TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM

TRAFFIC IN SUB POP METRO: June 2001 edition

With Anna Woolverton, drunken sod.


Oh how I love the Shins. I don’t mean to sound amorphous but in brain sexiness terms, James Mercer’s brain is naked and wearing a tool belt. I would like to have a picture of James Mercer’s brain with a staple through the middle of the page… maybe as it rests in a slight puddle of it’s own juices. More so than a coil of gray matter, I want a picture of his cognizant-workings, the essence of his weird and decidedly beautiful thoughts. A picture such as this would be good, and also framed… but not in one of those bad import store frames, but rather something substantial and clumsy, the kind that if you dropped it on your foot it would really hurt. Oh the music is dandy, oh yes, but the lyrics are the shit. Lucky for you they come with the CD. You can take out the CD insert papers and rub them on yourself. The artwork already has a soapy, bath-product feel to it, so it would not be like you’re getting the cover of a Dwarves record all over you.
Therefore, naturally the band of June is THE SHINS, because the CD Oh, Inverted World is here for you, courtesy Sub Pop on June 19. The Shins come from Albuquerque. They’ve been on a few tours around, namely ones with MODEST MOUSE and CALIFONE, and changed their name some, from Flake to Flakemusic to the Shins, and then have since been touring quietly. The shins are a post-punk aesthetic with nods to a traditional pop ethos. Or, if you’re not reading the press sheet and you happen to be me, the Shins are a substantial dinner of whipped stuff, which you would understand if you ever suckled at the sugary teat of a Redi-whip can . Yes, that’s right. That is what I said. By the way the Shins are off to Sweden, to play the Hultsfred Festival, June 14-16, with Iggy Pop and I Am Kloot.

Back to rubbing a DWARVES record all over yourselves, the June Cleaver runner-up is PLEASURE FOREVER, which I think I’ve already elaborated on in traffics past, but here, on the occasion of their newest, self-titled CD available June 5 – I shall elaborate again. They’re hedonistic, and sort of like a psychedelic cabaret act overshooting their aim to sound like a more pragmatic version of the Doors. By pragmatic I mean that the Doors (or at least Morrison) attempted to make the orgy somehow poetically doomed. Pleasure Forever just try to make the orgy. They are probably in a taxi right now, looking for orgies. Oh, and also they have excessive foot dirt… or so I’m told. I like them exceedingly and at the same time I keep my distance. Oh, have you heard that psychedelic mushrooms are now legal in Japan?

Now I will talk about the much-discussed cancellation of the MARK LANEGAN tour. It’s just cancelled. I know you’re all quite pooey about this, with good reason, but Mr. Lanegan wishes to go off and be in The QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and there is not much more to it than that. One day you might be filling-up at the Texaco and it will finally dawn on you that if you had gone out that night, you might have been smashed by a falling awning.

On a related note, SP recording artist HEATHER DUBY’S car was smashed by a falling awning as it sat parked outside of the restaurant where she works. Apparently the earthquake we suffered in Seattle rattled some bits of the building and after a few months they fell right off, crashing through the awning and really spoiling things for people with reservations for the following day. Thank goodness no one was hurt. You’re welcome to send obsequious greeting cards to Ms. Duby care of Sub Pop.

In especially exciting fancy news, Mark Lanegan, Heather Duby, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, THE MAKERS, THE BRIEFS, THE MURDER CITY DEVILS and Sub Pop alumni MUDHONEY and THE FASTBACKS have all finished recording a northwest indie-tribute to one the best bands in the world THE KINKS, entitled Give the People What We Want to be released on BurnBurnBurn Records in September. Also included are northwest favorites THE YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS, THE FALLOUTS, BABY GRAMPS, THE MINUS 5 and C-AVERAGE. A limited edition 7” single will precede the release, so stay close to your Visa card!

ZEN GUERRILLA are playing the Belgian Dour Festival July 5-8, along with a list of bands here. Apparently, the festival is so big the organizers suggest you run from back and forth between stages and tents in order not to miss anything. That will work brilliantly if you wear those platform shoes. Guerrilla, gorilla, freedom-fighting ape Marcus Durant was recently nominated as one of the Bay Area’s ‘sexiest men.’ I don’t know if this means that he won something, perhaps a dishwasher? Anyway I’m sure it’s an honor and a convenience just being nominated! Zen Guerrilla recently returned from an amazing appearance at the Festimad Festival in Madrid, Spain. Headliners LIMP BIZCUIT cancelled (gosh! Such a pity) and so Zen Guerrilla played the headlining spot to 20,000 people. So stick that in your bong and smoke it, and prepare yourself for Shadows on the Sun, a new Zen-G album coming your way from Sub Pop in August.

Still no news on UGLY CASANOVA, which I find myself saying on a weekly basis; RED HOUSE PAINTERS’ Mark Kozelek is managing to trudge through Europe with the flu, which can’t be any fun at all. A collection of international barf bags might make interesting memorabilia. Leslie from the Murder City Devils had surgery at the end of May, for a big gross blue appendage sticking out of her wrist that gave me nightmares. Get better soon Leslie! Please never never show me your wounds again.

Other music had this to say about THE RAPTURE’S Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks record, a recent Sub Pop release: “A near-perfect, 6-song EP of jagged punk dissonance and would-up new-wave-influenced harmonizing yelp sandblast.” I think that explains things quite deftly and also I agree. NEBULA is touring the US and Canada the entire month of June! It’s the first of many treks across the continent to bring the new record Charged to the people. THE BLACK HALOS just finished their first North American campaign in support of The Violent Years. To celebrate, the band is off to Spain and Portugal in early June for some festival and club dates. Catch them on the Warped Tour in early July and keep requesting their video for “Some Things Never Fall,” which you can see on Much Music. Oh, and if you plan on exfoliating yourself with that record, beware the resulting rash.

Touring in June: ARLO , The Black Halos, Nebula, Pleasure Forever, Red House Painters, and the Shins. Check the tour listings for the show in your town!

Well my fellow losers, that’s all I got. Love your hair, hope you win! Annaw@subpop.com

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson