Welcome to our second installment of “For the Record”, our new subpop.com feature wherein one of us picks a record we are fond of, writes a few lines about why we like it and then we put it on sale for 48 hours. Last time was Richard on the Foals, this week we’ve got Alissa talking Love as Laughter.
So in my short life (and I’m speaking strictly of my stature here, I’m actually getting kind of old) I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being overly, uh, negative. And you know, I really hate it when jerks say stuff like that! Rude. I’m not negative, anonymous commentators on blogs are negative, I’m just opinionated. Or maybe it’s spirited? Yeah, I like spirited. (See? I’m liking stuff already in this paragraph.) But just to prove how enthusiastic I am capable of being, I am here to talk about something I really like, something I can be positively the opposite of negative over – Love as Laughter. Cuz good god, I really do like me some Love as Laughter. And For The Record, I specifically happen to love “Laughter’s Fifth”.
I mean, Sam Jayne? The guy just knows his way around a great rock song. And man, that voice of his is straight up one of my all time favorite voices in music. What’s the expression? I could listen to him sing the phone book? Something like that, and yeah, I would listen to that shit. But until that phone book recording is released, I can be content just re-listening to this record, no problem.
Now I know this might go a long way towards the above-mentioned issue of perceived negativity, but it is true that it’s sometimes easier to get into what I don’t like about any given thing than for me to explain what I really love about it (unless we are talking about Zach Galifianakis but that’s another discussion).
But for once, figuring out what I like about this record is pretty straight-forward: this music is just like my favorite kind of people in this world. And by that I mean these songs have the genuine, smart, quick-witted and easy going confidence that I always am drawn to, with just enough of the slightly melancholy, self-deprecating, unkempt style for me to completely relate to them. I mean, dang, I wanna buy this music a beer or something. And I guess if I’m gonna go and personify these songs like that then it’s not that hard to figure out why I’d wanna spend so much time with them, right? Makes sense to me.
But just in case my rare exhibition of unbridled enthusiasm isn’t enough to peak your curiosity, here’s a couple of right-to-the point record reviews that can back up my claims: All Music No Rip Chord
So there you have it. Negativity be damned, this record is great.
Listen for yourself – track 6 Dirty Lives
For the next 48 hours you can pick up Laughter’s Fifth for $6 on CD and LP and for $4 digital. What a deal!
Click here to buy!
Our old pal Zak Sally (musician [Low, Dirty Three, Kid Dakota, etc.], cartoonist Recidivist, Sammy the Mouse, the forthcoming Like A Dog hardcover collection due this fall from Fantagraphics], and publisher La Mano 21) somehow ended up making a record; wrote, sang and played every damn thing on it, recorded it with his old pal Ben Durrant (Andrew Bird, Dosh, Shearwater) at Crazy Beast Studios.
It’s called Fear of Song (as in: “Zak Sally’s Fear of Song,” get it?). 9 songs 37 minutes, and will be released on CD in a signed and limited edition, with all the packaging and such done BY HAND on the La Mano press. It will be very nice. We at Sub Pop also did a 7" from that record, featuring the single “Why We Hide”, and an exclusive track “When I Said I Missed You I Just Meant My Aim Was Off (The Quiet Life)”. It’s here. You should really buy a copy.
There is also probably going to be a video for that first thing by Phil Harder (Foo Fighters, and, uh…Prince). The release date for the single is July 21, release date for the CD is July 22.
Zak has set up an associated HUGE, AMAZINGRECORDRELEASESHOW/ LA MANOBENEFIT!
It’ll be hosted by the good folks at Eclipse Records (and therefore is ALLAGES and CHEAP) right on University Ave. in St. Paul. Starting at 5:30-ish, you will see performances by these local luminaries:
JIMANDTHEFRENCHVANILLA (Jim from the blind shake’s solo venture) PAULMETZGER (solo treated guitar unbelievable-ness) SKOALKODIAK (sorry everyone else, but the best damn band to come out of Minneapolis in a decade solid)
T.O.G.P.T.F.F.S.O.T.W.O.T.E.R.A.T.S.Y.O.A (Three Old Guys Play The First Five Songs Off The Wipers’ Over The Edge Record And The Song Youth Of America) featuring Zak Sally, Dale Flattum (Milk Cult, Steel Pole Bath Tub), and double duty from Freddy Votel (Cows, Skoal Kodiak, a million other bands)
and the SEAWHORES.
Besides that, there will be tables selling zines, posters, books and whatever by a bunch of your favorite local arteests. ALLAGES. CHEAP. How does SIXBUCKS sound? The aforementioned “benefit” aspect in this case means that the $6 you spend getting in will get you SIXBUCKSOFF OF ANY LA MANOBOOK OR POSTER (and aside from all that, the first hundred or so people in the door will almost certainly get some free thing from the La Mano archives, not sure what exactly yet, but…).
In addition, and further on the benefit/funding the making of his record front, Zak is also selling on eBay the original painting he created for the cover of Low’s 2005 album The Great Destroyer. Check out the auction here!
July is jam packed with all sorts of happenings, both on the internet and in real life. Real life is the actual bummer that we deal with every day—the place where bills are due and you are not attractive enough to get laid. Let’s talk about the good stuff that might ease that pain, especially now that scientists have discovered that pain pills are bad for you. First up is the new album from Tiny Vipers called Life on Earth that comes out July 7th. If you pre-order Life on Earth from us at subpop.com anytime before July 7th, you’ll also receive a truly limited Tiny Vipers home-recorded ambient piece on CDR called Blades of Grass. Sweet. On July 21st we’re releasing a 7” by Zak Sally of Low fame called “Why We Hide”. This single is one song from a full length album (to be released this summer by La Mano 21 as a handmade and signed, limited-edition CD) and another that’s not. And they’re both great. On the 21st our buddies at Hardly Art are also releasing the debut album from Seattle’s own Talbot Tagora called Lessons in the Woods or a City on CD and LP. Get ‘em all—you won’t be sorry.
Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes will be headlining the grand finale of the VERA Project’s annual Drink for the Kids benefit this year on July 11th at Neumo’s. This fundraiser is a local favorite because it mostly involves buying booze in the name of the city’s coolest all ages venue, and it takes place at many bars all over Seattle from July 5th – 11th. Click here for participating bars and more info, and click here to get tickets for the Grand Finale show at Neumo’s.
Last year Seattle’s beloved roots-music magazine No Depression had to shut its doors, an all too common trend in print publications over the last few years. This year they’re saying fuck it and partying their asses off at Marymoor Park (the same place and same date as the SP20 Fest, coincidentally) with the first ever No Depression Festival featuring our very own Sam Beam of Iron & Wine. Get thee to the Eastside, y’all. Tickets and info available here.
So, last month I pointed out some of our new web junk, including our new blog format and our widely beloved Cybersex Sampler, which is still available for download btw; and I promised that we’d become more interesting and post more content. Well, we only lie sometimes around here, and this time we’ve really stuck to our word. Behold the new Tuesday Sales Program, invented by our very own Welshy dreamboat Dick Laing and his trusty Aryan sidekick Sam Sawyer! It’s kinda hard to explain, but basically we’re running little sales on t-shirts and staff picks on most Tuesdays when we do not have a new release, which, if you’ve been paying attention, has been most of the time in 2009. Just click here and here to see what I’m talking about, and make sure to check back often to see what we’re doing next.
And finally, we’d like to give a big congratulations to Spencer Moody and Coco Howard who will be gettin’ hitched on July 12th! You guys are the best!
The Flight of the Conchords have been nominated for 6 Emmys! And not for weird shit like best grip in an hour long docudrama. Oh no, they’ve been nominated for some real deal stuff like “Outstanding Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Lead Actor.” And perhaps most exciting for us here at Sub Pop “Outstanding Original Music Composition” for their song “Carol Brown” (which I should point out is currently available on Itunes and will also be included on their new album which will come out October 20th.)
Here’s the whole list of what they’ve been nominated for:
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor
Outstanding original music for “Carol Brown”
Outstanding Sound Mixing
So a hearty and public congratulations from all of us at Sub Pop to the Flight of the Conchords team and all our friends at HBO. Well done!
Marking a significant, new step in Sub Pop’s very nearly ceaseless quest for world domination, the label (that’s us!) has officially signed London’s good-time 3-piece Male Bonding.
Made up of Robin Silas Christian (drums), John Arthur Webb (guitar & vocals) and Kevin Hendrick (bass and vocals), and rising from a flourishing DIY scene in their adopted hometown of Dalston, London, Male Bonding became a very real thing in May, 2008, with their first show, at an insane house party called “RAGE!” Male Bonding was born raging and it’s been non-stop ever since. That party evolved in to a split 7” release with PENS on Male Bonding’s own label Paradise Vendors Inc. (which sold out in a week). To date, Male Bonding has dispatched seven releases including a Flipper tribute 7” (on Domino Records) alongside PPM Allstars, Lovvers and Ponytail. The band has toured the UK with Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls and played shows with Lovvers, HEALTH, Fucked Up, Graffiti Island, Mika Miko, These are Powers, NISENNENMONDAI, Magik Markers, and Finally Punk among others. We are excited by, about and for Male Bonding. You should be too.
This Thursday, PBS will begin to air the Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Concert which took place earlier this year at Madison Square Garden as part of the Great Performances series. The broadcast will feature Ben and Tyler performing the classic Turn! Turn! Turn! alongside Roger McGuinn, and many other unique and amazing collaborations amongst the artists who came together to celebrate the life and music of Pete Seeger. Be sure to tune in! Check your local PBS listing for air times.