It’s summertime at Sub Pop, and with the new season comes NEW FUN THINGS! Beach parties, incessant giggling, free-form pie eating contests, and touring. Lots of touring.
Before we get started talkin’ about all the fun ahead, I’d like to request a moment of silence for our recently departed friend, The Sub Pop Van. He was big, he was strong….he transported thousands of pounds of mail (i.e. all your online orders) to and from our World Headquarters on a daily basis, and even took a couple of out-of-state trips. He smelled of cheese and shone like the sun, and he will be dearly missed. Pour a shot and take a second to think about all the Sub Pop Van selflessly did for you; for all of us…
But I digress.
On to happier subjects like this summer’s releases!
1. THE HELIO SEQUENCE—Love and Distance CD/LP
L & D rips, and it’s out as of June 8th. We’re honored to have Mssrs. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel on the home team! The Helio Sequence properly formed in the late ‘90s and released two excellently XTC-esque dream jam albums on Cavity Search (2000’s Com Plex and 2001’s Young Effectuals), this is their debut for The ‘Pop…and dare I say their most ambitious, airtight, effervescent effort to date. Armed with a surprising new instrumentation palette and buoyed by swift pop undercurrents, the duo is more confident, inspired and inventive than ever before. Shit be catchy. Plus, there’s harmonica. I’m not joking.
2. THE ALBUM LEAF—In a Safe Place CD/LP
Preternaturally talented multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle has joined the flock as well, and we couldn’t be happier. Aside from his other work as The Album Leaf, you know him from contemplative dream-rock outfit Tristeza and seminal melancholy chamber group The Black Heart Procession. But I know him ‘cause I stayed at his house for three days when I was 20 on an ill-fated car trip from Austin, Texas to Disneyland. Besides playing the hell out of Ravel and Bach concertos on his piano, Jimmy showed me how to make really, really bad beats using that Fruity Loops program. Of course, In a Safe Place has zero really, really bad beats. After years of labor-intensive touring and tinkering with delicate tracks in his cramped bedroom studio while the rest of his hustling, bustling city was asleep, LaValle was invited by friends in Icelandic phenoms Sigur Ros and Mum to record his new opus in their Mosfellsbaer studio—and they play on the record, too. It’s a gorgeous slow-burner.
Guess what else? We’re teaming up with our friends at Better Looking Records to bring the first 50 online buyers a copy of a single that pairs The Album Leaf with Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst. This is the first in an ongoing series of 7"s that pairs The Album Leaf with like-minded friends/bands. Both tracks here (“Reso” b/w “Callinblue”) are collaborations between the two bands, creating something unique to this single as opposed to a split with songs by each individual band. Once again, we will graciously throw in some stickers and buttons with purchase.
Here’s where you can order this’un: In a Safe Place
There’s MORE EXCITING NEWS this summer, reader!
3. NEW GALAXIE 500 – DON’T LET OUR YOUTH GO TO WASTE – 2X DVD SET AND FREE 7" COMBO!!
Our friends over at Plexifilm are putting out what looks to be an AMAZING Galaxie 500 DVD set. And, if you pre-order this thing (the release date is June 29th, 2004), you’ll get it a week before street date, at 20% off AND with a free ltd. ed. G500 yellow-vinyl 7" single!
Sayeth mighty Plexifilm: “The first disc contains all four of their videos, directed by friend and photographer Sergio Huidor as well as segments taken from five concerts—from early local performances in Boston to 1990 west coast tour dates—which all came from the band’s personal collections. It is rounded out with a performance and interview for UK television, taken at the band’s peak in popularity.
The second disc, or “Bootlegs” disc, has two full concerts from 1990: the first in Atlanta and the second in London, both shot by audience members. After receiving tapes by a call-out to fans from around the world, the band culled from the footage that which best captured their career.”
ORDER IT HERE!:
Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste
AND! Lest you forget: 2/3 of Galaxie 500 = Damon & Naomi! And, we have records by Damon & Naomi which we would very much like to sell to you. They are here: Damon and Naomi.
You should go spend some of your money on these records today!
4. JED, OUR REGIONAL PUBLICIST, GOT NAKED AND DANCED ONSTAGE DURING THE SASQUATCH! FESTIVAL DURING THE SHINS’ SET.
That’s right – we have photos to prove it. But that’s not all that happened at Sasquatch—fun was had by all as The Shins, The Postal Service and Fruit Bats toh up the joint from the floh up. It was the first of MANY FESTIVALS that Sub Pop’s best and brightest are taking part in; check it:
*The Album Leaf plays the Formoz Festival in Taipei, Taiwan on July 30th
*Constantines AND The Thermals play the SIREN Festival on Coney Island, NYC on July 17th (and it’s FREE!)
*The Shins play the Roskilde Festival in Denmark on July 4th and the Accelerator Festival between July 6th and 8th. Then, it’s off to the Quart Festival in Norway on the 9th, and then the Oxygen Festival on July 11th in Dublin, Ireland. So much to celebrate in Europe, eh?
- Wolf Eyes was slated to take part in this year’s Lollapallooza festival, but the entire she-bang was cancelled due to poor ticket sales across the board. Why the poor ticket sales? Because the economy SUCKS. Mommies can’t even buy their babies tickets to Britney anymore, people.
5.IRON AND WINE NOW HAS EXCLUSIVE TRACKS UP ON ITUNES!!
Look for them on the main, alt and folk pages…you’ll wanna have these, won’t you, you completist, you? iTunes
6. JENNIFER GENTLE, FRUIT BATS and HOLOPAW ARE IN THE STUDIO!
And from what we hear, the creative juices are a-flowin’ (no, they’re not talking about pee, silly.) Eric Johnson says that his new songs are “epic, man.” He also said “I read the shit out of your column and I love it. And you should quote me on that.” Holopaw says that they’re amped about how things are going in the studio. Jennifer Gentle’s new flowery psychfest should be out of the oven later this year!
7. JULY SHALL BRING MORE RELEASES FROM ROGUE WAVE AND COMETS ON FIRE!
Rogue Wave’s Out of the Shadow debuts on July 13th, and Comets’ Blue Cathedral comes out on the 27th. One is like a bunny, and one is like a platypus. Both are amazing! Stay tuned to SIDEWALK (the column to the right, silly) for more details soon.
WE’RE REISSUING THE CONSTANTINES’ S/T DEBUT IN THE STATES THIS AUGUST!!! Originally released on Canadian indie Three Gut Records in 2001, this album was fittingly packaged so that, upon opening the red cardstock booklet, you’d find a single strike-anywhere match—meaning that if your relationship with rock and roll is not fundametally a quest for fire (elemental, transformative, consuming), you’ve utterly missed the point. We here at Sub Pop wanna make sure that you GET THE POINT, so at long last, we’re repackaging and reissuing this gem so it’s readily available in the ‘States alongside 2003’s stellar Shine a Light. Look for it this August, and stay tuned for more details!
Well, that’s all for this month, reader—stay tuned as always to Sub Pop.com for more infotainment, giggles and deals!
I’m savin’ all my love for you,
Joan & Sub Pop