Today at Sub Pop, the 3 or 4 of us who opted to come to work/had no better plans on the Friday before Labor Day Weekend, decided that the time felt right for listening to and talking about ourselves. It’s part of a larger project of incessantly talking about our own opinions and enthusiasms we call marketing (and/or trying to convince you to buy our records (and t-shirts!)).
Over the course of the past few hours, we have somewhat diligently emailed one another, listened to music, taken lengthy personal phone calls, reminisced, and did some pretty deep thinking to put together and bring you…
The Sub Pop List of the Top 52 Tracks Sub Pop Released in the ’90s List (as compiled by the people in the office on the afternoon of Friday, September 3rd)!
Sub Pop Staff Lists: Top Sub Pop Tracks of the 1990s: A-K by subpop
Sub Pop Staff Lists: Top Sub Pop Tracks of the 1990s: L-R by subpop
Sub Pop Staff Lists: Top Sub Pop Tracks of the 1990s: S-Z by subpop
Our goal here is to turn you guys on to a bunch of songs we love, some of the music that made many of us want to work here in the first place, and also express our disbelief at being almost entirely shut out of some other list of the best tracks of the ’90s (though, we will be the first to admit that not one of the songs included here is fit to carry the lunch of “Steal My Sunshine”).
ALSO! Because we often pretend to like your opinions, too, we’re trying to turn this thing into a contest. So, in the comments section below (or on our Facebook page), let us know your vote for your favorite track we released in the ’90s (included in the list we put together or not). Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing to receive all of our 2010 releases on CD. One of you will wind up the lucky recipient of all of the following on CD…
On September 14th, Robert Plant is releasing a new album of covers called Band of Joy on which he performs two (2) songs by the band Low. Those two songs are “Monkey” and “Silver Rider” from Low’s album The Great Destroyer
This is the same Low whose last two albums, the 2007 release Drums and Guns and 2005’s The Great Destroyer we at Sub Pop released. And, this is the same Robert Plant who was in Led Zeppelin.
No big deal.
Rolling Stone magazine had the following to say about Band of Joy…
“…The two most striking songs are the most left-field, both penned by the brooding, husband-wife indie-rock band Low. “Silver Rider” is a glittering dirge, another showcase for [Patty] Griffin, who’s such a good songwriter that it’s easy to forget what a great singer she is. Plant sings “Monkey” almost as a whisper. “It’s a suicide/Shut up and drive,” he snarls, in what sounds like the opening scene of a David Lynch film. It’s as menacingly restrained as anything he’s ever uttered."
You can hear a stream of Band of Joy in its entirety over at NPR’s First Listen feature on the album. (The photo of Robert Plant that accompanies this post was taken from that NPR First Listen page, and is credited to Gregg Delman, by the way.)
AND! Because, like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, we are great fans of the band Low, we are giving away free mp3 downloads of their original versions of both Silver Rider and Monkey so that you can see/hear/feel for yourself just how really, amazingly good these songs and this band are. You can also stream both of these songs through the Soundcloud player below…
Low has some upcoming tour dates in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and EU, and some as-yet-to-be-confirmed dates on the west coast of the US in December. You should really go see them.
Low tour dates
Oct 18 King’s Arms, Auckland, New Zealand
Oct 19 San Francisco Bath House, Wellington, New Zealand
Oct 21 Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne, Australia
Oct 22 Factory Theatre (Sydney), Marrickville, Australia
Oct 23 Bakery, The (Perth), Perth, Australia
Nov 15 Junction, The, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Nov 16 Brudenell Social, Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 17 St John the Baptist Church, Coventry, United Kingdom
Nov 19 Crossing Border Festival (The Hague), Den Haag, Netherlands
Nov 21 Crossing Border Festival (Antwerp), Antwerp, Belgium
Nov 23 Debaser Malmo, Malmo, Sweden
Nov 27 Cedar Cultural Centre, Minneapolis, MN
Sub Pop’s recent signing of Seattle’s ascendant hip-hop collaborative Shabazz Palaces highlights an exciting, new example of the city’s legendary and ever-evolving music community. After self-releasing 2 EPs, Of Light and Shabazz Palaces, in 2009, the group quickly gained local acclaim, especially (and most noticeably to us) here within the Sub Pop offices. The Stranger, on Shabazz Palaces:
Shabazz’s almost subliminal messages are universal: ‘Find out who you are and see it/Find out what you are and free it/Find out who you love and need it/Find out what you can and be it.’ It’s a timely sentiment for Seattle hip-hop, which, after years of self-negating/hating or looking too much to the Bay Area and Brooklyn for direction, is enjoying a creative surge and homegrown industry that is—no bullshit—changing the landscape of Seattle music.
With their debut full-length expected and anticipated in 2011, Shabazz Palaces will keep busy playing shows (see below), receiving awards (see below) and turning heads (see them live).
“I think we both have a lot of love, appreciation, respect and energy for music and for each other. Recognizing the fact that business is necessary for maximizing exposure to it, I think we mutually feel that doing business is less a ‘job’ and more an opportunity to exercise those feelings in dope ass ways. Shabazz, we bring a distinct hip-hop mentality from left to Sub Pop, which has established itself wide and deep in r&r from that same field. So, it’s going to be cool to see what gets born from rolling together. And, of course, Seattle is the immeasurable muse, the backdrop, backbone, the foundation to how we all get down. So SP feels a lot of pride around this partnering-up as well. The people, the office, the deal, it all feels super plush. So stay tuned, it’s ’bouts to be on.”—the palaceer, Shabazz Palaces
“It’s in the initials. We SPs need to stick together—and we do. Seattle is our home and that means a lot to both parties. And we’re not stopping at both parties, our professional collaboration will undoubtedly inspire many more parties, with some choice SP music as the soundtrack. To put it more prosaically—but no less sincerely—we at SP are honored, humbled and psyched to have been given the responsibility of further introducing the world to the music of SP.”—Jonathan Poneman, Sb Pop Records.
Shabazz Palaces are the first music recipients of The Stranger‘s Genius Awards. The Genius Awards are given to outstanding visionaries in Literature, Film, Art, Theater, and for the first time ever, Music in the Seattle area. Shabazz Palaces will performing and accept their award at the Genius Awards Party, on September 17th at Seattle’s Moore Theatre.
Shabazz Palaces will also be performing on October 15th at New York’s American Museum of Natural History as part of “One Step Beyond,” a monthly series featuring live music and dancing at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The series, presented by FADER, has featured performances from Kid Sister w/ Kanye West, Passion Pit, Moby, Animal Collective and more. Details available here.
We have had the decidedly good fortune of working with and getting to know (verrrry intimately…) Kelley Stoltz over the past several years and albums. And, in addition to being just remarkably, borderline infuriatingly, talented, we have found him to be a uniquely funny, endlessly charming guy who is conversant in all manner of interesting subjects, from home recording to kumquats.
So with this in mind, in August of 2010 we sent the guys from YoursTruly to meet up with Kelley in their shared hometown of San Francisco. They successfully got him to talk about his thoughts on music and the process of working on his upcoming record, To Dreamers (Sub Pop, 10/12/10). We found the end result to be a pretty spot-on look at what we love about both Kelley and his music. Which is to say, we like it.
As a result, in what may or may not wind up being a somewhat, semi-regular feature here on the Sub Pop web concern, this video is now the inaugural installment of PLEASED TO MEET ME, wherein we will introduce you to people we already know (who, typically, also happen to record for the Sub Pop label) and who, really, you should know too.
We hope you enjoy this free download of one the new songs from the forthcoming Twilight Singers album due out in early 2011 on Sub Pop Records. “Blackbird and the Fox” features a duet between Greg Dulli and Ani DiFranco.