THIS MONTH: The Dingo Ate My Baby!
Oh December, it’s so bloody BORING. Nothing is currently happening rapidly around Sub Pop World Headquarters.
Such is this industry at this time of year. In December people who work for record companies can often be found
drooling over their mousepads in a deep carbohydrate coma. It’s the hustlers of the company hit the hardest,
because their time to turn-on and promote and shine the bald spots of radio programmers and magazine editors
has kind of passed as far as the exploitation of holidays are concerned. People live for emails, leave shamelessly
early, and throw stuff at each other over the office partitions. Pretty soon the atrophy develops into a full
blown lack of inspiration, and even the little work needing to be done goes untouched. If someone receives
curious loot in the mail and aren’t here to open it, everyone stands around and pokes at the thing like the
monkeys at the monolith. It’s actually kind of sweet in a stupid way. So anyway, now of course it all makes
absolute perfect sense to you.
WHITE STRIPES has a December 7” single for you Singles Club
Subscribers called “Party of Special Things to Do.” Please do check into subscribing to the Sub Pop Singles
Club if you aren’t already a member. It’s fun and also exciting. The Sub Pop Singles Club has been known to
make people more socially redeeming as well.
That crazy BADLANDS: A TRIBUTE TO BRUCE SPRINGSTEENS “NEBRASKA” is kicking
up dust everywhere. It’s nice to be making new friends with the people who wouldn’t look sideways at us before
we associated ourselves with “the Boss.” For anyone planning to visit one of our indigenous angry hippies in the
Northwest upon the occasion of the WTO riots, stick around for a record release concert and celebration for the
Badlands record on December 8, at the University of Washington HUB Ballroom. Playing the show will be AIMEE MANN,
CROOKED FINGERS and Sub Pop’s own DAMIEN JURADO. I plan
on being there with bells on… but not the kind smuggled out of Peru.
Also making a rare live appearance, STEVE FISK will be performing with SHAWN SMITH as
December 19 at the Showbox. Mr. Fisk
has a new record on the horizon as well, look for the album 999 Levels of Undo, available from Sub
Pop March 6. ZEN GUERRILLA and
plan to ring in the New Year December 31 at Seattle’s OK Hotel. If you don’t mind me adding a personal note,
oddly enough I picked out a husband at the OK Hotel about 11 years ago, and I haven’t been Okay since,
yet happily so I must say. I don’t know how good the husband selection IS at the OK Hotel these days
and I may have grabbed the last good one, but you can give it a shot if you’re so inclined.
LOVE AS LAUGHTER had a great though slightly itchy-scratchy
time in Europe throughout November, Zeke Howard – taking leave from his day job in the sales department
- sent along this nice email:
“Zeke here, in Geneva. Our first two shows were fucking great. Our show in Turin got canceled because
the club burned down. I guess we can’t really argue with that excuse. Our bus is called STAR LINE with
the slogan ‘RIDING TO THE RHYTHM’ painted on the back. It’s great! Plus the VCR player came with a
copy of ‘Groundhogs Day’ starring Bill Murray. Doesn’t really get better than that.”
I would like to add that NO, it definitely does not get better than that, unless you also have some pixie sticks
and a forty. Sub Pop has signed THE SHINS, a terrific new band! Look for a teaser 7” single available in
February. NEBULA just finished a record with producer John Agnello,
and just completed a tour of Australia, where Eddie Glass was temporarily carried off by a dingo
but we traded him for a lambchop and all is again right with the world.
Nebula will be flown courtesy of Kerrang Magazine to the UK for the big media-sponsored holiday bash along
with THE HELLACOPTERS. Festive! THE BLACK HALOS recently turned in their new
record due out on Sub Pop in March and it is called The Violent Years. Yikes! The beautiful Ms. HEATHER DUBY
is currently working on a new EP, and if you
happen to be in Portland, Oregon on December 16, be sure and see the super special show with MUDHONEY
at the Pine Street Theater. Hurray!
Well, have a very nice final month of the year 2000, and have happy holidays however you chose to
celebrate them. We at Sub Pop are deeply honored to have you as a credit card bearing customer, and
it’s because of you that we are able to buy the new copy machine that can staple stuff. See you next
year! Love, – Annaw@subpop.com.
Sub Pop is very pleased to announce that we are newly working with Dntel!
Jimmy Tamborello’s Dntel is where The Postal Service was born – “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” on 2001’s Plug Research release Life Is Full of Possibilities was Jimmy’s first collaboration with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. And then, of course, The Postal Service went on to take over the world with their 2003 release Give Up (inasmuch as an electronic pop collaboration realized by mail is even metaphorically capable of such aggressiveness…).
Dntel’s whole raison d’etre has been and continues to be an opportunity for our Mr. Tamborello to team up with other musicians. Life Is Full of Possibilities featured, not only the aforementioned portentous partnership with Mr. Gibbard, but also purely paradisiacal pairings with Mia Doi Todd, Chris Gunst (Beachwood Sparks, Mystic Chords of Memory), Rachel Haden (that dog), and Brian McMahan (Slint, The For Carnation). And, the new record continues that M.O., with contributions from guests such as (though, not limited to): Bright Eyes, Lali Puna, Mia Doi Todd, Grizzly Bear, Fog, and Jenny Lewis. The actual date of release for the new Dntel album, we’re all still a bit fuzzy on, but the tentative title for the record is Dumb Luck (not at all coincidentally, this is also the name of the frontrunner for favorite track here in the office, which Jimmy sings his own self).
Yes, we are terribly excited by all of this.
Mr. Tamborello also has a record coming out in July 2006 on Plug Research, under the name James Figurine.
With me, Anna Woolverton, French toasted.
This month: Oh Inverted Spanish Eyeball.
Summer is here and the time is right for dancing in the streets. Unless, you’re here in Seattle, where it’s raining and there is drilling in progress and the hookers from Crack Park two blocks up are the designated street-dancing officials. By dancing, I mean teetering on nasty shoes in the general direction of a guy who is holding. Good heavens, that’s what one calls “urban living!”
If you don’t mind me saying so, If I were a rock star (and let’s not assume I am not), I would not like my face on my CD or in advertisements – looking very self important and sinister. Furthermore, I also suggest that adulterated eyeball imagery needs to go. Besides auto accident photos and pictures of tortured killed anonymous soldiers, it seems there is always an eyeball with a hook through it, a freaky contact on it, something black and blue about it, a fork protruding from it, or a big giant blackhead near it. I am not kidding brother, look at a music magazine and behold for yourself, if it isn’t bloodshot and bugged out and smeary, it has a bullet through it, or a excessively bright red bloody crime in it’s reflection. Eyeballs eyeballs eyeballs – bullocks to eyeballs.
The band for July you ask? MIGALA, a Madrid, Spain sextet who make really sad music that makes me just want to step in front of a bus. Or, maybe I just want to step in front of a bus – hard to say! On the cover of the new Migala record Arde (trans. “It Burns”) is a very small block picture of an auto accident on fire…tastefully lacking in any eyeball pokery. Migala’s first full-length release, the much-acclaimed Diciembre 3am (’97), meant a true breath of fresh air to a complacent scene in their native Spain (so deemed by audiences and critics alike). 1998’s Asi Duele un Verano triggered Migala’s discovery in Europe and the U.S., resulting in a tour across France, the band’s inclusion in Magic! Magazine as one of the revelations of ’99, as well as three of their songs landing on a Keyhole Recordings compilation. Soon after, LOOPER’S Stuart David championed the band to Sub Pop, which led to the release of their first U.S. single as the October, 2000 edition of the Sub Pop Singles Club. Migala have opened for Smog, the Magnetic Fields, DAMON & NAOMI, Piano Magic, Kramer,MARK KOZELEK and others. And really, if you love Leonard Cohen, Migala is right up your tree. Please when you’re up there, don’t take a rope or jump from a creaky limb. Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Uuuuuuuuuuh.
Okay then! Band number two, but number one in the hearts of many – RADIO BIRDMAN! Sub Pop is proud to release The Essential Radio Birdman (1974-1978), a particularly bad-ass release for us, as it marks the first release of Radio Birdman material in the U.S. in over 20 years. With their roots in the high-energy Motor City sound of The Stooges and MC5, the mainly Australian band brings a 22-track single disc collection made up from tracks taken from their Burn My Eye EP, the classics Radios Appear album, the More Fun EP (live from ’77), and the Living Eyes album. Plus, The Essential Radio Birdman features new liner notes written by Rolling Stone heavyweight David Fricke. Aren’t you the lucky consumers!
Don’t know if you’ve noticed my friends, but THE SHINS are busting out all over. John Peel played the song “Know Your Onion” last month, and everyone else has gone all slobbery for the whole record Oh, Inverted World. The CD is flying right out of the stores and we wonder what we did to make this happen so we can do it again, as many times as possible. You must admit, we’ve had some remarkable bands over the years that just hit the glass ceiling and splatter like a bug. Shhhh. Don’t jinx it! Anyhoo, if you have yet to pick up the Shins CD, you’re pokey and you’re also not in my club, thankyouverymuch.
Buy it here! Buy it now! Buy it for the starving children in China.
THE BLACK HALOS are picking up some Canadian opening spots with The Offspring, the latter being (I’m sorry I just have to say it) one of THE most annoying bands I have ever heard in my entire life. I so much can’t stand the Offspring, one day I actually volunteered to operate a cotton candy machine at a 4-H beauty contest to avoid having to see them. Ahem, so if you would like to see the Black Halos, and you would, catch their July tour schedule on the tours page okay? NEBULA are off shooting a video for the song “Do It Now” from their recent record Charged. Eddie glass has been newly outfitted with some gold teeth. Actually I’m lying and I don’t know why. Hey, if you know the way to San Jose, July 26 marks the only July appearance of ZEN GUERRILLA, so do what you will. Singer Marcus was here in the office last month and, yes I did sniff him, but I have yet to prepare a statement on the results of that action. Stay tuned. Sub Pop alumni ERIC’S TRIP are planning a reunion tour for late summer into September. You should take this opportunity to see the band, and pick up the Eric’s Trip “best-of” compilation, which should be available on USA Recordings. In related news, trip-friend and former Sub Popper JULIE DOIRON is currently in the studio recording a full-length French record. She also has some Canadian show dates in July. Et si vous s’occuper de myself proverbe tellement, Julie Doiron coups Celine Dion sur l’eau! Or something like that in French. That is all I have to say on the matter, merci.
As you’ve heard, J. Mascis has been forced to cancel the rest of his European tour after injuring his back in a minibus crash. The crash happened in Sweden, and the following day he managed to place a call to Miss Pottymouth Jasper, the general manager of Sub Pop, to tell her that he was very much enjoying his morphine drip. Personally, my first concern was for his safety, after which I was thrilled to hear that those very fashionable eye-glasses he wears were not crushed beyond repair in the accident. We love you J.! And your hot pink sweater too! Sub Pop alumni SIX FINGER SATELLITE’S recent shows were met with mixed exclamatory remarks, one of them being SPECTACULAR! and another – regarding the coming together of 6FS and the band Landed – The Landed vocalist looked rather like Rip Van Winkle, and he ruined the whole evening in a display of unbelievably annoying behavior on the level of, say, jar-jar binks. Which is exactly what I would say if I knew about jar-jar binks, and also if I had seen the show, or if I actually really cared all that much. Now it’s me with the annoying behavior. Never fear, I’m off!
One last thing, touring in July: The Black Halos, THE CATHETERS, Damon & Naomi, DAMIEN JURADO and PLEASURE FOREVER, so stick that in your eye!
Bye, gotta catch the bus. Just kiddin! Annaw@subpop.com
After a year of non-stop touring in support of 2004’s Burned Mind, Wolf Eyes were ready; seasoned to travel through horrible new areas of sound. During one four-week period at the dawn of ’06, they laid down the ideas that would shape the new album in their studio, the Terror Tank. This new slab is the first with Mike Connelly (of Hair Police and the Gods of Tundra label) replacing Aaron Dilloway. Though he no longer tours with the band, Dilloway remains involved and helped to mix the new record with BMG (who also did the deed on Burned Mind).These songs are rotten with metal, reeds, consciousness-erasing islands of black doom; bass-heavy rippers, late-night free-terror jams, afflicted dog-hearts, underwater crabs: pure mayhem. The new double bass attack is showcased on “Human Animal” and ”Rusted Mange” with scraping strings and a full terror-shriek workout re-organized by Dilloway. New directions are countered by “Rationed Rot,” which revisits the eerie Throbbing Gristle-esque vocal deployment that dates from Wolf Eyes’ Dread LP. The album also features the band’s first ever cover song: a dead-on rendering of No Fucker’s rotten hXc anthem, “Noise Not Music,” which closed out a lot of shows on Wolf Eyes’ recent European tour. As ever, Wolf Eyes will be living on the road, with Australian and American tours in the works, and an invitation from Thurston Moore to play at All Tomorrow’s Parties in December 2006 alongside Sonic Youth and The Stooges.