TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM

TRAFFIC AND SUB POP, 2 tastes that taste great together: October 2001

With your hostess, Anna “maybe it’s maybelline” Woolverton.
THIS MONTH: Sneezy, the Patriotic Dwarf

October is for drinking. Niquil anyone? We all at Sub Pop have germs and war-anxiety and tear-moist eyes from patriotism we didn’t know we had. Truly, God bless America. We are all really hoping the germs and the war are not related in any way. I’m not worried because I recognize the signature of this cold as being distinctly pre-school in origin. Children have the most shameless germs. Obviously what we need is a new jingoistic ballad, sung by germy preschoolers. When in doubt, record a ballad to ensure the proper strain of exploitation is exercised for the proper tragedy. Charge several dollars for the single, and then give the money to the makers of Kleenex. Follow with tissues embossed with the American flag, so when I blow my nose I can remember my country.

This month, BEACHWOOD SPARKS is the best band of all time. The record, Once We Were Trees, hits the streets October 9 and it’s the second long-player for the band. In the studio notes, it may interest you to know that the album was recorded at J. Mascic’ studio in Northhampton, MA. And, J. plays on the record somewhere, though I don’t know where. I love a mystery! Once We Were Trees was recorded and partially mixed by Thom Monahan (Pernice Brothers), and Mike Deming (Lilys, Beachwood Sparks’ s/t first album). Also, there’s an astonishing cover on the record, Sade’s “By Your Side,” a gorgeous, gorgeous song done gorgeously, if you don’t mind me saying so. If you have not heard the Beachwood Sparks you’re in for a big surprise. When I have concerts on my turntable at home, they always open for The Rolling Stones. You can catch the band on tour with the Black Crowes throughout October. Fun for you! Fun for the USA! On a personal note, I LOOOOOOOVE the boys in Beachwood Sparks. They are as good as jam in my book and they bake a lovely cookie. Jay Babcock of the LA Weekly had this to say about the band, “The whole thing channels the melodic country-rock dreaminess of the Byrds’ ‘Draft Morning,’ Angelic harmonies soar, guitars ring, and organ purrs, a tambourine shakes, flares go off in the distance.”

October runner-up band is TREMBLING BLUE STARS, on the occasion of their new album Alive to Every Smile, available from your friends at Sub Pop, October 23. Directly from the press material: Here’s a quote from Bob Wratten – unrepentant south London romantic, former lead-singer with the increasingly legendary Field Mice, and for the last few years guiding spirit behind TBS – “it’s so difficult knowing how to get smoothly from the Jam to The Aphex Twin.” He said it in reference to how best to segue two tracks on the new record, and it nicely sums up the band as well. But the Trembling Blue Stars actually do it very well, and also they make me rather morose – but in a nicely cathartic way – like Morrissey.

NME Magazine sang the praises of the new LOVE AS LAUGHTER Sea To Shining Sea record, which came out in September to the great joy of all L/A/L fans. This is a good quote: “What with all the giddiness surrounding The Strokes and the White Stripes it’s easy to forget that the US underground’s retro renaissance began years ago. And this band was there: Love As Laughter came straight outta Seattle with one aim, to rewrite the Stones and the Velvets in the spattered ink of Sonic Youth.” Nice!

CMJ has been postponed until this month Oct. 10th through the 13th. So despite the sky falling, all you chicken littles can still hit the scene and scenester yourself into a twist! Yahoo! In other news, THE MURDER CITY DEVILS broke up. You can read all about it on www.murdercity.com, but don’t be sad, you’ve not seen the last of these guys. They love the band but they’re just not “IN” love with it. It’s not you, it’s them. They would still like to be friends. They would like to have dinner with you and talk it over some other time. Derek is going to concentrate on his new band PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, who incidentally, are the single in the Singles Club this month! You should obtain some cash and make some purchases. Hey, did you see the Entertainment Weekly with the two page article on NIRVANA? There were quotes in there from the two smellies who run this place. Check it out. THE SUPERSUCKERS have a new collection of old messy punk songs entitled The Songs All Sound the Same, on the fabulous Hall of Records label, please do go here hormusic.com to get the news, skoob.

On tour throughout the trick-or-treaty month of October: THE SHINS, The Murder City Devils, VUE and ZEN GUERRILLA. Now what could be nicer? And that’s all I got, see you in November, Losers. Annaw@subpop.com

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson