Sub Pop

News from 2007

THU, NOV 1, 2007 at 10:28 AM

Please, Buy Our MP3s!


As you may or may not now know, we are now offering MP3 versions of albums for sale on our site. This is a good thing, and something that we here in the Office of the Technical Staff and at Sub Pop Headquarters in general are super excited about.

So what are the details? Well, let me enumerate…

  • As I write this, we are currently offering somewhere in between 10 and 20 full albums as zip files containing 192khz MP3s of each track on said albums. In the next few days we will be putting up the bulk of our catalog.
  • If you see a little iPod™-like icon in the list of available formats with “MP3s” beside it, that means the record is available in downloadable MP3 format.
  • You can purchase the MP3s in the same way as you purchase anything else on the site. Just click the icon and add it to your cart. The MP3s will be available for download once you’ve completed your transaction. You can freely mix digital with non-digital thingies and we’ll (happily) figure out what’s what and process your order.
  • Because we’re running you through our normal cart, we’ll ask you for things like your shipping address. Please take the time to fill this out correctly! We won’t come knocking at your door or send you any junk mail and if you do decide to buy physical product at a later date, it’ll be that much easier for you to check out.
  • Once you’ve purchased your MP3s they’ll be available for download on your user account page.
  • Not only that, but you can download the files you’ve purchased from your account page at any time and multiple times — if we update the download in any way (think bitrate or bonus tracks or whatever), you can just log in, go to your download page and get the new version of the file.

Why 192khz? Well, when we were working this stuff out it seemed like a pretty great compromise between downloadability and fidelity, but if we’re faced with an overwhelming demand for higher bitrate files, we’ll certainly do what we can to accommodate. And we’ll be sure to make any updates available to those who’ve already purchased from us!

We’re excited for you to try this out, so get at it! We’re also ready to reward (read: bribe) you, our loyal customers for choosing our digital experience, so keep on the lookout for bonus downloads, album previews and anything else that we can think of to keep you on the line.

Have fun, and buy some stuff!

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

MON, JUN 11, 2007 at 4:48 AM

Jaimi C Won’t Give Out Financial Details So Don[

Welcome back to People Who Work Here where each week we meet a new Sub Pop employee. This week’s interview is with Jaimi C, our accountant lady. She pays the bills and the employees and she’s also the person who is responsible for setting up those terrible visits with the insurance lady who tells you how rude it is when you die without proper life insurance at the beginning of every year. Jaimi is really, really nice and I often try to goad her into talking shit about coworkers but she never ever does it. What’s with that? Let’s meet Jaimi.

L: What’s the first live show you ever attended? Did you flash your boobs?
J: The very first live show that I can remember was Barry Manilow with my best friend and both of our moms when I was about 8. I don’t think I had boobs to flash, but if I did, I would definitely have been grounded. [Your mom is such a prude. –ed.] My first rock show was either Van Halen or Def Leppard. My brother and I skipped school and stood in line for hours so that we could be right up in front!
L: You were a rocker chick/bad girl in high school, or so I’ve gathered from our lunchtime discussions. Please tell me what you wore to school on a typical day.
J: I think that you have me mixed up with someone else! I guess that you could have called me a rocker chick in middle school, but once I discovered Prince, Depeche Mode, and The Cure, my rocker days were over for a while. I wore black, black, and more black — and pointy Fluevog shoes.
L: Did you smoke cigarettes?
J: Yes, not many though.[Oh right you were goth. Cloves? –ed.]
L: Did you drink?
J: Of course.
L: How old were you when you lost your virginity?
J: 16 or 17 [Well which is it? Seventeen is reasonable but sixteen is just slutty. J/K -ed.]
L: Was your hair feathered?
J: Feathering was long gone by the time I was in high school! My hair was gigantic and teased and I probably used a bottle of Aqua-net every day. [Sick! –ed.]
L: Was your boyfriend’s hair feathered?
J: No! In my junior year, I had a 22 year-old boyfriend who looked like Robert Smith. My parents were horrified, but I thought he was SO hot. [This is the dude you were humping, I take it. –ed.]
L: Did you fight?
J: No – despite my weird hair, I still got along with most people.
L: Did you ever fail a class?
J: No. I had a hard time with geometry, but I passed somehow.
L: What was your favorite band in high school? What is your favorite band now?
J: My favorite band in high school was The Cure. Recently, I’ve been listening to Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, and Handsome Furs.
L: Do you play an instrument? If so tell me what it is and stuff and if not tell me what you’d play if you could.
J: No – I don’t play an instrument. I guess that I’d play keyboards if I did. I took piano lessons as a kid, and I know stuff like Chopsticks and the Jaws theme song…..I’m sure that I could easily catch up with real musicians. Kidding!!
L: How’s having a kid?
J: Amazing! I had a really, really fun pre-kid life, but I wouldn’t trade back to that old life now for anything in the world. My son Spencer is one of the coolest people I’ve ever known. I’m really lucky. [But what if he grows up to be a total butthole? -ed.]
L: Where did you work before you worked at Sub Pop? Tell me about it.
J: I worked at a place called Triton PCS. It is a wireless phone company that has a corporate office located near Philadelphia. I was a Revenue Assurance Manager, which is a confusing title even for people in the wireless industry. Basically, I did a lot of charts and graphs that showed the executive-types how they could make more money. It was the polar opposite of Sub Pop in so many ways. I really liked it a lot then, but now I think I’d have a hard time with it.
L: You get organic vegetables delivered to you door. What is your favorite vegetable and favorite fruit? Why? What’s your least favorite and why?
J: My favorite vegetable is broccoli and my favorite fruit is raspberries – because they are both delicious! My least favorites are brussels sprouts and papaya, just because I don’t like them. [That’s really mature, Jaimi. –ed] I started doing the organic and label-reading thing when I discovered that my son was allergic to MSG. Once I started reading labels I realized how much chemical junk we all eat every day.
L: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
J: In elementary school I wanted to be a gymnast. In high school I wanted to do international marketing, because I really love to travel. I’m not really sure how I ended up working with money.
L: How much money does Jonathan make per paycheck?
J: More than you or me. [Duh. –ed]
L: How much money does Sub Pop have in the bank?
J: It changes every day! [What a cop out! -ed.]
L: Can I have a loan?
J: I’m sure that the bank would be so psyched to give you one.
L: Am I annoying you?
J: No way! I’ll bet that these non-answers to your financial questions are annoying YOU though! [Yes.Yes they are. –ed.]
L: Okay, no really, how much money do you make?
J: Less than Jonathan. [You are driving me crazy!!!! -ed]

Posted by Lacey Swain

FRI, JUL 6, 2007 at 6:50 AM

Dean Whitmore Is Mad as Hell and He’s not Going to Take It anymore!


People Who Work Here is proud to present Dean Whitmore, the mom and pop/direct sales guy here at Sub Pop, and one of the people that I certainly thought would say “No way, dude” when I asked for an interview. Dean W plays drums in The Unnatural Helpers, a local band that also currently features Chris Martin from Kinski, and used to feature several ex-Sub Pop employees such as Matt Olsen, Jed Maheu, and Sean Kelly. Dean likes to eat lunch alone whilst reading the paper but at night he likes to grab a few beers and listen to records and talk shit with his friends. Dean is an obsessive cardboard box collector and it is nearly impossible to walk right up to his desk because he has built a giant cardboard fortress around his entire area and he refuses to take it down or clean it up. Dean W Factoid—A few things you can often find on Dean’s desk are a Pabst tall boy, an empty yogurt container, an unopened bottle of Wellness Formula, and a shitload of 7”s. Let’s meet Dean!

L: Tell me about being kid in South Seattle. Your family is pretty religious, right? Did you have to go to church all the time? And Bible camp and all that? Do you believe in God?
D: I don’t remember all that much about my childhood. My dad was a wrestling & football coach so I played lots of sports & stuff. Yeah, I went to church a lot until I got into jr. high or so then I decided I’d rather listen to Cheap Trick or watch football on Sundays & opted out. I don’t remember my mom being pissed about that or anything. Just to cover my ass I consider myself agnostic so if God shows up I can say “yeah, but I always wanted you to be real”. [The guy is not Santa Claus—I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. –ed.]
L: You were kind of a jock in high school what with the football and all—when did you realize that you were really more of a punker than a footballer? Did the guys on the team take it well?
D: My senior year I sort of checked out & I remember making myself decide whether I was gonna be a rocker or a straight dude. [So like, you had both a Mohawk and a letterman’s jacket? –ed.] It was all internal drama. There were no interventions. I’ve since come to grips w/ the idea that I can dig both. You just have to watch the game w/ the sound down most of the time.
L: Why do you think that “Magic Bus” is a less offensive song than “Boris the Spider”? What’s your favorite Who song? Do you like the Who because of Keith Moon or is it the whole package?
D: Yes it is less offensive. Was that a dig? How come everybody gotta be cracking on the Who? Nobody talks about Harlem Shuffle when the Stones come up & if you sing Eminence Front to me I will try to spit in your mouth. I couldn’t choose one song. Not that they’re all great but I never think about the individual songs I think about the whole album. I like everybody in the Who, yes even Daltrey & almost everything they did until about 1970 & then it gets a little spotty & then it gets real spotty. [What about the porn? Any thoughts about the porn? -ed]
L: How long have you been playing drums? What drummers do you think totally suck and why?
D: I’ve been playing a good while. I don’t really care that much about drummers really. I like real crap drummers sometimes & hate really good ones sometimes. Mostly it depends on the song they’re playing & what sort of spirit they’re putting into it. [Just say you love John Bonham and get it over with. –ed.]
L: Please tell me how you spent your 4th of July. Did you blow anything up? What’s your most memorable 4th of July? Do you really even give a shit?
D: Neither me or my wife gives a shit about holidays of any kind but we are starting to have to cause our daughter is getting to the age where she wants to “have fun” & “celebrate” these occasions. It’s actually pretty fun to do that stuff now. I remember hating these types of things even as a kid because I felt pressure to have to act / react a certain way when you get the present or give the present or whatever but she’s into it so we are too. I still get diarrhea every time I go to a family event though.
L: You have a young daughter—in what ways do you hope she takes after her mother and not you, especially when she’s an adult?
D: Her mom is more even keel than I am so if she could have a more even disposition I’d like that. [I was fully expecting something like “I hope she doesn’t have a penis.” -ed.]
L: Remember when we went down to see if there was a big anti-Bush protest at Westlake Center after the last election and there was no one there? That sucked and I don’t think I’ve recovered, you? I mean, do you ever get the feeling that it just doesn’t fucking matter?
D: Yeah, that was a bummer. I was ready to take some rubber bullets! We’ll have to face up to what we’ve done & are doing at some point. I’m hopeful that things will turn around. [Aw, that’s cute! –ed.] It’s just really sad that we could do so much w/ all our power & wealth but don’t.
L: How is the 2007 Dean different from what the 1997 Dean thought he’d be like? Are you okay with these differences?
D: I’m happier now. I have my wife & daughter & whole shit load more bitchin’ records!
L: What is your favorite Dean W band? Who do you like to play music with the most? What is in the musical future for Dean W?
D: The Helpers duhhhh. I like playing w/ my friend Mike the most. He’s the right combination of good/shitty/rocking/smart/dumb for me. We’re going to keep recording more stuff & have a 7” & a new record right around the corner. [They’re awesome—check them out! -ed.]
L: You seem to be fighting a constant battle between getting your shit together/getting in shape, etc and saying fuck it. How do you think this is going to play out in the long run? I do this too and I still haven’t figured out which side of the fence is more comfortable—right now I still think I have a few more fuck it years left….
D: I don’t know! I’ll probably end up fat, with a bad liver & cancer but I hope not. The problem is I’m really good at all the things that make you end up that way. I love sitting in a bar drinking beer w/ friends watching / listening / participating in saying & doing stupid things. Last night we were sitting outside of our space drinking beer & this super drunk dude started coming up to us so we were trying to beat feet inside & the dude yells to us “Don’t worry I ain’t got no pepsi. You can drink your 7-UP”. I have no idea either but I love that shit & it don’t come to you on a treadmill. I am doing a good amount of running & stuff right now & it feels good & has it’s benefits too. I hope to continue but if not… well fuck it then.
L: You quit going to A+R meetings—can you tell me why?
D: I didn’t like the group dynamics. I also wasn’t very good at it. You don’t really want your livelihood very dependant on what I think is cool right? Although shitting out a bunch of garage/weird/punk shit on the nosedive down would be a kind of cool way to go. I decided I can still bring stuff up when I want & I won’t have to suffer the indignation of being told “no way dude” to my face. [Stick it to the man! -ed]
L: And finally, please tell me your favorite lyric from a Who song.
D: I tried to write a song here about how much you talk about pooping & your poops consistency etc. but it kinda started making me sick out too much thinking about what might be in your poop so I bailed out. Sorry about that. [That wasn’t even the question, Dean. –ed.]
L: Thanks for playing.

Posted by Lacey Swain

MON, NOV 19, 2007 at 10:04 AM

The Go! Team on MTV’s TRL?


Somewhat inexplicably but also completely excellently, The Go! Team’s video for the song Doing It Right will be featured tomorrow, Tuesday November 20th, as a “First Look” on MTV’s TRL!

Yes, it’s weird.

Yes, you should watch.

And yes, above all, you really should vote for The Go! Team. The world being in the state it is, we have a hunch they’re going to have a bit of an uphill battle.

So, vote!

You can also see the video for Doing It Right, right here

Posted by Chris Jacobs

WED, OCT 24, 2007 at 4:25 AM

Return of the New Media Blog


No, we’ve neither been ejected into space (where everyone knows the wifi reception is horrible) nor have we had our typing keyboards consumed by the resident collie. We’ve just been really bad at posting for the past few months. But we’re here, and finally ready to get back to doing what we’re not-quite-so-good at: keeping the New Media blog up-to-date!

Lots of things have been going this summer, not the least of which was our introduction of salable MP3 downloads. But I’m getting ahead of myself—we’ll get into details in subsequent posts. For now, we’re just glad to see you.

Ready now for the future,
Your Sub Pop Technical Staff.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

MON, OCT 29, 2007 at 8:55 AM

CSS is what we are trying to show you about


Have you seen this new iPod Touch commercial?? We’re pretty sure a couple of you have, since it aired during last night’s broadcast of something people have been referring to as “The World Series.”

Anyway, the real big news here is that this new iPod commercial features the song “Music is My Hot, Hot Sex” by none other than our weird Brazilian friends CSS! I know, right?!

And, the story behind this whole thing is a little crazy.

Apparently, a guy in the UK by the name of Nick Haley, inspired by the line “Music is where I want you to touch,” in the aforementioned CSS song “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex,” from their excellent album Cansei de Ser Sexy, made his own advertisement for this new iPod Touch gizmo and posted it on YouTube. The people at Apple (or, presumably, the people at Apple’s people) caught wind of this and emailed young Nick, who is a first-year student at the University of Leeds, with some variation on, “We know what you’ve done and want to speak with you about it.” We like to imagine Nick’s reaction to this email as being something like when George Burns first starts talking to John Denver in the 1977 blockbuster Oh, God! Long story arguably somewhat shorter: Nick and Apple worked it out, tightened up the ad, and, viola, CSS is in an iPod Touch commercial.

CSS is our king-sized bed, MF’ers.

Nick Haley’s original video is here
The final iPod Touch ad is here.

Note to other potential advertisers: the CSS track “Fuckoff Is Not the Only Thing You Have to Show” is still available!

Posted by Chris Jacobs