Binki Shapiro, vocalist and multi instrumentalist in Los Angeles band Little Joy, has put together an online auction for Haiti relief. Here’s a note from Binki herself.
“My name is Binki Shapiro, and I play in the band Little Joy. In an effort to raise money for the relief efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti, I’ve rallied a bunch of artists to contribute custom-made artwork — t-shirts, tote bags and other personalized items — for the Crafts For A Cause auction. All proceeds will go to Artists for Peace and Justice, an amazing charitable organization founded by my dear friend Paul Haggis.”
We’re very proud to have Sub Pop artists No Age and Fleet Foxes as contributing artists. Both have created T Shirts that will be featured in the online auction starting at 8 am on March 15th.
You can learn more about Artists For Peace and Justice as well as Crafts For a Cause here and here.
As we all know, February is for L-O-V-I-N-G, and that’s why we perfectly timed the following three fantastic records for February release. First up is The Album Leaf’s third full-length for Sub Pop called A Chorus of Storytellers. It’s their best album yet – we LOVE it. Did you know that people LOVEThe Album Leaf so G-D much that they sometimes get related tattoos? They do! And there are a lot of them – it’s a thing. Read about it and see pictures here. Also out the same day is the first release on new Sub Pop imprint Next Ambiance by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba called I Speak Fula. Malian maestro Bassekou is a virtuoso picker and musical visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music, and this album has already been LOVEDDEEPLY following its European release in late ’09. MOJO named it the #2 World Music album of 2009, and the #27 album overall while Uncut called I Speak Fula “…a contender for African album of the year.” On February 16th, we’re releasing Dear Companion, a collaboration between three Kentucky musicians. The songs were written and performed by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, produced by and featuring a dude from My Morning Jacket and Monsters of Folk. Recorded in the first half of 2009 in their home state, Dear Companion explores their ties to the place they LOVE and aims to draw attention to the problem of Mountaintop Removal coal mining (which, they DON’T LOVE) and its impact on the people and heritage of central Appalachia (back to LOVE again; they LOVE these last things).
Also, for a chance to win a package of Sub Pop’s new releases for the month of February make sure to leave a comment down below telling me what you think is the best Sub Pop song for Valentine’s Day. (Last month’s winner is Will Sturgeon. He plays music and lives in LA. Check him out here.)
Mome is a quarterly anthology published by our friends over at Fantagraphics Books and it showcases the best new talent of this decade’s rising cartoon generation, alongside work from some of North America and Europe’s most respected creators. The Winter 2010 issue (Vol. 17) just recently came out and it is, predictably, really great. Less predictably, this same new issue includes a bunch of new full-page black-and-white work from Rick Froberg. Rick also sings/plays in the band Obits whose debut album I Blame You we released in March of 2009. He’s a great artist and is responsible for the cover art on I Blame You as well as a bunch of other stuff.
AND! This Sunday, January 10th, from 5pm to 7pm, Rick will be signing copies of the new issue of Mome at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn, NY! There are a bunch of other great artists signing that day as well, namely these folks: Sara Edward-Corbett, Michael Jada, Derek Van Gieson, and Nate Neal.
Happy 2010, friends! The new decade is starting off right with three new records on Sub Pop that are sure to be contenders for the next ‘best of the decade’ list. (Check back in 2019 to see why they call me Nostraswainus.) On January 26th we are releasing full-lengths by Beach House, AFCGT, and Retribution Gospel Choir. Beach House’s Teen Dream (LP/CD/MP3) comes packaged with a DVD featuring a video for every song on the record, each by a different director. Also, if you pre-order from subpop.com you’ll also be getting a copy of a scrapbook that Beach House’s Victoria Legrand is putting together using scanned excerpts from the lyric book she used while writing Teen Dream! Whoa, get it here. AFCGT is the magical combination of Seattle’s very own A Frames and Climax Golden Twins, and their record is available on LP/MP3 only, and it comes with a bonus 7”. The packaging on this album is really pretty incredible, AND labor-intensive to assemble (I’m talking about the vinyl here; the mp3 packaging is… you know). You will get $2 off of this one if you pre-order with us here at subpop.com. And, lastly but not leastly, Retribution Gospel Choir (Alan from Low rock outfit) will be releasing their 2nd full-length on Sub Pop, fittingly enough entitled 2 (CD/LP/MP3), and that one will also be $2 off through release date. Get that one here. All LPs come with download codes, btw, so don’t be afraid.
Hey! Also, as a new thing, the big bosses gave me the go-ahead to give shit away all the time now, so each month I’ll pick one random commenter to win a package of each month’s new releases, courtesy of Sub Pop and Hardly Art. This month I’d like you to tell me, in the comments section, what you were listening to on New Year’s Eve 2009 for a chance to win the new Beach House, AFCGT, and Retribution Gospel Choir albums. Get to it!
And don’t forget to check out the TOURPAGE to see which of our fine artists is coming to a city near you in 2010! See you in Ferbruruary.
The debut full-length by Happy Birthday comes out tomorrow, March 16th! As with many of the records we release under the Sub Pop imprimatur of medium quality, we are very enthusiastic about this album and this band. So enthusiastic, in fact, that we would like to encourage you to buy this album from us. And, in order to convince you of the necessity of having Happy Birthday in your life, we are going to the following great lengths…
We are GIVINGAWAY a second mp3 from the Happy Birthday album! This number is called “Subliminal Message,” and it is hereby yours to keep! Get Subliminal Message here!
You know how people do that thing where they put music up on YouTube with just a picture of the record cover, or maybe an LP spinning on a turntable, or some other thing that is clearly not all that much of a video at all, but just some kind of placeholder image or thing, that is just really an excuse to stream a song on what is, at least in name, more of a site for videos? We’re doing that with “Subliminal Message,” too! Subliminal Message on YouTube! It’s not a music video! Or, maybe it’s just a really plain one!
And there you go: three (3!) new opportunities to celebrate Happy Birthday!
Also worth noting, for those of you attending the annual South by Southwest music festival in Austin this year: Happy Birthday is playing the Sub Pop/Hardly Art show on Thursday, March 18th at the Galaxy Room. Full details on all that here.
For those of you with less generous expense accounts, there are other non-festival Happy Birthday shows listed here!
We told you a little bit about Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba and Next Ambiance in this post last year, but I think it’s time for an update and a look ahead to what’s in store for 2010. I Speak Fula was released in Europe in the fall of last year to a pretty incredible response. Among others, Mojo , Uncut and fRoots all had I Speak Fula in their top albums of the year and Bassekou played on, in my humble opinion, the best music television show in the world – Jools Holland (you can watch his performance here and a bonus performance here ).
We’ll be releasing I Speak Fula on CD through Sub Pop/Next Ambiance on February 2nd (it’s available now through Itunes). Bassekou will be spending a considerable amount of time in the US in 2010 with his band Ngoni ba. I haven’t had the chance to see him yet but his live show has the reputation of turning the curious into devoted fans. The first string of dates is part of Bela Fleck’s Africa Project tour. Bassekou was featured in Throw Down Your Heart film, which tells the story of Bela Fleck’s journey to explore the origins of the banjo. The album and the title track were nominated for Grammy’s this year in the Best Contemporary World Music Album and Best Pop Instrumental Performance categories. Bassekou plays on the album and the title track. (Fingers crossed).
Following that tour Bassekou will be taking his band on a headlining tour of the US and hitting various music festivals throughout the spring and summer. There is a list of confirmed dates here . It looks like Bassekou will be playing almost 100 shows in the US this year. Why not check out a show if you can?
Here is an mp3 for the song Musow to give you a taste of what these folks are all about.
You can preorder I Speak Fula here ($2 off before release date)