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!
First and foremost, if you don’t already own The Way of The Vaselines, your record collection should most certainly be considered incomplete. As proof, consider the fact that Kurt Cobain (he was in Nirvana!) called The Vaselines “(his) favorite songwriters in the world.” Second and secondmost, if you do already own The Way of The Vaselines, please congratulate yourself on your unassailable good taste! Unfortunately, we’re about to make that collection obsolete with this new, much more complete Vaselines compilation, Enter The Vaselines. Sorry! But, finally and finalmost, if you pre-order the double-CD or triple-LP (complete with digital download code) by May 5th, you’ll automatically receive $2 off (so, $13 for the CDs and $19 for the LPs) plus altogether F-R-E-E Vaselines-related stickers and a button! And, arguably more importantly, you’ll have earned an enhanced feeling of smugness about your record collection. We will, of course, have earned your money. And that’s thanks enough for us.
And without further ado, and practically zero fanfare, here are the (mostly free!) SXSW parties with SUBPOP bands! I was thinking about writing the addresses and all that jazz, but I thought that since these were free shows it’d be okay for you to do a small amount of work and figure out the location on your own. Plus, teach a man a fish and all that, you know? Anyway, enough with my constant ramblings…. HERE IS THEINFOYOUNEED! AND… AWAY…
See you in the pit, doodz.
Vetiver : the Austinist.com Party at the Mohawk 4pm
Vetiver : Leafy Green Showcase at Emo’s Jr. 10pm
Vetiver : Bay Bridged Party at Beauty Bar 2:30pm
Handsome Furs : Fader Fort Party 3:30pm
Blitzen Trapper : NPR Music Day Party at The Parish 4pm
No Age : Found Magazine Party at Red 7 4:30pm
Vetiver : Dog & Pony Party at Opal Divine’s 5pm
Obits : Insound Party at Club Deville @ 12:30pm
Handsome Furs : Insound Party at Club Deville @ 1:20
Vetiver : Waterloo Records In-store 2pm
Vetiver : SFxSW Party at Wave on 6th Street 4pm
Handsome Furs : Waterloo Records In-store 6pm
Obits : WFMU/Aquarius Records Showcase at Spiro’s 11pm
Vetiver : Mess With Texas Fest at 1:35pm
Obits : Filter Magazine Party at Cedar Street Courtyard 1:45pm
Tiny Vipers : End of an Ear In-Store 3pm
Obits : VICE Saves Texas party (311 E. 5th St., at Trinity) at 1:00 am
It’s back! We’re a little late in letting the tens of you good people who regularly visit our website know about it, but we’re exceptionally pleased with ourselves to announce the return of The Sub Pop Scholarship! We’ve done this for the past few years (2007 announcement and winning loser, the 2008 announcement and last year’s crop of losers) and are really just ridiculously happy to be able to do so again this year (you know, what with the virtual collapse of the record industry, the generally crappy state of the economy, this swine flu business, etc.).
So! The details!
Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering a grand total of $13,000 worth of college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $6,000, one for $4,000 and one for $3,000. To apply for these scholarships you must be a resident of Washington or Oregon, and a graduating senior on your way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for an applicant who is involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way.
To apply for these scholarships we would like you to submit an essay, no longer than one page, letting us know about one or more of the following topics:
* What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?
* How and/or why did you become interested in artistic outlets?
* How would this scholarship money help you progress in your chosen field?
* What are your influences and/or who inspires you?
* Who are some of your favorite bands or artists?
Applicants are encouraged to send digital links and provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay. However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above. The deadline for applications is June 15th.