Austra - Olympia

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2013 Year End Lists: James Cartwright, Production Manager

Heavy rotation in 2013, according to Spotify user history:

Angel Olsen - Half Way Home
Everything by Waxahatchee and Swearin'
Connections - Private Airplane
Broadcast - Tender Buttons
Randy Newman - Sail Away
Damien Jurado - Live at Landlocked / Maraquopa
Saintseneca - Uppercutter 7"
Songs: Ohia - Didn't It Rain
Courtney Barnett - The Double EP
Olentangy John - Doggerel 

Bonus favorite moments of 2013:

Groundhog Day in Los Angeles
Angel Olsen's set at Hopscotch
Sunset at the Pompidou Center, Paris
Neutral Milk Hotel in Richmond

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2013 Year End Lists: Camelia Brennan, Mail Order & College Radio

Top 10 (non Merge) releases of 2013: 
Of Montreal - Lousy with Sylvianbriar
Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
Phantogram - Phantogram 
Dungeonesse - Dungeonesse
Sylvan Esso - Hey Mami / Play It Right 
Rhye - Woman
Bonobo - The North Borders
Phosphorescent - Muchacho
Islands - Ski Mask
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2013 Year End Lists: Taylor Townes, Warehouse Manager

Staff pick:
Lambchop - Thriller
When I was trying to get an internship at Merge, I didn't feel like I could look at the application until I had done sufficient 'research'. I listened to a ton of Merge music, which essentially turned into listening to a ton of Lambchop. This one in particular reminds of filling out my application.
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2013 Year End Lists: Michael Benjamin Lerner, Telekinesis

William Onyeabor /// Who Is William Onyeabor? /// Luaka Bop Records
Crazy African 70’s jams. Apparently, this dude doesn’t want to speak about his music career, so not much is really known about him. But the songs really speak for themselves. It sounds like he just bought some new synthesizers and studio goodies, and just went for it with some other hot session players. This record is really inspiring.

Paul McCartney /// New /// Hear Music
After his last two bummer releases (Memory Almost Full, Kisses On the Bottom) Macca strikes back with this absolutely stellar album. It’s hard to believe that he is over 70, and making music that sounds this fresh and exciting. ‘Save Us’ could be a long lost Wings song. ‘Queenie Eye’ could be off of Magical Mystery Tour. It’s just a super stellar batch of songs. Lyrically, it’s not breaking any ground, but he’s 71 years old!!! I think this is an absolutely wonderful record, to add to an absolutely staggering discography, by one absolutely incredible man.

Clay Cole /// 55 Greetings /// Sleepy Volcano
Rebecca, who you may know from The Minders, Wild Flag also plays keyboards and percusses and sings in Telekinesis when we play live. Well, she put out this absolutely brilliant cassette tape solo record, completely under the radar. These songs are just so so so good. It’s all spacey themed, and the playing and production is totally top notch. I feel proud to know her as a friend, and to have her in my band. But don’t take my word for it, you should truly check it out for yourselves.


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2013 Year End Lists: Heather McEntire, Mount Moriah

1) foxes
2) Eleanor Friedberger 'Personal Record' LP
3) New Mexico chili powder
4) yoga
5) trains
6) Grass Widow 'Internal Logic' LP
7) Hiss Golden Messenger "Red Rose Nantahala" single
8) Phosphorescent "Song for Zula" single
9) Linda Ronstadt 'Heart Like A Wheel' LP
10) Television 'Marquee Moon'
11) reinvention
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2013 Year End Lists: Matthew Barnhart, Tour Manager & Sound for Superchunk, Destroyer & Bob Mould

1. The Dead C - Armed Courage LP (Ba Da Bing!)
2. Shannon Wright - In Film Sound LP (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)
3. Pinkish Black - Razed to the Ground LP (Century Media)
4. Parquet Courts - live
5. Overseas - live
6. Nuevo Leon restaurant, Chicago
7. Avec restaurant, Chicago
8. Hotel Zinkensdamm, Stockholm
9. Letherbee gin
10. (tie) The Siege of Sinatra -OR- This photo of LBJ with koalas

2013 Year End Lists: Mike Caulo, Merge Publicity

Viet Cong's cassette

There is Water at the Bottom of the Ocean by Lindsay Zoladz

Majical Cloudz instructing everyone to pogo at the right points in "Mister" during their Pop Montreal showcase at La Sala Rossa

Big Star's Nothing Can Hurt Me doc

Porches.' Slow Dance in the Cosmos

Speedy Ortiz letting Lucky decide the setlist at The Beachcomber on Cape Cod during Labor Day weekend

Pretty & Nice's Golden Rules for Golden People

falling for Nina Simone

Múm at a church called Fríkirkjan in Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves

Azde's sole release, despite breaking up before their first show
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