The Album Leaf / A Chorus of Storytellers - SP805
A Chorus of Storytellers was recorded by Ryan Hadlock in the frosty month of February 2009 at Bear Creek Studio just outside of Seattle. It was mixed in the decidedly warmer month of June in Reykjavik, Iceland by Birgir Jon Birgisson. Those paying attention will notice that this is nearly the same way their last album Into the Blue Again was recorded. There is, however, one fundamental difference between this and every other album The Album Leaf has ever recorded. For the first time in five albums, The Album Leaf recorded as a whole band. In the past, almost every instrument was performed by principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle. This time the whole band was invited to participate and the result is their best record yet.
If you pre-order A Chorus of Storytellers, you’ll receive The Enchanted Hill, a 2007 EP/tour Video from The Album Leaf. This is a while supplies last sort of thing, so this deal is limited to the first two hundred orders.
Released: February 2, 2010
Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba / I Speak Fula - SBL-72001
Malian maestro Bassekou Kouyate is a virtuoso picker and musical visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music. Bassekou’s instrument, the ngoni, is a “spike lute” and an ancestor of the banjo, sharing its taut-skinned drum body, percussive attack, and varied picking techniques. Since 2005, Bassekou has led Ngoni Ba, the first-ever group built around not one but four ngonis—-all played by members of his family.
Bassekou’s longtime friend and booster Lucy Duran (a BBC radio host, record producer, and Mande music scholar) produced the band’s debut, Segu Blue. Before long, Bassekou and Ngoni Ba were touring Europe and in high demand. I Speak Fula builds on the success of Segu Blue. Its 11 tracks provide a star-studded tour of pan-Malian music, including collaborations with Toumani Diabaté, griot vocal legend Kasse Mady Diabaté, master of the horse-hair soku fiddle Zoumana Tereta, and guitar phenomenon Vieux Farka Toure, Ali’s precociously talented son. The release of I Speak Fula and Ngoni Ba’s first U.S. tour mark the latest leg of an extraordinary musical journey.
I Speak Fula is the first release on Next Ambiance, a new label founded by Jon Kertzer host of KEXP’s Best Ambiance Radio show and Sub Pop co-founder Jon Poneman, and the newest addition to the Sub Pop family. Next Ambiance continues the musical exploration of Best Ambiance, with an emphasis on mind-blowing and life-changing artists with no particular regional or cultural bias.
“Contender for African album of the year.” (5 stars) Uncut
“This is a cracker.” (4 stars) Mojo
“Spectacular.” BBC online
“Truly irresistible.” Music Week
“Fizzes with energy.” (4 stars) Observer Music Monthly
“There’s unlikely to be a better African album this year.” (5 stars) Evening Standard
“Ferociously powerful album … Superb.” The Independent (Album of the Week)
“Soon the world will speak Fula.” Metro
If you like vinyl and want this record on vinyl, go here.
Released: 2010-02-02 (CD), 2010-02-16 (MP3s)
AFCGT / AFCGT (Sub Pop LP) - SP843
Drooling Hillbilly Metal, Sea Urchin Psychedelia, Yukon Freak Thrash, and Beatnik Swamp Drone are musical genres, like dozens of others, which are in the infancy of their developments. Yet someone has finally harnessed the inside track to claiming a few of these elusive styles as their own creations. AFCGT is a rather convenient vernacular for A Frames and Climax Golden Twins but if you’re hopeful that the usual sources are stocked with facts and figures about this outfit, think again. There’s not much information available on AFCGT. The cretinous calliope that is AFCGT descends from a decrepit longhouse on the shores of a dark lake where the self-inflicted wounds from a windy forest of flailing, whipping branches gave birth to the white heat oddities from this their self-titled new album on Sub Pop Records. Conjoined a little over two years ago, the group has already been dishing out vinyl; recording a 10-inch EP, a full-length LP, and appearing on a 7-inch compilation not to mention a few super-limited CDRs thrown in for kicks. With 3 electric guitars, a bass guitar, and a drum kit they manage to emulate the decaying soundtrack of an international airport with all the trimmings; accidental runway collisions, air traffic control extremism, unauthorized handling of cargo, and bitching passengers at checkpoint screenings. AFCGT will be available as both a vinyl LP (with bonus 7-inch single!) and as a digital album (without bonus 7-inch single!), though not as a compact disc.
Released: January 26, 2010
Beach House / Teen Dream - SP845
Recorded in upstate New York, in a converted church called Dreamland with producer/engineer Chris Coady (who has worked with TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blonde Redhead, and a bunch of others) Teen Dream is the third album from the Baltimore-based duo Beach House, and their Sub Pop debut. The new album gives voice to a full universe of unbridled imagination, and the manifestation of Teen Dream has been a welcomed and all-consuming obsession for Beach House the past 9-12 months. Both the CD and LP formats of Teen Dream will arrive packaged with a companion DVD featuring a video for each song on the album, each by a different director.
Released: January 26, 2010
Retribution Gospel Choir / 2 - SP856
Retribution Gospel Choir is a rock trio founded in 2007. The group features Alan Sparhawk on guitar and vocals, Steve Garrington on bass and Eric Pollard on drums and vocals. Alan also fronts the band Low with his wife, Mimi Parker, and Steve also plays bass in Low. 2 is Retribution Gospel Choir’s 2nd full-length and Sub Pop debut! Eric Swanson recorded these performances at Sacred Heart Studio in Duluth, Minnesota, and Matt Beckley mixed the recordings at Faux Rock in Sherman Oaks, California.
Released: January 26, 2010
Nirvana / Bleach: Deluxe Edition - SP834
Marking the 20th Anniversary of Nirvana’s debut album, Sub Pop will re-issue the Platinum Certified Bleach on November 3, 2009. This expanded CD/double-LP will include a never-before-released live performance, special packaging and the first run of the double-LP will be on 180g white vinyl (the first run of the original LP was also on white vinyl). Both formats will be available for pre-order here at subpop.com leading up to this edition’s release.
Originally recorded over three sessions with producer Jack Endino at Seattle’s Reciprocal Recording Studios in December 1988 and January 1989, Bleach was released in June of ‘89 and remains unequivocally/unsurprisingly Sub Pop’s very favorite Nirvana full-length. The album initially sold 40,000 copies, but was brought into the international spotlight following the release and worldwide success of their 1991 sophomore effort, Nevermind. Subsequently Bleach went on to sell 1.7 million copies in the US alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This 20th Anniversary Edition has been re-mastered from the original tapes at Sterling Sound in a session overseen by producer Jack Endino.
This edition will include an unreleased live recording of a complete February 9th, 1990 show at the Pine Street Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The show features performances of “Love Buzz,” “About a Girl” and a cover of The Vaselines’ song “Molly’s Lips” and has been re-mixed from the original tapes by Endino (complete track listing below). A 52-page CD /16-page LP booklet which includes candid photos of the band not previously released to the public will also be included in this deluxe edition.
A notice to Vinyl-buyers: this is a very weighty collection of records and images and nice packaging. What I’m clumsily saying is, if you’re in America, choose UPS shipping as your shipping method. It’s going to be more cost-effective than USPS (unless you’re in the Seattle area).
Released: November 3, 2009
There is so much that could be said regarding Flight of the Conchords. How they hail from New Zealand, the island nation with multiple postal services. Or that, after winning a Best Comedy Album Grammy for The Distant Future in 2007, they were nominated for a second Best Comedy Album Grammy in 2008, but were actually relieved not to win again—-because meaningless trophies really do seem important when you only have one, and have to fight over who gets to keep it. And that during the recently-completed second season of their popular HBO television series, fans could download new songs immediately after they debuted on-air. Or that this same popular HBO television series (conveniently also called Flight of the Conchords) was recently nominated for what-sure-seems-like-a-record-breaking 6 Emmys.
But all that is mere background, fact-based information that, while, granted, is largely true, impressive, and odd, doesn’t really allow us to serve up the steaming plate of rich, delicious and hopefully irresistibly persuasive description for which we (or our hired writers) are somewhat known in certain circles. And so: While Flight of the Conchords hammered out their reputation from behind the relative safety of acoustic guitars, blithely billed as a “folk comedy” act, nowadays their musical style runs rampant, unchecked. Judging from the range displayed here on I Told You I Was Freaky, Flight of the Conchords have yet to unearth a genre which can withstand their artistry. Unflinching in their lyrical stance, sophisticated with their arrangements, crafting melodies which always lodge firmly in the frontal lobe: Flight of the Conchords have created 13 best-selling ringtones, humbly masquerading as songs. Their rhymes are fearless, their thesauruses dog-eared. Only cool, confident specimens of manhood such as these could drop three-dollar vocabulary busters like “dungarees” and “pantaloons” while still mesmerizing the ladies with their undulating “Sugalumps.” Vivid imagery? Check: The ardent “Angels” should spur listeners to think twice the next time they consider catching a snowflake on their tongues. Better still, the amorous odyssey of the album’s zenith, “We’re Both in Love with a Sexy Lady,” unfolds before the listener’s very ears in real time; Flight of the Conchords are making history, and You! Are! There!
I Told You I Was Freaky is, among a great many other things, a genre-tripping tour de force and includes three songs from the second series of the show which are otherwise as yet unreleased (“Rambling Through the Avenues of Time,” “Too Many Dicks (On the Dance Floor)” and “You Don’t Have to Be a Prostitute”).
Released: October 20, 2009
Brooklyn resident, comedian and really great guy (and Russian immigrant) Eugene Mirman has, among a great many other things, released two previous albums: Suicide Squeeze Records’ The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman (voted best of 2004 by Time Out New York and The Onion) and the 2006 genre-bending (not really) follow-up En Garde, Society! on Sub Pop Records (which Eugene thinks reached an Amazon ranking of about 2,045 in music!). Now, three years later, The Mirm (that’s what the crew on the Flight of the Conchords tour called him) is releasing the possibly offensive, but most likely charming God Is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s. Recorded live in Chicago (the city where Abraham Lincoln lost his virginity) at the Lakeshore Theater (an intimate alt-comedy theater) in super-late 2008, this album is a collection of Eugene’s funniest new stuff.
Released: October 6, 2009
Pens / Hey Friend, What You Doing? - SBL-76071
Spunky debut from homegrown girl urchins. Riot girl spawned a generation of female dominated bands that sounded like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders. That, definitely, is not PENS. Product of a London scene steeped in the lo-fidelity and ecstatic exuberance of US bands like No Age and Times New Viking, this all-girl trio rattle through tales of delinquency like “High in the Cinema” with barely a second’s reflection. Luckily, these scuzzy punk nuggets cranked out on budget organ and tinny guitar largely succeed in transmitting the spirit of excitement they were surely conceived in.
~ Louis Pattinson / UNCUT
Released: September 15, 2009
Sunny Day Real Estate / LP2 (2009 Edition) - SP852
This is the 2009 reissue of Sunny Day Real Estate’s 1995 sophomore album, commonly, and largely unofficially, referred to as either LP2 or The Pink Album. We’ve been going with LP2 for a while now and plan to stick with it. This 2009 edition has been re-mastered and includes the bonus tracks “Spade and Parade” and “Bucket of Chicken,” as well as newly written liner notes.
If you’re not already familiar with LP2, there’s a thorough and thoughtful review here.
Released: September 15, 2009
Sunny Day Real Estate / Diary (2009 Edition) - SP846
This is the 2009 reissue of Sunny Day Real Estate’s 1994 debut album Diary. This edition has been re-mastered and includes the bonus tracks “8” and “9,” as well as newly written liner notes. The LP reissue of Diary will be on two pieces of BLACK vinyl.
If you don’t already know Diary, here’s a review!
Released: September 15, 2009
Talbot Tagora / Lessons in the Woods or a City - SBL-73007
Lessons in the Woods or a City is presented as a series of lessons. Lessons that present a lesson that presents a lesson – in a lesson. A series of abstractions for the senses. A sound shaped for an ear which suggest a thought. A thought for a vehicle in a vehicle in a vehicle. Presented by fish on a circle to fish on a circle – as they change through a vehicle in time. Intended to take your time while you think about time. Time – A measurement. A clock – a tool in measurement – included on a CD player. 33.333 – a number – a tool in a tool in measurement – revolutions per minute- included on a record player. Tools used in the summer, fall, winter, or spring- tools explaining a revolution – a year – in a revolution in a revolution.
Released: July 21, 2009
Grand Archives / Keep in Mind Frankenstein - SP803
Grand Archives’ second full-length album, like much of its predecessor, was crafted at Paradise Sound in Index, WA with help from producer Ben Kersten (who also recorded The Grand Archives, the band’s 2008 debut). A few friends dropped by during recording. Brooke’s former Carissa’s Wierd cohorts, Jenn Ghetto and Sera Cahoone, sang backing vocals. The gorgeous streaks of pedal steel across the wistful sweep of “Oslo Novelist” come courtesy of Jason Kardong. For the most part, Grand Archives played everything. Especially the weird bits. It’s a little darker than the first record and opens with the bittersweet elegy “Topsy’s Revenge,” inspired by the infamous 1903 newsreel footage of Thomas Edison electrocuting a rogue Coney Island elephant. Songs like “Dig That Crazy Grave,” a buoyant ditty redolent of Southern California and summer afternoons, and the insistent, soaring Silver Among the Gold find their place here as well. It’s an album made up of disparate elements artfully fit together and brought to life with affecting results: Keep in Mind Frankenstein.
Released: September 15, 2009
The Supersuckers / Sacrilicious - SP303
MEDIUMS: LP, CS, CD
Born With a Tail
The 19th Most Powerful Woman in Rock
Money Into Sin
The Thing About That
Run Like a Motherfucker
Hittin’ the Gravel
Stoned if You Want it
Don’t Go Blue
NOTES: Released 8/8/95.
Released: August 8, 1995
NOTES: Released 9/22/98 on LP, CS, CD.
Released: September 22, 1998
Pissed Jeans / King of Jeans - SP818
If 2005’s Shallow was Pissed Jeans coping with moving out of their parents’ homes, and 2007’s Hope for Men their initial reaction to the mechanical lifestyle of a wage-earner, King of Jeans is their formal and uneasy acceptance of adulthood, by way of one hell of a rock record. Working with renowned producer Alex Newport (who holds a Fudge Tunnel pedigree and has worked with such luminaries as At the Drive-In, The Locust and Sepultura), Pissed Jeans have pushed further into the raw, minimal core of heavy rock music with King of Jeans. Masters of the mundane, beasts of the banal, high priests of the humdrum: these four, white, male high school graduates hardly look further than their own appendages for artistic inspiration, content to execute their own brand of brash and heavy punk music in the Joe Carducci-approved standard rock formation of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. From simple minds and simple fabrics comes this King of Jeans. And there can be only one.
Released: August 18, 2009
Fruit Bats / The Ruminant Band - SP830
Over the course of three records, the last two on Sub Pop (2003’s Mouthfuls and 2005’s Spelled in Bones), Eric D. Johnson’s Fruit Bats have looked for ways to file down the cynical edge of modern life and found many. Using bright melodies, defiantly major-key chord structures, natural imagery mixed with the occasional blazing insight and tender observation, the Fruit Bats have never shied away from darkness, but more uncommon in this day and age, they’ve refused to shy away from light. With The Ruminant Band, this tradition continues in characteristically rich and involving fashion. From the barn-floor stomp of “The Hobo Girl” and the Fleetwood Mac-esque shimmy of the title track to the propulsive yet spacious ‘70s country-rock jam “Tegucigalpa” and the parlor piano soft-shoe of “Flamingo,” The Ruminant Band makes good on Johnson’s recent message board promise: “We are going to choogle for you.” Though he has spent the handful of years between Fruit Bats records playing with peers as heralded and forward-thinking as Vetiver and The Shins, the songwriting and production on The Ruminant Band mark a further crystallization of Johnson’s own melodic instincts and overall vision over the past near-decade, abetted by brothers-in-arms who know both bluster and restraint.
Released: August 4, 2009
Sunset Rubdown / Dragonslayer - 4065593
New CD/LP from Wolf Parade side project, Sunset Rubdown.
Released: July 15, 2009
Tiny Vipers / Life on Earth - SP836
Tiny Vipers is Jesy Fortino, a musician living in Seattle. Since her last and first album, 2007’s Hands Across the Void, she has been back and forth across Europe, on tours into and through the United States, transfixing audiences into a solemn hush. Transcending the mere folk tag (“She’s not telling stories; she’s after incantation and trance” — New York Times), Fortino draws from disparate inspirational sources, from the avant-garde or from country musician Townes Van Zandt. Recordings for the new album began at home and were then interpreted by Andrew Hernandez in a classic analog studio in Austin, TX. Retaining both the glow of her work on guitar and the strength of her voice, Hernandez has captured the organic nature mirrored in the concepts of the album. Life on Earth gives musical life to those themes that inhabit her lyricisms: love found and lost, places come and gone. The future annihilates the past, consuming it like a fire. A shining hope permeates the threat of doom here. Desperation fades and leaves you free in the end.
Released: July 7, 2009
Daniel Martin Moore / Stray Age LP - 4076099
Here’s the LP version Daniel Martin Moore’s debut album Stray Age put out by Shake It Records. The vinyl version includes one bonus track, Carby’s Tune, on the LP along with a 4 track 7" ep of alt tracks & demos. The vinyl was remastered by Bob Weston (Shellac/Mission of Burma) and sounds glorious. The 7" eps are sleeved in 1 of 5 different hand screened/colored covers. Each limited to 140.
A-sides: Every Color and Kind (band version), Not a Step Behind
B-sides: Flyrock Blues, Tu Dors Bien
Released: February 20, 2009
Swan Lake / Enemy Mine - 4065595
Spencer from Wolf Parade’s side project, Swan Lake and their new CD/LP, Enemy Mine.
Released: April 21, 2009
Iron and Wine / Around the Well - SP808
Collecting songs ranging from out-of-print to never-before-released, Around the Well spans Iron and Wine’s earliest sessions which yielded the band’s debut (2002’s The Creek Drank the Cradle) through material recorded for 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog. The double-disc Around the Well collection is broken up into two sections. The first half is an assortment of hushed home recordings, unedited and raw, and the second highlights moments captured in the confines of proper studios with the help of other musicians, friends and engineers. The album’s title comes from a line in the song “The Trapeze Swinger,” a fan favorite which was written for and included in the movie In Good Company. Three more songs written and recorded for the film finally make their appearance here as well: “Belated Promise Ring,” “God Made the Automobile” and “Homeward, These Shoes.” Around the Well also brings together hard-to-find covers such as The Flaming Lips’ “Waitin’ for a Superman” and New Order’s “Love Vigilantes,” along with one of Iron and Wine’s earliest originals, “Sacred Vision.” In support of Around the Well, this May Iron and Wine will perform ten intimate shows in five cities. In addition, Iron and Wine have begun work on the follow-up to The Shepherd’s Dog and plan to release a new album in spring, 2010.
Released: May 19, 2009
The Vaselines / Enter The Vaselines - SP810
The Vaselines have long been celebrated by musicians and music enthusiasts across genres and across the globe, including super-fan Kurt Cobain. Sub Pop’s May 5 release of Enter The Vaselines is an opportunity for those already familiar with the Scottish band’s brief career to delve deeper into their body of work, while those new to their music can experience firsthand why so many hold them in such high regard. This new collection is effectively a deluxe-edition reissue of the 1992 Sub Pop release The Way of The Vaselines with a new title and new cover art from the band, and a whole lot of new material (the entirety of the 17-song second CD/third LP has been added). Originally mastered from a cassette tape, The Way of The Vaselines compiled the band’s two EPs (Son of a Gun and Dying for It) and their sole LP release (Dum-Dum). Enter The Vaselines is the definitive triple LP/double CD Vaselines collection. It includes new mixes and re-mastered versions of everything by The Vaselines, plus never-before-heard demos, and live recordings from 1986 in Bristol and 1988 in London.
Released: May 5, 2009
No Age / Weirdo Rippers - 4077298
No Age’s first full-length record, though not necessarily an LP, but a compilation of several seven-inch singles. On Fat Cat Records.
Released: October 8, 2008
Obits / I Blame You - SP785
Obits are Rick Froberg, Sohrab Habibion, Greg Simpson, and Scott Gursky. They reside in Brooklyn, NY. There is a bootleg of their first live show from Jan. ‘08 at the Cake Shop in NY somewhere on the internet. As with most of these sorts of things, the sound quality of that recording is pretty poor. The songs though… The songs are really great. Obits like a lot of music—Television, Wipers, Michael Yonkers, 13th Floor Elevators, Neu!, The Shangri-Las, African psych, punk rock. They don’t really sound that much like Creedence, maybe a little. Since that first show, we somehow convinced them that releasing some records on Sub Pop would be a good idea. Obits came out to Seattle in July of 2008 and played our 20th anniversary festival. In December of 2008, they released their first single, “One Cross Apiece” b/w “Put It in Writing” on their own Stint Records label and did some touring with the Constantines and The Night Marchers.
“We’re not into innovation as a band,” says Froberg, who’s already done his fair share of innovating with Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. “I think innovation is overrated and an overestimated quality. Anything that’s going to be original is going to happen without your control. Things that make your band sound like you, are things you wouldn’t be able to change anyway. We just go ahead and play the stuff we like, and we don’t worry about originality per se, because that takes care of itself.”
Produced by Geoff Sanoff, Eli Janney and Obits, I Blame You is the band’s debut full-length album.
Released: March 24, 2009
Six Finger Satellite / Severe Exposure - SP299
MEDIUMS: LP, CD, CS
NOTES: Released 7/13/95.
Released: 1995-07-11 (CD), 1995-07-11 (LP), 1995-07-11 (CS), 1995-07-11 (12 inch single)...
1st 1,000 on Blue Vinyl
2. No Way Out
3. Reindeer Are Wild
4. Hand to Hand
5. Headcoat Man
6. Girl of Matches
7. I Don’t Like the Man I am
8. Pokerhuntus Was Her Name
9. We’re Gone
11. I Ain’t About to Give You My Name
12. Rusty Hook
Released: 1991-10-01 (CD), 1990-10-01 (CS), 1990-10-01 (LP), 1974-08-15 (MP3s)
The Spinanes / Arches and Aisles - SP417
MEDIUMS: CD & LP
1. kid in candy
2. greetings from the sugar lick
4. leisure run
5. love, the lazee
6. sucker’s trial
7. slide your ass
8. reach v. speed
9. den trawler
11. heisman stance
Released: 1998-06-09 (LP), 1998-06-23 (CD), 1998-06-23 (MP3s)
Mike Ireland and Holler / Learning How To Live - SP418
1. House Of Secrets
2. Worst of All
3. Headed For a Fall
4. Biggest Torch in Town
5. Don’t Call This Love
6. Banks of the Ohio
7. Christmas Past
8. Graveyard Song
9. Cold, Cold Comfort
10. Some Things You Lose
12. Learning How to Live
Released: March 10, 1998
2. Speed Demon (intro)
3. Speed Demon
4. Blood Brothers Revenge
5. Blag the Ripper
6. Lucky Tonight
7. Who’s Fucking Who
8. Fuck ’em All
9. Anybody But Me
10. Three Seconds
11. Fuck Around
12. The Scum Also Rises
13. Johnny Glue
14. Johnny Glue
15. Anybody Out There
16. Evil Primeval
19. Smack City
20. New Orleans
21. Action Man
22. Smack City
23. Cain Novocaine
25. Wish That I Was Dead
26. Gash Wagon
Released: February 9, 1999