FRI, JUN 1, 2007 at 3:39 AM

Dean Hudson, Master of Machine and Beast


People Who Work Here is finally back and this week we are meeting Dean Hudson, friend and coworker. Dean has been working at Sub Pop deep amongst the computers for about four years now doing many important things like setting up the free mp3s with vinyl program, making the website work (but only when he feels like it), and sending out mass links to ridiculous and funny stuff on the internet. As you may have guessed, Dean is the “web master” (do they still call them that?) here at Sub Pop and he built this new site which you are looking at currently. Dean likes gaming (both the dice and the video kinds), playing music, drinking sangria, Black Sabbath, traveling, gleep glopping on computers, and being outside. He has a really cool dog named Dinky who is at the office every day and who I’d like to interview if it weren’t for the language barrier. Let’s meet Dean!

L: You moved to Oakland on your bike with your dog in a trailer. What is the most exciting thing that happened on your trip?
D: I did! In the weird old days of being punk and hating the system (read: crusty) it seemed like a really good idea to put my dog and my stuff in a $25 kids’ trailer and ride away on my bike. Most of the trip was exciting—we camped in all sorts of places that we weren’t supposed to, hung out with a bunch of friends up and down the coast and did the redwoods on bike. [Ouch! Sorry I couldn’t help myself.) –ed] I also found out that cops love you when you’re on a bike tour. We had a policeman roll up to us one night with the clear intention of kicking us out of the yard we’d set up camp in, but when he found out we were on a bike trip he recommended routes for us instead. We weren’t even wearing spandex shorts.
L: You share an office with Andrew (featured in PPWH IV) – what does he do to irritate you?
D: He’s mostly just really tall. He also Porky Pigs it sometimes when his band plays, which makes me a bit uncomfortable. Other than that he’s great. [“Porky Pigging It” is when you, and I’m not clear exactly how this happens, are wearing a shirt but no bottoms. This is maybe the best visual ever – thank you Natalie of Sacramento, CA. –ed.]
L: Who do you like better - computers or guitars and why?
D: Playing guitar is never a bummer, so guitars, I guess. I have been programming computers since I was 8, though, so I must like it if I’m still at it. I mostly just like the awesome things that people do with guitars and computers. [What’s the deal? Your emphasis is confusing me. –ed.]
L: What is the deal with you and video games? What’s your favorite one? Is the Nintendo Wii the best video game system ever invented?
D: I love them. I can’t really explain why I love them so much, but I do. I read somewhere about a study which concluded that playing video games fulfills some sort of basic human need, so I’m going to go with that. [That is a crock of shit. –ed.] The Legend of Zelda games are my all-time favorites. The little elf-guy in a green suit with the boomerang is pretty hard to beat. The Wii is pretty darn great, but the original NES is probably right up there too (in terms of all-time greatness). I do think it’s really cool that people got so excited about the Wii that they were dislocating joints and putting the Wii-motes through their TVs.
L: You just recently joined the A&R staff here at work after you brought Tiny Vipers to Sub Pop. Tell me about what draws you to Jesy’s music and why you think everyone should like it.
D: I think that she’s really doing something unique and honest, and that she’s making music that could be really important to a lot of folks. Her voice is plain amazing. She’s a friend and very talented lady. If you’re reading this, you should all buy the record when it “drops” on July 24th (that’s A&R lingo, I think). She may be the Great White Hope for the dying record industry. [Oh sweet Jesus, Dean! Wanna bring it down a notch? How can you breathe with all that shit up your nose? –ed.]
L: Does it bother you that people like your dog better than you? He’s an Australian shepherd, right?
D: Very funny. (Lacey knows full well that he’s a Cocker Spaniel. I won’t be baited.) As for people liking him more than me, I’m fine with that. How else would I make friends? [I’ll tell you the secret of friend making when you come out from behind your Gameboy. –ed.]
L: Tell me some jive ass shit about why the internet is so cool.
D: It’s changed the way people interact with each other and discover information in fundamental ways, which is really empowering and pretty cool. I’ve been lucky to have been involved with it job-wise for the last ten or so years while the world’s changed around it
- watching that happen has been pretty cool. Also, you can also find some really, really awesome videos on YouTube. (I’d recommend Cameo’s “Shake Your Pants” or the one where the one guy whacks the other guy with the shovel.) [What about the ottoman humpers? ed.]
L: If you were not working here what would you be doing?
D: Good question. Maybe playing more music and tooling about with my deadbeat band. Or maybe working for myself, figuring out ways to use all this technical gleep-glop to help artists. Or maybe I’d be back at some internet megacorp writing software and playing ping-pong with Indian programmers. Something fun, I hope, in any case.
L: Tell me a funny story about when we went to that party at Mark Arm’s house.
D: I think Lacey’s fishing for a particular story here. While I’m not going to get into specifics, it involves a former member of Soundgarden and a wayward dump that found its way onto the bathroom floor. In any case, I don’t think it’s actually true… [Please don’t crush my dreams. –ed.]
L: What is your favorite food and why?
D: Macaroni and cheese. Because nothing compares. [Seriously, Dean’s insides should be renamed Wisconsin. –ed.]
L: What is your favorite website and why?
D: This is going to sound funny, but I don’t really like websites all that much. I think that websites are going to be short and peculiar footnote in the history of the internet. Someone’s going to come up with a better user interface for the torrent of information that the network provides
-I’d bet that it’s not going to involve sitting in a chair, staring at a backlit screen all day. [Okay, Nostradamus, what else you got? –ed.]
L: Will myspace go the way of friendster? What are your thoughts on social networking?
D: MySpace is janky, to be sure, but people love it. Friendster withered because they tried to exercise to much control on their users—they took down all the funny fake profiles that people were putting up and started censoring posts with “objectionable” words. But the only reason anyone cares about their social network is because it’s their social network; if they’re your friends, then you should be able to say whatever you want to them. It’s not Friendster’s business to determine the social contract of your community—that’s between you and your friends. [Woah! Angry nerd alert! ed.] MySpace, on the other hand, is a free-for-all and they have a whole lot more momentum than Friendster ever had. I’d say they’re going to be around for a while, for sure. As for social networking in general, I don’t think it’s ever going to go away. I mean, that’s pretty much all the internet is, one big social network. The important thing that the social networking sites (like MySpace) did was allow you to connect with people and communities on the internet in a way that’s much closer to how it happens in real life-through friends, by face and by first name. Sooner or later, though, someone’s going to come up with an easier and better way to connect to your friends and communities than sitting at a desk and clicking at websites with a pointer.
L: And finally, who is your favorite coworker?
D: You, of course. Everyone else ties for a close second.