Sub Pop

News from 2010

FRI, APR 2, 2010 at 10:33 AM

A Form of Paying Attention April 2010


April 17th is, for the third time ever, what we in the biz like to call Record Store Day. Everyone’s all like “oooh it’s like Christmas for record nerds!” and “record store day is my favorite new day of the year!” but the real truth is that Record Store Day just means we can sell you more records, AND, record stores will continue to exist! (Win/win) This year we are releasing limited edition records (the number in parentheses = the total run) by Beach House (2750), The Album Leaf (2000), Happy Birthday (1750), Dum Dum Girls/Male Bonding (2250), Soundgarden (5475), and CocoRosie (1250) as well as a CD (9200) of some of the live performances from our big 20th Anniversary blowout from 2008. You can read more about our RSD offerings and in-stores here and more about RSD in general here.

April 27th is the release date for the highly anticipated Avi Buffalo record called, somewhat mysteriously, Avi Buffalo. If you pre-order Avi Buffalo by April 27th, you will, for free, receive a totally limited CDR featuring four non-album tracks! So don’t delay, after April 27th, they are gone. Our mom-n-pop direct sales guy Dean Whitmore has a fantastic little musical outfit called Unnatural Helpers, and they too are releasing an album on the 27th. Cracked Love and Other Drugs is available from Hardly Art. Get it!

Hey, also, speaking of our anniversary, it was just our anniversary again! This year we turned 22. It’s cool…we’re thinking about getting our own place so we can smoke our dope in private, as well as what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives. And speaking of the rest of our lives, you are currently reading the very last edition of A Form of Paying Attention. You goddamned kids have no attention spans anymore so from May 1 on you will find news bits in place of this wordy, dumb column. It was a good run but it’s time to put ‘er down.

For the first time ever we have a three-way tie for the winners of March’s new releases. Our friends at Yours Truly do awesome video stuff like this, but they had a hard time picking a winner for me. I finally got them to say “the guy who said the Smiths,” but that’s actually two guys, so both Simon Horton and Mike Waalkes are winners of the new Ruby Suns, Golden Triangle, Happy Birthday, and Dum Dum Girls records. Also, I had to pick Bob Ham as a winner as well because I’ve been obsessing about Henry Rollins lately. (Henry, call me!) Congratulations, everyone. To win April’s new releases, including a complete pack of all of our RSD releases, please leave my column an obit in the comments section. See ya!

Posted by Lacey Swain

TUE, MAR 9, 2010 at 2:39 AM




Record Store Day In-Store Performances by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, No Age, Male Bonding & Dum Dum Girls

Originally conceived in 2007 as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally, the first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Now celebrated the third Saturday every April, it’s the one day each year that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists and labels to celebrate the art of music. We at Sub Pop Records have put together a whole raft of releases (seven in all!) to help entice people into record stores to enjoy the many pleasures offered there. Each destined for future collector’s item status, the Sub Pop Record Store Day 2010 series of releases is sure to appeal to the minor OCD tendencies of every true music enthusiast. To find a participating store, go here.


Beach House “Zebra” 12” (sp877)
The “Zebra” 12” features 2 new tracks (“The Arrangement” and “Baby”) and 2 alternate takes on songs from the popular 2010 Teen Dream album (a UK radio edit of “Zebra” and the Cough Syrup remix of “10 Mile Stereo”). Available now: Beach House’s Teen Dream SP845, CD+DVD/2xLP+DVD.
Side One:
1. Zebra (UK Radio Edit)
2. The Arrangement
Side Two:
1. Baby
2. 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)

The Album Leaf “There Is a Wind” 12” (sp878)
The “There Is a Wind” 12” features 2 new tracks (“Landing in Snow” and “Resonations”) and 2 alternate takes on songs from the popular 2010 A Chorus of Storytellers album (an acoustic version of “There Is a Wind” and the Jamuel Saxon sunburnt remix of “Falling from the Sun”). Also available now: The Album Leaf’s A Chorus of Storytellers SP805, CD/2xLP.
Side One:
1. There Is a Wind (acoustic)
2. Landing in Snow
Side Two:
1. Resonations
2. Falling from the Sun (Jamuel Saxon sunburnt remix)

Dum Dum Girls / Male Bonding 7” (sp876)
Two brand-new and exclusive tracks for Record Store Day 2010, one each from LA’s Dum Dum Girls and London’s Male Bonding. Both bands have debut albums out this spring on Sub Pop. Also available now: Dum Dum Girls’ I Will Be SP840, CD/LP. Available May 11th: Male Bonding’s Nothing Hurts SP854, CD/LP
Side A: Dum Dum Girls “Pay for Me”
Side AA: Male Bonding “Before It’s Gone”

Happy Birthday 7” (sp874)
Two brand-new and exclusive tracks for Record Store Day 2010 from Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas’ Happy Birthday. Both of these tracks, like those of Happy Birthday’s self-titled March 2010 debut album, were recorded and mixed at Kyle’s home studio. Available March 16th: Happy Birthday’s Happy Birthday SP850 CD/LP.
Side A: “Shampoo”
Side B: “Alien”

Soundgarden “Hunted Down” 7” Reissue (sp12a)
This reissue of a Sub Pop classic was arranged specially for Record Store Day. “Hunted Down” was released in June 1987 as the band’s first single and was later available on Screaming Life. This single is pressed on translucent orange vinyl. The original, now a Soundgarden collector’s item, was pressed on blue vinyl.
Side A: “Hunted Down”
Side B: “Nothing to Say”

CocoRosie “Lemonade" 7” (sp884)
The A-side to this limited-edition single is an edit of one of the stand-out tracks from the new CocoRosie album Grey Oceans and the B-side is the band’s cover of the Beach Boys’ classic “Surfer Girl.” Grey Oceans, CocoRosie’s Sub Pop debut (and fourth full-length album overall) will be released on May 11, 2010. Watch a ““Smokey Taboo” trailer from Grey Oceans.
Side A: “Lemonade”
Side B: “Surfer Girl”

SP20: Casual Nostalgia Fest CD (sp879)
We at Sub Pop Records celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2008 with, among other things, a 2-day music festival July 12th and 13th at Marymoor Park, somewhat unimaginatively called SP20. We’ve collected here some of our favorite performances from the SP20 festival. Sub Pop will be donating all of the profits from the sale of this CD to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

1. Green River: “Leech”
2. Wolf Parade: “Fine Young Cannibals”
3. The Vaselines: “Dying for It”
4. Obits: “Run”
5. Les Thugs: “Dirty White Race”
6. Eric’s Trip: “Smother”
7. Beachwood Sparks: “You Take the Gold”
8. Blitzen Trapper: “Furr”
9. Flight of the Conchords: “Carol Brown”
10. Iron & Wine: “Woman King”
11. Constantines: “Why I Didn’t Like August ‘93”
12. Seaweed “Baggage”
13. Grand Archives: “Dig That Crazy Grave”
14. Low: “Silver Rider”
15. The Helio Sequence: “Lately”
16. Kinski: “The Wives of Artie Shaw”
17. Pissed Jeans: “Caught Licking Leather”
18. Mudhoney: “The Open Mind”
19. Comets on Fire: “Dogwood Rust”

In-Store Performances
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba at Waterloo Records in Austin
Male Bonding & Dum Dum Girls at Origami Records in Los Angeles
No Age at Sweat Records in Miami
Obits at Generation Records in New York CANCELEDSORRY!

Posted by Kate Jackson

FRI, MAY 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM



For those of you wondering, we contacted all three losers today. If you have not been contacted, you’re a winner. (Which is to say that we have now talked to all three of the winners of the 2010 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship. They now know who they are, and we’ll have more info on them here next week!)

Thanks so much to everyone who applied! We thoroughly enjoyed looking through your essays. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Washington and Oregon got a lotta talent.

Posted by Sasha Morgan

TUE, MAR 30, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Foals Total Life Forever out on Sub Pop


Sub Pop Records to release Foals’ album Total Life Forever in the US

In April of 2008, we at Sub Pop Records had the good fortune to release the US version of Antidotes, the debut album by Oxford, UK quintet Foals. Antidotes was a special album. In the idiot clamor of retro guitars, its keen sense of dare and future marked Foals out as a band intent on establishing their own context: hurtling along on incessant, acrobatic fret-play and cymbals hissing with the bliss of exertion. It won them attention, and the chance to evolve in a space of their own. Two years on from that impressive introduction, a choice has been made–-rather than contort Antidotes’ lithesome guitars into ever more elaborate patterns, Total Life Forever is the sound of a band settling into and surveying the decay of old protocols. With this new album, Foals strip their sound back and turn themselves inside out searching for that invisible human thing.

“I feel like I’m wearing less masks with my lyrics now,” offers 23-year-old frontman and guitarist Yannis Philippakis. “Before I felt secure behind cryptic images—I liked stuff that didn’t show me to myself, but on this record I tried to express things with more truth.”

The result is an album as persuasive emotionally as Antidotes was physically. Whereas that album constantly reinforced its own presence by filling the air with yelping and polyrhythm, tracks on Total Life Forever such as disarming opener “Blue Blood,” “2 Trees” and the astonishing “Black Gold” are happier to leave gaps for the listener to explore in mind’s ear and eye.

Written primarily in the basement of their Oxford HQ (“The House of Supreme Mathematics”) and recorded in Gothenburg with former Clor man Luke Smith, Total Life Forever finds Foals singing rather than shouting, emotional as well as functional. The band’s soul-search reveals new antidotes found in infinite, internal spaces rather than carved violently upon the air–-Total Life Forever feels more the work of artists than artisans. It’s a triumph that they’ve managed to remain a band of progress and propulsion while investigating that vast, dark space lurking inside themselves-–that gap between ribs where “nature, or god or whatever you wanna call it, will come in.”

Total Life Forever will be available in the US digitally on May 11th, 2010, and on CD and double-LP June 15, 2010.

Posted by Kate Jackson

WED, APR 7, 2010 at 3:48 AM

The 2010 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship!


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 to 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 May 15th.

Please send all submissions and attachments to

All physical submissions should be sent to:

Sub Pop Records
Attn: Scholarship
2013 4th Ave, 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98121

Amount: $6,000 / $4,000 / $3,000—checks will be made payable to the university or college of the winning applicants’ choice and applied to the winning applicants’ tuition.

Posted by Chris Jacobs

FRI, MAY 21, 2010 at 8:03 AM

So much, so free


Somewhere probably in the top 3 or so reasons why you should buy more stuff from us here at the Sub Pop brand internet concern (the others in the running being “friendliness” and “because we all really want to keep our super cushy, glamorous music industry jobs”) is that we are forever giving away tons of free crap! And, frequently, the stuff we are giving away might not even, in certain circles, under the proper lighting, fall directly under the heading of “crap”!

For instance… Right now (it’s Fri. May 21, 2010), if you pre-order the new Blitzen Trapper album Destroyer of the Void from us before June 8, we will give you, for free and in addition to the album itself (which will cost you), a very attractive and also quite functional beverage “koozie”! This thing is made of some kind of foam, it’s hunter orange, and in a brown ink that from a distance kind of looks maybe like green, says “Blitzen Trapper” right on it in an artful typeface reminiscent of that used on the Destroyer of the Void album cover! There’s more info on all of that right here.

And, it’s FREE!

Another example… Until its May 25th release date, if you pre-order the new David Cross CD/DVD Bigger and Blackerer in the specially (“a little bit lower”) priced CD + DVD combo pack, you will (probably – it’s a while supplies last deal) also get, for free, a signed (by David Cross, no less) copy of the handsomely-printed bio for this release!

Other recent examples of free junk that we’ve given away to people who pre-order records from us (with the associated bands in parentheses)…
- Special posters (CocoRosie!)
- CDRs with tracks not on the album (Avi Buffalo!)
- Cassettes (weird!) with tracks not on the album (Male Bonding!, Dum Dum Girls!)
- Special scrapbook/lyric books (Beach House!)
- Personal “thank you” phone calls from the artist (Eugene Mirman!)
- We’ve also given away DVDs, lenticular postcards, bandannas, 7" singles, and a bunch of other stuff! No doubt you get the picture.

AND ALSO! Sometimes we do contests on the website, where we give away the very same records that we so often attempt to entice you people to buy. Like, for example, in the recent If You Could Ask Davis Cross One Question, What Would It Be? contest we asked you guys to come up with questions for David and then included some of them in Lacey’s interview with him (which, you should read because it’s funny). And, the five people whose questions were chosen each received FOR FREE both the Bigger and Blackerer CD and DVD. We are, you are correct in believing, exceedingly nice. Another example: for each of the first few months of this year, until she decided to hang it up, Lacey was giving away copies of all of our releases for each month in her A Form of Paying Attention column. Like so:


And, of course, we’re forever giving away free mp3s from the records we put out. Right now, we have free tracks up from upcoming, not even yet released records on the artist pages (under the clever/very obvious, we hope, heading of “Listen”) for…

David Cross
Blitzen Trapper
Wolf Parade
and streams of two tracks from Foals

And, we’re giving away free tracks from very recent and very excellent releases by such wonderfully talented, pleasant-smelling artists as…

Male Bonding
Avi Buffalo
Dum Dum Girls
Happy Birthday
and The Ruby Suns

So much, so free! For you!

Posted by Chris Jacobs