Sub Pop


News from 3/2009

TUE, MAR 3, 2009 at 3:14 AM

Big Fat Listening Pile

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I’m one of the two Deans who work at Sub Pop. Dean Hudson to be exact. I recently decided that I’d start making bite-sized reviews (although a bit bigger than Twitter-sized) of records as I make my way through my listen pile.

While I’ve posted these on my personal website we thought that it may be interesting to cross-post these reviews here, in the spirit of Stuart Fletcher’s collection of short reviews. I also plan on trying to post here every week or so, although I imagine that my inherent absent-mindedness (and daily work duties) may have some effect on the regularity of these posts.

DISCLAIMER: No inference should be made from my reviews as to whether Sub Pop has any interest (or lack of interest) in any of the bands that I mention; the opinions expressed herein are, of course, my own and in no way represent an endorsement (or lack of endorsement) by Sub Pop Records®©. I’m just a single music-loving spoke in the much bigger wheel that is Sub Pop. Take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Without further ado:

  • Hot Snakes – Peel Sessions 7" EP. I’d be super psyched on this if it didn’t come with an epic scratch all the way across the A-side. Don’t make me tape a penny to my tone arm! Good versions of good songs. Swami Records
  • The Remains – The Remains (Mono Sundazed re-issue) LP. A pricey re-issue that you forgive because it’s so good. Great from the slow pounding of the opener. Sundazed
  • The Knights of the New Crusade – “Fugitive from God” 7". I think they formed this band to cover this song. You owe it to yourself to find the original—slightly undercompetant religious garage by the Click Kids. Re-issued as a comp by the Knights.
  • Beyond the Implode – “This Atmosphere” 7" EP. Siltbreeze re-issue of super great songs in the vein of late 70’s Fast Records stuff. Post-punk, pre-new wave awesome that gets on fine without drums. Siltbreeze
  • Charles Albright – “I’m on Drugs” 7". I’MONDRUGS. I’MJUSTAFINEYOUNGMANANDI’MDOINGSOWELL. IWANNAHOLDYOU. Same 3 songs on both sides, his name in caps all over the sleeve and insert. Charles seems to know that important things bear repeating. Available through SS Records
  • Vermillion Sands – “Mary” b/w “Wake Me When I Die”. Pet peeve: super thin vinyl. I didn’t look at the matrix, but is this United’s fault? They make a decent punching bag. I’m not sure that I’m on this train, but I like “Wake Me…” better than the A-side.
  • Tyvek – “Duck Blinds” b/w “Pamphlet”. I’m biased but I love Kevin Boyer. Limited edition tapes, Skolnick laugh and all. 3 unimpeachable minutes. Missed seeing ‘The Kid’ on tour, though. Sub Pop
  • Buzzer – “Disco Kiddz” b/w “Cool Feeling”. I’d like to see this band live. They seem like they either totally bring it or are a little too pretty for their own good. I hope it’s the former, this is pretty solid. The vocals are a bit too loud for me. Douchemaster
  • Fresh & Onlys – “Imaginary Friends” 7". I didn’t know what to expect when I saw the Fresh & Onlys but they were more cohesive than I imagined. Recording-wise, I dig the more poppy songs. These fit into that category—short, slightly repetitive, simple pop bits. B-side wins. Chuffed Records
  • Dan Melchior und das Menace – “Mr. Oblivion” b/w “Piledriver Nightmare #2”. This cover reminds me of the disturbing collection of lawn jockeys my dad had when I was growing up. I’m new to Dan Melchior and representative or not “Mr. Oblivion” is super solid. B-side is in the A-Frames/Intelligence vein. Dark & catchy. Please, splurge on a better pressing! Columbus Discout Records
  • Eat Skull/Ganglians – Split 7". Eat Skull side: reverb on the whole mix and instruments being pulled out of pitch. Ganglians side: reasonably sincere-sounding pop. Just a little long in the tooth. Dulc-i-tone Records
  • Thomas Function – “Nomad” b/w “We Simply Just Attack”. Did this band blow up? I can’t tell. Could live without the intro/outro on the A-side. This 7" is good but doing alt-versions somehow feels a little gratuitous.
  • Live Fast Die / Lover! – Split 7". Live Fast Die side: shredding lo-fi potty punk. Lover! side: solid poppy potty punk. Fun. Douchemaster

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

THU, MAR 5, 2009 at 5:52 AM

Master of the Art

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Welcome to Don’t Touch My Marmalade, Vol 1, Number 2. The emergent theme this week is Woody Shaw. I didn’t mean for it to happen like that, but he’s an undeniable (some say under rated) talent and I’m under his spell lately. His two Elektra Musician records (Night Music and Master of the Art, both featuring Bobby Hutcherson) were reissued as CDs on Wounded Bird this month, so maybe that got me thinking about the man.

Some fun facts: He had a killer band in the 80s and never put out a bad record… I think? The twentieth anniversary of his passing is coming up in two months. That’s unfortunate & sad.

In other “little record reviews” news we have our own Dean Hudson and the BFLP doing a thing here or there. And of all the possible things in the world, Matt from Pissed Jeans has reviews and interviews going on on his site. There was one more thing but I don’t want to jeopardize an ongoing investigation. In other words, I forgot.

Follow me on twitter if you’d like.

  • ScoLoHoFo: Oh! 2002. John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland, and Al Foster. Sco & Lo blend wonderfully. Fo is always phenomo. Sounds great, sharp playing. (For some reason I never thought I would like this but it’s fantastic.)
  • Dave Douglas Quintet: Live at Bimhuis. 2002. Greenleaf paperback series. This rules. 2 discs/sets. Great songs off The Infinite & then some. (Available from one of the coolest labels happening now, Greenleaf Music.)
  • Steve Turre: Rainbow People. 2008. Pretty killer. I see why it made lots of best of 2008 lists. Don’t forget: Steve Turre was in some of Woody Shaw’s best bands!
  • Horace Silver: Re-Entry. 1965/66. Thanks to a twitter pal for the recommendation. This rules! Joe Henderson on tenor sax & either Carmell Jones or Woody Shaw, trumpet.
  • Louis Hayes-Woody Shaw Quintet. Lausanne 1977. Smokin’.
  • Bobby Hutcherson: Live at Montreux. 1973. Where has this been all my life? Quintet with Woody Shaw (of course…). Seriously good. The ’70s Bobby.
  • Miles Davis: Miles Smiles. My favorite of the 2nd great quintet records. Always great. Weird to think what Coltrane was doing contemporaneously.
  • Lee Morgan: Live at the Lighthouse. 1970. The 3CD Blue Note version. Stellar. Bennie Maupin’s song “Peyote” is a favorite.

Posted by Stuart Fletcher

WED, MAR 4, 2009 at 7:34 AM

Sub Pop Showcase at SXSW 2009

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Hey, Hey! My coworkers and I are heading to Austin, TX in two short weeks so that we can wine and dine our contacts and show off the talents of our lovable and extremely talented bands. On Thursday March 19th, we’ll be at the Radio Room (508 E. 6th St – formerly Bourbon Rocks, formerly Fat Tuesdays, formerly some place with novelty shots and lots of tits). Most of these bands will be playing additional parties and what-not—we’ll post those soon!

For Your Scheduling Pleasure:
8:00 No Age (outside)
8:30 The Baptist Generals (inside)
9:00 Red Red Meat (outside)
9:30 Mark Sultan (inside)
10:00 Obits (outside)
10:30 Daniel Martin Moore (inside)
11:00 Vetiver (outside)
11:30 Tiny Vipers (inside)
12:00 Blitzen Trapper (outside)
12:30 Pretty & Nice (inside)
1:00 Handsome Furs (outside)

All photos courtesy Jay Cox


Posted by Lacey Swain

WED, MAR 25, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Blitzen Trapper perform at Old Abandoned Warehouse–Scooby Doo nowhere in Sight

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Last week during SXSW I had the pleasure of accompanying Blitzen Trapper to the Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, TX—a locale that has not been producing power for years and that will most certainly be turned into condos by the next time I’m in Austin. The place was awesome—the crew said they couldn’t shoot in the lower levels of the building because they were infested with snakes, and I heard a dead bat fell on someone’s head also. Anywho, we were there to shoot a promo piece for mtvU’s Ahead of the Curve —lots of Sub Pop bands have done these including No Age, Fleet Foxes, CSS, and Foals. (Okay, I guess not lots, just those ones.) So, here are some sneak peak photos of the band doing an a capella version of “Sleepytime in the Western World” a la Boyz 2 Men. I’ll post a link when they’re done movie-magicking the whole thing.


Posted by Lacey Swain

FRI, MAR 20, 2009 at 7:20 AM

New Shade of Science Fiction

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I’m not south by southwesting, so let me entertain you with Don’t Touch My Marmalade #3, a/k/a “what I’ve listened to recently”. HowzaboutIIIT! I had to skip last week because I was too busy watching MI-5 (Spooks to anyone outside the USA). I’m all caught up now, thanks.

I did listen to Stereolab “Chemical Chords” one day this week & forgot to tweeeet it, but that’s a record I like quite a bit and it’s recent. I’m a fool for Stereolab, though. Playing while I write this is Don Ellis Orchestra “Electric Bath”. What a trip.

(The twitter.) (Past marmalades.)

Without further ado:

  • Tony Reedus: Incognito. I’m really digging this record. Steve Nelson on vibes is great. The songs are what get me, though. Fantastic songs! (Tony Reedus is a drummer. He tragically passed away in 2008.)
  • Bobby Hutcherson: Live at Montreux. 1973. Again! This is just great. “Anton’s Bail” is a great Bobby Hutcherson song.
  • Harold Land: A New Shade of Blue. 1971. Supposedly rare? I don’t know about that but it’s good. Bobby Hutcherson on vibes (they basically co-lead the group).
  • Mulgrew Miller: Hand in Hand. 1992. Some stars of ’92. Steve Nelson on vibes which is sweet. Lewis Nash, Kenny Garrett. Overall great!
  • Ornette Coleman: Golden Circle, Stockholm Vol. 1. Love these. Would’ve been a quartet but Bobby Bradford had left the fold a bit prior. I think?
  • Miles Davis: Bags’ Groove. 1954. Timeless & beautiful, never gets old.
  • Ornette Coleman: Complete Science Fiction sessions, all of it. This is the stuff.
  • Ornette Coleman: Live in Belgrade 1971. Sound is a little rough (Haden is hard to hear) but otherwise it is on fire (not literally).

Posted by Stuart Fletcher

WED, MAR 11, 2009 at 9:26 AM

BABY TAKEOVER

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Yesterday we had a visit from our other new baby friend, Paloma Hernandez, daughter of Sophia and Dave Hernandez, of the Shins. She’s a real beaut and it was so fun having her in the office! Oh god, my eggs are drying up—someone get me a puppy STAT!


Posted by Lacey Swain