It feels pretty great to spread good news, doesn’t it? It does! Ready?
We just wanted to let you all know that the long-awaited new record from Iron & Wine will be out on September 25th has us positively jubilant! As if sharing that news isn’t bringing us more than our fair share of joy, gluttons that we are, we have still more for you: If you pre-order the CD or LP through September 25th you’ll get it for $1 off our already low-price. We are clearly not in full possession of our faculties! Plus! (I’m beginning to feel like I’m hosting an infomercial…) We will include a bonus CD with two b-sides (the songs “Serpent Charmer” and “Arms of a Thief”), as well as the stickers and buttons for which we are internationally somewhat famous for giving away to you, dear friends who give us your money.
Here’s some info on the new record…
2005’s Woman King distinguished itself from previous Iron & Wine records with a deepening integration of spiraling, dense opuses with intimate confessionals and with The Shepherd’s Dog this integration is complete. Recorded by Sam Beam with the assistance of longtime producer Brian Deck and engineer Colin Studebaker, The Shepherd’s Dog succeeds in accomplishing a cathartic recasting of the artist’s intentions. The arrangements here are kaleidoscopic and rich. “White Tooth Man” rocks with a desperate, menacing intensity while “Boy with a Coin,” the album’s first single, is darkly playful with a handclap hook tumbling under its cascading melody. The whole album breathes. Its seductive rhythms percolate and undulate, from the Psych-Bhangra-redux of “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” to the album’s last dance-a waltz-“Flightless Bird, American Mouth.” Compositionally, it is Iron & Wine’s most ambitious and accomplished recording to date. It’s also the most satisfying.
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]
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…
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 Guns here. 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!
Happy Birthday Carl – thanks for the Kringles!
R Buckminster Fuller once said, “I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented,” and this would be wholly unremarkable but for the fact that Harry D. Hudson, Sub Pop’s Master of Technolo-something, said nearly this same thing to me about a new product that he is now prepared to offer for sale exclusively on this very website. What is this mysterious invention that will revolutionize the world as we know it? What ungodly creation has Dr. Hudson and the somewhat evil-seeming Professor Fletcher brought to life in their old-timey laboratory? They’re called mp3s! “Mp3” apparently stands for “music product 3”: a mysterious, invisible computer thingy which can be made to produce sounds not unlike music. It is just this sort of devotion to innovative, cutting edge technology that has made Sub Pop Records the unwitting industry leader it is today. Take that, everyone else—Sub Pop has invented the mp3! And now, we’d like to sell some of these things to you.
Since this program is in its infancy we have only a very limited number of mp3s available at this time, and we’re only offering full album downloads. We’re no dummies so we went ahead and mp3’d the big guns—all the Shins albums, the Postal Service, Flight of the Conchords, the new Band of Horses and new Iron and Wine albums are all available as downloadable zip files containing 192k mp3s and high quality cover art for $9.90 per album, except for the FOC ep which is a mere $5.94. We will be adding to this list just as soon as we’re able. This is the future—bask in its glory before someone steals our idea. Oh also, please email Dean at email@example.com with questions, concerns, or failures.
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.