From the very outset, we at Sub Pop Records have displayed a deep commitment to conspicuous self-promotion (and questionable taste in “music”). But, a bit more discreetly and when we have found ourselves flush enough to afford such largesse, we have also done our best to support worthy organizations in our community, and beyond. Seattle’s Vera Project (a music/ arts center run by and for youth) and The Service Board (a community service, mentoring and snowboarding program for high school-age youth) are a couple of those that we have worked with regularly over the past several years.
Recently, the powers that be here at Sub Pop HQ (basically a middle-aged, temperamental Chihuahua named Vito) resolved to systematize our charitable donations in as quasi-democratic a way as we are capable of barely understanding.
Thus spake Vito:
Every three months (or, in the parlance of more structured places of employ, “quarter”), in a grand ceremony involving a plastic bowl of questionable origin and cleanliness, the names of three Sub Pop employees are picked at random. Over the course of the following three months, these three together decide how to allocate the label’s contributions to organizations of their choosing. When that particular Gang of Three’s reign of benefaction comes to an end, a new group is chosen for the following three months. Basically: rinse and repeat.
All of this bears mentioning not solely for the sake of tooting our own horn, but also because this is currently the only means through which we are financially supporting the many, many good causes and organizations deserving of help. And also because we would very much like to bring the organizations below to your attention. Mostly the tooting out own horn thing though.
So far through this process Sub Pop has lent support to the following:
March is full of all sorts of things. There’s St. Patricks Day, of course, and the beginning of spring, amongst ‘em. And, after the unusually harsh and seemingly unending winter we weather-pussies here in the Northwest have endured, we’ll seize any opportunity to drink green beer.
Speaking of opportunities to drink anything and everything, for days on end, and to have the same conversation 4,000 times in 4 days…
Sub Pop will be heading to the lovely shire that is Austin, Texas to unleash our beasts (er, bands) on an entirely unsuspecting public. Actually, this public will most likely be fairly unsurprised as we are planning this trip to coincide with the 2007 SXSW Music Conference and they put our name in the schedule and all. Come check out our showcase at Emo’s IV Lounge (at 601 Red River) on Wednesday March 14th featuring… Kinski (12:45am) Oxford Collapse (11:30pm) Loney, dear (10:30pm) Tiny Vipers (9:30pm)
And then, the band Maps & Atlases, who are not actually on the label, but who several people here think quite a great deal of, will be playing at 8:30.
We tried and sadly seemed to have failed to convince this guy to attend the show. Should still be a whole lot of fun though!
Also in March, from what we hope is one of your top 8 or so favorite medium-sized record labels in the 98121 zip code… A new Low record! On March 20th, we’ll be releasing Drums and Guns, the phenomenal new Low album. You can check out the song Breaker from Drums and Gunshere. The album is available for pre-order now. And, if you order this record before March 20th (and because, when it comes right down to it, we’re pretty solid people), we will include a 7" vinyl single of Hatchet (Optimimi Version) b/w Breaker (Dub Plate) for FREE! These are totally different, completely re-worked versions of the songs found on the album. Plus, they’re good!
We at Sub Pop Records have always thought quite a bit of ourselves. But lately, it’s been getting a little ridiculous, even for us. However, it is our innate ability to cast aside just these sorts of, fortunately fleeting, moments of self-doubt and humility that fills us with such overwhelming pride to announce…
Somewhat incredibly, and momentarily ignoring the fact that we have managed to misspell our own name (which consists of two three-letter words…) on one of our own releases, Sub Pop Records is hereby joining the fight against higher education!
The relevant details are below…
The Sub Pop Scholarship
Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering $5750 worth of college scholarship money to an eligible high school senior. To apply for this scholarship you must be a resident of Washington or Oregon, and a graduating senior on your way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for an applicant who is involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way.
To apply for this scholarship we would like you to submit an essay, no longer than one page, letting us know about some of the following topics:
* What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?
* How and/or why did you become interested in artistic outlets?
* Why do you need this scholarship money?
* What are your influences and/or who inspires you?
* Who are some of your favorite bands or artists?
Applicants are encouraged to send digital links and provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay, if relevant. However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is May 1st.
Though this year’s edition of the Rhino Records calendar sadly fails to mention it, we’ve recently learned that April 14th, 2007 has been declared National Day of Climate Action! And, our friends over at Grist are helping to plan and promote a climate change rally here in Seattle on this very same day – Saturday, April 14th. Here’s the scoop on what they’ve got planned…
Bill McKibben, a well known environmental author and one of Grist’s board members, has started a national campaign called Step it Up to raise awareness for the climate change issue. The goal is for it to be the largest climate change protest in US history, and to put pressure on elected officials to commit to an 80% reduction in green house gases by 2050. So far over 900 events are planned in all 50 states for Saturday, April 14th. It was just written up in the NY Times, and Bill has been posting weekly dispatches on Grist for over a month now.
In Seattle, there will be community rallies happening on the morning of 4/14, and at 2p everyone will meet downtown at Occidental Park to march down Alaska Way to Myrtle Edwards Park. At Myrtle Edwards, a rally and fair will be held from 4p-6p, with speakers, entertainment, local companies and non-profits that are working to stop global warming. The speakers are being confirmed now and will consist of notable politicians and community leaders that have been active supporters on this issue. Here’s the link to the local website that has more info, and will continue to get updated as more details get confirmed. Our goal is for thousands of people to participate so we can send a strong message to other members of Congress.
And, if you don’t live in Seattle, you can find an event near you right here.
(The omission of National Day of Climate Action on the Rhino calendar is somewhat mitigated by this same calendar’s big picture of the cover of the Willie Nelson: The Complete Atlantic Sessions boxed set for the month of April…)
I know this probably means nothing to you coming from me — a Sub Pop lackey, who’s job involves such unsavory tasks as marketing records, writing here, on the web site of the band’s label that I’m talking about — but this Low record is real, real good. So quit being a jerk, take what we say at face value for once, and just buy it.
MTV’s Subterranean program (aka pretty much the one hour a week they might play our videos, aka 120 Minutes if it was only 60 minutes long) has a new blog on the internets and it is currently featuring quite a bit of Sub Pop-related information and video. For instance, here are The Shins riding some Segways on a track in Portland. You just can’t beat that.