Constantines / Constantines - SP652
Rock ‘n’ roll has always been about transcending the banality of your everyday surroundings. The Constantines know this; it comes through in their lyrics, in their ethic, in their performances and particularly on this their debut album. When this record was first released in 2001 it was only available in their native Canada. It went on to be nominated for a Juno Award (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) and very nearly broke the record for the longest charting album in Canadian campus radio history. And it garnered universal praise from the Canadian music press: ‘…Light[s] a fire beneath the post-Fugazi underground’s ass that At the Drive-In promised but didn’t deliver. Hard to imagine Canada producing a better album this year’ Toronto Star. The response was just as glowing from those who managed to track down the record in the States: ‘The antidote for every boring and insincere rock record I’ve heard this year’ Magnet. Following the success of the Constantines’ second album (first for Sub Pop), Shine A Light (“As diverse and intriguing a record as the North American underground has produced for some time” Observer (London); “Shine A Light is truly thrilling; an inventive and addictive blend of growling riffs, frantic rhythms and deranged vocals, and it’s going to make you fall utterly head over heals for them” Kerrang!), their self-titled debut is available outside of Canada for the first time.
Released: 2004-08-10 (CD), 2004-08-10 (LP), 2009-08-12 (MP3s)
Constantines / Shine A Light - SP569
The first pressing of the The Constantines’ self-titled (and Juno Award-nominated) debut (released on Three Gut Records in 2001) was fittingly packaged so that, upon opening the red cardstock booklet, you’d find a single strike anywhere match. In an effort to not ruin the beauty and poignancy of a thing through over-explanation, suffice it to say that if your relationship with rock and roll is not fundamentally a quest for fire (elemental, transformative, consuming), you’ve missed the point. This from Magnet magazine: "They’re young offenders with sharpened teeth who make grinding, literate punk with the elasti-to-explosive guitars heard on Fugazi’s “Smallpox Champion,” the stark lyrical economy of a Vonnegut-penned newspaper obituary…" And: “The Constantines are old souls in young bodies-guys in their early 20s who sound like Joe Strummer backed by Fugazi – making music that wakes the sleeping and the dead.” Shine a Light is The Constantines’ second full-length and first for Sub Pop (Three Gut continues as the band’s home north of the border).
Released: 2003-08-19 (CD), 2003-08-19 (LP), 2009-08-12 (MP3s)
Constantines / Tournament of Hearts - SP669
Having wandered across our world’s vast oceans and mountains, having discussed the truths of love with saints and with swine, Toronto’s Constantines have returned with Tournament of Hearts, their third release for Sub Pop Records. Deep in manners, a band of gentlemen truly, this is not the telling after the kissing. These are the secrets locked away, an album heavy with the knowledge that the only truths worth telling are those truths told by lovers. Truths told in whispers and moans, truths lost and found under covers. Laid to tape amid the ghosts and wreckage of Toronto’s east end as Jeff McMurrich (Sea Snakes, Picastro, Hidden Cameras) cursed modern man’s technological alienation and Fat Bobby Matador (Oneida) wrestled the beasts, this is a record made for the chaos of days. A physical record, the thunder of battles of love. Against the immense falsehoods of the known and against the bloodless conventions of the unknown, against a dull world forever, this is an album of truth in desire. A record in filthy communion with mermaids and disorder, betrothed to the world with a sweetheart’s tender touch.
Released: October 11, 2005
The Spinanes / Strand - SP345
Although Gates and Plouf still play almost everything on their second outing, they make things more interesting by fooling around with a greater variety of instruments (adding more keyboards particularly) and getting outside guest vocalists to harmonize on a few songs. The songwriting (now handled by Gates exclusively) gets more penetrating as well, and the production is more imaginative (but does not approach slickness). At their most morose they recall “slowcore” groups like Low and Spain, but the Spinanes have more diversity than those acts and they show that on Strand.
Released: February 27, 1996
The Spinanes / Manos - SP227
Released: 1993-10-01 (CD), 1993-10-01 (CS), 1993-10-01 (LP), 1993-10-26 (MP3s)
Jason Loewenstein / At Sixes and Sevens - SP580
Jason Loewenstein is a member of Sebadoh (who are, ‘Not dead, just asleep…’). On the last three or four Sebadoh records, Jason wrote nearly half the songs. And, while Sebadoh was always a very democratic affair, each of the members writing and singing their own songs, with the other guys picking up the rest of the necessary instruments, At Sixes and Sevens is a democracy of exactly one. All of the guitar and bass playing, all of the drumming, the singing the schlepping of equipment from place to place, the pressing “record”: all Jason, all the time. Urgent, angular, at times even manic: “Sometimes it’s you, but it’s me this time.” Further information may be obtained at www.jakerock.com. (And, yes, we’re aware of the missed opportunities in not titling the record J-Loe…)
All songs written, produced and performed by Jason Loewenstein.
Released: July 9, 2002
Chad VanGaalen / Infiniheart - SP680
Cultivating a singularly unique voice in the world of songwriting and composition is a difficult prospect for all but the most naturally gifted of artists, and Calgary-based songwriter Chad VanGaalen certainly belongs in that category. Infiniheart, an epic tapestry of crunchy guitars, ethereal textures and expressive hooks, exists as a selection of the hundreds upon hundreds of intricate, visionary pop songs VanGaalen has crafted and self-recorded in his bedroom studio since 1994 with a Tascam 4-track, an Akai hard disc recorder and an assortment of analog gadgets. VanGaalen, a skilled animator and illustrator, began his journey busking Canadian streets and art events with a simple setup of drums and guitar before critical acclaim of his recorded material gave way to subsequent opening slots with Stars and the Pixies. As prolific as he is curious about the nature of sound and the mysteries of the heart, VanGaalen’s mystical, highly sympathetic characters thematically explore loss, passion and longing through sonic constructions rich in simplicity and peppered with glitchy beats, plaintive, vulnerable vocals and homemade saxophones and violins whittled by VanGaalen himself. Deeply moving and endlessly surprising, Infiniheart is VanGaalen’s first for Sub Pop.
Released: 2005-08-23 (CD), 2005-08-23 (2xLP), 2009-09-16 (MP3s)
Chad VanGaalen / Skelliconnection - SP719
Chad VanGaalen is very prolific. Skelliconnection was culled from hundreds of songs Chad has recorded over the last year or so, while holed up in his bare bones basement home studio. Using handmade instruments alongside those available to mere mortals, he’s created an even more diverse assemblage of music than for his last album and debut, Infiniheart. Chad resides in Calgary, Alberta, which is in Canada. He’s an amazingly talented illustrator and animator. There’s a chance you might have seen the videos he made for his own “Clinically Dead” and Love as Laughter’s “Dirty Lives.” They were featured on MTV2’s Subterranean video show, which Chad also hosted. He’s played with Built to Spill, Wolf Parade, The Pixies, and Stars, to name a few. Mostly, Chad likes to stay home and make songs and drawings. Chad’s new record, on the other hand, resides somewhere a little more difficult to pin down. It’s a restless, living thing, roaming between simple yet beautiful ballads, aggressively dissonant post-punk, and jazz-inflected synth-pop explorations, at times whimsical, and at others heartrending.
(Vinyl with bonus material here while it lasts.)
Released: August 22, 2006
Continuing our legacy of reminding people Nirvana had a record before Nevermind, on November 22, 2011 Sub Pop Records presents a non-deluxe, affordably-priced, single-LP version of Bleach, Nirvana’s debut album. Originally released by us in June of 1989, Bleach was re-mastered, deluxed up and reissued by us in November of 2009. That version of the Bleach LP is two pieces of 180-gram white vinyl with a 16-page booklet. It’s really nice. It’s also $28. This sturdy single-LP version of Bleach contains the full re-mastered album, as found on that Bleach: Deluxe Edition, and a pretty printed inner sleeve, for the much lower price of $14.
Released: 1989-06-01 (CD), 1989-06-01 (CS), 2011-11-22 (LP), 1989-06-01 (MP3s)
The Black Halos / The Violent Years - SP520
Described (by NOW magazine) as “…the bastard sons of Stiv Bators playing punk rock n roll from beyond the valley of the (New York) Dolls,” these sleazy Canadians return with their new (Jack Endino-produced) full-length (and first for Sub Pop). Their self-titled debut on the Die Young Stay Pretty imprint was hailed as one of the five best punk records of the ’90s by Hit List magazine, and The Violent Years finds them raising the bar yet again. The Enhanced CD includes live Video of Shooting Stars at CBGB!
Released: March 20, 2001
Kelley Stoltz / Below the Branches - SP674
San Francisco home-recording multi- instrumentalist Kelley Stoltz spent the better part of the past three years promoting and distributing his last album himself. “I finished Antique Glow in 2001, but found myself without a label when it was ready for release. So, being a vinyl nut, I decided to press up a couple hundred and, to save some money, painted all the covers myself. I sold them at shows and stores all around San Francisco. After that the record took on a life of its own.” And, this life of its own involved an eventual domestic CD release on San Francisco’s Jackpine Social Club, as well as considerable UK press attention. Antique Glow garnered a 4-star review and a “Mojo Rising” feature in MOJO magazine, as well as critical praise in Ptolemaic Terrascope, Uncut, Record Collector, and on BBC6 radio. At year’s end Antique Glow was ranked #24 in MOJO‘s “40 Best Albums of 2004,” described as, "a time capsule only recently discovered…a jamboree grab-bag of delights filled with everything from psychedelic folk and cosmic troubadour pop to garage-rock and lysergic r&b…one of the year’s major finds." Kelley’s new album, Below the Branches, picks up where Antique Glow left off, combining psych rock, folk, blues and pop in its 13 tracks, exploring new, piano-driven directions as well. It’s an album of improvisational pop, alchemically blending influences with results that are both timeless and new. Kelley and his band (Sean Coleman, Kevin Ink, Shayde Sartin, and John Hofer) will tour extensively with the release of Below the Branches.
Released: 2006-01-24 (CD), 2006-02-07 (LP), 2006-02-07 (MP3s)
Kelley Stoltz / Circular Sounds - SP748
Circular Sounds is the fourth LP from San Francisco’s home recording auteur Kelley Stoltz. Its 14 songs are a stereophonic advance on the lo-fidelity psych-fuzz of Antique Glow (Beautiful Happiness, 2004) and the mid-fi piano-rock of Below the Branches (Sub Pop, 2006): two modest masterpieces which, by a curious coincidence, both made #24 in MOJO magazine’s “Best Albums” list for their respective years. Kelley has also been praised by such esteemed publications as Uncut, Rolling Stone, Q, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out London, The Independent, and Ptolemaic Terrascope. In Australia he is a bona fide cult sensation, having scored a radio hit with “Underwater’s Where the Action Is” (off Antique Glow), while “Birdies Singing” (off Below the Branches) established him in Sweden after it was used to soundtrack a TV commercial for Volvo.
Circular Sounds is very much a pop record, in the classic ’60s mold. The horn-and-harmony-soaked romance suggesting Love covering “Good Day Sunshine” of “Everything Begins,” and the glorious, garage-psych dilation of “Your Reverie” are amongst the album’s 14 highlights. And these tracks boast Kelley’s fullest production to date: radio-ready yet retaining the organic warmth that gave his earlier work its character. He is no longer a marginal, ‘lo-fi’ artist: “I work in a second-hand record store and that’s made me more of a hi-fi advocate. It’s hard for me to listen to stuff that was recorded on a cassette player nowadays. By the last record I was mid-fi. I think I’m mid-hi now!”
Released: February 5, 2008
Michael Yonkers / Microminiature Love - SP508
Originally recorded in 1968 and slated for release on Sire Records, Microminiature Love languished unreleased until unearthed and issued by De Stijl Records as a limited, vinyl-only pressing in 2002. Our friends at Aquarius Records had the following to say about the original vinyl release:
“An obscure late-sixties ahead-of-his-time visionary gets his due with this LP reissue. Yonkers’ stuff was like nothing anyone had heard back then (or even now really): fucked-up garage psych with dementedly genius lyrics and crazy acid-fried guitar. Yonkers, a legendary Minneapolis-area figure, built his own effects pedals, cut his Fender Telecaster down to a plank, and played like no one else ever. I’m at a loss of words on how to describe this. It’s sort of like a fusion of stripped down Black Sabbath, The Troggs, Pere Ubu, and The Cramps??”
The July 22, 2003 CD reissue includes six bonus tracks not found on that first pressing of the LP.
Microminiature Love: finally back on vinyl!
Sub Pop’s Aug. 16, 2011 vinyl reissue will present the album in its original 7-song version. And, all six of the bonus tracks from the CD will be available in the download that comes with this LP. Proceeds from the sales of this LP reissue will benefit the Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation.
Released: 2003-07-22 (CD), 2003-07-22 (MP3s), 2011-08-16 (LP)
Michael Yonkers / Grimwood - SBL-76056
When considering Grimwood, it’d be a mistake to not also give thought to Microminiature Love. Recorded in ‘68 for Sire, MML languished unreleased until the spring of 2002, when we unearthed it swank on wax (later reissued as a Sub Pop CD). Called the greatest psych record of the 60s by more than a few, it’s no stretch to say that had it materialized, it would’ve altered the lay of the land. Though for various reasons still unclear, the deal fell apart and the band split. Perhaps this was the first in a seemingly endless series of cruel blows for Yonkers. He retreated, and recorded Grimwood.
As is said all too often about all too many recs, this is intensely private music. While not immediately recognizable as possessing the radical visionary qualities as MML, there is nevertheless a miracle at work. Usually there is a distance between singer / song. Here the distance is completely revoked. There is an immediate, definite coinciding between Yonkers and his Grimwood.
Yonkers suffered a debilitating back injury in a warehouse accident in ‘71 when a half-ton of scrap metal fell on him. He had strong allergic reactions to a chemical that was injected into his spinal cord in ’73, and he almost gave up the ghost. That caused a serious, life long condition called adhesive arachnoiditis. For awhile he retired from music. Though recorded in ’69, Yonkers privately released Grimwood in ’74, along with 3 other recs: Goodby Sunball (recorded in ’71), Michael Lee Yonkers (’72) and a duo with Jim Woehrle (‘73), Borders of My Mind. If they sold at all, they sold horribly. There is a photo inside Sub Pop’s MML CD of yonkers throwing copies of Grimwood up in the air, as they’d seemingly become disposable, as well as a heavy burden to lug around. Enterprising rec collectors have had a run on Grimwood for some time and it’s been impossible to affordably obtain. So here it is, remastered, digitized and priced for the people…
Released: September 11, 2007
Ugly Casanova / Sharpen Your Teeth - SP552
The highly anticipated first full-length from Modest Mouse singer/guitarist Isaac Brock. On Sharpen Your Teeth, Mr. Brock is ably aided and abetted throughout by the enigmatic John Orth, as well as such luminaries as Tim Tutili of Califone/Red Red Meat and The Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins.
Released: 2002-05-21 (2xLP), 2002-05-21 (CD), 2009-12-21 (MP3s)
Earth / Hibernaculum - RS-SUNN74
Some great reworkings of old classics, some obscure tracks made easier to obtain, and a bonus DVD documentary containing interviews with Dylan Carlson and European live footage. For the cost, a really great deal.
If you’re not familiar with Earth’s music, this might be a good starting place, if only to hear Dylan Carlson speak of his influences and motives behind curating such a band as this.
If you’re already a fan, you won’t be disappointed. The packaging is a bit generic, simple jewel case style with minimal text in booklet similar to many other Earth releases, but the music really shines as always.
Released: August 23, 2007
Earth / Phase 3 - Thrones and Dominions - SP292
Originally released Earth Day ’95 (4/25/95) on CD, this was reissued on double LP vinyl in 2006 by Sub Pop.
Released: April 25, 1995
Earth / Pentastar: In the Style of Demons - SP361
MEDIUMS: LP, CD
NOTES: Released 7/23/96
Released: July 23, 1996
Seven Angels / Teeth Of Lions Rule the Divine / Like Gold and Faceted
NOTES: Released 1/93.
Released: January 1, 1993
Earth / Legacy of Dissolution - NQR006
Classic Earth songs remixed by other famous people.
1. Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine (MOGWAI)
2. Tibetan Quaaludes [Waveset Sloth Mix] (RUSSELL HASWELL)
3. Thrones and Diminions (JIM OROURKE)
4. Coda Maestoso in F(Flat) Minor (AUTECHRE)
5. Harvey (JUSTIN BROADRICK)
6. Rule the Divine(Mysteria Caelestis Mugivi) (SUNN0)))))
10 Minute Warning / 10 Minute Warning - SP423
MEDIUMS: CD, LP
1. Swollen Rage
3. Face First
7. No More Time
8. Is This The Way?
Released: May 5, 1998
Love as Laughter / Sea to Shining Sea - SP531
Because at this point I can’t imagine that you’re not sick of people blathering on about this and that, the following from a December, 2000 aricle in NME (read it aloud in a British accent for full effect): “Take cover. Incendiary underground missionaries Love as Laughter are getting ready for an explosive deliverance from the bland and the apathetic. And with fanaticism like this, it looks like salvation is only a matter of time…” Throw in the fact that the NME folks tapped the recent L/A/L single “My Case” as ‘Single of the Week’ and that they found the last L/A/L full-length, Destination 2000 to be one of the best of ‘99, and you’ve got a full-scale UK phenom happening. And, Sea to Shining Sea is their latest and greatest blast of sci-fi rock and roll. You should ask yourself if you will make it through another year without an intelligent rock record standard to have on hand for all those times when you just can’t take another minute of bad plastic radio.
Released: 2001-12-01 (2xLP), 2001-09-04 (CD), 2001-09-04 (MP3s)
Love as Laughter / Destination 2000 - SP490
Hailing from Seattle’s Eastside (strikingly fertile ground, spawning Sunny Day Real Estate, Modest Mouse, and Red Stars Theory , among others), Sam Jayne used to be in a band called Lync, which released two astounding records (1994’s These Are Not Fall Colors, and the posthumous singles collection, Remembering The Fireballs (Part 8)). When Lync broke up in the fall of ’94, Sam focused on making tapes filled with fuzzed-out pop ditties of alien origin. The resulting record, The Greks Bring Giftsbringgifts, a true lo-fi revelation, proved a drag to tour behind, just Sam and his various noise-making machines. Our hero longed for the added excitement, camaraderie and collaboration provided by the full band experience. So, he coerced some friends (ex-Lync drummer Dave Schneider and guitarist Jessica Espeleta) into joining forces with him, and released #1 USA in 1998. Now the year is 1999 and Destination 2000, the new Love As Laughter record is upon us, and all anyone can do when they listen to this record is smile, honestly.
NOTES: Produced by LAL Industries with Phil Ek, Jon Tschurwald and Mike Epting at St-St-Studiolines recorded by LAL at the Velvet Elvis Jan – Apr 99. Mixed by Phil “So Naked You Rip” Ek at Jon & Stu’s 4/31/99.
Released: September 21, 1999
Love as Laughter / Laughter's Fifth - SP659
After a busy year (songwriter Sam Jayne recently appeared on Saturday Night Live with Modest Mouse and played the prestigious All Tomorrow’s Parties festival accompanied by J. Mascis) Love as Laughter returns with Laughter’s Fifth, the smartest, grittiest solo-rich classic r’n’r record you’ll get in 2K5. Informed by Thin Lizzy/T-Rex/early Tom Petty, this album’s brilliantly disheveled pop gems tell stories of dirty tricks, miscommunication, regret, bathroom graffiti and misadventure. Sam Jayne started Love as Laughter in 1994 as a solo project in the months after the dissolution of Olympia, Washington’s mess-rock legends Lync and his work with Beck on the One Foot in the Grave record. L/A/L went on to release two albums on K Records and two more on Sub Pop. The new record highlights Jayne’s tongue-in-cheek wit, manifesting itself in the form of sly musical allusions and lyrical innuendo. Laughter’s Fifth is full of the kind of loosely perfect pop songwriting that inspired Doug Martsch to cover “Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords” (off L/A/L’s first album, The Greks Bring Gifts) on Built to Spill’s live record, simply titled Live. It’s a record shot through with gritty, intimate, laissez-faire sentiment and soul, and also their fifth full-length release.
Released: April 26, 2005
Love as Laughter / The Greks Bring Gifts - M-KCD51
1. It’s Only Lena
3. You Gotta Bug
4. Keep Your Shade
5. Uninvited Trumpets
6. Next Time You Fall Apart
7. The Youth Are Plastic
8. Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords
9. A Tune and a Comfortable Ride
10. Let’s Talk Radar
11. Let’s Talk Radar (part 2)
12. Let’s Talk Radar (part 3)
13. I Am The Seldom Reared
14. High Noon
15. Eeyore Crush It/./
17. Kung Fu Exercise Fountain
18. If I Ever Need Someone Like You
23. untitled (cockroach in your pants)
Love as Laughter / #1 USA - M-KCD76
1. Old Gold
2. #1 U.S.A.
3. I’m a Bee
4. Slow Blues Fever
7. Puget Sound Sanitation
Sam Jayne is proud to announce the official release of ‘The Supernatural Sessions’ , songs recorded over the course of last year by ‘natural’ Miguel Mendez. The CD is out on Luckyhorse Industries and features some 12 or so original and not so original songs. The CD sleeves are individually silk screened and look pretty cool compared to most CD covers, if you are into that sort of thing.
1. Anyone and All Who Come
2. Don’t Worry Baby
3. Rosie’s Factory
6. The Cleaning Man
7. Bonnie and Clyde
8. The Last of the Steam Powered Trains
9. The Quasar Brother
10. Some of Shelley’s Blues
11. The Captain was Here