To celebrate the label’s twentieth birthday, Sub Pop will release a series of re-issues starting with Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff: Deluxe Edition (which, like their brand new album The Lucky Ones , comes out May 20, 2008), launch a limited run of the Sub Pop Singles Club (more on that soon-ish), and throw a series of over-the-top birthday parties for itself this summer.
Herewith the scoop on these birthday parties:
SP20 Comedy Show – Friday, July 11th at The Moore Theatre
You can also buy tickets for SP20 in person at the Marymoor Park Office between 9am and 4pm, Monday-Friday. You can also phone them at 206-205-3661 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to buy tickets and have them mailed to you. A fee of $8 per ticket supports maintenance and operations of King County Parks. There’s more info about all of this on the Concerts at Marymoor site.
There is also, at this same link info for those interested in carpooling to SP20!
The Vera Project needs to raise $33,000 by the end of June to finish paying for their new space and fuel more awesome music and arts programming. Each dollar we raise up to this goal will be doubled by a generous matching grant from the Murdock Charitable trust. Every donation, no matter how large or small, will make a difference in the lives of thousands of young people and artists.
It’s a great time to donate to Vera, especially with the government’s tax rebate just around the bend – now you have a chance to use your tax money to support all-ages music in Seattle instead of the whims of those in Washington (DC, that is).
You can help them reach their goal:
• Donate! You can donate online through this link , or you can drop a check in the mail.
• Get the word out! Tell your friends, family, co-workers and anyone else you can think of.
• Have your employer match your donation. Many companies, including locals Microsoft, Washington Mutual and Boeing, have giving programs that support the charities their employees contribute to. This is a really easy way to double your donation – just check with your employer to see if your company offers matching donations.
• Get in touch if you want to help! Thinking of doing a benefit show? Wondering how your next dinner party can raise money for Vera? Just drop us a line at email@example.com or (206) 956-8372.
If you prefer to donate by check please send your donation to The Vera Project, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109. Be sure to write “Vera 2008 Spring Fund Drive” on the check and include your current mailing address so we can send you a receipt.
Thanks for supporting all-ages music and art!
About The Vera Project
The Vera Project is an all-ages popular music venue and arts center in the heart of Seattle, Washington. We put on concerts, art shows and events, and offer classes and facilities for silkscreen printing, sound engineering, studio recording and concert lighting. Over a thousand volunteers work with Vera’s staff and Board of Directors to run the organization. Vera is dedicated to making all-ages music and art a thriving, vital force in Seattle and empowering young people to create and define their own culture.
In February 2007 Vera opened our first long-term home at the Seattle Center. The new venue is an incredible asset to Seattle – it includes a 362 capacity showroom, an art gallery, a silkscreen studio, a recording studio and state of the art sound, lighting and recording equipment, all of which have helped us serve more people than ever before. Since opening the new space, Vera has served over 22,000, show attendance is up by 50%, and participation in silkscreen and sound engineering classes has doubled. Thanks to the new venue Vera will be a stable home for all-ages music and art for generations to come.
The Vera Project * 305 Harrison Street * Seattle, WA * 09109 * (206) 956-8372 * www.theveraproject.org
Megan Jasper has a long and illustrious career here at Sub Pop Records. She started out as the receptionist, got fired and went to work for ADA (our distributor), and then came back and gave a million BJs all over the office in order to become GM and then VP of the Pacific Northwest’s premiere record label. After Megan had time to rest her jaw she sat down with me in her opulent, well-organized office to give me some insight into what makes her tick. Megan is a hilarious and generous lady, a consummate prankster, and a lover of huge rings who also makes wedding cakes in her spare time. I am proud to call her friend, boss lady, and cum dumpster. Let’s meet Megan!
L: You are most famous for your pulling the wool over the eyes of the New York Times and providing them with a totally bogus dictionary of grunge. Tell me a little about this—was it off the cuff? Did you giggle? Did you ever think it would haunt you for the rest of your life?
M: Actually they called Jonathan first but he re-directed them my way. [Yep, shirking responsibility—sounds like JP. –ed.] I wasn’t really expecting the call but it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was bored shitless and on my third pot of coffee. The kid asked me to tell him the lexicon, but I told him that it might be easier if he gave me a word and I provided the grunge translation. I wrote down a bunch of words that rhymed and mixed them up to come up with the answers but then I got bored and just started making up things that my friends and I used to say as jokes. I felt bad for him and tried to make each answer slightly more retarded than the last, but he never got it. I figured it would just be edited, but a few days later it was on the front page of the style section. At first I was trying not to laugh, but by the end of the phone call I was almost bummed that he just kept typing. Did I ever think it would haunt me for so long? God no!
L: You have a long, weird relationship with Dinosaur Jr. How did that begin? Tell me something strange about J. Mascis. Is he a practical joker? Why does he like purple?
M: I met J when I was in high school. J would show up at the same punk/hardcore shows that I went to. We used to call him, “Chemo Boy”, because he cut chunks out of his hair right to the scalp. Other strands were long and hung over the random, weird bald spots. He almost always wore the same shirt to every show, one with the Trix cereal rabbit holding up a box of the cereal saying, “Trix are for kids!” To be honest with you, we didn’t quite care for each other at first. I thought he was a freak and he thought that I was kind of gross. The first time he came to our house, he got in a screaming match with my mom. The visit ended with J standing at the front door yelling, “YOU’RE FUCKED!” to my mom and my mom then yelling to my dad, “JIMMY!!! DIDYOUHEARTHAT? HE SAIDTHAT WE’RE FUCKED!” I don’t quite remember my dad responding. However, in time he became close friends not only with my sister but with the whole family and now we refer to him as, the “third Jasper sister.” [I see who got all the looks… -ed.] Whenever he and my mom are together, my mom will say that if you’re looking for J he’ll be in one of two places—to her right or to her left. Purple? I guess he just likes to celebrate the look of his shaft engorged with blood. Just kidding. I have no idea, but he’s been into it since I’ve known him.
L: You’ve worked at Sub Pop for a very long time, but a lot of people might not know that you were actually fired at one point at time. How does it feel to get fired, rehired, and promoted straight to the top?
M: It makes me feel a little bit like David Lee Roth.
L: Do you think that working in the music biz for so long has helped or hurt your love of music? How do you combat musical burnout? You’ve worked with a lot of bands on the label—who surprised you the most?
M: Working with people who love music is a gift. It’s like being in a library and realizing that you’ll never get to all of it. Stuart M made me an amazing comp once with all oldies, [Oh, God! I drove back from Portland with him one time and he made us listen to every Billboard #1. Through his laptop speakers. From the back seat. –ed.] Andy turned me onto PP Arnold and Bobby Charles, and Tony has given me a bunch of stuff that I never knew about too. That’s one of the best things about working with people who appreciate music—you get turned onto great stuff that might otherwise go unnoticed. I can’t imagine getting tired of music in the same way that I can’t imagine getting tired of any art form. [I’m so over mixed media. –ed.]
A lot of bands have surprised me in many different ways, but the most surprised I ever was by a band was when I saw the Yo Yo’s play in Texas with the Backyard Babies. Danny, The Yo Yo’s lead singer, got mad at the Backyard Babies and pulled down his pants (mind you, they were leather and he didn’t bring any other pants on tour with him—and he shat those pants numerous times on tour, so they were black on the outside, brown on the inside), shook up a bottle of beer, shoved the bottle into his asshole (his crack looked like a chocolate smile), and gave himself a beer enema. Almost as good as a GG Allin show.
L: Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary is tomorrow (April 1). What are the three things you’re most proud of here at the Pop? What are the three things you wish could’ve gone down differently?
M: Isn’t that fucking crazy? 20 years is pretty amazing. I’m most proud that Jonathan kept the label going—there were many times during the 20 years when he could have easily walked and lost a lot of stress. I’m incredibly proud of the label’s roster over the past two decades. We’ve worked with and continue to work with some of the smartest and most talented people out there. I’ve said before that Sub Pop is like a history book. It’s the artistic reaction and reflection to what’s been happening in the world for the past 20 years. I think it’s cool to work with a team of people, who care that those expressions are heard. And, thirdly, I’m proud of the staff. The people who work here constantly blow my mind with their creativity, humor, and dedication.
There are some things that would have been nice if they’d gone down differently—probably too many to even mention but those are situations that you learn from by taking the lessons to heart and moving on so that all of the upcoming lessons are new ones. [Yes, but these are the most interesting! –ed.]
L: You like to garden and seem you seem to know a lot about plants. What’s your favorite plant and why? How and when did this interest begin? Do you and Brian garden naked?
M: I love to garden. I didn’t know how much I loved it until I lived in a house with a yard. The yard had a couple of plants and a lot of grass. I didn’t know what kind of garden I wanted, I just knew that I wanted one. I went to a bunch of nurseries to find things that I liked and that might work in my yard. I also started reading gardening books so that I could learn more. Now, I walk around nurseries like they’re record stores, looking at each plant and reading about them. Trying to pick a favorite plant is like trying to list a favorite band—there are too many good ones. But I will tell you this: my favorite evergreen tree is a hinoki cypress, my favorite deciduous tree is probably a paperbark maple, and my favorite flowers are tulips, ranunculus, and peonies. Gardening naked? Sick. I prefer to keep my secret garden indoors.
M: I was a little shit, crusty punk. I almost always carried a bottle of Aqua Net Super Extra Hold in my bag and I used to have to tilt my head sideways when I sat in a car so that the hawk could fit as well. Being a punk rock kid on the east coast was pretty great. There were a million bands that I got to see—X, The Circle Jerks, The Misfits, Negative Approach, SSD, The Bad Brains, Minor Threat, etc. They played all ages shows in Boston on Sundays. I became good friends with a bunch of those—J was one, Todd Cote was another, Crazy Adam, who drove an old pick up truck that had “Raw Power” on the front. Adam used to blast Johnny Cash songs, jump out of his truck and spin on his head. His favorite hobby was “scoopin’ tuna” on a Friday night. If he got some, he could hang with the guys on Saturday. [He sounds like a real catch. -ed.] Then there were the Meatgirls, a hilarious group of girls (with hair that that went to high hell and back) who decided that if the Meatmen could do it, so could they. One of them lives here in Seattle and books shows at The Comet. [Michelle? –ed] I was lucky to be around these people—they were a fucking blast and they were an escape from the douche bags, who were threatened by anyone (like me) who was abnormal. I don’t think kids have changed at all and I think I always knew that I’d at least run a couple of marathons. I used to go running when I was a kid (mohawk and all). I’m sure that it was quite a site.
L: Your mom once poisoned your dog Vito and Carly once pranked you in the Seattle Times by putting out an ad that said free Chihuahua puppies. Go ahead and tell everyone a dirty secret about your mom, Carly, and your dog.
M: Oh wow…this will be fun. Let’s start with my mom. You know that we were a dysfunctional Irish Catholic family. My parents made us go to catechism classes when we were kids. My mom was the principal and my dad was one of the teachers. After my class, I would go to the principal’s office to find my mom practically being man-handled by the priests. It’s not that they were digging for her lady-gold, they were drooling over her jewelry! I think she sniffed out every gay priest in Worcester and made each one her best friend. My mom told me that she believes that she has “fag hag” in her DNA. [Moms should not say fag hag. –ed.] She also claims to have passed it on to her two (and three if you count J) daughters.
And as far as Carly goes—her nickname for an entire summer was “Upchuck”. She was visiting Old Faithful and, feeling the spirit, started to projectile vomit in front of everyone. Also, her real last name isn’t Starr. That’s the name she took when she worked at the Lusty Lady. She’s got a bag full of nicknames! [I give you a golden opportunity and this is all the shit you give her? She half-heartedly tried to kidnap your dog the other day! -ed.]
L: Tell me why you hate these things: eggs, avocados, and squirrels.
M: I think eggs are super fucking gross. It’s kind of like eating a bird’s period. Sick. [If my period tasted good scrambled or deviled I’d eat the shit out of it. –ed.] Avocados have a nasty texture that grosses me out. I know that they’re good for you so I wish I liked them. Squirrels scare the shit out of me. I think it’s strange that people think they’re cute and harmless. They have sharp teeth and they’re unpredictable little beasts. Once in Boston Common a squirrel jumped on my lap to steal my bagel. I nearly had a fucking heart attack.
L: I just heard that Mark Lanegan beat you up in an elevator. What the fuck? And then you re-sign his band?!
M: I was working for Dinosaur Jr, selling merch. This is post-fire, pre-rehire and promoted—I’m thinking early ’92. The band had just played in NY and I sold merch for them. The Screaming Trees were recording in the city so Mark came out and met up with us. I think I had a few thousand bucks in my pocket and I made the mistake of bragging about it when I was in the elevator with Mark. As a joke, he tried to grab it and not as a joke, I tried to make sure that it didn’t leave my pocket. It turned into a bit of struggle that bled into the hotel lobby when the elevator doors opened. People crowded around a bit not knowing if it was a fight or just fun and then Mark split pretty quickly. I’m sure that it didn’t look good to anyone not knowing us. Mark is someone I first met over 20 years ago. I’ve always been a fan of his music and he is undeniably gifted as well as being a very decent person. Nobody sings like Mark and I’m super proud to work with him. [Plus, Megan likes getting hit by dudes. It’s her “thing”. –ed.]
L: And finally, what is the weirdest thing that you and JP have ever done together?
M: Definitely the dolphin meditation. [I’m not even going to say anything about this one. -ed.]
In unabashedly conspicuous celebration of 20 years of not going out of business (sometimes only barely), Seattle’s Sub Pop Records will gather past and present label-mates for a series of events, including a two-day festival at Marymoor Park on July 12 & 13 and a comedy show on July 11 at Seattle’s Moore Theatre. Proceeds from the sale of tickets will go to support beneficiaries of each participating act’s choosing. Tickets go on sale April 26 at 12 PM Pacific at SubPop.com and all Ticketmaster locations. More ticket information provided below.
Though Bruce Pavitt had been using the title SUBTERRANEANPOP since sometime in ’79 for fanzines, cassette compilations, radio shows, and the like, somewhere along the line he and co-founder Jonathan Poneman decided that April 1, 1988—the day they quit their jobs and rented a tiny office in the Terminal Sales Building in Seattle—was the day Sub Pop Records was born. To celebrate the label’s twentieth birthday, Sub Pop will release a series of re-issues starting with Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff: Deluxe Edition (which comes out May 20, 2008), launch a limited run of the Sub Pop Singles Club, and throw a series of over-the-top birthday parties for itself this summer.
The SP20 Festival is happening July 12 & 13 at Marymoor Park just outside of Seattle in Redmond, WA. In addition to reunited bands, acts currently on the label’s roster, and everything in between, the festival will also host a half-pipe featuring both Nike and Girl + Chocolate sponsored skaters. While the full day-by-day line-up will be announced in the coming months, the festival will include:
Beachwood Sparks / Comets on Fire / Fleet Foxes / Flight of the Conchords / The Fluid / Foals / Grand Archives / Green River / The Helio Sequence / Iron & Wine / Kinski / Low / Mudhoney / No Age / Pissed Jeans / Red Red Meat / The Ruby Suns / Seaweed / Wolf Parade, and more to be announced.
Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit a variety of charities chosen by both Sub Pop and each act performing. Ticket information provided below.
The SP20 activities will commence with a comedy show on July 11 at The Moore Theatre. Among the performing comedians are Sub Pop artists Eugene Mirman and Patton Oswalt, label friend and fan Todd Barry, and special guests.
Discounted $30 single-day or $50 two-day passes to the SP20 Festival go on sale Saturday April 26 at 12 pm Pacific at SubPop.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 206.628.0888. Tickets can also be purchased at the Marymoor box office Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with all service charges going to benefit the parks department. Ticket prices will increase to $35 single-day or $60 two-day passes on May 10.
Tickets for SP20 Comedy Show are $20 and go on sale April 26 at 12 pm Pacific at SubPop.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 206.628.0888. Tickets can also be purchased at the Moore Theatre box office, which is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and again from 3:15 pm to 6:00 pm.
Proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit a variety of beneficiaries, chosen by both Sub Pop and participating bands.
On May 6th, we at Sub Pop will be doing the world a real solid by releasing the first proper No Age full-length! It’s called Nouns and will be available in CD, MP3 and mind-blowing, fidelity-maximizing LP format (complete with a coupon to download the entire album as MP3s). And, in our ongoing quest to turn your money into our money, through the charming, old-timey concept of “selling music,” we are really piling on the incentives. If you pre-order Nouns by May 6th, you’ll receive a limited-edition poster featuring an Ed Templeton photograph of No Age, covered with a drawing by this same, broadly-talented artiste, Mr. Templeton (see rotating photos associated with this post for a visual representation of what the previous sentence described). Plus, as if this amazing record weren’t incentive enough, we’re throwing in some free No Age-related stickers and a button.