His Electro Blue Voice / Ruthless Sperm - SP1054
Ruthless Sperm. What’s in a name? A whole hell of a lot, actually. Sperm can ruin everything. Persistent little shits that fight their way to the prize. If just one soldier gets ahold of its egg of choice, things will break apart, bubble and mutate. A microscopic violence that leads to thirty plus pounds of sludge and flesh. Still, beauty tends to be the outcome after all this splashy mess and most parties find a happy, rewarding ending. Most parties. To the unfortunate others, the outcome can be more terrifying than anything dreamed up in a Polanski flick.
Italy’s His Electro Blue Voice follows a similar path to creation. Once the choice is made, it’s guaranteed the trip will be violent and unrelenting. Only the band doesn’t tell you up front which crooked path is gonna lead you to the finish line (at first, they may not even know). But whether it’s slathered in a thick glaze of neo-gothic guitar, an unexpected electronic pulse or leveled under a death trip full of panic inducing terror shrieks, His Electro Blue Voice have become masters at building soundscapes that leave brave listeners spent, soiled and with nothing positive on their mind.
On Ruthless Sperm – His Electro Blue Voice’s debut full-length, after a string of collectible singles/EPs and an appearance on the Sub Pop 1000 compilation – they set their trajectories on a Kraut-driven rhythm; a haunting, cinematic wash or a mechanically-sound industrial thump. Thirty-plus minutes of shock-horror blasts, blaring cyber-synth attacks and that gloriously-repetitive Stoogeoid-meets-Killing Joke throb. The end result is a platter that’s as direct as it is deadly. Yet for all the bombast and bummer, His Electro Blue Voice still bring forth euphoric hooks and shards of shoegaze, if only to leave them strewn about within the mechanical wreckage. You can almost hear the sounds of the early 4AD roster in the grooves, left teetering between warped indie sensibility and creepy-crawl madness. Crazy sounding, but damned if it doesn’t stick in your head.
Ruthless Sperm by His Electro Blue Voice: subtle as a construction site and precise like a leather gloved killer. This is the apocalypse. This is end times. Thankfully we get a decent soundtrack to go with it.
If you pre-order Ruthless Sperm on CD or LP from SubPop.com, you’ll receive a digital download of an exclusive 13+ minute long song titled Mad Seen not available on the record or anywhere else! Also worth noting, pre-orders of the LP will receive the limited, RED colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the record. These things are governed by a while supplies last type of law, so order soon to ensure your obtainment of such wonderful things.
NOTE: If you pre-order this record, your order will not ship until August 20th. This applies to everything in your order – none of it will ship until August 20th. So, if you’d like to order more than just this His Electro Blue Voice CD/LP, it would be good to place separate orders if you’re the type who wants what you ordered, and you want it NOW! Thanks!
- MP3 download included with all vinyl releases
Released: August 20, 2013
Beachwood Sparks / Beachwood Sparks (Reissue) - 4050398
Newly-reissued by Bomp! Records, this BLUE-vinyl edition of Beachwood Sparks’ self-titled Sub Pop debut is a beauty to behold!
Released: June 13, 2013
Mogwai / Les Revenants - 4089543
There’s something to be said for a band that, seven studio albums, two soundtracks, a live album and two remix albums into their career, can still twist their artistic journey towards fresh directions that continually surprise and reveal new aspects of their sound. If Mogwai’s decision to create the score to Canal+ supernatural thriller series Les Revenants (meaning ‘Ghosts’) came a little out of leftfield, then what they’ve come up with for the French television network probably wrong-footed even those that gave them the brief.
A quick background to Les Revenants: adapted from the eponymous Robin Campillo-directed 2004 film, the series unfolds in an isolated French mountain town, where the locals are troubled after children who were tragically killed in a bus crash appear to come back to life, unaware that they’d died. A wonderfully captured perennial sense of unease and limbo sustains throughout each episode, with dully lit scenes and a sparsely-set location adding to the atmosphere. “We were actually big fans of the director Fabrice Gobert’s film Simon Werner a disparu, which had a soundtrack by Sonic Youth,” comments Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite of their decision to take the project, “and we found the story for Les Revenants incredibly interesting.”
The band was approached on the basis of their phenomenal work for the Douglas Gordon documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. Much like on that Zidane soundtrack, the group have turned away again from their recognised path towards the fascinating new; their familiar layers on layers of textural guitar have been stripped away, allowing isolated piano and keys to wander with grip-like tension through the fourteen tracks. There’s something intangibly Mogwai here still, but it’s been refracted through a fresh prism.
“The whole process was completely new for us,” says Braithwaite in explaining this departure. “The remit given to us was very vague – which was ideal – but we were still working to instruction for the first time, which offered a new kind of limitation. As it was a TV series soundtrack too, there was more than four times the amount of screen time for us to put music to, had to be created in a short period of time.” That condensed nature of writing and recording is what gives the Les Revenants soundtrack its sense of immediacy. Much more has been made of repetition and looped motifs, used to enhance the both the anxiety of what’s unfolding on the screen, and also as a device for the group to experiment with refined dynamics in a new way.
“The tension is in the story already so, with that in mind, all we felt necessary was to add to the atmosphere” comments Braithwaite on the feeling of restraint that runs through the record. “This definitely made the music more subdued than a normal Mogwai record, where the atmosphere is needed to be created completely by the music.”
Amidst this drawn out cord of nervous energy, though, was one complete curio: “Initially we had to send the producers a load of demos and I found this cover version Washington Phillips’ ‘What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?’ I’d done solo that I’d intended to submit to a tribute album to late musician Jack Rose [from noise/drone band Pelt who died of a heart attack in 2009]. It was a surprise that they used it but it fitted well in the end.” Braithwaite’s paean to his former friend is an arrestingly beautiful rearrangement of the 1920’s Texan gospel singer’s original, completely unlike anything released under the Mogwai name and a perfect contrast to the rest of the soundtrack’s subtle agitation. But then that’s Mogwai for you: always evolving, always surprising – this is another sublime addition to their canon.
Les Revenants soundtrack
1. Hungry Face
3. The Huts
4. Kill Jester
5. This Messiah Needs Watching
6. Whisky Time
7. Special N
8. Relative Hysteria
9. Fridge Magic
11. Eagle Tax
13. What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?
14. Wizard Motor
Released: February 26, 2013
Kinski / Cosy Moments - 4062096
It’s been a few years since Kinski’s last album came out. They know that. Kinski also knows they could have stopped making music a long time ago, but they still have a lot to say. “We could have easily stopped,” said guitarist Chris Martin, speaking about the five-year gap between albums he made with Lucy Atkinson, Matthew Reid-Schwartz and Barrett Wilke. “But it felt wrong to quit. We wanted to keep doing it somehow. To keep going and keep making vital, great music.” Their upcoming release Cosy Moments due out in April 2013 on Kill Rock Stars is just that: Vital and great.
The album is filled with the glistening, graceful chords and heavy proto-punk rhythms that have become Kinski’s hallmarks over the last 14 years of playing music together. Not that the band is walking in their own musical footprints on the new album. Instead, Cosy Moments is the result of Martin, the band’s songwriter, spending the last few years figuring out where to go next musically. “We wanted to make something poppier and more direct,” Martin said. “That was the kind of music I wanted to hear then and that’s what we tried to do. I was really sick of hearing people step on wah wah pedals and solo over psych rock. There were so many people doing that. Including us. We’ve always had more poppy, songish elements But we just took it further this time.”
To build the complex layers of sound on the album, Martin changed up the way he wrote the songs, leaving behind the pedals, amps and tones he would play around with while drafting songs and instead sticking to more traditional songwriting techniques. The result of his efforts are songs crafted on a solid framework, with each song reaching higher and higher through complex layers of crisp guitar arpeggios, pounding percussion and fleeting ethereal moments that are a far cry from Kinski’s earlier fuzzed out psych-metal work. The addition of a pop element is not the only evolution of the band’s sound. This album also features vocals, which is a dramatic shift for a band that is known primarily as an instrumental group. “We always had songs with vocals on past albums, but it took me a long time to remember how to sing again,” Martin said. “I wrote a bunch of vocal songs. We eventoured with Acid Mothers Temple with some of that stuff, but we ended up throwing most all of it out. And I just kept writing.” Martin wrote for three years before having enough material to record an album and heading back into the studio with producer Randall Dunn, who also recorded their last three records. Cosy Moments, the group’s sixth full length, is filled with Kinski’s dense, intricate and occasionally nearly deafening noise, a musical style that is almost completely contradictory to their album title. But even the band isn’t quite sure why they named the album Cosy Moments — a reference to a P.G. Wodehouse book “Psmith, Journalist” about a guy who is an editor of a leftist magazine called Cosy Moments. “I don’t know,” Martin said, “It just seemed to fit. The history of this record was anything but cozy. But we came back together and are playing as well as we ever have.”
Released: April 2, 2013
The Thermals / Personal Life - 4062295
Personal Life is the fifth album from the Portland-based indie rock band The Thermals.
Released: May 31, 2013
The Thermals / Now We Can See - 4062296
Now We Can See is the 4th studio album by Portland, Or. band The Thermals.
Released: May 31, 2013
Digable Planets / Blowout Comb - 4090097
Following the gold-selling commercial success of their debut album, Digable Planets set out to prove their artistic prowess with 1994’s Blowout Comb. An album as diverse and vibrant as their home borough of Brooklyn, the music is a blend of jazz and hip hop and effortlessly mixes live instruments with samples. Digable Planets’ most important and lasting document is offered here in a package more beautiful than ever before. It’s the perfect excuse to reconnect with Blowout Comb – or to discover it for the first time.
Released: May 31, 2013
180 GRAM VINYL w/ TIP-ON LAMINATE JACKETS AND FULL COLOR POSTER!!
From the Desk of King Tuff…
“It’s always seemed as though Was Dead kinda came outta nowhere. Even for me, I don’t remember writing the songs and I barely remember recording them. I do know that they came from the purest part of my heart and they were made with a mischievous little smile on my face.
I think it was 2006. I recorded mostly late at night, in a giant dirty ballroom called Vegetable Street, in my hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont. My days were filled with endless cups of Mocha Joe’s coffee, black, sitting on the stoop with my friends, and spazzing out on my guitar. Looking down at the streets of Brattleboro below and out at Mount Wantastiquet and beyond. I didn’t have a cell phone or a computer and the only way to find me was either to call my mom, Lil’ Smashy, who was probably already too busy cooking me something really delicious, or spot me in the corner of the coffee shop spying on people and drawing them in my sketchbook. They were very chill times.
I wanted Was Dead to be a pure Vermont Rock and Roll record, fueled by extra sharp Cabot cheddar cheese and hot, grade-A fancy maple syrup poured over crisp white snow and served with a pickle and a cider donut. You sit down on the shitty concrete in the parking lot and you slurp it all up. I had already made a few King Tuff albums in the early 2000’s and had laid the project to rest around 2003. But something told me to resurrect King Tuff, hence the title Was Dead.
This album changed my life in so many ways, as it slowly trickled out into the world. I never expected anyone to hear it, let alone connect with it. I never would have left Vermont, never met the boys at Burger Records or any of the other insane, beautiful, cartoonish characters that now populate my life in the best way. It’s an expression of my infinitely teenage heart and soul, and I’m really proud of it. So here it is again, thanks to Burger Records. These songs belong to the Strutters and the Stutterers, the Headbangers and the Stoop Hangers, the Ruthies and the Gold Toothies, and of course, the A-N-I-M-A-L-S…"
Released: May 30, 2013
Wipers / Youth of America - 4019098
Simply obliterating any conception of the Wipers as a mere punk band, Greg Sage released this follow-up to “Is This Real?” in 1981 – a sophisticated, overwhelming response to the evil times marked by the turn of the decade. Broken up into six long songs, “Youth of America” is a much colder, harrowing experience than the teen angst of their debut. Vocally, Sage comes off as sleep-deprived and forsaken, snarling not only at his own predicament but at the predicament of the entire world. Jackpot Records have kept to the high standards set by our previous reissues (The Wipers’ “Is This Real?” and the self-titled Beauregarde LP), and “Youth of America” is pressed on high-quality vinyl at RTI and packaged in a sturdy, old-fashioned tip-on sleeve. The tracks have been mastered from original tapes by Greg Sage himself
Released: February 7, 2008
Peter Jefferies’s extraordinary debut solo album, The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World, first saw life as a cassette via the Xpressway label of Port Chalmers, New Zealand, in 1990. As a result of some international underground acclaim in fanzines and mailorder catalogs – for both the album and a striking 7-inch, “The Fate of the Human Carbine,” released around the same time – it soon appeared on LP and CD as well, through the Ajax label of Chicago. Within a handful of years it slipped out of print and out of sight. Roughly 20 years later that situation is being amended by De Stijl with a vinyl reissue that includes the songs from the attendant single and no amount of remastering whatsoever.
Though no one’s gotten around to writing a book on it yet, The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World nonetheless stands as one of the singular singer-songwriter albums of all time, existing on a sparsely populated plane with Pink Moon, I Often Dream of Trains, Blues Run the Game, Our Mother the Mountain and not many others. In a sandy voice that soothes and slashes, Jefferies offers a compassionate, piercingly lucid view of the endeavor of life, all our pain and small glories rendered in tones both harrowing and tender. On piano, drums and percussion, he pounds out melodies that roar, sweep and lilt, accompanied on many songs by the serrated guitars of a variety of players. Featuring a small team of South Island heavy-hitters – all three members of the Dead C as well as David Mitchell (3Ds), Alastair Galbraith, Kathy Bull (Look Blue Go Purple, Cyclops), Nigel Taylor and Robbie Muir (who’s cobilled on the single) – Last Great Challenge provides a pivot point in Jefferies’s formidable recording career, which included two bands he shared with his brother Graeme in the ’80s, Nocturnal Projections and This Kind of Punishment, and four further solo albums, as well as stints in bands here (Mecca Normal, Two Foot Flame) and there (Plagal Grind, Cyclops, and collaborations with Shayne Carter, Jono Lonie and Chris Smith).
This immediate and affecting album has been a comfort and a guide for me since it came out. Sit a spell and see if it doesn’t speak to you as well.
~ Mike Wolf, NYC, 2013
Released: May 23, 2013
Shannon and the Clams / Dreams in the Rat House - SBL-73069
SHANNON AND THE CLAMS are rumored to be from NOW in Oakland California and comprised of Shannon Shaw (vocals, bass), Cody Blanchard (vocals, guitar), and Ian Amberson (drums, vocals). Dreams in the Rat House is their first LP for Hardly Art. From pop ballads to doo woppers, bomp stompers and punk rippers, country clippers and some psych-o trippers, it’s all R’n’R and it’s all right there in the Clams’ hooded velvet trick bag. Ya feel lucky, punk?
Released: May 21, 2013
We Are Loud Whispers / Suchness - SBL-73068
We Are Loud Whispers is a dreamy duo featuring Sonya Westcott (Arthur & Yu) and Ayumu Haitani (4 Bonjour’s Parties). Suchness, their debut LP, displays intricate electronic orchestration, loops, and effects, while relaying an organic ease. Assembled over emails sent between Seattle and Japan, Suchness transcended geographical and language barriers – and traditional ideas of what a “band” is – in its making.
Released: May 7, 2013
Rose Windows / The Sun Dogs - SP1053
The notion that there is nothing new under the sun can be both a blessing and a curse to musicians. On the one hand, it absolves artists from any nagging sense that they have to reinvent the wheel with every new project. On the other, it makes innovation seem like a fool’s errand. Seattle songwriter Chris Cheveyo embraces this blessing, but, with his compatriots in Rose Windows, he also defies the curse. The band follows Western traditions in their instrumentation, using the basic tools employed in past decades of American and British rock music. Elements of The Band’s folk-infused rock, The Doors organ-driven psychedelia, and Black Sabbath’s blues-based dirges can be heard in Rose Window’s debut album The Sun Dogs. But the septet’s curiosity goes much further than a few well-chosen classic rock records. The band devoured Persian, Indian, and Eastern European music, and incorporated the revelations learned into Rose Windows’ sound. The Sun Dogs challenges the assumption that all creative territories have been mapped out and charted. While Rose Windows aren’t interested in making music of the future, one reviewer was wise enough to note “a sound like this would not be possible in any other time.”
Rose Windows began in late 2010 in a house in Seattle’s Central District, where Cheveyo found himself tiring of the limited palette of his prior heavy, post-rock project. Starting with a few rough demos by Cheveyo alone, Rose Windows took shape as the band amassed members from their circle of musician friends. Rose Windows began playing out, fluidly sharing the stage with underground art-metal bands one night and popular indie Americana acts the next.
In November of 2011, the band began working on The Sun Dogs with local producer Randall Dunn (SunnO))), Boris, Earth, Master Musicians of Bukkake). Dunn’s penchant for musical anthropology proved the perfect match for the band, with their mutual curiosity and artistic ambition broadening the scope of the album. Dynamics were expanded. Boundaries were pushed.
Rose Windows have toured the West Coast several times, and with the release of The Sun Dogs, the band plans much more. In the meantime, they continue their search—delving into archives of long-lost albums, learning more about their craft from renowned local musicians, and charting their own path in an ancient art.
If you pre-order The Sun Dogs on CD or LP from SubPop.com, you’ll receive a Rose Windows patch with your order! Also worth noting, pre-orders of the LP will receive the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the record. These things are governed by a while supplies last type of law, so order soon to ensure your obtainment of such wonderful things.
NOTE: if you pre-order this record, your order will not ship until June 25th. This applies to everything in your order – none of it will ship until June 25th. So, if you’d like to order more than just this Rose Windows CD/LP, it would be good to place separate orders if you’re the type who wants what you ordered, and you want it NOW! Thanks!
Released: June 25, 2013
The Thermals / Desperate Ground - 4062297
The Thermals’ Desperate Ground LP.
Released: April 22, 2013
Father John Misty / Singing Ax - 4097096
J. Tillman’s (AKA Father John Misty) full length, Singing Ax LP.
Released: April 22, 2013
Goat / World Music - 4105699
Debut album from the mysterious collective, Goat. Tribal, occult/voodoo, African-inspired psych-scapes from the deepest, most remote part of Sweden.
Released: April 22, 2013
Wipers / Over the Edge - 4019097
Limited edition classic 3rd LP by this influential Portland punk band. Re-mastered from the original master tapes originally released in 1983.
Released: March 25, 2009
Low / I Could Live in Hope - 4064385
I Could Live In Hope is the first full-length album by Duluth, Minnesota slowcore group Low, released in 1994. It was produced by Mark Kramer.
Released: January 10, 2012
Daughn Gibson / Me Moan - SP1010
Me Moan is Daughn Gibson’s second full-length record, and his first with Sub Pop.
If you pre-order Me Moan from your good friends here at Sub Pop, you’ll receive at no extra charge, a limited-edition Daughn Gibson seven inch featuring the songs “Every Night I Fall in Love” b/w “Brandy and Daughn”. Daughn himself describes the single this way: “Way back in the year 2002, I produced two R&B singles for a teenage sister group caled “No Option” out of a small recording booth located in a ballerina studio. As payment I received a Korg D1600, and these two songs were among the first solo things I ever recorded on it." As you can surmise, this is likely going to be a rare piece in future record collections. We’re also going to be giving people who pre-order Me Moan on LP the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition. Such is the nature of limited-edition things, when they’re gone, they’re gone, so get your order in quickly!
Note: If you pre-order Me Moan with other releases, your entire order won’t arrive until July 9th, so plan accordingly, please!
Released: July 9, 2013
On The Baptist Generals’ sophomore album, the word “heart” repeats eight*** times. The Denton, TX band, known for its haunting, claustrophobic take on drunken folk, needed ten full years to bare its hearts—one of which is in the album title, Jackleg Devotional to the Heart, a name that songwriter Chris Flemmons conjured shortly after he recorded, and then trashed, the album’s first attempt in 2005.
Flemmons goes so far as to call this his “love album,” and it’s an apt description—though love through The Baptist Generals’ eyes is plenty complicated. Jackleg‘s hearts don’t resemble valentines. No smooth curls into a final point. The band’s vibraphones, guitarrons and ambient feedback combine like a mess of ventricles, aortas and veins—not to mention, from the sound of it, all of the blood spilled while Jackleg lurched for years toward an eventual finish line.
Call it a love record, then. It’s the kind of love Flemmons had to figure out in the ten years since The Baptist Generals’ critically-acclaimed 2003 full-length debut No Silver/No Gold, a period in which he admits he’s fallen in love with a wild spectrum of music—the Ethiopiques series, saxophonist Archie Shepp, film scorer Meredith Willson, and plenty more. That wide spectrum only befits Jackleg‘s repeated need to buck genre; in fact, the 2005 version of the album hit the trash heap because “it sounded like any other indie rock-type band,” Flemmons admits. Co-produced by Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, Cat Power, The Walkmen, Modest Mouse, The White Stripes) and the band’s Jason Reimer, Jackleg Devotional to the Heart sounds like exactly no one else.
Pre-orders come with a limited-edition, one-sided 7" flexi-single featuring the Baptist Generals track “Fly Candy Harvest”, currently not available to hear elsewhere! Also, if you pre-order the LP, you’ll receive the colored-vinyl, limited Loser Edition. Both of these things are LIMITED, so a while supplies last type of thing applies here. Order now.
Released: May 21, 2013
Still Corners / Strange Pleasures - SP1035
Greg Hughes, the driving force behind London’s Still Corners, is not one to rest on his laurels. Despite the critical plaudits hurled at the band’s 2010 debut Creatures of an Hour (“indulgently seductive” opined NME; “an astounding debut” purred Drowned in Sound), Hughes is blessed with the kind of inexorable ardor for refreshing and sharpening his muse that is common to expert sculptors of elegant pop music. “I’ll never be satisfied with any of it, I need to keep trying new things,” he concedes. “Still Corners is The Enterprise, for me.”
Riding that insatiable kinesis over the last two years has resulted in Hughes, along with singing accomplice Tessa Murray, fashioning Strange Pleasures, a devastating sophomore album which is destined to usher Still Corners to a deserved place at dream-pop’s high table. The album was captured in Hughes’ Greenwich studio, with the protean multi-tasker handling all the instruments and penning most of the lyrics. Where its predecessor soared on sugared layers of shoegazing-infused retro-futurism, Strange Pleasures proffers a leaner, more acute extrapolation of ’80s-suffused song and studio craft, navigating a sinuous trajectory between velveteen Angelo Badalamenti noir-pop torch song sophistication, ethereal Cocteau Twins beauty and the glacial, mellifluous territory mapped by Modern English, The Cure and The Passions.
For Hughes, an Austin native whose plans to move to Brooklyn were sidetracked when he fell in love London’s worldly charms, the new album is more than just a stylistic progression from Creatures of an Hour. “Musically, Creatures… was soft and relaxing but it was a massively cathartic record for me. I was destroyed after being in a relationship; it’s all in there, suicide… all that stuff. I needed to calm my soul and Creatures… did that for me. Strange Pleasures is more of an adventure out toward the open seas. It’s an exploring type of record: strange new lands, strange new love…”
Presaged by the soaring “Fireflies” single (Pitchfork’s Best New Track of 9/28/2012), Strange Pleasures brings the Still Corners story up to date.
The vinyl LP comes with a digital download code of the entire record.
People who pre-order Strange Pleasures on CD or LP from SubPop.com will receive a limited-edition scrap book featuring pages taken directly from Still Corners’ lyric book as they were writing the record as well as images from the recording process.
People who pre-order the record on LP will receive the colored-vinyl, limited Loser Edition version of Strange Pleasures. And as is the nature of limited things, the sooner you order, the better, as they will run out!
Released: May 7, 2013
Sub Pop / Sub Pop 1000 - SP1000
We STILL want your money!
Yes, I know.
I may as well be a carnival barker; inviting you, valued listener, to step-right-up! If Sub Pop has ever had a mission other than to separate you, gullible customer, from your wallet (and the contents therein), it’s to inspire nasty, compulsive behavior.
We’ve been doing it the same way for over 25 years: by putting out crucial, limited-edition vinyl records.
Back in 1986, before Sub Pop was a company with debt, mass firings and other trappings of corporate culture, our founder, Bruce S. Pavitt, was already plotting a generation’s takeover.
Sub Pop 100, the first vinyl featuring the now-ubiquitous logo, was the first step in his elaborate scheme. Featuring the “spoken word” of Steve Albini and stellar tracks by Sonic Youth, Wipers, U-Men and Scratch Acid among others, Sub Pop 100, with brain-melting cover art by Carl Smool, was a utopian endeavor at its heart: a “greatest hits” compilation for a world that might actually enjoy “underground” music – a mostly laughable conceit in the mid-80s. Its first-and-final pressing was for 5,000 copies.
(We feel your pain, covetous collector, but that shit’s long gone, save the occasional eBay sighting.)
For Sub Pop, 1988 was a year of many firsts: our first office, our first employee, our first bounced check(s) – and that was just April! Sub Pop 200 was conceived over a bottomless trough of beer at the Virginia Inn; twenty masterpieces spread across three twelve inch vinyl EPs with a glossy booklet, this limited edition boxed set was to feature only our friends and our friends’ bands. We then hired an unemployed British actor, re-christened him “Everett True” and bribed a failing music rag to publish our words with that byline. The rest is so much spilt porridge, as they say, and having friends like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney didn’t hurt either.
(Sub Pop 200 is still available on CD, old timer; the classic Charles Burns illustration alone makes it worth the purchase.)
At last, it’s 2013, and the music industry is well into its second decade of epic free fall. Once seen as a colorful holdover from a bygone era, like polio and honor killing, record-making is resurgent, and you, discerning buyer, stand to get fleeced by those who would have you spend extravagantly on something unnecessary or worse just ‘cause it’s Record Store Day.
Don’t be deceived! After all: WE still want your money!
Our Silver Jubilee commemorates 25 years of going out of business, and to celebrate, your friends at the Sub Pop water cooler have put together a compilation worthy of your time, money and admiration – though maybe not in that order. We don’t write pithy, half-baked reviews about the music we love; we commit it to vinyl!
Sub Pop 1000 is our gift to you, patient benefactor, for your unwavering devotion in the face of occasionally wavering good taste. Put together as a labor of love, Sub Pop 1000 carries no further agenda than to provide a crucial, maximal listening experience for its own sake. By that measure, it succeeds and then some. With artists from disparate parts of the globe, our quest for World Domination appears to be complete – again!
Sub Pop 1000 will be a one-time pressing of 5,000 on tricked-out colored vinyl, with cover art by Nathan Fox, a 16-page booklet and an MP3 download coupon. Sub Pop 1000 will be available at your local record store on 4/20/2013 (aka Record Store Day, though Sub Pop 1000 is NOT a Record Store Day exclusive), through this here Sub Pop Internet Shopping Place and at our 25th anniversary Silver Jubilee on July 13th. It’s also available digitally, for whatever THAT’S worth.
Your uncle in the record business,
A limited number of copies of the Sub Pop 1000 LP are available through this very website, otherwise, they will be available at your local independent record retailers as an official (but not exclusive) part of 2013’s Record Store Day.
Released: April 20, 2013
Colleen Green / Sock it to Me - SBL-73064
Colleen Green always wears sunglasses onstage. Colleen Green is long hair and getting high. Colleen Green’s first full-length for Hardly Art, Sock it to Me, is grounded in pure pop. Colleen Green’s multi-tracked, emotive vocals take an enormous leap forward, evoking all-time heroes such as Rose Melberg and Tina Weymouth, with every drum-machine-tracked song awash in the dreamy slacker romanticism of California.
Released: March 19, 2013
Grave Babies / Crusher - SBL-73067
Grave Babies are a band whose sound might suggest the need for drugs that stabilize mood, while also creating a desire for ones that enhance them. The center of Grave Babies’ sound is the sonic equivalent of thwarted desire – and on Crusher, their first LP for Hardly Art, Grave Babies take the harder approach: doing what they’ve always done, but doing it better. All LPs include a download code.
Released: February 26, 2013
Beachwood Sparks / The Tarnished Gold Cassette - 4050399
Beachwood Sparks’ 2012 The Tarnished Gold on cassette from Burger Records.
Released: November 5, 2012
King Tuff / King Tuff Cassette - 4097699
King Tuff’s self-titled 2012 record on cassette from Burger Records
Released: November 5, 2012
Happy Birthday / Happy Birthday Cassette - 4085099
Happy Birthday’s self-titled debut on cassette from Burger Records
Released: November 5, 2012
You can spend all the time and money in the world trying to craft the perfect pop-music scenario, but sometimes the stars have to align all by themselves. Even though early on the members of The Postal Service jokingly referred to Such Great Heights as “the hit” on their debut album, Give Up, there’s no way anyone could have predicted the eventual impact made by a mail-order album designed in a pair of West Coast bedrooms.
It’s been 10 years since the little project that could from Seattelite Ben Gibbard (aka Death Cab For Cutie’s frontman) and Angeleno Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel, Figurine) emerged from seemingly nowhere and began to burrow into the ears of anyone who came into contact with the band’s infectious electro-pop. To celebrate, Sub Pop is reissuing The Postal Service’s sole album, and including in the multi-disc set 15 bonus tracks, including two brand new songs, “A Tattered Line of String” and “Turn Around.” On top of that, the band is back together: The Postal Service will hit the road for a long-overdue victory lap, giving most fans their first (and last—seriously, don’t ask) chance to see the group in person.
Of course, the band’s music was more than just electro-pop, and the force with which Jimmy and Ben captured the indie-rock zeitgeist of the early aughts made them more of a phenomenon than just a regular old band. That such artists as Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Streetlight Manifesto, and Confide have covered “Such Great Heights” is a testament to both the song’s magical spark and its melodic inclusivity. The band’s sound is such a touchstone that “Postal Service-esque” has become a generally accepted musical adjective. And it goes way beyond Owl City.
While it was impossible to anticipate how massive Give Up would become, it was obvious in 2003 that these guys had made something special. Ten years on it’s amazing to know that so many people have come to agree.
If you pre-order the 10th Anniversary Edition of Give Up from SubPop.com, you’ll receive a limited-edition Postal Service postcard set. We’re also giving people who pre-order the 3xLP vinyl version of the album the red/white/clear-colored, limited Loser Edition of Give Up. Both the Loser Edition and postcard sets are while supplies last, so act now!
Released: April 9, 2013
Postal Service "Cloud Font" Bundle
The Postal Service Give Up Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition CD or LP + Postal Service Cloud Shirt
Postal Service "Give Up" Shirt Bundle
The Postal Service Give Up Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition CD or LP + Postal Service Give Up White T-shirt
Low / The Invisible Way - SP1030
We here at Sub Pop are honored to have our name attached to The Invisible Way, Low’s tenth album in 20 years as a band. Rather than put together our own, inevitably-inadequate description of the album, we will let Low’s Alan Sparhawk do the talking:
“While driving though Chicago, on tour, we stopped finally to visit Wilco at their studio, The Loft. They had invited us to come check it out several times over the years, but this would finally be the day. It’s a great place—a sea of instruments in a relaxed, open working environment. It’s cool, but what really converted us was hearing the new Mavis Staples tracks they were working on: big, simple, raw, and intimate. Plans were made then and there.
’Don’t break my Grammy streak.’
We have worked with many of the great engineer/producers. Jeff Tweedy has been on our side of the microphone for over 25 years, however with engineer (and fellow Grammy winner) Tom Schick, he has of late become a formidable and eclectic producer. He spoke a language we understood, but then took us effortlessly into the mystery.
We’ve made many records, and you know our M.O.: slow, quiet, sometimes melancholy, and, we hope, sometimes pretty…
How is this different from any other Low record?
- Mimi sings lead on five of the eleven songs (she usually only does one or two, despite being a fan favorite).
- Piano, lots of piano… and an acoustic guitar.
- Songs about intimacy, the drug war, the class war, plain old war war, archeology, and love.
Thank you for your time again and please enjoy what we made. I think it’s beautiful."
Released: March 19, 2013
Lost Animal / Ex Tropical - SBL-73066
Lost Animal’s music comes at you in layers: familiar, then mysterious; catchy, then saturated and atmospheric. Lost Animal finds Jarrod Quarrell (pictured on the cover there) using his keyboard to explore new sounds and evoke distant locations. Ex Tropical is the debut LP from Lost Animal. All LPs include a download code.
Released: January 29, 2013