Sub Pop

News from 5/2007

FRI, MAY 4, 2007 at 9:24 AM

Steve Manning is a Cat Killer


This week’s ‘People Who Work Here’ gives us Steve Manning, Publicity Director at Sub Pop, and the man responsible for getting our bands on TV shows like Letterman, SNL, Conan, Leno, etc. Steve has also recommended a lot of my current physicians, all of whom are gay. Coincidence? Maybe. Steve is getting married in Mexico very soon and he is somewhat of a world traveler. Let’s learn more about Steve!

L: What kind of a person were you in high school? You were the mascot, correct?
S: I was the mascot, the first male mascot in the history of the school! The best part was cheerleading camp where there were 300 girls and 8 guys. Good odds! High Five!
I was also in the High School Yearbook under the moniker “Punk Rock/New Wave Comes to Olympia High School” which meant my hair was cut above my ears and I dyed the back blond. In 1983 that was rebellious (my parents didn’t talk to me for a while when I did that). I listened to some crazy stuff in high school like The Clash and The Sex Pistols. How punk is that! [That’s pretty punk, but I bet Mark Arm has you beat. –ed]
L: How old were you when you first kissed a girl?
S: I was probably 12 or 13 and I kissed Corrine Wilson under the band stage at the roller skating rink. The first kiss she jammed her tongue in my mouth and I was pretty freaked out. After the first kiss I said “let’s just kiss regular this time”
L: You told me once that the most exotic food you ever had growing up in Olympia was pizza—what’s wrong with that place?
S: I don’t know if it was Olympia or just my family. Pizza was even exotic at our house. There was no such thing as hot sauce or garlic in the Manning household, only meat and potatoes. I do remember being in Spanish Club in High School and going to my first Mexican restaurant and ordering a cheeseburger because “I don’t like Mexican food” (although, I’d never had it).
L: What is your favorite part about your job?
S: Working with so many smart and talented people, including my coworkers (but excluding Stuart). Stuart, I kid because I love!
L: Who do you like better Jay Leno, Conan Obrien, or Dave Letterman?
S: Well, I have met them all exactly once in passing and they were very nice. Mostly the people who book and support the shows are really great; they make the bands feel like actual guests.
Nicest Dressing Room: Jay Leno
Best Food: Craig Ferguson
Best Studio: David Letterman
Wildest Backstage: Jimmy Kimmel [all I picture here is tits and cocaine…am I right? –ed.]
Best Gift Bag: Carson Daly [seriously? Well, I guess he did date Tara Reid… -ed.]
Best T-Shirts: David Letterman
L: Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? Tell me the story.
S: That’s a hard question! I have actually got to meet lots of famous people over the last few years including Jake Gyllenhaal, Scarlet Johansen, The Men of Queer Eye, Isiah Thomas, Forest Whittaker (the day he was nominated for the Academy Award), most of the cast of SNL, Meg Ryan, the list goes on and on. I also met and had a conversation with Bill Clinton while he was on the campaign trail and still a long shot as the Democratic candidate. I asked him about the US drug policy and the “war on drugs” in America. I don’t remember the answer but that moment catapulted him to the Presidency, I am sure of it. [Hey, Steve—I think you dropped something there, buddy. –ed.]
L: You are training for a triathalon—which is the best leg of such an event?
S: Besides the finish (where you get to eat and eat!) the best part is the bike ride because it’s usually very beautiful and because the swim is over where I always feel like I am about to drown.
L: Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
S: Some people do know this but I accidentally killed my girlfriend’s cat when I started the dryer and the cat was in it. She forgave me. [I still have not gotten over it, though. –ed.]
L: People used to call you Steve Weed. Why?
S: My first year at SXSW (2000), I mentioned wanting to have a nickname and suggested, jokingly, “Steve Weed”. It just stuck! It’s because I like to garden. [Now you are just lying straight to my face! -ed.] A couple people still call me that to this day. I want my new nickname to be “Scuba Steve.” [Unfortunately The Official Nickname Rulebook prevents you from picking your own nickname. It’s a fact. –ed.]
L: Tell me about your dream day with Mark Arm.
S: Every day is my dream day with Mark Arm. We sleep in late and get up and shower (we share a towel) and then go for coffee and a long walk in the park. Then he tells me about the day he came up with the word “Grunge” and we hug and hug. It’s lovely.

Posted by Lacey Swain

FRI, MAY 4, 2007 at 4:33 AM

For your jean jacket?


Sub Pop iron-on patches are here and ready to be ironed on whatever sort of fabric-y type thing you have that needs a patch. Cheap, too—only $2.50! Get one HERE!

Posted by Lacey Swain

FRI, MAY 11, 2007 at 3:51 AM

Andrew Sullivan Has Anger Management Issues


Hello and welcome to People Who Work Here Part VI where we reveal the secret lives of Sub Pop employees by asking the hard questions. Today’s interviewee is Andrew Sullivan, Junior Computer Guy here at Sub Pop. (That’s not really his title per se, but he does computers and he’s 22 years old. Plus, I asked our new GM what his title really was and he said he didn’t know.) Andrew started here as an intern while he was still in college, moved into part time while he finished up his studies, and is now here full time unless he is on tour with his band the Trashies. Andrew is 6’6”+ — he’s not really sure exactly how tall he is because rulers don’t go higher than that, or at least that’s what he told me, and many of his clothes seem a little too small for him in an endearing way. Andrew likes swimming, having house shows at the dump where he lives, being a human garbage disposal, playing music, and boobs. Let’s meet Andrew!

L: You’re pretty young—when I was your age I was just about to finish college while really ramping up my various drug addictions, but you’ve seemed to stay away from all that. How’d you do it?
A: I graduated high school when I was 17, moved straight out of Longview and farted my way through college with ease on a tough regiment of hating my school . I was never that interested in smoking weed, my mom is a smoker so I hate smoke and also I am already a pretty stupid, hungry, and tired guy, why would I want to throw more shit on that already sizable heap, you know? Drugs have rarely ever appealed to me so I have always stuck to my maybe a few times a year plan and never looked back, it’s always been a non-issue with me.
L: Okay,okay—but what’s your FAVORITE drug?
A: Fun & Goofballs
L: If you were going to make a mix tape for your girl what would be the first song and why? What if I asked this same question to the 15 year-old Andrew?
A: Hmm, this is a tough one, my initial stock response (if this was a girl I wanted to see in the nude) would probably be The Replacements “I will Dare.” However, some friends of mine think it is illegal to start off a tape with a song that already appears as Song 1 Side A on an album, so if I decided not to flaut that convention I might go with “’til the morning comes” by Neil Young. When I was 15 it probably would have been Screeching Weasel’s “Totally” or The Beach Boys “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” In fact I think I made mixes for my first high school girlfriend with those songs starting out the the A and B sides of a tape. [Who knew you were such a weird, giant romantic? –ed]
L: Tell me a little bit about your record label 24-7. Who runs it? Who’s on it? What are your plans? (Remember, don’t get too long winded—I bore easily.)
A: It’s just me and my roommates and a few of our friends, we’ve got about 20 bands between 7 people so we have released a ton of cd-r stuff in really small runs just to friends and stuff. I put out an LP recently of the trashies new album and we may be doing a White Nights 7” soon as well as some stuff by Love Machine, Land Action, The Singulars, and more. It’s mostly an art collective for dudes who like beer, jamming, and the arts. We run it out of my house with our friends so it is mostly just about being creative and having good times all around while producing things that interest all of us. [You should’ve called the label Sausage Party. –ed]
L: What’s your favorite place to place on tour and why?
A: Milwaukee Wisconsin, hands down, that city not only knows how to party but they also know how to treat bands like kings. Last time we were there we got a BBQ thrown in our honor and our friend home brewed a special batch of beers just for us, the time before that I blacked out and when I woke up our keyboard player was missing a tooth from the show. Milwaukee is a truly great place with lots of great people doing really killer shit. [And super fucking cheap happy hour! Picture this—3 cocktails, 1 beer, 5 dollars. –ed]
L: Which one of our coworkers do you see as a future version of you? If I have to choose just one I’d say I could see myself growing up to be a lot like Mark Arm, just a chill rock loving dude with lots of stories who tries to travel as much as possible, that sounds alright to me. [I think you might need to increase the goofball usage exponentially for a few years (and these are the prime ones!) to get to the place he’s at today. Also, have you noticed that Mark is mentioned in almost every one of these interviews? –ed]
L: What about me? Why don’t you want to be like me?
A: I’d say Mark is a little bit more stable than you are, plus he’s already twice as old as me and travels internationally a lot more than you and I’m totally into traveling, I work so that I can travel. [Can’t argue with that… -ed.]
L: Why do you get naked all the time? What would your mother say?
A: I would say that there’s a bit of a misconception about this idea that I get naked all the time, I’ve played two shows naked and go skinny dipping at Madison Park a lot during the summer but aside from that I would say I’m generally rather clothed. My mom is pretty proud of me it seems and supportive of most of my endeavors so when she saw a picture of me playing naked from the first tour I went on she just said “if that’s what you like to do great, just don’t get arrested or hurt yourself”. [This is almost the exact same advice my mother gave me but she also added ‘don’t get pregnant’ and ‘don’t let the neighbors see you’. –ed]
L: Hey! Tell me again about that time you got so drunk at my Christmas party that you ran out of the house and got hit by a car on your bike? What were you, 19 at the time?
A: I was 20 at the time, I drank beer and did drugs for the first time when I was 15 and then didn’t do it much again until I was 19, also my family is littered with alcoholism so when I drink it tends to sneak up on me and blackout sometimes (as was the case that night). I’d only been drinking (again) for about a year probably, got carried away, rode my bike when I shouldn’t have and got lucky that I didn’t kill myself. It was definitely an eye opening experience that made me take a step back and realize some profound shit about my life and my relationship with booze.
L: Go on, I’m curious.
A: I just realized that I’m young and love fun so I probably should lay back off the juice for a bit and get my act together, it actually ended up being a pretty positive experience for me.
L: I want to get serious here for a minute, Andrew. You seem to be a pretty happy guy and I’ve never seen you get mad—what is your secret and what is the meaning of life?
A: I generally think I’m a happy dude too, I don’t know how/when that happened because I used to raise a lot of hell and had to take a bunch of anger management classes in Junior High because teacher’s thought I was too disruptive, my parents even had an intervention with me in high school after I got in trouble with the cops a few times, they thought I was in a downward spiral toward an angry life. It was funny because they were really wrong, I was super happy and doing really well in school as well as life in general, that may have been a turning point. I kind of just realized somewhere along the way that a lot of the minutiae of daily life is trivial and that so long as I can be creative, productive, and have a good time with friends I’m pretty content. I hope that’s not to zen/hippy bullshit granolaheadcore for this interview.
L: Oh wow! Now this is the good stuff! I had no idea that you used to be like this? Would you beat kids up and stuff? What did you do to get in trouble with the cops?
A: I was never into fighting, I’ve only been in one fight ever, I used to get kicked out of classes everyday though for telling teacher’s no and just generally defying authority figures. Longview is a real small town so we got in trouble with the cops for egging people, vandalizing shit, breaking stuff, trespassing, shoplifting and shit like that. Me and my buddies basically caused a bunch of trouble and were real assholes (these are the same dudes who were in anger management with me) while our other friends went and got their girlfriends pregnant and took up meth so it all worked out.
L: What’s the best record you’ve heard this year? Do you still like Andrew WK now that he’s doing motivational speaking?
A: I haven’t really been blown away by any full length albums this year, the combination of a bunch of boring shit coming out and me taking my ear away from the ground a bit may have something to do with that but I really liked the two 7”s by Thomas Function and the Cafeteria Brutalia EP triclops put out. As for Andrew WK I do still dig him, his new album, which I believe is only out in Europe, is totally weird and his motivational speaking stuff is really great. I got some mom’s I know in my hometown to go see his speeches in Portland and they apparently really took a lot of it to heart.
L: Please tell us all about that gross concoction that you often eat for lunch. Is it because you are frugal or because you are a growing boy or what?
A: I am pretty frugal so I’ve been told, but I also have a deep burning love for Mexican food, the concoction that you are speaking of is probably either Migas, Rice and Beans with eggs, or a Chorizo & Potato omelet shoved into a Ziploc Tupperware deal. I’m a big eater. [No, it is none of those things. It is macaroni and cheese, beans, rice, and maybe egg as well in the biggest Tupperware I have ever seen in my life and it’s fucking SICK. –ed]

Posted by Lacey Swain

MON, MAY 21, 2007 at 8:06 AM

New Tiny Vipers Song!


Check out “On This Side” from the forthcoming Sub Pop Records debut, Hands Across the Void! It’s up on the Tiny Vipers MySpace page and just waiting to please your ears.

Seriously, though.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

THU, MAY 24, 2007 at 4:58 AM

Jennifer Gentle vs. China: Round the Second


As improbable as it may seem, our own Jennifer Gentle (who are from Italy, remember) is soon to embark upon their 2nd Chinese tour in three months! Back in March of this year, and arranged through some magical means by the folks at CinaOggi, the band first went over to China for a handful of dates, and apparently they went over with audiences there like crazy (evidence of which can, of course, be found here on Youtube…).

So, naturally, they are going back. To China. This time the dates were arranged in collaboration with the folks at Max & Co. And, here they are…

June 15 Starlive, Beijing, China
June 16 Max & Co. fashion party, Beijing, China
June 17 Mao Live House, Beijing, China
June 23 Absolut House, Shanghai, China

“I love you, I protect you”

All of this will make much more sense once you see the Chinese condom advertisement/PSA which feature’s the track “I Do Dream You” from Jennifer Gentle’s last album Valende

Right? Right!

And, also, while we’re here, it is worth mentioning that the new Jennifer Gentle album, The Midnight Room will be out on June 19th, and you can (and should) pre-order it now here. The new album is a darkly psychedelic marvel and you should not be without it. In the proof dept., we offer not only the song “Electric Princess” from the new album, which you can listen to yourself here, but also the following early and excellent review from the fine folks at Austin’s Waterloo Records

A new Jennifer Gentle record (who are a band and not a girl). I’ve been wondering when this was coming ‘cause their last album was one of my favorites of 2005. It was one of those rare times where you pick up a record you know nothing about because it looks interesting and then it turns out to be exactly what you’ve wanted to hear for awhile and you get really excited and possessive since you’re the one who discovered it so it’s more “yours” than anyone else’s. (breath) I figured I wouldn’t tell you anything about the new album and you could just take a chance, get it and feel like you’d discovered on your own but you probably won’t do that, will you?
I want to stay away from comparisons to horror flicks, haunted houses and spooky amusement parks ‘cause I don’t want to give the impression that this is a campy listen. These songs are intelligent arrangements of twangy guitars, hollow vocals, sinister organ and a minimal, well placed rhythm section. Assimilating European psych, American rock n roll, Italian soundtracks and spaghetti westerns, The Midnight Room_, while descriptively weird, is a well-constructed mix of influences and a wholly accessible and enjoyable record. This is Jennifer Gentle’sgentle best record yet and even though I’ve been waiting awhile for this, I’m getting just as excited and possessive about this record too.
- Kevin

Listen to Kevin!

Posted by Chris Jacobs

THU, MAY 31, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Flight of the Conchords Screening Parties!


In addition to being “New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk-comedy duo,” and on top of the fact that they are signed to a recording contract with the world famous Sub Pop Records (the very record label with whom they have pledged to release not only an EP later this very summer, but also a full-length record at some as yet to be determined time in the not too distant (and in fact hopefully before the end of this year) future) Flight of the Conchords are soon to be, in the parlance of our times, kind of a big deal. This is happening largely due to the June 17th premiere of their new HBO comedy series entitled, somewhat mysteriously, Flight of the Conchords . The show is being described as “A new comedy series that makes love to your ears.” And while, sure, that sounds maybe a little gross, what we’ve seen of the show is really very funny.

What’s more, the folks at HBO, along with the folks at Cornerstone have put together some free screenings of the first episode! Here’s the shinola on that:

Washington, DC – Saturday, June 2nd
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street NE
Drinks and food provided
Doors at 9:00 pm/Screening at 9:30 pm
Seating is first come, first served
RSVP here

Atlanta, GA – Saturday, June 2nd
dooGallery, 205 Holtzclaw Street
Drinks and food provided
Doors at 9:00 pm/Screening at 9:30 pm
Seating is first come, first served
RSVP here

Seattle, WA – Tuesday, June 5th
The Jewelbox Theater, 2322 Second Avenue
Drinks and food provided
Doors at 7:00 pm/Screening at 7:30 pm
Seating is first come, first served
RSVP here

Austin, TX – Tuesday, June 5th
Alamo Drafthouse, 409 Colorado Street
Drinks and food provided
Doors at 9:30 pm/Screening at 10:00 pm
Seating is first come, first served
RSVP here

Plus, on August 7, 2007, we will be releasing a Flight of the Conchords EP, entitled The Distant Future! Here’s the track listing:

  1. Business Time
  2. If You’re Into It
  3. Crying
  4. Beautiful Girl (live)
  5. Robots (live)

Posted by Chris Jacobs