Hello, Friends! I love October, and this October is especially special because on October 6th a lot of cool junk is coming out on Sub Pop and Hardly Art and then Halloween happens 25 days later and Halloween is obvs the best holiday of all the holidays. Anyhow, back to the 6th…. On that day we’ll be releasing these special items: the No Age Losing Feeling EP on vinyl (Have you heard that song “You’re a Target”?!), Eugene Mirman’s new comedy album God Is a 12-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s (you get a free Eugene Mirman tote bag while supplies last!!), Blitzen Trapper’s Black River Killer EP will be available on vinyl finally (Vinyl!! Finally!!), and Hardly Art will be releasing the sophomore record from The Dutchess & the Duke Sunset/Sunrise (I love it!!). The Flight of the Conchords record I Told You I Was Freaky comes out on October 20th, and you’ll get $2 off if you pre-order here on the magnificent subpop.com. Hey, the Nirvana Bleach deluxe re-issue is all ready to go for pre-order as well, ($2 off also), so get thee to ordering! Just to let you know, the vinyl on this piece is heavy as it’s a double 180-gram white vinyl package with a booklet, so be prepared for increased shipping rates on that one—it’s worth it, I promise. Okay, so, if you dress up as any Sub Pop or Hardly Art artist and you send me a photo I’ll put together a nice surprise package for you. I bet no one does this, so that’ll make my job way easier.
Oh geez, I almost forgot! Sub Pop and Hardly Art are teaming together to bring you the CMJ showcase of 2009. We’ve got Unnatural Helpers, Dum Dum Girls, Moondoggies, Dutchess & the Duke, Golden Triangle, Pissed Jeans, Obits, and Male Bonding all playing at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on October 24th, and I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is a show not to be missed.
Happy October, dudes!
*Dutchess and the Duke original photo courtesy of Kirstie Shanley
Many of us at Sub Pop are hoping to preserve the domestic partnership law and are asking that you join us by approving Ref. 71. This is an equal rights issue and we need to make sure that we continue to take steps towards ensuring a high quality of life for everyone. As our head honcho Jonathan Poneman says, “All issues of human rights and human dignity need to be embraced and championed.” Please help us get the word out to approve ref. 71. Below is a note from our friend, Stuart Wilber:
On October 11th there is a march for equal rights in DC. This march has been poorly publicized, mainly because the local and national organizations like PFLAG, GLAAD, HRC and The Gay and Lesbian Task Force who have endorsed it have only paid lip service and have refused to publicize it, probably because they are afraid if people spend money going to DC they will not donate to their causes. John and I marched in ’93 and just the opposite occurred, we and others came back feeling empowered and energized.
I have been very active in promoting the national and local solidarity marches as well as Approve ref.71, a WA state ballot measure to take away the recent domestic partnership rights granted us by the WA legislators. Being 10 years older than John and 71, all other things being equal, I will pre-decease him. The financial consequences are enormous, social security benefits and taxes are among the significant ways in which we are discriminated against at the federal level. Many of the protections that ref.71 IF approved confer can be protected contractually; others cannot. That is why I am marching in DC.
I need your advice and your help. I need help publicizing the National March and the local march and I need ideas on how to get the word out nationally and locally. I know you must have friends across the country and the world (there are marches planned in Copenhagen and Canada) who could help promote this march. Won’t you please help me and use them as a way of publicizing the national march. I am so tired of being a second class citizen – call it marriage, call it a union, I don’t care what it is called as long as state-sanctioned relationships are called the same thing for and available for all our citizens.
So please help me publicize this march and won’t you grab a hundred of your closest friends and come to DC. If you can’t get to DC march locally. My mother fought for women’s rights in the ‘20s. Both my parents fought for civil rights for Afro-Americans in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. And I have marched for women’s and people’s of color and LGBT rights since the ’50s. Won’t you please march with me? —Stuart
You can march here in Seattle on October 11th. The march/rally will begin in Volunteer Park at 2:00pm. If you don’t live in Seattle, you can join the national march in Washington D.C. or you can possibly march in your local area. There are numerous events being set up in many different cities. Get out there and join us!
For the Record is here again, (Our 8th installment! That’s 7 more than we wagered!), and this time out we have none other than Dean Spunt from No Age helping us out with a record recommendation. Dean’s a busy guy these days (with things like this, this and this to name a few) so we surely appreciate him takin’ some time out for FTR (thanks again, Dean!).
And just to re-cap, for those of you unfamiliar with For the Record, this is our semi-regular web feature wherein we (or a generous artist like Dean, Mat, Marty or Scott) reflect on one of our favorite records from the Sub Pop catalog and in turn, said record is dramatically discount for the following 48 hours.
Make Sense? Yes? Good. Now let’s hear about Wolf Eyes!
Band: Wolf Eyes
Record: Burned Mind
When we told you the first time: September 28th, 2004
This record is fantastic! It’s not for the weak though, it starts and ends with a harsh noise ear assault courtesy of the the Wolf Eyes.
Parts remind me of Throbbing Gristle if they were pissed, other parts are like Man is the Bastard if they had no instruments, or Negative Approach with the guitars effected and the drums taken out of the mix and replaced with broken oscillators. Sound good? Then you should check it out – it may cause you to pick up a Behringer mixing board and some pedals and make a limited cassette.
For the next 48 hours, you can get Burned Mind at our FTR sale price of $6 CD/$4 Mp3 here!
Dean’s band, No Age, just released their fantastic EP, Losing Feeling, this month. We think you might enjoy it and heartily recommend you go HERE to check it out.
Introductions are in order…
Avi Buffalo is the adopted name of Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, an 18 year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Long Beach , CA. Avi Buffalo is also the name of the band he formed with friends and like-minded collaborators Sheridan Riley (drums), Arin Fazio (bass) and Rebecca Coleman (keyboards and vocals). Though Avi started recording songs 3 years ago, during his sophomore year in high school, amidst the dissolution of his previous band Monogram, it wasn’t until Bill Cutts of Outsider Folk asked Avi to play a show in 2007 that Avi Buffalo the band came to be. This first show was an acoustic set at the Zephyr Café in Long Beach. Through the following summer and a local music festival that fall, the band became an altogether more electric thing. And soon they were asked to play shows in Los Angeles. They did and then kept on doing it. A year later Avi and Aaron Embry (who has played with folks like Elliott Smith, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, Beth Orton, and a whole slew of others) began recording the songs that will become the band’s first record. At the prompting of early fan and Sub Pop A&R Head Tony Kiewel, the band toured up to Seattle, played a show, met folks at the label, and began what we all hope will be a very long and happy relationship.
Since then, Avi, Sheridan, Arin, and Rebecca have toured with and made fans of new label-mates Beach House, played the FYF Festival and the Monolith Festival, found unexpected, glowing response and airplay from Steve Lamacq at BBC1, and closer to home from KCRW and KXLU, and have received a whole lot of unsolicited press attention. All before putting out a record.
Because we at Sub Pop are (still…) in the increasingly anachronistic business of putting out records, we plan to change that. And so! On Dec. 8th, 2009 we will be releasing “What’s in It For?” b/w “Jessica” as a 7" vinyl single, recorded by the aforementioned and comprehensively associated Aaron Embry. You can pre-order this single now right here. One or both of these songs will also be found on the debut Avi Buffalo full-length that we are just ridiculously puffed-up about releasing in the spring of 2010.
Meet Avi Buffalo! We think you’re going to like them an awful lot. We sure do.
Eugene Mirman just released a new comedy record on Sub Pop called God is a Twelve-Year-Old-Boy With Asperger’s and it’s funny stuff. One of the problems with being a funny guy is that people always want you to do funny things. No one wants to just sit down with you and ask you mundane questions, but that’s totally my bag, so, a few days ago I interviewed Eugene Mirman over email. Here it is:
LS: Hi! So, how are those plates selling? If you are willing to sell a plate, what would you not sell with your face on it? While we’re at it, tell me about the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, please. Was it a success?
EM: The plates are sold out maybe, unless there are still some through my site. There might be. I would sell lots of things with my face on it, including — hats, a school bus, high-end instant soup, and an artists imagining of Zeus’ penis. And yes, the festival was a success. It was very fun. We had a whole roast pig the opening night, rented a limo to shuttle the audience [One limo! Sounds like quite a crowd! –ed.] from the venue to the subway and had lots of great comedians who shined a light onto societies ills and also joked around about sex and drinking.
LS: Sometimes you say hi to me and sometimes you don’t—what’s the deal with that?
EM: I can be spacey sometimes. Or maybe I’m trying to be mysterious and doing it wrong. Either way, sorry about that.
LS: I figure people ask you about comedy all the time, and I will later probably, but what interests me more right now is that you are Russian. That’s interesting. Tell me about it. I had a Russian boyfriend who moved here in the ‘80s and he had no friends and was stuffed in the trophy cases at school and stuff. Did that happen to you? Do you speak Russian? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does being Russian affect your everyday life? Is it affect or effect? I’m pretty sure it’s affect but now I am doubting myself.
EM: I do speak Russian. I talk to my parents a few times a week. It affects me 2.5 on that scale. In the 80s it probably affected me 4.2. I wasn’t stuffed in a trophy case (I was never good enough), but in elementary school people called me a commie and blamed me when the Russians shot down a Korean airliner. Eventually what started as a youthful disdain of Ruskies transformed into a much broader disdain for me throughout my adolescence. I also was probably [most likely –ed.] annoying. It was most likely a destructive cycle that ended sometime around 11th grade. On a side note, a friend of mine recently told me that in third grade our teacher told her to stop being friends with me because I was a loser and as proof showed her my standardized test scores. They were indeed very low. [You can’t be a loser in third grade. It just doesn’t work that way. –ed.]
LS: You played a rapist in some schmaltzy TV crime drama. Do you still go audition for parts like that or do you have enough work to not do that anymore? I noticed that you have a night of crime drama comedians at your upcoming fest—that’s funny stuff!
EM: I was not a rapist — I was only a suspected arsonist. [I’m going to have to fire my fact checker. –ed.] I don’t really audition for stuff like that very much, and in general don’t really like auditions and try to avoid them (with good success). [So, you pay your bills solely with plate sales? That is amazing! –ed.]
LS: Tell me a funny story about each of these people: David Cross, Zach Galifianakis, and Bret and Jemaine? Which one of these is your favorite? Which of these people gets the most dates do you think?
EM: All those people are in relationships (or married!!!!), so they don’t date. However, I bet they’ve each had sex with at least eight people, which is awesome. It would take too long to tell stories about all of them, but once I know that David Cross, Jon Benjamin and Morgan Murphy got a hotel to let them into Zach Galifianakis’ room by convincing the hotel that Zach was a danger to himself. They were drunk and the convincing took about an hour. [He totally looks like a cutter. I’m surprised it took it them an hour. -ed.]
LS: I emailed Todd Barry to see if he had any dirt/info on you that I could use for this interview but he never got back to me. What do you think he was doing instead?
EM: He was probably making love to a wonderful woman with a beautiful tattoo. [Doubt it. –ed.]
LS: Tell me about the comedy scene in New York. Do you guys hang out a lot and do non-comedy stuff or is it all comedy all the time? Is there somewhere where you guys can be found regularly, like George and Jerry and Elaine at that diner?
EM: We all live in an eight-story brownstone (called a “Double Brownstone”) in Brooklyn and go to see movies, watch each others kids and write television shows and movies. It’s where most of the major alt-comedy decisions are made. [I think you’re pulling my leg. –ed.]
LS: Have you ever played Giggles here in Seattle? If so, did you try the Rita Rudner nachos?
EM: No. And as a result, sadly, no I haven’t tried the nachos. I can’t imagine I’m missing out on much, or are Seattle comedy clubs known for their amazing Mexican food? [Seattle, in general, is known for its Mexican food. HAR HAR HAR!!! –ed.]
LS: What is an average day for you, Eugene? Tell me what it’s like to wake up and be you.
EM: I wake up, finish the second half of a vodka-infused watermelon, give my cat a shot of insulin (he has diabetes), write for an hour, make breakfast, do an interview, and then meet up with friends to work on weird projects. Sometimes I go to a birthday party at the end of the day. [That sounds really nice, except the part about the diabetic cat. That part sounds like a pain. –ed.]
LS: VERY IMPORTANT! What kind of shoes do you wear? What kind of ladies’ shoes are a deal breaker for you?
EM: Shoe shoes. Not sure. [You are trying to tell me that you don’t know what kind of shoes you wear?! For real? What if you wore these?] I don’t have a kind of ladies’ shoe that I outright have disdain for and wouldn’t feel comfortable making one up. I guess if a woman had shoes with anti-semetic stuff written all over them I wouldn’t date her. [Bingo! –ed.]
LS: Were you cool in high school? Did you have a lot of friends? Did you “party”? Did you do drugs? Do you do drugs now?
EM: I wasn’t cool, sorry. I was accepted eventually and had a nice time and friends. I don’t do drugs. I do get a lot of emails from people telling me I must have been really high when I made some video or something and I tell them that I wasn’t, that I’m just a bit of a weirdo. [What about all the cocaine that comedians do? Do the other guys from the double brownstone just take your portion? –ed.]
LS: Did you go to college? Where? What was your major? (If you did not go to college you can make up whatever you want here…)
EM: I went to Hampshire College in western Mass. You can design your own major there, so I majored in comedy. [That’s kind of like going to college, I guess. –ed] I did a one-hour standup act as my thesis. It was actually quite practical since I’m a comedian now, but at the time grownups thought what I was doing was birdbrained and frivolous.
LS: If you had to live in another American city other than New York where would it be?
EM: It would be in Seattle, Austin, Cape Cod, Boston, or maybe Northampton. Maybe Chicago too?
LS: What kind of candy do you like? Chocolate or fruity stuff? Are you a fan of sour patch candies?
EM: I am more of a savory person [Me too! –ed], but yes, I like all those things. I guess Reese’s Pieces, Butterfingers and Whoppers are some of my favorites. [Butterfingers suck, but otherwise I am right there with you. –ed.]
LS: If you had to get a 9-5 job what do you think it would be? What’s your skill set? Are you good at computers?
EM: I would be a weird professor or discredited scientist. Would it count if I worked at a company where I made weird stuff and put it on the Internet or is that too close to what I already do? [No. –ed.] What if I gave myself more formal hours? [Okay. –ed.]
LS: Do you look at the internet a lot? What are some things you look at?
EM: I like Zach Galfianakis’ show Between Two Ferns. I also love Michael Showalter’s show, The Michael Showalter Showalter. I look at some stuff, but not as much as when I temped at an office. I just watched a video Jon Benjamin made called Tech Talk. You can see it here.
LS: What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
EM: I forget.
LS: Do you watch Mad Men?
EM: I do. I love it. I am delighted they named a character after me (probably not). [Are you talking about Grandpa/Baby? I had no idea he was named Eugene Mirman! –ed]
LS: Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? Tell me how it all went down.
EM: I think the most famous person I ever met was Robin Williams when he came to the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary comedy show with Bob Goldthwait, and my friend Tony V, because they were shooting a movie in Seattle at the time. [I saw that movie. It’s pretty good. –ed.] But speaking of meeting famous people and Mad Men, I was once outside of the Knitting Factory in New York (after a benefit I did for homeless people — because I’m a really good person) and a guy came up to me and said, “Hey my name is Jon and I’m a friend of David Wain’s and I’m a big fan.” And I was like, “Wait? Jon? Jon Hamm?!” And he was like, “Yes.” And I was like, “I’m a REALLY big fan of yours! I LOVE your show.” It might have spooked him a little. [OH.MY.GOD. Is he as good looking in real life? Do you think he’d let me interview him? If you invited him over do you think he’d come? Did you know there is a Knitting Factory in Spokane??! -ed.] But he was very nice and we talked for a few minutes.
LS: I’m sure you are working on some new material. Please give me a sneak peek and we can work on it here, together.
EM: I am going to be in Copenhagen in December covering the UN Climate Change Conference for a Seattle-based non-profit called Grist. So I’m working on that. I’m trying to come up with titles for the series, so feel free to give me some ideas. [How about ‘Gettin’ Green with Eugene’? Or ‘Eugreen Mirman Reports Live from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen’? Or ‘Reduce, Reuse, Eugene’? -ed.]
LS: And finally, tell me a story about Megan Jasper, preferably something embarrassing. If you don’t have something you can sub in a dirty or weird dream you’ve had about her or something.
EM: I have a great story about her, but make sure you run this by her, so that people don’t believe she is any less professional because of this. Probably five or so years ago Megan, Robin Taylor, me and a few other friends went to see Wilco and Flaming Lips at Madison Square Garden for New Years. Periodically, as people around us would shout out requests at the bands, and Megan, with an equally enthusiastic voice, would yell, “Shit in my pussy!” It’s still one of the funnier things I’ve seen at a concert. I think the next day she ran into some friends of hers that happened to be behind us at the show and had a eleven or twelve year old child with them. I think they thought it was funny, but Megan might have been a little embarrassed. [Megan does this at baby showers, marketing meetings, sporting events, and funerals. It’s her ‘thing’. –ed.]