News from 1/2007

FRI, JAN 19, 2007 at 11:42 AM



Though we haven’t worked with J. Robbins, many of us here have been/are fans of his work as a musician and producer. When the news below reached us, we felt compelled to pass it along to all of you. Please take a moment to read through it, and do what you can.


(Lifted straight from the DeSoto Records website…)

On January 27, 2006, our great friends and Channels members J. Robbins and Janet Morgan welcomed their first child, a son named Callum. He was 8-odd pounds and 20-odd inches of wriggling, squirming, screaming joy, and the apple of his parents’ eye.

As Cal grew, though, his parents began to notice that the expected developmental milestones – biting his toes, squeezing Janet’s finger, even rolling over and sitting up unsupported – weren’t happening. As a parent, you never want to think that something is wrong with your child. You bury your doubts and convince yourself that your baby is just different, that he’s got his own way of doing things, that he’s just “mellow.” You’ve got diapers to change, bottles to warm, baths to give. Life has to go on.

Sometime around Cal’s 8-month birthday in September, J. and Janet took him to his pediatrician for his regular appointment. They knew from the doctor’s grave tone that something was terribly wrong. Any parent — any human — reading this can understand the shock, horror, and pain that J. and Janet felt when they learned through subsequent visits with specialists that Cal was born with a genetic motor neuron disease called Type 1 SMA, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

The facts are brutal: SMA kills kids. The disease affects the brain’s ability to communicate with the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, breathing, and swallowing. Type 1 SMA is usually fatal; most Type 1 babies will die before their second birthday. Those infants who survive into childhood are in for a long road of occupational therapy, wheelchairs, and assistive devices. Despite years of work on its treatment and “ongoing promising research,” it has no cure.

J., Janet, and Cal live every day with this disease hanging over their heads, and the path before them is extremely expensive and consuming of their former “normal lives.” Cal will never be able to walk. Once he is old enough to require a wheelchair, he will be wheelchair-bound for life, which likely also means at some point he’ll need surgery to correct for scoliosis.

It is an understatement to call this a heartbreaking situation. It also stands to be an unbelievably expensive one, especially for a household where the only wage-earner is a self-employed indie recording engineer. It remains unclear just how helpful J.’s single-payer insurance will be.

Allopathic (“conventional”) doctors, while energetically engaged in research into this condition, can offer no cure for Callum. There may be some hope — even if only for a better quality of life — in alternative routes and therapies. These, of course, are not covered by health insurance.

We at DeSoto feel that we owe it to J., Janet, and Callum to explore any and every avenue that might help their little boy. Pursuing alternative treatments will very plausibly bankrupt them.

Our hope is that people whose lives J., Janet, and Cal have touched – with their music, their friendship, their work in the independent music community – can help. Every dollar you give will provide Cal support to pursue treatment for this terrible disease. Perhaps more important, it will provide J., Janet, and Cal some of the hope they need to play out this horribly unfair hand life has dealt them.

—Kim, Bill, and Nick

The info on how you can donate is here.

Posted by Chris Jacobs

THU, JAN 18, 2007 at 9:58 AM

Happy New Year, pals!

We’re back from holiday and ready to kick some online shopping ass in 2007.

All orders placed betwixt Dec 22 and Jan 2 have just been shipped out this week, excluding the new Shins album, of course.

Posted by Chris Jacobs

FRI, JAN 5, 2007 at 9:55 AM



Fluffy holiday greetings, Losers! Guess fucking what? Just like the bajillion other critics and industry peeps who sometimes mistakenly believe their opinions on The Year 2006 are of vital interest to you, we’ve all made Top Ten Lists. By “we all”, I mean most of the Sub Pop Staff. Now, you can get a smoother picture of our innermost preferences! It’ll be almost like we’re REALLY FRIENDS IN REAL LIFE, instead of just virtually! Hope your year was as full of it as ours!

My top 13 full-lengths in order, excluding Sub Pop releases which all tie for #1:
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)
Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You (Anti)
Frida Hyvonen, Until Death Comes (Secretly Canadian)
Beyoncé “B’Day” (Sony Urban Music/Columbia)
Viva Voce, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out (Barsuk)
Thom Yorke, The Eraser (XL)
Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury (Re-up/Zomba)
Joanna Newsom, Ys (Drag City)
F.S. Blumm, Summer Kling (Morr Music)
Electric President, S/T (Morr Music)
Justin Timberlake “FutureSex/LoveSounds” (Jive)
The Mountain Goats “Get Lonely” (4AD)
Cat Power, The Greatest (Matador)

Wooden Shjips “Shrinking Moon For You”
King Khan and BBQ Show ‘What’s For Dinner’
Liars “Drums Not Dead”
Gnarls Barkley “St Elsewhere”
Old Haunts “Fuel on Fire”
Comets on Fire “Avatar”
Black Garfield Comp
Unnatural Helpers “S/T”
2006 was too lame on a personal level for me to finish this Top 10 List so I am deducting two entries.

1. Chris Brokaw “Incredible Love”
2. Scratch Acid @ the Showbox in Seattle
3. HiM “Peoples” (on the label Bubblecore)
4. Excite Truck on the Nintendo Wii (redefining video games for the 21st century)
5. Mice Parade “Bem-Vinda Vontade” (Bubblecore also)
6. My patented ZZ Top mix (2 CDs worth, from the first 6 LPs)
7. Dave Douglas “Meaning and Mystery” (“jazz”)
8. Deerhoof “The Runners Four” (though I’m almost positive it came out in 2005)
9. Jeff Parker “The Relatives” (& by association Marvin Gaye’s “Here, My Dear”)
10. comedy, up to & including Longmont Potion Castle and Scharpling & Wurster (“The Best Show on WFMU”)

Tom Verlaine “Around”
Yo La Tengo “I’m Not Afraid of You And I will Beat Your Ass”
Pharaoh Overlord “#4”
Juana Molina “Son”
Califone “Roots and Crowns”
Flaming Lips “At War With the Mystics”
What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977)
Tom Waits Orphans
Tortoise A Lazarus Taxon
Comets On Fire ”Avatar”

TOP 10 7”s (In No Order)
Homostupids “The Glow” EP (My Minds Eye Records)
Sex Vid EP (Kill Test)
Pissed Jeans “Don’t Need Smoke To Make Myself Disappear” (Sub Pop)
Nothing People EP (SS Records)
Home Blitz EP (Self Released?)
Wooden Shjips “Dance California” (Sick Thirst Records)
The Go “Invisible Friends” (Cass Records)
Spider & The Webs EP (K Records)
Tall Birds “Internalize” (Sub Pop)
Cause Co-Motion “Which Way Is Up” (What’s Your Rupture)

TONY K (excluding anything that came out on Sub Pop):
Vetiver-To Find Me Gone
Karen Dalton-In My Own Time
Spank Rock-Yoyoyo
Pop Levi-Blue Honey EP
Cat Power- The Greatest
Love is All-Nine Times That Same Song
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
Grizzly Bear-Yellow House
Flying canyon-Flying Canyon
Wooden Shjips-Shrinking Moon for You

S. SAWYER’S ten most favorite records of the year:
Tyde – Three’s Co.
Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
Band Of Horsies – Everything All The Time
Coments of Fire – Avatar
YLT – Beat your ass
Ghostface – Fish Scale
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Outttta this Cuntry
Thermals – Body Blood Machine
Tapes AND Tapes – The Loon
Barb Dylan – Modern Times

DUSTY S’s movies of ‘06:
Harsh Times
Half Nelson
The Departed
Devil’s Miner
Rocky Balboa
LIttle Miss Sunshine
Inside Man
District B13

10. Emerging technologies—Observe…
PS—you can skip the Sting part.
9. Om—Conference of the Birds
Fantastic second record. It’s weird—the whole record reminds me of “Set Your Controls for the Heart of the Sun” on Percocet or something.
8. Various ’70s Country/Folk Rock
For some reason the records that I went back to over and over this year were by Chris Smither, Doug Sahm & Bobby Charles. Thanks to Other Music for unearthing a bunch of cut-outs of Smither’s Don’t It Drag On and I’m A Stranger Too_. Bobby Charles’ “I Must Be In A Good Place Now” is an all-time stunner and a beautiful love song. When Vetiver played it live, my jaw almost hit the floor. Bringing me to…
7. Vetiver live
You’d be hard pressed to find a better songwriter than Andy Cabic these days and his band is a bunch of ringers. Go see ‘em!
6. Wine Picks
I took a lot of shit from co-workers for taking a wine class this year, but the joke is on those knuckle-draggers. For my money the best red I had this year was Mollydooker’s “The Boxer” Shiraz. Shalit would call it a “knock-out” (hiyo!) And now that it’s made Wine Expectorator’s Top 100, it might be a little tough to find. I shoulda bought a case. For whites, the best I had was Caves De Saumur’s “Lieu Dit Les Pouches”. 100% Chenin Blanc from the Loire. At 8 bucks a pop, you can’t afford NOT to drink it by the truckload!
5. Ba Da Bing Records, did they ever put out great records this year. Colossal Yes, Beirut, Th’ Faithealers Peel Sessions and that amazing Dead C double disc? Waytago gang!
4. Scratch Acid live—
A very rare, life-affirming reunion show. Couldn’t have asked for anything more. Rey Washam still destroys.
3. Comets on Fire and their related projects, which may or may not also be on fire—
Avatar is hands down the album of the year. Howlin’ Rain, Six Organs, Colossal Yes and NVH also put out amazing work in their own right. Best band in the galaxy. ‘Nuff said.
2a. You Tube will surely receive no shortage of year-end press and here I am jumpin’ on the bandwagon, but gimme a break. Forget Edison, Ford and that Dyson vacuum guy. The guy who invented You Tube is the smartest genius of all. Come on…
Stay with Me
Evolucion Reggae
Silver Machine
Baby Come Back

2b. Michigan Football—Yeah, I’m getting pretty sick of them losing to Ohio State and yeah, I’m disappointed that we don’t get another pop at those guys, but if the Rose Bowl is the booby prize, I’m not losing any sleep over it. We’ll miss you Bo! The Tigers getting to the World Series was pretty great too, despite their performance in said series.
1. Baby fever ’07! Catch it!

CHRIS J (w/o any of the fine records released this year under the Sub Pop guarantee of moderate quality):
Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing!)
Cat Power – The Greatest (Matador)
The Gossip – Standing in the Way of Control (KRS)
Eric Bachmann – To the Races (Saddle Creek)
The Lights – Diamonds and Dirt (Wantage USA)
The Black Angels – Passover (Light in the Attic)
Mission of Burma – The Obliterati (Matador)
Califone – Roots and Crowns (Thrill Jockey)
Howlin’ Rain – Howlin’ Rain (Birdman)
Other people have already mentioned it here, but that Scratch Acid show in Sept. at the Showbox was far and away the best show I saw this year.

1. Photo Booth on my new MacBook. This is seriously the best shit ever.
2. Nintendo Wii. Maybe this should be number 1.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Maybe this is what I meant in number 2. The rest are in no particular order.
The Black Garfield Comp (on Haunted Horse Records).
Summer. (Remember how rad that was?)
Sangria + Bocce Ball in the aforementioned season.
Scratch Acid at the Showbox.
New Super Mario Brothers.
Crawl Space Gallery.
Tiny Vipers.

SUE B.’s:
Vetiver-To Find Me Gone
Beach House-S/T
Oxford Collapse-Remember the Night Parties
Camera Obscura-Let’s Get Out of This Country
Comets on Fire-Avatar
Black Angels-Passover
Love Is All-Nine Times That Same Song
Neko Case-Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Peter, Bjorn & John-Writers Block
Band of Horses-Everything All the Time

Touch & Go 25th Anniversary
Rediscovering Spacemen 3
Hometown San Diego Chargers- 11-2 as we speak
Henry Darger exhibit
Orcas Island snowball fight
Black Angels
Skateboarding again- till I broke my arm
Tapes n’ Tapes
Melvins w/Jared and Coady
Bourbon (making it’s 25th straight appearance in the top 10)

top 10 things that existed in a world this year:
The radikiller taco carts of Mexicali mexico
Belize, in general
The Black Lips
24/7 tapes records
the dude from Thunderbirds Are Now! trying to fight me at CMJ
Shi Shi Beach
Sccreen printing, jamming, partying, sippin’ on hyphy, eatin waffles in the mornings and hot link sandwiches at night at the Ghosttown Gallery in Oakland, CA
Quintron live at the sunset tavern
Trashed Kickball Association of Seattle
Migas from Tamale house #3 in Austin, TX

Posted by Chris Jacobs

FRI, JAN 19, 2007 at 12:11 PM



The Shins are going to be incredibly busy this month. And, because we think that the various things they’re doing are pretty amazing, and also because we are having a hard time keeping track of it all ourselves (…), the following summation of January ’07, aka the month The Shins are totally all up in your grill:

January 9: This is the day that you can pre-order Wincing the Night Away on iTunes.
January 13: The Shins are the musical guests on Saturday Night Live! SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE! It’s my dick, in a box!
January 18: Starting on this day, and running through Jan. 21st, you can stream Wincing the Night Away, in its entirety, on Myspace!
January 19-21: You should really just get some rest.
January 22: The Shins will be performing live at midnight at the Virgin Records in New York’s Union Square. Buy a copy of the record at Virgin and you get in to see them play!
January 23: Not only does Wincing the Night Away come out on this day, but also the band will be playing on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman! DAVID LETTERMAN!
January 26: In the morning, The Shins will be playing on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. And, in the evening, at 8:00pm, they’ll be playing a free in-store at the Amoeba Records in Hollywood.

Consider yourself warned!

Posted by Chris Jacobs

WED, JAN 17, 2007 at 11:21 AM

The Sub Pop iTunes Store


Starting now, the new Sub Pop Records iTunes Mini-Mart is up and running!

Assembled in this somewhat remote, yet painstakingly decorated corner of the iTunes Music Store, curious browsers will find 21 recently released and/or somewhat popular albums optimistically offered for purchase by Sub Pop Records. While the entire Sub Pop catalog numbers greater than 700 releases to date, and though we would argue that 1/2 to 2/3 of those releases are well worth purchasing or otherwise securing for yourself, for now this scintillating sampling will have to suffice.

Near as we can tell, there is no way to get to this section of the iTunes store, through the store itself. You can only get there via this link.

Should you wish to locate artists on the label not featured in the new Sub Pop Records iTunes Mini-Mart, here’s where you can do that (for the artists we’re currently working with):

A Frames
The Album Leaf
Band of Horses
The Baptist Generals
Comets on Fire
David Cross
Dead Moon
The Elected
Fruit Bats
The Helio Sequence
Iron and Wine
Jennifer Gentle
Eugene Mirman
Oxford Collapse
Pissed Jeans
The Postal Service
Rogue Wave
The Shins
Kelley Stoltz
The Thermals
Rosie Thomas
Chad VanGaalen
Wolf Eyes
Wolf Parade

It’s our hope that, in time, we’ll be able to regularly change what’s featured in our iTunes storefront, but this is a start anyway!

Posted by Stuart Fletcher

FRI, JAN 19, 2007 at 8:47 AM

Loney, Dear - I Am John


Emil Svanängen is the core of Loney, Dear. The first download from Loney, Dear’s new album Loney, Noir is called “I Am John”. ConfusING? Do you yearn to know who this John person is? Listen to the song and find out… maybe.

Posted by Chris Jacobs