THIS MONTH: Blah, blah, blah, blue-collar working-man’s rock, blah, blah, blah.
I’m going to Las Vegas for vacation. Four days and three nights of feeling my pupils squeak around. I’ve never
been there because I am impoverished, but recently I was informed that if I do not take a vacation the office
might institutionalize me. So they are shoving me off on my husband and forcing me to dip into my savings
account, which I intended for things like name-brand cotton swabs and the oil bill. When I get back I’ll be
able to tell you all about old folks, coupons, and whether or not I threw up, or if my appendix finally burst.
November is the happy golden month of BADLANDS, A TRIBUTE TO BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S NEBRASKA, released by Sub Pop
November 7. Please won’t you go here and find out all the
interesting things about the record. For instance, all the songs on this record were recorded as the original,
on four-track, by people like Chrissie Hynde, Hank Williams III, Son Volt, Ben Harper,
Johnny Cash and Damien
Jurado and Rose Thomas. I do not know what could be nicer! On a fascinating note, the movie
BADLANDS, made in 1973, is loosely based on the famous Stearkweather
crime spree, of which rumor has it Mr. Springsteen used as inspiration for his Nebraska record. Only I
don’t know that for sure, you’ll have to ask Bruce for the dope. Also there if fabulous music by Carl Orff
included in the score for the 1973 film of Badlands. It’s classical in nature however, so you shall have
to fake out some highbrow taste if you are going to appreciate it, if you don’t mind me saying so. But I
digress, where was I?
Oh…. Proceeds from the sale of Badlands, a Tribute….are to be donated to Doctors Without Borders.
Also in November, you too can join the singles club and receive the JONATHAN RICHMAN 7” vinyl record which
is currently in the works; and non-singles club members can freely purchase the newest 7” of ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN.
A couple of Suicide Squeeze things we brought in that we haven’t had before: namely a 7” RED STARS THEORY
and a split CD of MODEST MOUSE and 764-HERO. It’s fancy. Also act now and order the newest record by the
fantastic ELEVATOR called A Taste of Complete Perspective,
brought to you from our friends at Teenage USA Recordings. They’re moving fast so hop on it, skoob!
WHAT’S WEIRD: My thing for baby aspirin has passed, but I’ve been eating some milled flower caplets
lately and they give me a buzz. Oh dear, so many dolls in the valley, so little time.
NEWSY BITS: Our friends and yours BEACHWOOD SPARKS are
embarking on a west-coast tour with J. MASCIS, with shows in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and L.A.
Did anyone see them October 24 in Los Angeles with BECK? If so, do tell. Chris from Beachwood Sparks just
reported to yours truly that he went to a Halloween party last night in costume as SNOOP DOGGIE DOG. This
is about twice as funny as it sounds if you have ever met Chris, which you would have if you were more
popular and better looking of course. You might want to work on that, or you can just send me a dollar,
either way. We can’t say what influence P.J. HARVEY had on this next item, but actor TIM ROBBINS was
seen at the DAMON & NAOMI show in New York, where
the aforementioned skinny lady was also doing her thing. I had to mention this not just because no one
is stopping me, but also because Tim Robbins is so handsome. D&N are gearing up to play the Terrastock
Festival on November 3 here in Seattle. The poster for that festival is very very good looking, because
famous Sub Pop art departmentuer Jesse LeDoux made it. Art is a good investment you know, I’m just saying!
LOVE AS LAUGHTER are going out on tour to Europe to play with
Modest Mouse. I have never been to Europe personally, kind of like I have never been to Las Vegas only
way worse. Finally our house band THE MURDER CITY DEVILS
are returning from playing rock shows everywhere. We missed them, and not just because we have stuff for Gabe
to take to the dump. Gabe actually kind of felt sad at my column last month concerning candy, because he
doesn’t know how much I actually care. I do. MCD SPENCER MOODY received the award for the best local singer
on City Search. I think he got a box of chicklets and gift certificate for international coffees. Score!
Along with Scotland’s finest LOOPER, THE MURDER CITY DEVILS
are new to the in-store play circuit at URBAN OUTFITTERS. So if you hear the finest singer in Seattle
howling and growling while you’re in the fitting room with those orange parachute pants – that’s just
Spencer. He’s harmless. On a related note of who’s-being-promoted-where, NEBULA’S
“Come Down” will be tinkering around in the background whilst you
fidget with your Sony Playstation 2 device. Just be sure you’re playing the “Cool Boarders 2001” game.
Furthermore, let me ask you this, have you seen THE YOYOS on MTV2?
Why don’t you go to a show? Touring in November are Beachwood Sparks, Damon & Naomi, Love As Laughter
(overseas), THE MAKERS, the Murder City Devils and Nebula. Why don’t you
read me at Pop Paralysis? Or just send me a dollar, either way.
Bye mashed potatoes, – Annaw@subpop.com.
Let’s all get sick! People at record labels are always touching each other and making out and stuff – so it’s
no wonder we all get infected with germs. I personally don’t bid the happy hands hello as often as some,
but you know, the way we ignore the sign on the wall in the hall about sexual harassment, germs are sent
on their merry way every time we play grab-ass around here. I’m the only one who keeps actual kleenex at
my desk so everyone with snot pays me a visit at least once a day. Lozenges are nice but the lemon kind
make me want to barf a lot – which I waste no time sharing with anyone even remotely listening to me complain.
Did you ever notice that everyone has their own sneeze and cough signature? I’d rather not think about the
other bodily functions… but unfortunately they tell about them all the same. And of course I made the mistake
- “I lost $100 in a shell game [on the street in NYC], which still makes me queasy”- Steve Manning, Publicist.
- “ My boob rash has finally cleared up, only to leave me with a nasty cough, swollen glands, and a massively sore throat.” – Kristen Meyer, Senior Product Manager.
- “Buboes erupting all over my body, blood oozing from every orifice, black diarrhea and open blisters in my mouth.” – Jonathan Poneman, owner and CEO.
- “I’ve had permanent sinus problems since 7th grade, and I just re-bit my lip about 5 minutes ago. Other than that, I’m as healthy as granola. Does that count?” – Jesse LeDoux, Assistant Art Director.
- “Flannel shirt, backwards hat, combat boots and long-johns under my cut-off shorts” – Kwab Copeland, shipping.
- “I have had serious bouts of nausea due to the high levels of ********* (aka ass candy) in the bathrooms that we share with our neighbors at ********, what do they put in that coffee?” – Josh Ayala, New Media Director.
- “My shiznitties is fugged up big time!” – James Bertram, Sales.
- “Oh, just the same old, same old—simultaneous pukes and squirts. Oh yeah, I also have blood coming out of my eyes. Does that seem weird?” – Megan Jasper, General Manager.
- “I have worms crawling in and out of me and just recently they started playing pinochle right on my snout.” Kendrick Deaton, Sales.
- mine’s kinda hard to explain [ picture of man with elephantitus of the nuts] – Jed Maheu, Sales.
See what I mean? We’re all a mess. What does this have to do with records and CDs and the intricate operations
of commerce in America? Learn the way, in your next 55 second Sub Pop sidewalk.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for staying.
Plexi. The Blue Rags. Green Magnet School. The Evil Tambourines. The Yo-Yo’s.
These names and many others like them seem now inextricably synonymous with Sub Pop Records. It is, however, not solely a history written in forgotten failures. For there has also been a handful of almost-was-es, one or two kind-of-closes, and an occasional bonafide barely-profitables. It is for this legacy of small percentages that, tonight, Sub Pop Records is being honored by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Sub Pop began sometime in the late 1980s by two gentlemen who met each other somewhere and did something that eventually led to them releasing some records. The early years of Sub Pop were marked by a clarity of vision and an unwavering sense of integrity: two qualities that co-founder Bruce Pavitt seemingly took with him when he left in 1990-something.
It was during this period that remaining co-founder, and tonight’s honoree, Jonathan Poneman earned the still popular inter-office nickname, The Impotent Wizard.
During the next several years, as Sub Pop’s status, credibility and cultural significance waned, Mr. Poneman took an unorthodox approach to resuscitating his company by embarking on an increasing number of lengthy overseas vacations to some the world’s most sacred spiritual centers in an attempt to add some glint of meaning to an otherwise empty existence.
It was during this period that he earned the still popular inter-office nickname, The Absent Ghost.
Recently, Fortune’s Bird of Pity seems to have found a friendly perch on Sub Pop’s fetid hovel as, over the last four years, they have enjoyed an unlikely string of critical and commercial successes that can only be attributed to two factors: luck & institutionalized racism. In an accidental misplacement of funds that has been mistakenly heralded by some as charity, Sub Pop has also been a key contributor to such worthwhile institutions as The Service Board and The Vera Project. Never mind that Mr. Poneman still believes the both of these to be code names for two of his many phony tax shelters and offshore accounts.
It has been during this most recent period that he has earned the still popular inter-office nickname, The Clueless Detective.
In reciting this history, perhaps you are like me in wondering why Sub Pop and Jonathan Poneman should be deemed worthy of receiving this otherwise well-merited award when I can’t even find a girlfriend. The answer, I’m afraid, is “I Don’t Know.”
PROFILED: Pleasure Forever
Andrew Rothbard, Joshua Hughes and Dave Clifford
EASE OF MOTION: Well it was Sub Pop Anniversary Day, the annual day we have our party slash show, so when these guys came in, the office was hopping. Therefore, I did not ferociously eyeball the band’s entrance. Plus they huddled around in a slouchy pile for the duration of their stay, which makes it difficult to really scope out someone’s ability to walk.
ATTITUDE: As always, the band was nice and did not demand quarters from me. Parking meters and candy machines immediately confuse the herd; which gives me the opportunity to scrutinize every little detail and also take the opportunity to inhale deeply the stench of rock stardom.
APPEARANCE: I didn’t stare, god. They looked rather like they had slept in their clothes. And, although charming – there was a slight oiliness and pallor about them that seemed somehow diabolical. Deliberate? Hard to say.
STINKINESS: Pleasure Forever did not get within huffing range, but I’m reasonably sure the band smelled fair to midland with undertones of hangover.
P&Q: Very polite, no hat wearing was done inside, unless that wasn’t actually someone’s hair. I did not take the opportunity to check the band for proper serviette usage. They drank some tea and coffee.
GIFTS: Again, no gifts. I should just give up on getting any gifts. Why would I? No one thinks about these things on the way to the office. I should have known better. A mere rock from rock people is really not asking for very much. Any one of them could just hang out of the van and grab me a pebble. Geez.
FLAG: Wave it high with pride. Looking non-plussed is good.
ENTOURAGE: It’s quite possible that they were each other’s entourage, because they didn’t bring additional dirtbags with them, sadly.
SPAZZINESS: Pleasure Forever was most un-spazzy. They weren’t even festive for such pleasured people. I think they must have been tired.
FINAL GRADE: I give them a B. I wrote it down with a big red pencil. B for bedazzling!