Sub Pop


News from 8/2009

WED, AUG 19, 2009 at 6:01 AM

Rosie Torrance Knows My Name

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Holy shit, look who’s back from the grave! That’s right, PWWH has come off hiatus, and out of hiding, to bring you an insider’s look into the secret life of Rosie T, our receptionist at Sub Pop HQ. I was super frustrated with Rosie for a long while, at least a year even, because she didn’t know the difference between me and Carly and she would always call us by the wrong name. She put a labeled picture of me up at her desk, though, and now she knows the difference, so we’re all cool. Let’s see…Rosie eats garden burgers for breakfast and pretends they’re hashbrowns, she has a super cool dog named Willie who bit the mailman, she bought a house recently, and she always adds extra condiments to her sandwiches at lunch. Let’s meet Rosie!

L: So, your dad owns a lot of stuff, including, at one point, Muzak. Did you have to listen to a lot of elevator music when you were growing up? Tell me about how the whole Muzak process works. Also, since Jonathan Poneman used to work there and your dad used to be his boss, can you please find out some good stories about him and his time there? Mark and Bruce, too! Tell him to spill the beans!

R: You’re right, he does. He owns two dogs, Toba and Pheobe. A parrot named Buzz. Lots of socks and sandals and belts. He also owns a lot of window squeegees for some reason… he really like those. [Don’t be shy…he also owns an ISLAND! AN ISLAND!! –Ed.] As for Muzak, I was really young, but I’ll tell you what I know. It’s funny how everything’s come full circle. My dad ran a company called Yesco Foreground Music, [I see what he’s doing there with the “foreground” thing—nice strategy, Mr. Torrance. –ed.] that’s where JP worked in the tape duplication department. Yesco pioneered licensing and programming of original artist pop music for commercial establishments. Before Yesco the only “Rock and Roll” available in a store or bar (well, legally, I guess) was from a Juke Box playing 45’s. I’m told most the tapes JP duplicated at Yesco went into bars, nightclubs and retails stores. As far as I know he didn’t touch any “elevator music” let alone listen to it. I guess when Muzak wanted to get more “rock” in their catalog they contracted that work with Yesco. And later Yesco (my dad and his partners) bought Muzak with some other investors. As for bean spillage… I asked Mark for some dirt on Bruce from when he worked at Muzak. He told me Bruce used to mail out Sub Pop 100 LPs and Green River promo from the warehouse on Muzak’s dime, which I think is pretty ironic and awesome. [Super ironic, considering Mark is a mail nazi now. –ed] I also heard JP wore the same pair of underwear every day. I guess he was superstitious in those days and didn’t want to lose his touch. He never once went to the bathroom in that office either, which I find kind of suspect…. [Hmmm, so he’s been like that for years, huh? Now I don’t have to take him going home to pee so personally. –ed] There definitely wasn’t any “elevator music” happening during my formative years. There was a period in the late 80’s when there was too much Phil Collins happening for my taste, but luckily that was temporary. My parents came of age in the 60’s, and both listened to what you would expect. I remember a lot of Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd and Joni Mitchell growing up. Stories of Dad setting up light shows for the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Hendrix shows at Seattle Center, and Altamont. [You mean “who’s fighting and what for” Altamont?! –ed.] Not what you would expect coming from Muzak Man.

L: You went to boarding school—what was that like? I’ve seen a lot of movies…is there really that much making out?

R: I didn’t go to boarding school. [Fuck. –ed.] My sister did, and she says, “Yes there really is that much making out.” [Yes! –ed.]

L: I heard you ran a marathon once without ever training. Why? How’d that work out for you?

R: Ya, that was really stupid of me. Let’s just say it was about 5 hours of pure hell. I guess I signed up for it because I was sort of in a rut and wanted to do something positive. I went through with the run having not trained because I had raised a bunch of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society through Team in Training. I had to hold up my end of the bargain. My sister mailed me a Percocet from New York which I popped at about mile 17, maybe that’s why I was able to finish. [Give your sister my address, please. –ed.] Altruistically saving face for 26.2 miles. I don’t recommend it. I walked like a penguin for a full week and a half after that bright idea.

L: Let’s talk about music. What was your favorite band in high school? College? Now? What’s the first show you ever saw? What’s the last show you saw?

R: I was a skater chick for the first couple years of high school (the poser kind). I listened to a lot of Sublime and Beastie Boys. Then I started listening to older stuff—Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, The Beach Boys (I love their stuff from when it seems like they were taking a little too much acid. Think “Feel Flows”). I was in Europe the first year of college and embraced the euro-dance top 40 somehow, and then wound up obsessing over String Cheese Incident. [Holy hell. Is that really even a band? Is there some sort of element of performance art involved or am I making that up? –ed.] Go figure. I’m bad at “favorites”, but lately I’ve been listening to Metric, The Dirty Projectors, and Miike Snow. I heard some of the new The Dutchess and The Duke record that’s being released in October, which I’m really looking forward to. [Nice plug—that’s almost as good as “foreground music”! –ed.] The first show I ever saw was Willie Nelson with my sister Allie and my Grandpa Kirby. I can’t remember if the last show I saw was Handsome Furs or Beach House @ Sasquatch.

L: You travel a lot. Where all have you been? Is there anywhere you’d like to go that you’ve not been yet?

R: I do love to travel. Living in Switzerland (see below) allowed me to go all over Europe—Italy, France, Luxemburg (quickly), Austria, Turkey, Spain. I just got back from Croatia, Montenegro and Greece. I’ve been really lucky. I love South America. Chile’s one of my favorite places. [Do you say chili or chee-lay? –ed.] I love traveling to places during times of local celebration; like watching the oldest horse race in the world (Il Palio) amidst crazed sweaty Italians in Sienna. I really enjoy being around salt of the earth [you mean poor, don’t you? –ed.] people in another country, watching them celebrate something completely foreign to me. Those are my favorite times abroad. There are so many places I hope to see some day—Paris, Prague, Salzburg, any of Norway, Russia, Thailand, I could go on forever.

L: What’s in store for 40 year old Rosie Torrance? What are your plans for the future?

R: Hmm… I’ll either be crazy aunt Rosie wearing neon spandex inappropriately yelling profanities during one of my sister’s kids’ soccer games while holding one of my many cats, or, I guess I’ve always wanted a couple little tater tots of my own. [It’s been recently proven that tater tots make lousy children. Mold, decomposition, you know, the usual. –ed.] Ideally I’d love to work for myself, make enough money to travel and feed my kids whatever they want, and eat dinner with my family on Sunday nights.

L: Were you ever in therapy? What’d you talk about?

R: Can you call a lobotomy therapy? [Yes, I think that’s exactly what they call it. –ed.]

L: What are your feelings about working here at Sub Pop? How do you find your co-workers? Tell me a crazy story about something that has happened during your time here.

R: Sub Pop’s a great company to work for, but I’d probably quit if Alissa took the beer out of the vending machine. No, really, everyone I work with is really quite amazing. The two people I work with the most closely are JP and Megan. I kid you not; they’re probably the two nicest people I’ve ever met. [You should get out more. –ed.] They also have seriously sick senses of humor. When Megan first asked me if I wanted to be her assistant she said, “Rosie, I just want you to know that there’s a lot of crude humor that goes around. We say “fuck” and “shit” and stuff like that around the office. I just want to make sure that’s okay with you.” The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “Megan, I will “fuck” and “shit” right next to you!” I didn’t know what I was saying at the time, but it was clear that we were going to get along. There have been a few crazy things that have happened. The phone calls up front are pretty consistently wacky. Like when this really creepy dude called and told me he needed Courtney Love’s number because he’s Kurt reincarnate. [Hey, speaking of, buy this! –ed.] Stuff like that happens a lot. David Cross almost got me in some trouble during the SP20 festival. He stole my walkie-talkie and started saying the grossest shit on the “official channel” I was supposed to be using to communicate with Will Call and back stage. That was funny. [Funnier than his set at the comedy show, I hope. Zing. –ed.]

L: Have you lived other places besides Seattle? How were they? Where would you move if you could?

R: I lived in Lugano, Switzerland for a little while during college. What I remember of it was amazing. Certain things [Weed. –ed] are legal in Switzerland if sold as “potpourri” [Weed. –ed], and I had two lovely little potpourri [Weed. –ed] shops very close to my apartment. Luckily my roommate, Kirsten was super organized and she would just tell me what [Weed. –ed] train to get on after class on Fridays and we would go [Smoke weed. –ed] explore. Then I lived in San Francisco for a year before moving back to Seattle. I like living in Seattle [Weed. –ed].


Posted by Lacey Swain

TUE, AUG 11, 2009 at 3:53 AM

Obits on Vice TV’s “Practice Space”

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Vice Magazine has their own online TV network called VBS and they do this thing called “Practice Space” where they tape bands playing at their practice space (duh) and interview them for a bit. Anyhoo, VBS just recently shot a Practice Space with Obits and it’s a really great piece—the songs are great and the interview is hilarious. Check it out here. While you’re there, check out these other episodes of Practice Space with No Age and Handsome Furs.


Posted by Lacey Swain

FRI, AUG 14, 2009 at 5:29 AM

20 Year Old Bleach

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BLEACH WILL BE RE-ISSUED, RE-MASTERED WITH ADDED UNRELEASED LIVE PERFORMANCE FROM 1990

Marking the 20th Anniversary of Nirvana’s debut album, Sub Pop will re-issue the Platinum Certified Bleach on November 3, 2009. This expanded CD/double-LP will include a never-before-released live performance, special packaging and the first run of the double-LP will be on 180g white vinyl (the first run of the original LP was also on white vinyl). Both formats will be available for pre-order here at subpop.com leading up to this edition’s release.

Originally recorded over three sessions with producer Jack Endino at Seattle’s Reciprocal Recording Studios in December 1988 and January 1989, Bleach was released in June of ’89 and remains unequivocally/unsurprisingly Sub Pop’s very favorite Nirvana full-length. The album initially sold 40,000 copies, but was brought into the international spotlight following the release and worldwide success of their 1991sophomore effort, Nevermind. Subsequently Bleach went on to sell 1.7 million copies in the US alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This 20th Anniversary Edition has been re-mastered from the original tapes at Sterling Sound in a session overseen by producer Jack Endino.

This edition will include an unreleased live recording of a complete February 9th, 1990 show at the Pine Street Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The show features performances of “Love Buzz,” “About a Girl” and a cover of The Vaselines’ song “Molly’s Lips” and has been re-mixed from the original tapes by Endino (complete track listing below). A 48-page CD /16-page LP booklet which includes candid photos of the band not previously released to the public will also be included in this deluxe edition.

Bleach: Deluxe Edition
1. Blew
2. Floyd the Barber
3. About a Girl
4. School
5. Love Buzz
6. Paper Cuts
7. Negative Creep
8. Scoff
9. Swap Meet
10. Mr. Moustache
11. Sifting
12. Big Cheese
13. Downer

Live at Pine Street Theatre
1. Intro
2. School
3. Floyd the Barber
4. Dive
5. Love Buzz
6. Spank Thru
7. Molly’s Lips
8. Sappy
9. Scoff
10. About a Girl
11. Been a Son
12. Blew


Posted by Alissa Gallivan

THU, AUG 13, 2009 at 7:53 AM

HARDLY NEWS, August 2009

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Hello all and welcome to this month’s edition of Hardly News.

As always, there is a lot happening in the world of Hardly Art. As readers of fashionable music blogs will know, just yesterday we made available the first mp3 from the new Le Loup record (Family_, due September 22nd), a lovely little jam we like to call “Beach Town”. Please, listenBeachTown.mp3.

It’s good, right? We thought you might think so, and we have accordingly made the new record available for pre-order over at our website. In addition to releasing this wonderful new record, Le Loup will be crisscrossing this great nation of ours in October—check out tour dates right over here and find the one closest to your house/apartment.

In Hardly Art Bands Touring with Someone Massive News (pt 1), the Dutchess & the Duke will be heading out on a brief tour of Canada and the Midwest next week with none other than indie institution (ind-stitution?) Modest Mouse. Check out details on that mind-blowing tour right here. In addition to spreading their campfire punk to the masses, this tour will be an early chance for loyal Dutchess & the Duke fans to hear some material from their upcoming record Sunset / Sunrise, due October 6th on (of course) Hardly Art.

In Hardly Art Bands Touring with Someone Massive News (pt 2), Boston spazz-punks Pretty & Nice will be hitting the road in September with recently reunited emo-stalwarts the Get Up Kids. Check out that sweet sweet action over here.

If you (like us) are local to Seattle you very probably (like us) love both the Moondoggies and KEXP. Well Seattle friends, you are in luck! On Friday August 21st the Moondoggies will be playing a free show at the Seattle Center, the final installment of KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural Series. Also playing are Sub Pop’s Fruit Bats and Johnny & the Moon —good stuff all around.

And finally, Tony and I wore the exact same shirt today (see above).

That’s it for now! Tune in next month!
xoxo
Nick/Hardly Art


Posted by Nicolas Heliotis

THU, AUG 13, 2009 at 10:11 AM

No, Karma You

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Earlier this week, Matador Records co-owner Gerard Cosloy’s home in Austin burned completely to the ground. We’re fans of an awful lot of Matador bands and records and people, and long-time fans of Gerard’s writing, including what he describes as his “good old fashioned ribbing” of Victory Records head-motherfucking-honcho Tony something or other on the Matablog.

It’s worth repeating: Cosloy’s house and all (or maybe just most) of his belongings were very recently destroyed in a fire.

This is plainly just fucking awful and we’re very sorry for his loss.

All of this has been covered, posted and otherwise disseminated in a more timely fashion by people (sometimes actual professional writers) at far more widely-read sites and publications. What’s really worth telling you guys about here and now is this.

In this post on the aforementioned Matablog, Cosloy shares a recent un-fucking-believable email he received from the also aforementioned dude who runs Victory Records (to be fair, it could be from someone pretending to be the dude who runs Victory Records, though why anyone would do that, we can’t fathom). In its entirety, it reads: “KARMA” (there’s also a little picture of what appears to be a couple of bulldogs in flagrante, but we’re not sure what that’s all about).

But, seriously? “KARMA”?

You, sir, are an asshole.

Here it is again: the world’s worst sympathy card.


Posted by Chris Jacobs

FRI, AUG 21, 2009 at 4:25 AM

HOLY JESUS, THERE ARE A LOT OF SHOWS IN SEATTLE THIS WEEKEND

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The title says it all. If you happen to to be a Seattle resident, or if you’re just visiting, you have a multitude of Sub Pop & Family partying options this weekend. Thank goodness Lacey made a complete weekend guide or else we’d all be totally lost, wandering and partyless.

FRIDAY

-KEXP’s Mural Concert Series w/ Moondoggies and Fruit Bats 6 PM

-Newly signed Dum Dum Girls at Kia Soul Collective 6 PM, RSVP here

-Hardly Art’s own Nick Heliotis Happy Birthday Show at The Funhouse w/ Le Sang Song, Wallpaper, and The Familiars 10 PM

-The Sea Navy at The Sunset (Stuart Fletcher’s band! He works here!) at The Sunset 10:30 PM

-Pissed Jeans at Chop Suey MIDNIGHT

SATURDAY

-No Age at Kia Soul Collective 6:45 PM, see RSVP link above

-Newly signed Hardly Art band Unnatural Helpers (featuring Sub Pop’s favorite IT guy, Mandrew on the boom stick) at The Funhouse MIDNIGHT

-PENS at Chop Suey, UNKNOWN TIME (PENS are on De Stijl, a rad label that we distribute)

-Pissed Jeans in-studio on KEXP at 10 PM, Listen here!

-Also of note, but not open to the public: Our General Manager Chris Jacobs’ birthday!

Get out there folks!


Posted by Sasha Morgan