All of the bands/artists/comedians participating in our various 20th anniversary revelries have agreed to play for free in the hopes of raising a bunch of money to give to a bunch of worthwhile organizations. Basically, we’re pooling the money we make, dividing it amongst everyone playing and each band/artist/comedian picks a recipient.
Herewith the list of organizations to which these folks have elected to donate their share of the proceeds. And, sometimes, where possible, we’ve included a bit of info about why they picked who they did.
Todd Barry — The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and to improving the quality of life of patients and their families.
Beachwood Sparks — Farm Sanctuary
We are going to donate our portion to the Farm Sanctuary. It is a group that rescues factory farm animals. They educate communities and children on responsible humane farming practices. They help take a little bit of violence away.
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (feat. Tad Doyle) — National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
We are grateful and pleased to be a part of this event because we are donating the show revenue to help America’s homeless veterans. Far too many of our armed service men and women come back home from duty overseas to a place where people treat them like second-class citizens and give our faithful service men and women the cold shoulder. These people are to be honored and that is why we have chosen to make our donation for this show to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. This organization helps homeless veterans with shelters and social services. They also help drug and alcohol addicted veterans who want help finding an answer to their problems.
Comets on Fire — The 924 Gilman Street Project
David Cross — Knowmore.org
Death Vessel — The Children’s Garden Network
Eric’s Trip — Kiva – micro-lending
Everyone thinks it’s just such a great simple idea, and it works!!
Fleet Foxes — Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation
[from Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold…] I never learned a classical instrument in school or elsewhere and now I really regret it. I feel like I’m playing catch up now when I could’ve been learning all these things from an early age. Hopefully this money will buy some genius kids some stuff that’ll help them discover what they want to do in life!
Flight of the Conchords — Red Cross International Response Fund
The American Red Cross International Response Fund provides immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help victims of natural disasters and other crises around the world.
The Fluid — Radio 1190
Our local college station, because they support us!
Foals — The Katharine House Hospice
Katharine House is located 4 miles south of Banbury and lies on the borders of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire amidst beautiful gardens where peace and tranquility prevail. The Hospice building was completed in 1991 and today the specialist palliative care services offered include in-patient, day centre, out-patients (medical and lymphoedema), community nurse specialists (Macmillan), and bereavement support. No charge is made to patients or their families for any aspect of care.
Grand Archives — The Bridge School
Green River — The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation
Our good friend and Seattle guitar god Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer, Monkeywrench, The Tom Price Desert Classic) has early onset Parkinson’s Disease. We decided to donate Green River’s SP20 winnings to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation in his honor.
The Gutter Twins — Free the West Memphis Three
This is the Defense Fund for the West Memphis 3 – three teenagers convicted of a horrible crime because of the music they listened to and the way they dressed.
The Helio Sequence — The Darcy Davidson Cancer Fund
Darcy is a friend of ours here in Portland who has been diagnosed with type IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In 2007, she bravely went through chemotherapy and the cancer went into remission, but unfortunately it has recently relapsed. We are very concerned for Darcy and our hearts go out to her, her husband, and her family. If you would like to make a donation to help Darcy out you can go to any Washington Mutual branch and say that you would like to donate to the “Darcy Davidson Cancer Fund.”
Iron and Wine — Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery
Kinski — First Place
Kinski supports First Place, a Seattle-based agency devoted to educating and nurturing children whose families struggle with homelessness. First Place gives kids from grades K through 6 a safe, stable environment to learn and grow, and offers housing and support services that help their families achieve stability. Hope, home and education for every child, one family at a time.
Les Thugs — Northwest Film Forum
Northwest Film Forum is a Seattle-based, non-profit center for the film arts. Much like Sub Pop does for music, NWFF supports the production of independent film by local artists, and connects that community to its international constituency. NWFF also operates two cinemas on Capitol Hill, screening hundreds of programs year-round, often including music documentaries and commissioning live scores for classic films. Belmondo!!
Low — The Maasai Cultural Foundation
The Maasai Cultural Foundation is working to document the deeply rooted music of East Africa’s Maasai people, while focusing on health and education projects in the Maasai communities where music is recorded. One such example is our adult education program in Namuncha, Kenya, where over one-hundred rural Maasai men and women are learning to read, write and do arithmetic in a school building funded by the band Low. Visit us at www.maasaiculture.org to learn more about our projects, the Maasai people and hear samples of Maasai music!
Eugene Mirman — 826 Boston
826Boston is a wonderful nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Writing is crucial to the survival of mankind and the propagation of knowledge and commerce. Without proper writing skills you wouldbkgi kallo fa fa wough. See? It’s important. To that end, 826Boston provides free drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, and much more —- because without the written word people would constantly forget the Bill of Rights and wipe out civilization.
Mudhoney — The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation
Our good friend and Seattle guitar god Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer, Monkeywrench, The Tom Price Desert Classic) has early onset Parkinson’s Disease. We decided to donate Mudhoney’s SP20 winnings to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation in his honor.
No Age — Lance Armstrong Foundation
Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) unites people to fight cancer. This is a good war to fight.
Patton Oswalt — Hope for the Warriors
Hope for the Warriors is exactly that: Hope, funds and assistance to Army veterans who aren’t being given much of anything by the VA, the government, or the current administration.
Pissed Jeans — National Multiple Sclerosis Society
One of our biggest supporters and closest loved ones suffers from MS.
We are proud to donate our charity cash towards a cure for MS, in
honor of those with MS and the people who care about them.
Red Red Meat — Accelerated Cure Project
We have some friends and family members with Multiple Sclerosis and this foundation is actively seeking a cure.
The Ruby Suns — PAWS
We seriously love animals! Big time! PAWS is awesome! They help out animals that have been abandoned, hurt, and basically screwed over by people – both intentionally and unintentionally. They also try to deal with the problem at its core – not just a band-aid – if you know what I mean. There is a big focus on education and general knowledge sharing.
A big problem with a lot of other animal shelters is that they end up killing a lot of their “guests” because of capacity issues – but PAWS has a “no-kill” policy! They try to find homes for all domesticated animals and return wild ones back to whence they came.
Those who work for this organisation are pretty aws in our opinion and deserve all the money help they can get.
Kristen Schaal — National Breast Cancer Foundation
Seaweed — Emergency Food Network
Seaweed supports the great work of the Emergency Food Network. Each charitable dollar is transformed into $12 worth of food for our hungry friends in Tacoma/Pierce County (low-income families, seniors, and the homeless). EFN also operates an organic farm and an orchard which serve as living laboratories for students to learn about sustainable farming practices. It is the only emergency food distribution center in the country to produce and distribute large quantities of organic produce (over 150,000 pound per year!). Seaweed thanks the Emergency Food Network for a job well done.
The Vaselines — The Bellur Trust
This charity was chosen because Bks Iyengar has spread the teaching of yoga throughout the world. He, as the chief patron of The Bellur Trust, is now working towards providing the basic amenities to improve the quality of life of the children of Bellur, his birth place.
Wolf Parade — Head & Hands
Heads and Hands is a grassroots social work, mental and physical health youth outreach program based in the neighbourhood of NDG in Montreal.
You are an exceedingly awesome bunch of people and we are tremendously proud to work with you. Thanks!
After a long, lazy hiatus People Who Work Here is back and this week we’d like to introduce you to Sub Pop’s one and only piece of international flair—Richard Laing from Scotland, Wales! He’s got this crazy Scottish accent and I am constantly asking him to repeat himself, partly for fun but mostly because I really have no idea what he’s saying. One day when we are all sending around lame jokey work emails with photos of infected dicks and links to other funny stuff, Richard replied with a youtube link to—get this—a Scottish stand up comedian telling jokes about blood sausage or how mean your lass is when you come home pissed after hanging out on the moors with the hounds of the Baskervilles. Needless to say, I didn’t get it. Anyhoo, up until recently Richard always had the best lunch in the office but he had an unfair advantage—his mom was making it. Click this and then let’s meet Richard!
L: You started off as an intern a long while back but now you do something in the sales department. Tell me what that is and how you got the job. Who do you like working for better, Carly or Andy?
R: I work in the Sales department with Dean and Andy mainly trying to ensure that Sub Pop records are available, visible and attractively priced in America’s fine and not so fine record stores. I got a job after spell interning and then temping at Sub Pop, then working for ADA (Sub Pop’s distributor). I’d like to think my incredible work ethic, effervescent personality and golden ears made me an irresistible choice, but the forces of convenience and pity were probably influential too. [That or the fact that “Scottish” was the only available minority in Seattle. –ed.] Carly and Andy have both been really great to me. I like working for Andy better though because it’s a real job, not an internship.
L: People give you a lot of shit about being from Scotland but I’m sure it’s really cool there what with the golf and all the delicious foods and town drunks and stuff. Name five ways that Scotland is better than the US.
R: To be honest, you are the only one who gives me shit about being from Scotland. [That’s what you think, bub. I just do it to your face. –ed.] I tend to avoid getting the gush about Scotland, mainly to preempt the inevitable “why don’t you fuck off back there then?” The funny thing is, after being born in Edinburgh, I spent the first 5 or so years of my life living in Nashua, NH. [Where the fuck is that? –ed.] When we moved back to the UK, I had an American accent and kids used to make fun of me and ask me to “speak American”. After developing an English accent, we moved up to Scotland where the only thing less desirable on your first day of school than ginger hair [Is this Scottish for pubes? –ed.] is an English accent, so I quickly got rid of that too. I’ve ended up with a pretty appropriate transatlantic accent. [If by transatlantic you mean even your own people can’t understand you then yes! –ed.] Anyway that’s not what you asked. Scotland is better that the US in the following categories: Castles, Drunks, Slang, Affordable Golf and Sausages. [Is Affordable Golf and Sausages a real place? –ed.]
L: I heard your dad has a killer record collection—is this true? Is this what got you into music? Did you always want to work in the biz?
R: My Dad had a pretty awesome collection of vinyl circa 1967-1973. There was a bunch of first pressings of classic records and 45s and then some weirder forgotten gems (and some garbage). I started digging in that stuff when Britpop was “happening”. A lot of bands were being referenced at that time that I remembered seeing in my Dad’s collection (Small Faces, the Who, the Kinks, Beatles etc.). I’d rummage through, stay up late and explore that stuff. Without that resource I probably wouldn’t care about music as much as I do. My friends’ idea of great music was the Stardust vs Madonna “Music Sounds Better on Holiday” mash up, so most the music I checked out was either through my Dad’s record collection, Mojo or late night Radio 1. From then I wanted to be involved in music, but it just didn’t seem possible. I didn’t know anyone who was in a band (except the Seamen [I am chuckling. I can’t help it. –ed.] who would cover the Red Hot Chili Peppers at school band nights) or anyone who had a job in music (except a friend of my Dad’s son who played guitar in the Exploited). [Crap! How did I forget to ask you about that!? –ed.] It wasn’t until I visited Seattle that working in music even seemed possible.
L: Did you graduate from college? Here or there? What kind of degree do you have?
R: I graduated from Manchester University in England, with a BA in Economics and Sociology. [Yep, that’s sales! –ed.]
L: You worked/work(?) with KEXP quite a bit. What did you do for them? Have you met John Richards? Do you like him?
R: I still work there once or twice a month on remote broadcasts (usually a live show from a club in town) as a “production lead”. I’ve been involved with KEXP for almost all the three and a half years I have lived in Seattle. I’ve answered phones, been a production intern, board operator, CD reviewer, made tea for moderately successful bands etc. I have met John Richards, but only a few times. He’s always been really friendly (I can recall him tolerating my anecdotes about the Mountain Goats and jobbies). He’ll be a legend if he calls his second kid Gabe though. [This is an obscure reference to the band Juno. Weird, Richard. –ed]
L: You are somewhat of a pun master. How did that happen and do you think you can stop?
R: I think to be a “master” you need better quality control. Here’s one last one, then I’m done, Lazy Swine. [Ugh. –ed]
L: I know you play soccer and that you’re a good golfer (Scotland, duh) but what else do you like to do for fun?
R: I’m pretty obsessed with soccer (or football [Why don’t you fuck off back there?! –ed.] as I used to call it). I play twice a week and watch games at the weekend and sometimes Champions League games at lunch during the week. [No lie—Richard was watching soccer on the clock today and we all heard him gasp like a woman from the other room! –ed.] I also play guitar in a band we call Weightless (we recently lost our rhythm section which makes the name even more fitting). [Does that qualify as a pun? I thought you were done. –ed.] We’re just finishing up a little EP (is it still extended play if it only takes up a third of a CD?). Beyond that I like the same things everyone else does fine foods, walks in the park, being held, sandwiches etc. [Is this a things white people like joke? –ed.]
L: Tell me something that people say that really drives you crazy. For instance, I hate it when people say “I love live music!” I mean, that just barely means anything….
R: “I’m going to design a garment that combines the utility belt and the kilt” and “My bad”.
L: Who is your favorite coworker?
R: That’s a hard one – I like almost all of the people that work here. [You better start naming names and quick. –ed.]
L: What’s the next step for Dick Laing in this crazy thing we call life?
R: The past few years have been pretty unsettled, so it’s been nice to have a routine of awesome things going on. My ambitions have been pretty modest (e.g. the other day I was thinking how rad it would be to be the first person on the express lane on I-5 after they switch directions). I’m not very good at making plans, so I mainly try and listen to my gut. My gut isn’t saying much more than “what’s for dinner bro?” so I’ll keep stepping in the same directions. [Woah man—what a long strange trip it’s been. –ed.]
This just in from our friends in The Helio Sequence…
Benjamin and I just got back from a great tour in Scandinavia and the UK with Low. Here are a few things we learned while over there:
- People in Sweden really are more attractive, intelligent and well educated than everywhere else AND Stockholm really is cleaner, more sophisticated and charming than anywhere else.
- The Danish use a “floating ground” system, which for those of us with no electrical training means: “watch out or you’ll be shocked with 240 volts on your lips if you touch that microphone!”
- Drinking enough Scotch on an overnight ferry ride across the English channel has a similar effect to taking 4 Dramamine. But…either way you will still feel like you’re on the ferry for the entire next day, even if you are on solid ground.
- They DO NOT drive on the wrong side of the road in the UK (and you will definitely be set straight if you say otherwise on stage!)
- Stonehenge actually isn’t smaller than you think it will be when you see it for the first time…it actually seems bigger…that is, if you expected it to be smaller in the first place because everyone has already told you it will be smaller than you expect it to be. Get what I mean?
- If you are on stage in Gateshead do not say “Hello Newcastle!!!”
- Brown sauce is good…on just about everything. Mushy peas are not as disgusting as they sound. A Banger IS a type of food. And beans for breakfast is a possibility.
- Watch what you say and do in the UK because Big Brother really is watching. Just take a look around and see how many CCTV cameras are trained on you at any given moment anywhere you may be.
That concludes the observational part of this post. Now, on to the news. We’ve got a really big US tour to announce!!! We’ve had people e-mailing asking us “Please come to Peoria” and “Please come to Evanston”…well, we’re not going to make it to either of those cities but we are going to a whole lot of other places. The full list of our tour dates is here. We’d love to see you out at the show!
May has arrived and here at HQ we are all ready for the best summer we’ve ever known, what with all the good records coming out and the hot shit SP20 Festival right around the corner. In fact, the SP20 Fest was voted Best Summer Music Fest in an informal poll I quietly held here at my desk. Want more info? Read this, bub.
The highly anticipated new No Age record Nouns comes out May 6th and will be available on CD and LP and MP3 and maybe even Blueray and/or Cassette if I finally get my way around this fucking place! Seriously though, if you order this fantastical album from subpop.com we’ll throw in a cool poster designed by a Mr. Templeton. A Mr. Ed Templeton. (Google it.) We’re throwing in something else but I want to save my dignity and not type the phrase “buttons and stickers” ever again, so… Wait, I just… Dammit! The No Age dudes just shot their first video (for “Eraser”) and although it’s still in post-production it looks really amazing—there are balloons, a giant skull, the LA River, and…Dean Spunt and Randy Randall from No Age! See? That’s them up above. Please keep an eye out for it—it would be the right thing to do. Click here to get the record. Click here to find out more about No Age.
On May 20th Mudhoney will be releasing their 37th full-length album, The Lucky Ones. Mark Arm sits out on guitar on this one, presumably so he can dance more at their shows. He is a re-mark-able dancer. (Get it?) The Lucky Ones LP will come stuffed with a 7” single of Mudhoney covering Pere Ubu’s “Street Waves” and “Gonna Make You Mine” by the Troggs. We’ll have 200 of these 7”s to give away with pre-orders of the CD so you better hurry. They’re going to try to sign some stuff as well but don’t hold your breath. (I suggested that they might want to go ahead and let their wives/girlfriends sign this one just to mix it up a bit but I was met with a stony silence so I doubt that’s happening.) On the 20th we will also release the first in what will presumably be a not un-long line of reissues for Sub Pop’s 20th, Superfuzz Bigmuff Deluxe_! This is a remastered double-CD with an expanded booklet and a ton of live tracks and way too much stuff for me to type so read (then order!) this hereedition. You don’t get anything extra with this because it is full of extras and when did you start expecting so much stuff anyway?
We’re all pretty puffed up around here (chuffed?) about how well this Flight of the Conchords thing is going. We just followed-up their (ahem…) FUCKING GRAMMY-AWARD-WINNING EP, The Distant Future with their self-titled debut full-length, and man, is that thing ever shifting units. So much so that none other than Yahoo! (Google it.) was prompted to comment: “Ashlee Simpson’s new album sold so poorly, it was beaten by a comedy album." Our comedy album! (Hat Tip to good ol’ Matt “Epsonality/Domino’s Pizza” Olsen for this one.) Flight of the Conchords and many other Sub Pop bands are on tour right now so make sure you use our new and improved tour-search-filter to see if someone’s coming to your town.
So, yeah, this 20th Anniversary thing is really starting to happen! We’re not to a point where we feel comfortable announcing too much more (read: we don’t know yet) but we guarantee at least one to one-and-a-half more great things are on the way. We at Sub Pop value your opinion, even if we don’t always agree with it. So, if you were The Deciderer, what would you do to celebrate?
Attention San Diegoians! Oxford-bred and briefly educated post-minimal-afro -jazz-punkers Foals will be paying a FREE, all-ages in-store at Lou’s Records in Encinitas, CA on Sunday, May 25 at 3pm. They also play a 21+ show that night at Brick by Brick.
Store Manager Tony Davis says: “I got lots of posters, stickers & buttons so I’ll work that like a five dollar whore.”
Don’t forget to pace yourself Tony!