Sub Pop


News from 2007

MON, SEP 24, 2007 at 6:32 AM

Derek Erdman Invades Seattle

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Chicago “artist” and “friend” Derek Erdman will have his first ever Seattle area art show at Spencer Moody’s Anne Bonny shop on Olive Way on Tuesday, October 2nd. Derek’s painting are awesome and affordable. He did a t-shirt design for us once with Kurt Cobain’s head on a BBQ grill. It was cool, but we had to say ‘too soon, derek, too soon’.

Derek will also be DJing 7 straight hours of The Fall at Pony on Thursday with Ruben Mendez. You won’t want to miss this.

Please see Derek’s website here.


Posted by Lacey Swain

TUE, SEP 4, 2007 at 7:58 AM

Back 2 School

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Back to School—a greedy retailers three favorite words, and we here at Sub Pop are no different. Thankfully, we’re very proud of the merchandise that we’re peddling, so that makes us feel a lot better about the aforementioned greediness. So yeah, Back to School! With a little help from our hoodies, pullover or zip-up, you dudes are gonna look super rad for your school picture, or for that strapping young English teacher who also happens to be into the Shins. We also have brand new t-shirts available from Tiny Vipers and Handsome Furs as well as designs from many of your favorite older and less new Sub Pop bands. And hey, don’t stop there—we’ve also got a bunch of new posters available so you and your dorm room will be ready for class, in class! Know what I’m sayin’?


Posted by Sam Sawyer

MON, JUN 11, 2007 at 4:48 AM

Jaimi C Won’t Give Out Financial Details So Don’t Even Ask

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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 yearly visits with the insurance lady who tells you how rude it is when you die without proper life insurance. 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. {God, that sounds boring. -ed.] 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

WED, JUN 27, 2007 at 10:44 AM

I totally forgot to ask Stuart Meyer about the Jack In the Box Incident!

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People Who Work Here is proud to bring you one of Sub Pop’s finest and longest-standing employees-–Stuart Meyer. I can say without hesitation that out of everyone here in the office Stuart gets the most shit, and I applaud his ability to keep cool while under tremendous pressure. For instance, when I yelled out over my desk, “How long has Stuart worked here?” I got several responses: “You mean how long has he been EMPLOYED here?” “About 10:30 to 3:00 today!” “Stuart Meyer, 1998-2007: 5 years of hard work!” This kind of shit rolls off his back with enviable ease, and only recently did I realize that because he spends so much time worrying about getting fat, nothing else gets in. Not only that, but Stuart’s dangerous obsession with impending obesity has so impaired his ability to construct a full sentence that this interview would be almost totally unintelligible, were it not for my incredible editing skills. Stuart cracks me up because he talks a lot about being both gay and Jewish but often he will just say “my people,” and I’m never quite sure which group he’s talking about. I mean, if it’s about bagels or poppers I have an idea, but sometimes he’ll throw me a curveball like “my people like good toilet paper,” and then it could go either way. Let’s meet Stuart!

L:Tell me about your tumultuous relationship with Paula Abdul. How do you know her? What is your favorite song by her? Could she teach me to dance?
S: I met Paula when I worked at Billboard in the late 80’s—1988, I believe. She had just released her first album and it was kind of a dud. Through choreographing Coming to America [Five Stars! –ed.] we had mutual friends at Billboard. Anyways, I worked in the chart dept and had access to the Top 100 singles charts before anyone in the biz, so when “Straight Up” broke out as her first hit I was telling her she was #1 before Virgin Records, her label. From there, we became friends and I stayed with her when I visited LA and I stayed friendly with her through her marriage to Emilio Estevez (I went to both the wedding and the premiere of “The Mighty Ducks”!). My fave song by her…probably “Straight Up”. It’s a pretty perfect pop song although “Cold Hearted” is a close 2nd. She could probably teach anyone to dance—she really is pretty good at that. [I like how you cleverly leave the Snake part off of “Cold Hearted Snake” so you can really drive home the intense friendly relationship that you and Paula have. Or should I say “Labdool” like you are always calling her around the office? –ed]
L: When did you come out of the closet? How did your family handle it? Didn’t your relationship with Paula tip them off?
S: I came late to that party—1994…I was almost 30! Everyone was cool but Mom, not so much at first. I think she’s dealing with it okay now. Once she realized genetics played a a part – I had a gay cousin out here in Seattle – she knew it most likely wasn’t how she raised me or anything. I would think my Donna Summer and ABBA album collections would have been the tip-off. I could mention other artists, but, I’ll save myself the embarrassment. [Oh it’s much too late for that, my friend. –ed.]
L: Woah—let’s go over this genetics part. Elaborate, please. Did you straight up tell her or did she just figure it out or what?
S: She figured since there were other gays in the bloodline that it was not something I chose to be. [She sounds like a remarkably tolerant and educated woman! –ed.] I straight up told everyone I knew within a week, Nov 1994. Mom and Dad were the last to know that week. [You like how I keep going back to the “straight up” / Paula Abdul thing? Good, right? ed.]
L: Did you ever make out with a girl? Tell me all about it.
S: I made out with a girl in college and it wasn’t to my liking. Could’ve just been the girl. She was no prize. [God, I hope she’s reading this. –ed.]
L: Do you think your life would’ve been easier if you were straight?
S: I have no idea…probably not. My life hasn’t been rough, truth be told!
L: You are the A+R rep of the Shins – which one is your favorite? Why?
S: Haha. Nice one, Swain. They’re all special in their own way. I probably have had most contact with James, just by nature of him being the de facto leader of the band for all this time. And, just as an aside, “New Slang” gave me chills for many years, no matter how many times I heard it. It was really satisfying to see that song become popular. [Boner Time! –ed.]
L: Please run me through a typical day in Stuart’s life. Don’t forget the part where you call in late, okay?
S: Another nice one, Swain. I wake up around 7:30 and waste time before heading to work
-I’m not proud of that. It causes me more stress than almost anything in my life, my being late. [Boo hoo. –ed] After work, I tend to waste more time—futzing with my DVR, computer, I-Tunes. I have a new house, so that’s taking up a lot of my time. [Brace yourself, reader—this next sentence is a real tear jerker. –ed] I basically accomplish nothing in my spare time, and most of my accomplishments are when I’m at work (as hard as that is for some of my co-workers to believe). Oh yeah, I also tend to drive my boyfriend crazy and stress him out too.
L: What is your all time favorite musical act? (You can only pick one!) Movie? Actress? Actor? Gay icon? [Note—I did NOT edit the following response. Here’s a taste of how Stuy’s mind works…. –ed]
S: Oh geez. Probably Blondie. How about my top 3 fave albums, in no particular order:
Parallel Lines, Pretenders first one, Dusty In Memphis. What’s Up, Doc is probably my fave movie…close 2nd is Annie Hall or Manhattan. Don’t really have a fave actress or actor…love Diane Keaton in Woody Allen flicks though. Gay Icon – ha. Either Madonna or Babara. But the Barbra is more from us both being a New York Jews. I once stood behind her son at a gay bar. I always figured if I could date him, my mother might not mind the whole gay thing. She’d be able to tell her friends.
L: Who is your best office friend? Why?
S: I guess whomever is listening to me blather on about whatever with the most patience at any give time. Megan? I watch her dog when she’s out of town and she probably listens to me more than anyone. [Do you give her a choice? –ed]
L: When did you finally decide to like me? Do you think that we are too similar? DO you like me?
S: I liked you from the get-go, Swain. I give the hardest time to the people I like best. Awwww… [That’s sweet! I hated you for about a whole year! -ed.]
L: Explain once and for all what your job is here. What job would you rather do?
S: I have 3 jobs: I commission videos, which, is an ebb or flow type of deal…sometimes busy, more often not. I take care of our production and manufacturing by dealing mainly with our local printer, our manufacturing plant in Olyphant, PA and our vinyl pressing plant in California, and, I handle A&R for The Shins, Iron & Wine, Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Death Vessel and a new kid we just signed, Daniel Moore. What job here I’d rather do? I’m happy doing what I’m doing. The A&R stuff is the most fun.
L: Where did you work before here? How was it? What was your first job? Did you ever scoop icecream? I can picture that for some reason…
S: Prior to here, I worked at Tower Records. Before that, Epic Records in New York, Atco/Atlantic in New York, Billboard, Manhattan Savings Bank in Scarsdale, NY, Pathmark Supermarket and Caldor Dept Store in Yonkers, NY. I never scooped ice cream, except maybe at Caldor?
L: What would you say is you best physical attribute.
My hair. I’m psyched I have it and happy that I probably always will. My Dad’s 80 and still has a full head of silver/white hair. [I have to admit, he has great fucking hair. –ed.]
S: What do you like to eat for lunch? What’s your favorite cocktail? Sweet or salty?
L: I recently have become pretty fond of the sandwiches and salads at the bakery downstairs. They have a great white bean spread/garlic/smoked mozzarella sandwich which they need to have every day of the week. Most of their other sandwiches have an aioli or mayo and I hate white creamy things (sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, cottage cheese) [It’s too easy so I’m not even going to do it. –ed]. Absolut Mandarin and Soda is my favorite drink, probably, and I prefer salty.
L: What do you think is the most important issue facing Americans today?
S: Undoing the damage that Bush has done, domestically and internationally. He’s worse than anyone thought he could possibly be. Also, healthcare!! That’s a good answer, right?
L: And finally, what are your 3 favorite records on Sub Pop? {Again, this answer is unedited. –ed.]
S: Overcome By Happiness – Pernice Brothers always sticks out for me and I have good memories of Bakesale in the mid ‘90’s. Wolf Parade – Apologies The Shins (can’t pick one…they each have their charm). And, I think the new Iron & Wine is gonna be a contender in the long run. Sam has one of the best voices out there right now. I love a classic voice. [And I love an actual sentence! –ed.]


Posted by Lacey Swain

THU, AUG 16, 2007 at 5:05 AM

Sue Busch is afraid of the Chupacabra

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This week’s People Who Work Here is proud to introduce Susan Busch, Director of Radio Promotion and one of two female members of the A&R staff—she’s the lady who brought Oxford Collapse and The Go! Team to Sub Pop Records! Sue is from Texas and we both lived in Austin at the same time but we didn’t meet until we both started working here. When we became friends we would go out after work and get totally wasted and then drunk drive all over Seattle while cruising for dudes before passing out in each other’s vomit just before the sun came up. We’ve both settled down quite a bit since then, but Sue still enjoys punching babies and a nice glass of wine in the evenings. Fun Sue facts—she hates mayonnaise, she used to play volleyball, and she was once featured in Jane Magazine. Let’s meet Sue!

L: How did you get into the radio business? What did you study in college?
S: I decided to volunteer at the college radio station KVRX mostly because I realized I hated the idea of joining a club but still wanted to be involved in something other than being a student. [So basically college radio is like a fraternity for nerds? -ed.] Plus, I heard that you got into shows for free and got to hear records before they came out which seemed super cool. I went from having a show that was online only to eventually being the music director at the station. I studied magazine journalism. When I told my professors that I wanted to be a music journalist they usually made some sort of disapproving face and gave up on trying to actually improve my skills as a writer. [Little did they know that “blogging” was just around the corner and that it requires no skill, taste, or brains. –ed.] I decided to scrap the journalism thing and started interning at record labels. Clearly a wise move on my part.
L: Austin or Seattle, why? What’s your favorite thing about Seattle? Least favorite?
S: No offense to Seattle but I’m going to have to go with Austin. I like sunshine and Mexican food a whole lot and they are both pretty absent in this town.[Maybe if you got a hankering for Canadian food you’d be a lot happier…. –ed.] Austin also has fantastic BBQ, Emo’s, Mexican Martinis @ Trudy’s, Casino El Camino, Barton Springs, lots of super well maintained public swimming pools, dance parties, Waterloo Records, Mi Madres and you can still afford to buy a nice house in a nice neighborhood for less than 500K. My favorite thing about Seattle is how pretty it is during the three weeks of summer. There are also tons of great restaurants here too which is huge plus. My least favorite is the 9 months of rain and darkness. That shit messes with your constitution.
L: What’s your favorite thing about doing A+R? Could you do it for the rest of your life?
S: My favorite thing about doing A&R is finding bands that I’m super excited about and turning other people on to their music. There are so many parts of jobs, even “cool” jobs, that are a total drag but you can’t really beat the feeling of finding something new and getting totally stoked on it. It’s even better when things work out and you’re able to watch bands/people realize their potential. I could totally do A&R for the rest of my career. As long as I’m still able to go out at night and see new bands I’ll hopefully be doing this. [I’ll set you up with my coke dealer. –ed.]
L: Where do you see yourself at 35?
S: I try not to think that far in advance. Plans are for suckers. Hopefully I’ll be working on a family by then though. [Families are for suckers. –ed.]
L: What’s the best show you’ve seen this year?
S: This isn’t really a specific show but the ATP festival in Minehead, England was the best musical experience I had. Those Brits really know how to pull off a festival. It was like being at indie rock camp or something. Some of the highlights where the Notwist, Les Savy Fav and The Go! Team. There was plenty of debauchery going on but nothing got out of control. People just wanted to go see amazing shows, meet new people and have a great time. I can’t see anything like that happening in the states without someone doing something really stupid and ruining everyone’s good time.
L: Who’s your favorite local band? Would you sign them to Sub Pop if it were all up to you?
S: Right now I really like the Coconut Coolouts [I swear I don’t tell people to say this—it’s just that we’re really good. –ed.] and Fleet Foxes. Two totally different bands but both, I think, doing cool stuff. I’d sign a lot of stuff it was all up to me but I’ve got some folks to answer to so….
L: Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
S: I believe in A God but not necessarily THE God. [You do believe he’s black though, right? –ed.] I’d like to believe it all happens for a reason but I don’t necessarily buy into any one specific school of thought.
L: Who do you like better, your mom or your dad?
S: If you knew my parents you’d know that they are probably reading this so I am totally not choosing one over the other. They’re both rad in their own special ways. I will say that my mom did far less embarrassing things to me as a child though. [Cop out! Who bought you your first box of maxi pads? That’s who you should like the best! -ed.]
L: Who is your favorite coworker?
S: I have known all of you on the marketing staff for way too long to play favorites so I’m gonna say our lawyer Eric Brown. Eric is secretly hilarious [That’s right, Eric—no one actually knows you’re funny! –ed.] and was by far the safest driver when we went to NZ. Plus he said chilly bin like nine thousand times and laughed every single time he said it. He’s also the only dude here who can help you out of any serious trouble you get into. [He was no help when I flushed my deodorant down the toilet at my old apartment…. –ed.]
L: What do you do after work generally?
S: I go to the gym, take the dog for a walk and cook dinner. I KNOW! Pretty crazy right?!
L: Do you like “Everybody Loves Raymond”?
S: I am assuming you asked me this only because you’ve heard me say how much I hate this show. There is nothing funny about that show. Not Ray. Not his annoying wife. Not his wacky parents. I’d rather watch King of Queens. [I actually asked because I hate that show, too. I don’t like King of Queens either, though, but you should still buy Patton Oswalt’s new record, out now on Sub Pop Records. –ed.]
L: If you had to be one age for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
S: 22 was a good year. I was living in Austin, going to school, working, seeing a ton of bands and going out almost every night but still taking care of business. It was just a really fun time.
L: Tell me a good slumber party story from when you were a kid.
S: When I was maybe 7 or 8 a friend of mind had a slumber party and we decided it would be fun to sleep outside on her giant trampoline. I’m from El Paso, TX and she lived on the side of the mountain so the backyard didn’t face other houses but a really dark ravine that led up to the mountain. Now, I don’t know if you people are familiar with the Chupacabra but it was like a Mexican version of the boogie man. It literally means goat sucker. Anyway, her mom gathered us all around and started to tell us ghost stories which eventually led to a Chupacabra story. We were all huddled together hanging on her every word when something started howling in the distance. Then there was a rustling in the bushes. Then her older brother, dressed up in a wolf man suit/the Chupacabra, jumped over the wall and scared the shit out of all of us. I jumped about 10 ft in the air, ran into their house bawling and locked myself in the bathroom. People are dicks. [Well, at least it wasn’t one of those super scary illegal immigrants that I’ve been hearing so much about—one of ‘em could’ve stolen your job! –ed]


Posted by Lacey Swain

TUE, AUG 14, 2007 at 4:39 AM

Seaweed Reunion shows!

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Our old pals in the mighty ’Weed have scheduled a couple of upcoming reunion shows here in Seattle! Like so:

Sept. 1 at The High Dive
Sept. 2 at Bumbershoot (they play at 9:30 on the EMP Sky Church stage)

Here’s the full scoop from the Seaweed Myspace page

Seaweed is an aggressive, melodic, and powerful unit originally formed in mighty Tacoma, WA. Formed in 1989 by high school friends Clint Werner, Aaron Stauffer, Wade Neal, John Atkins, and Bob Bulgrien, Seaweed quickly earned a reputation as a powerful and energetic live band. Seaweed joined the 7” revolution and put out several cuts on local fave Leopard Gecko. The kids seemed to love them dearly, so Sub Pop Records took a mild interest and signed the band. At Sub Pop, Seaweed produced an EP and two albums: the middling, yet endearing Despised, followed by hardcore-emo classics Weak and Four (Weak and Four are both currently out of print on CD and LP, but much of the Seaweed catalog is available through iTunes here). As a result of incessant domestic and international touring, the band inexplicably attracted the attention of several major labels. Seaweed decided to brass ring it on Hollywood Records in 1995. Later, as a result of many recording sessions gently steered by producer Adam Kaspar, the majestic, yet understated Spanaway was released. The band earned slots on the first Warped Tour and opened for Bad Religion and Green Day on several of many nationwide excursions. Although artistic visions were realized, album sales did not accrue as quickly as the suits had hoped. Suddenly finding themselves too indie for the majors due to cruel corporate cost-cutting measures, they signed with beloved Merge Records for 1999’s Actions and Indications, a raw and clever set of melodic and punkish tracks. The band was also joined for the project by the great Alan Cage of Quicksand on drums, Bob Bulgrien having left the group in 1996. Despite lovely tours to Brazil and the US, the band found itself broken up by the end of the millennium. However, happier times are upon the group now. Reunion feelings have been brewing for some time, and the band has decided to make its first re-appearance at Bumbershoot 2007 in Seattle. Although they have not graced the stage for years, Seaweed has impacted many, many slightly younger and much more talented bands (See Hot Water Music, Alexisonfire, Elemae, The Receiving End of Sirens, This is Hell, Fall Out Boy, etc.) A tribute album is set to be released on Engineer Records in early 2008. A new album of original material is in the works.

As well, our friends at KEXP will be broadcasting Seaweed’s Sept. 1 performance live from The High Dive. Those of you unable to make either of these shows should avail yourselves of this broadcast, via KEXP’s radio transmission or on the WWW.


Posted by Chris Jacobs