News from 2006

TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM

TRAFFIC …duh……SUB POP: September 2001 edition

With your substitute teacher, Ms. Anna “I’ll hit you with this ruler” Woolverton

THIS MONTH: Scooby soils the Mystery Machine.

Back to school. Three words that miraculously result in millions of stupid haircuts and ridiculous pants. Not to be repetitive, but please allow me to date myself (myself being a hot date and all) by saying that my back to school seventh grade jeans said “roller boogie” across the ass in rhinestone cursive letters. And that was back in the olden days of yore when one could find the cool Levi corduroys on the rack, unlike today when, to get them I have been known to trip 17 year old girls in the thrift shop, in addition to resorting to other seedy tactics like pointing “look over there,” grabbing them, and running. Anyway… enough about my jeans and my bedazzled booty.

The poster band and reigning trapper keeping band of September is, naturally LOVE AS LAUGHTER. Please keep legible notes people, as you will be tested later. September 4 is the big day, the street date for LAL’s new CD Sea to Shining Sea. So before I go all factual, here is Sam Jayne to elaborate.


OK – report? I have nothing to report… well kinda. Love As Laughter has a record coming out so Anna asked me to write something. We’ve had records come out before. This is the fourth “album”, “record”, “CD”? Whatever they call them. They call them releases. There is a “Street Date” which tells you when you can expect to see this release on “the street”. I love the street date. I love it when releases hit the street. On the street, that’s where releases SHOULD be! Out on the street, picking up tricks. That’s where you come in, trick. You are gonna think that release is so sexy, the LAL release in fishnets over there, you are gonna pick up that release and DRIVE IT HOME! You and Love As Laughter’s Sea to Shining Sea have a street date. Love, Sam

Incidentally, the British really pee themselves over L/A/L, and rightly so. NME had this to say.
“ Take cover, incendiary underground missionaries Love As Laughter are getting ready for an explosive deliverance from the bland and the apathetic. And with fanaticism like this, it looks like the salvation is only a matter of time.” (Besides, statistics have shown that you listening to L/A/L makes me happy, and when I am happy, the office gets ice cream. Do you want to tell them they can’t have ice cream? No, I thought not.)

Second on the hype list for September, THE MURDER CITY DEVILS, with their new EP Thelema, available on the 4th (CD-EP and 10” vinyl). This one is melodic, lyrically mature (say MA-TOOOOR), and it also rocks vigorously, just in case you’re wondering. By now you’re aware that the Devils have postponed their European tour due to Leslie’s wrist injury and the fact that everyone else in the band got the clap. (I’m lying about that last part…. But what is the clap anyway? I also don’t know what jiggers and rickets and scabies are either. It all sounds astonishingly contagious and infectious. Someone buy me a Gray’s Anatomy for Christmas, please. Thank you.) MCD is all scheduled to play the big Thrasher Skater of the Year party in San Francisco in the upcoming holiday season. If you’re so inclined to see hundreds of really foxy boys all under one roof, you should go. Girls love skaters. I mean what do they have there in those big short pants?

September 18 marks the sexy street date for VUE, Find Your Home. It’s the San Francisco band’s second full-length player, combining classic rock/R&B swagger with art-punk sensibility. It’s Fast man, fast like your daddy. Shouldn’t you be renewing your subscription to the Sub Pop Singles Club right now? At least you can finish reading my pathetic column first, you ingrate.

In the nature of gossip – THE RED HOUSE PAINTERS recently recorded a track for an up-coming Cameron Crowe film, and SAINT ETIENNE’S Sarah Cracknell will be getting a kitten for Christmas. Plus, RADIO BIRDMAN is making me want to remove all my clothes and paint myself with ketchup and mustard. Also, I went to Hollywood to see Radiohead and Cameron Diaz there and yes, she is shorter in real life, and there were so many cellphones in that town the inside of my head sounded like a fax machine.

On the subject of sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G (and know, this is not Megan Jasper’s story about lofty raccoon sex), Aaron Sperske of our own BEACHWOOD SPARKS recently wed. Also owned by Sub Pop, esteemed prince of popular Mr. Tony Kiewel attended the nuptials along with the big boss man and the aforementioned Miss Stinky-J. Here’s Tony’s People Magazine-esque report:

The wedding was positively lovely. A Tibetan Buddhist affair. I’m sure the sentiments expressed by the lama during the course of the ceremony were lovely, I wouldn’t know for sure since my Tibetan is a little rusty. The bride was absolutely gorgeous in a traditional white gown while all of the guests looked on garbed completely in orange. Yup, orange dress-code for the guests. I was a little scared of the idea at first, but let me tell you, there is something to be said for a color-coded wingding. It was truly a site, all of us gathered together united by our love for the bride and groom and also our orange uniforms. If we had hardhats we could have been mistaken for a road crew. I don’t think I fully appreciated the wide range of oranges previous to this occasion. I wore a rather boring collared orange shirt I picked up for 10 bucks at the mall the day before. Other guests were far more creative. Beck definitely won for most sparkly interpretation with a fantastic orange cowboy suit covered in rhinestones. Thems the highlights… Tony.

So there it is. It sounds so nice! I love orange. Speaking of Tony, he and fellow Sub Pop river-dancer Chris Jacobs will join PLEASURE FOREVER’S Dave Clifford for a big giant, blow-out air-hockey showdown in September, that incidentally no one but they actually care about. They wear underpants on their heads and call themselves stuff like “Assassin” and “Tabletop Lord.” After the competition, I understand the group will then play Dungeons and Dragons together in the bathtub.

I love THE SHINS, and Sept. 2 is the day you can catch them on 120 Minutes, featuring their new and very fancy video for the song “New Slang.” If you haven’t heard the full-player Oh, Inverted World, yet, may I suggest you do something about that? The reviews are in and the world is just freakin’ out about the Shins… freakin’ out in a new age daydream oh yeah. There I go again, dating myself. At least I know I’ll get lucky.

THIS MONTH: Touring – ARLO, Beachwood Sparks (with the Black Crowes), BLACK HALOS, Pleasure Forever, The Shins, THE CATHETERS (look for them soon in Rolling Stone), and ZEN GUERRILLA. Please go to the tours page and plan your roadtrip.
NEXT MONTH: New records from Beachwood Sparks and TREMBLING BLUE STARS!

So long from me, losers.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM

Size matters, we want to be hipsters, etc.

Original Message——-

From: (anonymous)
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 9:37 AM
Subject: Shins concert-read THIS one

The Shins played in Denver for 45 minutes, then left the stage.
They made the crowd cheer them back to stage (as if they deserved
applause for playing a 45-minute show), and they came back for
another 20. Now I LOVE their music, but that is LAME.

Everyone I was near in the audience was very disappointed in the
length of their show. I had driven four hours (from Aspen to Denver)
to see that concert. I have introduced a multitude of friends to
their music and have talked them up incessantly for two and a half
years now. I dragged two friends across the state of Colorado to
see this band that I had been preaching about, and that’s what they
saw. I tried to find an e-mail address on their website, and there
was none. So, naturally, I called the label, you guys, to see if
they do have a general e-mail address that people can use. Jed,
who returned my call, quite self-righteously told me he only called
me back because the folks over at Sub Pop thought it was “weird” that
I would call them to get the Shins’ e-mail address and share my comments.

Way to go guys— the band and the label. Sub Pop, you are not Virgin
Records—had you been, I wouldn’t have bothered even calling. The Shins,
this is Independent Rock, and in Indie music, what you’ve got that most
important is your fan base. If you stand your fans up at a show, you suck.
If you play a meak hour-and-ten-minute concert, you’re going to piss
your fans off. I would think that a band like the Shins would treat
their audience well, and that its label, SubPop, wouldn’t be a bunch
of wannabe hipster pricks who think they are way too cool for their
own good and could give a shit about the bands they represent and its fans.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM


From: “the thermals”

Date: June 11, 2004 6:59:58 PM PDT


Subject: website

hey what’s a thermals got to do to get some respect on the web page biotch?

BREAK UP AFTER ONE RECORD (you know you thought it was a possiblity)…THERMALS SELL 60 MORE COPIES OF “MPPM”….. make em say




Hutch, you’re totally right—we just got the SPIN Clips in, plus tons of other insanely awesometastic press on your FANFUCKINGTASTIC ROCK OPUS, FUCKIN’ A, aka My New Favorite Record. As such, the NEWS SHALL BE SHARED!! THE GOSPEL OF THE THERMALS SHALL BE SPREAD WITH GREATER THICKNESS AND INTENSITY ON YE OLDE SUB POP SITE!!!

For starters, I urge everyone to check out the updated Thermals band page (link below)…it’s chock full of tons of glorious new links to glowing show and record reviews, including a link to the SPIN review, which goes a li’l somethin’ like this:

The Thermals
Sub Pop Records

Portland’s Thermals used to be a middling folk duo called Hutch and Kathy. Then, someone dosed their chai lattes with rock n’ roll ritalin and introduced them to a drummer, and they were reborn as a very, very hyper and very, very focused trio: 2003’s MORE PARTS PER MILLION crammed 13 songs into less than half an hour. Polished (albeit with a rusty Brillo pad) by producer Chris Walla, FUCKIN’ A finds the band making like the buzziest Buzzcocks around, flailing through 13 relentless political pop-punk anthems about not wanting to be sedated. Supercharged, furious, hopeful. (Andy Greenwald)

There’s also a FEATURE in this month’s issue!! Check it!
Second of all, check our other news items on SIREN fest and our new VIDEOS (The Thermals’ video for HOW WE KNOW is a rager)!! Thirdly, send your love to The Thermals today. Tell us how much you care. Tell them how much you care, for they are cream dream supreme, brothers and sisters. This, I promise.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM

TRAFFIC O’ SUB POP: March 2001

With Anna “codeine, someone?” Woolverton

Guess what? The CEO of Sub Pop is currently developing gross toenails in
an ashram in India. This means nothing to you, unless you happen to be one
of the five salesmen from New Jersey who have never ever been able to get
him on the telephone. Let me ask you this, have you ever tried to Federal
Express something to India? Cutely, the hotel’s hold music is “It’s a Small
World After All,” which tinkers away like a Popsicle truck while you wait.
So to recap: Boss being in India means that I must fill out all paperwork
in triplicate and I am left with the tragic memory of my strawberry ice
treat falling off the stick onto the street. It must all mean something
but I do not know what!

With the new record 999 Levels of Undo (available March 6) our nifty poster
fellow for March is none other than Mr.
STEVE FISK, who speaks
here for several:

“Hi, Anna, Well its been a long time since I made a CD but frankly the last
13 years have been a little hectic. A lot of rock bands really needed my help.
Also the nineties saw samplers taken over by a questionable lot. They pulled the
bar down so low… well… you were there. You know how bad it was! Not that my
record is good purse but I had a lot of fun making it. And if anybody wants to
listen to what I do in my spare time, now there’s this CD. The title was taken
from a manual that came with a strange “digital” home studio a friend had. It
means you can always go backwards. No decisions are “undoable.” This is supposed
to be a good thing. What do you think?"

Well my heavens I do agree. However there are some decisions that can indeed be
undone but not without leaving a most unpleasant stain. BUT THAT IS NEITHER
HERE NOR THERE IS IT? The record is faboo to be sure, and Mr. Fisk has yet
again unleashed another creative masterpiece! If you have a bit of time to
scoot around here on the computer (what am I saying, it’s probably the only
thing you do!), may I suggest you take some time to look into the myriad of
projects Steve has had his hands upon. I shall warn you that all the stuff
he’s done has a way of making the few things you may have done seem rather
inconsequential and totally lame. Sigh… I hate that.

Also on the menu for March is one of my favorites:
with their follow up to Sound of Water called Interlude, consisting of b-sides
and outtakes from the former. Here are more of the results of the bands most
prolific time to date: the spring and summer of 1999. The record is out March
20, so sell your smelly leather pants to an unsuspecting used-fashions store
and buy this CD. Also, while I’m on the subject of fashion – walking with a
cane when you’re not injured is also right out. You Saint Et. Fans think you
don’t stick out, but uh ho ho – wrong again!
THE BLACK HALOS have a new
record just for you, available March 20…

I interrupt the traffic report to say “EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE! We are having
an earthquake! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Shit! Shit! Shit! (at this point I kind
of ran around in a circle by my desk briefly, before covering my face with my
hands. You know covering my face with my hands makes me invisible. I realize
this doesn’t make me sound very smart, but there you are.)

Later… Anyway skoob – as I was saying, the Black Halos have a new record
called The Violent Years, recorded with the very famous and also handsome and
charming (no checks Jack, just cash) Jack Endino! It’s got all manner of
fucked-up, dirty Canadian punk rock on there, so please rush out and buy it
post haste! In related news, the Black Halos just finished a video for the
song “Some Things Never Fall,” already submitted to Much Music, with a tamer
American version ready in a few weeks’ time. The song for the video debuted
on the Canadian National Charts at number 75 last week, and the band is about
to embark on an eight week North American tour, including dates with
FRANKENSTEIN and GOB. Check it out eh?

have been recording at the house of J. MASCIS with Thom Monahan of the Lilys
lending his hand. So la dee dah. PLEASURE FOREVER is hitting the road for SXSW
and continuing on up the east coast with I Am Spoonbender (the band, not that
Russian housewife). Plus, Sub Pop will be releasing a Pleasure Forever limited
edition 7” and EP which will be available on-line at the Mega Mart and from
the band during the tour. It’s fancy!

In other newsy bits: You are probably pissy because you cannot find your
way into a TREMBLING BLUE STARS show – one of
three planned for the east coast while everyone in New York happens to be in
Austin, Texas for the SXSW festival. March 17 at Brownies in NYC is already
sold out; March 18 at the Metro Café in DC; and March 20 at the Fez in NYC,
where the band will be performing as a trio as the drummer and bass player
will have gone home. I know! I know! But if you think everyone and their
“manager” hasn’t already called us to hump their way up our legs to get
into a show, you’re vigorously mistaken. If it makes you feel better, while
everyone is seeing TBS or pulling chilies out of their butts in Austin, I’ll
be doing my taxes and settling for the disgusting wine cooler someone left
in my fridge last summer.

CITY DEVILS premier their “Idle Hands” video on MTV Latino, in regular
programming. You can see the video on lotsa American cable systems,
particularly those in South Florida and Texas. We at Sub Pop would like to
make a big scene about this if you don’t mind, because we can rarely
infiltrate the superstructure of bullshit surrounding all things MTV. On a
related note, some boys from VH1 came around for a day of disruptage here
in the office, and one of them expressed undo glee at the fact that I was
able to flip a light switch. I mean, I know I’m stacked but geez, I’m not
retarded. THE AFGHAN WHIGS broke up, and it’s sad. Have you seen the
LOOPER website? Hmmmm…(fake earnest
expression of confusion and dismay.)

Noisepop the festival has already begun, and SXSW is confirmed, so if you
would like the dish on our Sub Pop showcases, please check out the tour page
okay? Also on the bus in March: ARLO,
Black Halos, Pleasure Forever, THE SHINS,
LOVE AS LAUGHTER, The Murder City Devils,
Nebula and VUE. Well that’s it for me from
the earthquake debris field…thanks for everyone who rung us up for reports
on the shaking. We are all just rosy and we love you too!

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson