As you, discerning, attentive music fan, have undoubtedly noticed, we’ve recently been giving ourselves some well-deserved, showy pats on the back by reissuing some stand-outs from the Sub Pop catalog. This is what I’m trying to show you about: Red Red Meat’s Bunny Gets Paid, The Vaselines’ Enter The Vaselines, and the all deluxed-up Superfuzz Bigmuff. We’ve decided to carpe some diem and reissue a few more of our past favorites. Just yesterday, we released remastered versions Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary and LP2 on colored vinyl (digital download code included) and CD, both of which feature bonus tracks. And, on September 22nd we’re putting out remastered versions of Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff, Mudhoney, and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, all on very colorful, very collectible colored vinyl (also with digital download codes). So carpe these records and we’ll carpe your money. Cool?
Pick up the Mudhoney reissues here.
Pick up the Sunny Day Real Estate reissues here.
No, we’re not getting back into the self-congratulatory, aggrandization of last year’s birthday revelry but referring to the band who’s name sounds like the time-tested affirmation of aging. We’re as happy as a bucket of clams to announce that we’ll be putting out Happy Birthday’s first record on Sub Pop Records.
We learned about Happy Birthday by way of our obsession with one of 2008’s best records, King Tuff’s Was Dead. After meeting Kyle (aka King Tuff) early this year, we spent the better part of 2009 trying to squeeze Happy Birthday and/or King Tuff songs out of him—an effort that’s finally paid off in a record of near-perfectly constructed comic-book-pop gems. (We’re not quite sure what that means either, but we’re rolling with it.)
But enough of my blather, here’s what the band has to say about themselves:
Happy Birthday is Kyle Thomas (aka King Tuff), Chris Weisman, and Ruth Garbus. They formed in November 2008 to play one show at the punk-space “Tinderbox” (RIP), in their hometown Brattleboro, Vermont. Kyle needed a band to play his new pop songs because he was too scared to play by himself. They enjoyed playing with each other so much that they decided to keep doing it. They have now played a total of 5 shows.
Kyle sings and plays lead guitar. The songs are mostly his, but the band arranges and finishes them together. He is also a painter and drawer and loves top 40, shoes, texting, comic books, etc. Ruth Garbus plays drums and sings. She also makes her own music and art. Chris Weisman plays “inverted-tuning” guitar, bass, and sings. He makes 4-track songs, enjoys reading and writing, and is a guitar teacher.
We look forward to releasing Happy Birthday’s full length in early spring of next year.
Obits are a 4-piece rock band from Brooklyn, NY who released their debut full-length album earlier this year. It’s called I Blame You and if it doesn’t wind up on your personal list of this year’s best albums, well, your list could use some fixin’. Scott Gursky is the band’s drummer and he’s also an amazing visual artist. He’s the one responsible for this and also this. Mr. Gursky is herewith also our second guest editor for an installment of our increasingly less unknown feature: “For the Record”! “For the Record,” of course, is our semi-regular web feature wherein we (or people who we convince to do so) rhapsodize on something from the (let’s be honest) checkered Sub Pop catalog and then, in a not even thinly veiled attempt to persuade you to take a chance and purchase the thing in question, deeply discount that album for a brief period of time.
And with that, we proudly present, Obits’ Scott Gursky on Pond…
When we told you the first time: February 1st, 1993
I first heard Pond around 1993 on MTV’s 120 minutes, a show I regularly relied on as a teenager to pick up hints of any “cool music” that would otherwise never find its way to my suburb. The video was for the song “Agatha”, and although the video wasn’t particularly interesting, the song definitely scared me. Guitarist Charlie Cambell drones on and on with one eerie chord, everything sparse and stripped down, with mantra-like vocal harmonies. To this day, I don’t have any idea what they are singing about, but I like to imagine this song is about a haunted house.
I bought their album Pond on cassette and wore it thin. I came to really appreciate (and even tried to emulate) Dave Triebwasser’s strong and steady drumming, and I was fascinated by bassist Chris Brady ‘s pop sensibilities butting up against the darker moods that Cambell and his guitar seemed to contribute. When at their best, during songs like “Gone” and “Spots”, they came across really murky and drone-y, a bit unhinged and heavy, but never without a strong hook to keep the foot tapping. It was distorted, heavy pop-rock music, lots of bands were doing it. But this trio had a certain way mixing the minor key with just enough melody and energy to keep it fun, and this separated them from the pack. When I was lucky enough to catch them live in Philadelphia, they had small amps, and Dave pounded a frankenstein of old drum kit orphans, very cool. There was something scrappy about this band, something that told you they didn’t have lots of money, they practiced in a damp basement, that they made weird, spooky power-pop because they really loved doing it and that was enough. The cynics will say Pond never made exceptional music, left no superstar legacy and that this record is (mostly) forgotten on the shelf, just another product of its time. Yet for me this time is a nostalgic one, one of cassettes and self-discovery, when against the odds you found special records, and special records found you.
You get Pond’s S/T release at our FTR sale price of $6 CD/$4 Mp3 here for the next 48 hours!