TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM

LA TRAFFIQUE: November 2001

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THIS
MONTH: KINKED

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November
is KINKS month at Sub Pop And I’m giving THANKS. I’ve been practicing my baton
twirling since August. What the… you ask? 
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT WE WANT is
a collection of songs by THE
KINKS, featuring famous northwest artistes doing
that famous northwest thing they do. To get the real scoop, I asked Sub Pop
employee and mack daddy of Burn Burn Burn Records, Mr. Kwab Copeland, to
comment on the fruition of his life’s ambition….

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The story begins in picturesque Laramie Wyoming with a young man by the
name of Eugene Wendell Copeland playing a mean tennis racket to the opening
guitar riff from “The Contenders,” the opening track from Lola vs. the Powerman and Money-go-round part 1. The boy is
unkempt, unsupervised, filthy and lonesome. 
Cut to Vashon Island, WA in the late ‘80s. The boy is somehow more
unkempt, unsupervised, filthy and lonesome. He now owns the entire catalog of
Kinks records. He has discovered chemicals and has silent arguments with
himself about the origins of this astounding music. 

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Next scene: Seattle, WA post grunge. The boy, now a young man, watches
footage of Ray Davies walking through Muswell Hill in 1971. He is being
interviewed in front of the demolished remains of a row of old brick houses.
Davies doesn’t talk about his music, but the people who had been
displaced.  He cringes when a wall
crashes to the ground.  Some nights
Eugene (now going by “Kwab”) plays the songs of his heroes in Seattle’s smoky
clubs. The audience is very receptive to it. It seems as if playing these songs
invokes the power of something people have lost in preceding years. The cameras
and record companies have turned away from the town after catching every soggy
detail. Now the demolished remains of old Seattle have been replaced with tacky identical
condo buildings.

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What’s still left on the streets and in the few dilapidated rental houses
of the town are musicians, penning masterpieces and playing them to a
desensitized mass of regulars. Kwab decides to round up a group of those he
admires: some old, some new.  The result
has a quality and continuity that is not unlike the tried and true idea of a
concept album. The songs resound with a timeless urgency.

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The pursuit of preservation is difficult and often times
unrewarding.  In times of overwhelming
tragedy, such as now, it is important to me, Kwab, to figure out what is worth
preserving. The songs of the Kinks have always touched that nerve for me.  I hope this collection encourages people to
preserve what is vital, even if it’s silly old rock ‘n roll. – Kwab Copeland,
October 2001

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For another perspective, allow me to introduce Mr. Mark
Arm, rock hustler, lab-technician, dog-trainer, bitch magnet…

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“When Kwab Copeland first asked if MUDHONEY
would like to be on a Kinks
tribute record, I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.  However, I figured that since he was
bothering to cobble this album together, these "Kinks" must be worthy
of a tribute.  So I said "yes"
hoping that Kwab would not notice that I have no idea who the Kinks are, and
hoping also that I would not be disappointed once I found out more about them.

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The first thing I uncovered was the
fact that they hail from merry old England. 
Being the anglophile I am, I couldn’t help but shout, ‘Tootle-pip
guv’ner old chap, I do believe we’re on the right track, cheerio!’ If there is
anything I love more than British music, I do not know what it is. I hoped the
Kinks would turn out to be half as good as legendary Brit-rockers Genesis,
Herman’s Hermits, The Thompson Twins or Supertramp.  If not, I risked the wrath of the rest of Mudhoney for signing us
up for yet another useless tribute. Luck, it appeared was on my side.  As it turns out, the Kinks are another
Brit-pop sensation.  They’re as
explosive as The Smiths, as poignant as Iron Maiden, almost as original as The
Cult and nearly as influential as Kitchens Of Distinction.

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We decided to cover "Who’ll Be
The Next In Line" for your listening pleasure. You may have heard it
played recently on the John Peel show. It’s a song we can relate to, as I’m
sure you will too.  After all, who
hasn’t been "next in line" at some point in their life?

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I truly believe that Give The People What We Want will blow
the lid off the mystery surrounding the Kinks and finally push this obscure
British sensation deep in to the American mainstream.  Good work Kwab, and thank you for allowing Mudhoney to be
involved!”

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-Mark Arm, West Seattle, Autumn 2001

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So
there it is, Kinks month at Sub Pop Records. 
We’ll all not be washing our hair for the entire duration. Tomorrow
we’ll be making Autumn Almanacs with bits of felt. Of course,you’ll be wanting
to use your credit card with the 2.9% introductory interest rate, and shop HERE
for Give the People What We Want, which shall hit the streets November
6.  If you happen to reside in Seattle,
the record release party is November 16 at the Crocodile Cafe.  In an unprecedented show of allegiance and
love of the Kinks, I myself will actually be leaving my home that night to
attend. I’ll be the one who looks all freaked out by the crowd.

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But
wait, there’s more!  Also November 6,
the long awaited two-LP vinyl edition of RADIO
BIRDMAN, The Essential Radio Birdman!  This is a particularly momentous release for
Sub Pop, as it marks the first vinyl release of Radio Birdman material in the
United States in over twenty years. So LAAAAaaaa-DE-DAAAA! This gorgeous little
record set (2) is a collection of tracks taken from Radio Birdman’s Burn My Eye EP, the classic Radios Appear album, the More Fun EP (live recording from 1977)
and the Living Eyes album. Plus! New
liner-notes written by Rolling Stones big-shot
David Fricke, and a bonus single – the Australian version of “New Race!”  ARE YOU FREAKING OR WHAT!?  I know I am, skoob.

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Speaking
of videos, which I was just now to myself – keep your eyes popped to MTV2 for
a certain BEACHWOOD SPARKS
video, won’t
you?  Thank you to the famous KARP for sending me the most terrific, Action Chemistry, which is now available
in stores courtesy Punk In My Vitamins

records. And also thanks PLEASURE
FOREVER for sending me a
postcard from Jacksonville, FL, where kittens roam wild in baskets.  For those of you who email me your clever,
clever missives about Isaac Brock, there are now UGLY CASANOVA concert dates! 
The shows are all on the west coast, and you can check out the dates and
locations throughout November in the tour section of this here fancy website.
The new Ugly Casanova record is still on our release schedule for the very
ambiguous date of “2001.”  I’ve heard
the story of how Marty from THE SHINS
got on stage with MODEST MOUSE
some time back and everyone shouted “marty party!”  I went home and tried it myself, and alas,
Marty did not materialize in my kitchen. I may have been entirely too sober for
it to work. The Shins show here in Seattle last week was a big steamy success,
with over 300 shin-shines showing up at the preceding in-store at the new,
local SONIC BOOM RECORDS
.

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Now
for the bad news, TREMBLING BLUE STARS
regret to inform you that they are
unable to get into the United States of America for the shows scheduled
preceding November 6, due to increased national security concerns. Having seen
photos of the band and heard their records, it’s completely understandable the
need to rein in their covert movements, because they are so menacing and
shifty.     

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The
not-yet named band formerly known as SUNNY
DAY REAL ESTATE, is
back in the studio recording with Brad Wood and so forth, all except for Dan
Hoerner, who is doing Art Conspiracy (www.artconspiracy.com)
and Dashboard Confessional thingies.  No
Quarter Records has announced they will be reissuing the 1995 EARTH
record Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars,
November 6.  The record is freshly
repackaged with new artwork and four completely unreleased songs, including a
pre “Nevermind”  Kurt Cobain lending
vocals on “Divine and Bright.”  For more
info on that, email noquarterrec@hotmail.com
won’t you?

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The
October MURDER CITY DEVILS show at Emo’s was
reportedly the biggest show the club can recall in their entire 10-year
history. Unlike the now notorious DC show at the Black Cat, there evidently was
no hostility or violence or hatred against baskets of kittens or various and
sundry name-calling that resulted in fist-to-cuffs amongst indie rock scenesters.
For this I am so very glad, and when I am sitting on a folding chair at the
in-laws dining table this year on the Thanksgiving holiday, it will be this I
am thankful for, because, phew! What a load this has been on my mind! Whelp,
that’s all she wrote for me. Bye losers! See you December-style! Annaw@subpop.com


Posted by Harry Dean Hudson