Sub Pop

News from 3/2011

FRI, MAR 11, 2011 at 6:36 AM

pure sunshine

Last month we posted the sad news of Ricky Kulwicki’s passing. Ricky played in The Fluid and provided us with powerful music and memories. We have information that we’d like to share about upcoming benefit shows as well as his family foundation.

If you’d like to make a donation to The Rick Kulwicki Memorial Fund, you can do so here


Pure Sunshine: Rick Kulwicki Celebration & Benefit – Friday & Saturday, March 25th and 26th, 2011. Doors 8pm, Show 8:30 pm. ****Advance tickets for both shows are $15. Two-day passes are $30.

AEG Live formally announces “Pure Sunshine,” a two-day benefit concert celebrating Rick Kulwicki, guitarist of Sub Pop recording artists and seminal Denver rock band The Fluid, on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, at the Bluebird Theater. Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 5th at 10 a.m. Please join the Bluebird Theater in supporting the local rock community.
Rick Kulwicki was a longtime and beloved member of the Denver music community. In addition to his groundbreaking work as a guitarist of legendary Denver band The Fluid, he also contributed to the Frantix and the Buckingham Squares. He is survived by two teenage twin sons, two sisters, and his mother. Pure Sunshine is a celebration of everything Rick achieved and everyone he influenced. As plans for Pure Sunshine began, word leaked and the response has been overwhelming. What was once a single-night event has evolved into a two-night event featuring some of Denver’s best bands! Below is the tentative line up, subject to change:

Friday March 25
The Swayback
Bonnie Situation
Pitch Invasion
18 Wheeler
Ill Cativo

Saturday March 26
The Overcasters
Buckingham Squares
The Omens
The Genuises
Git Some

Tickets for the Bluebird event will be $15 per night. A 2-day pass is available for $30 and includes a commemorative event poster. Tickets are available at and all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets are available without service charge at the Bluebird and Ogden box offices on show nights and at the Ogden every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. All proceeds from Pure Sunshine will be donated to a memorial fund to benefit Rick’s twin boys. Additionally, donations can be made to the Richard Kulwicki Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo bank. Each ticket purchased to Bluebird Theater shows in July and August will also include a 25-cent donation to this memorial fund.

Posted by megan jasper

TUE, MAR 29, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Return of For the Record!


Sohrab Habibion is one of the singers and guitar players in the just ridiculously great band Obits (whose records are available on the Sub Pop label: surprise!). Obits just happen to have a new record, which was released yesterday, March 29th, 2011, entitled Moody, Standard and Poor . And, in addition to Sohrab being one of the smarter, more thoughtful people we’ve ever met (read this for some indication of what I’m talking about), the occasion of their new album’s release seems about as good an excuse as we need (note: we don’t really need any excuse, so that’s maybe setting the bar a little low…), to mark what we really hope will be the glorious or at least somewhat noticed return of our “For the Record” series. “For the Record”, for the record, is the thing we sometimes do on our website where we convince someone in a band on the label to write a bit about a record from the Sub Pop catalog, and we then attempt to use this as a method of maybe selling you guys some copies of the record in question at what we hope to be a very appealing discount-type price.

No doubt you get the picture already.

So, here’s Sohrab from Obits on The Grifters’ Ain’t My Lookout (fondly and not at all frequently referred to around here as Ain’t My Cookout)…

Band: The Grifters
Record: Ain’t My Lookout
When we told you the first time: February 13, 1996

The first time I heard the Grifters was in ‘92, I think, around the time their “Corolla Hoist” 7" came out. I don’t remember who played it for me, but it really resonated. The slight dissonance of the instrumental interplay with a vocal melody that finally came into focus after about a minute or so of darting around the snare drum and a loose-wristed, ascending guitar line. But it was the b-side to their Soda Pop 7", “She Blows Blasts Of Static”, that really hooked me. It seemed equally informed by classic rock riffs and weirdo, late-70’s art punk. Each time the song fell apart, it returned with even more fervor.

Not much later I got a chance to see the band play at the 15 Minutes Club, one of the less conventional venues in DC at the time. It was a lunchtime soul food kitchen for government employees by day with a bare bones PA for local and touring bands at night. Grifters took the stage pretty casually, fumbled lackadaisically into their set and then proceeded to decimate the two dozen or so people in the room. The songs I knew were only recognizable at points and, in general, it felt like all bets were off. Why wasn’t Stan, the drummer, playing on that part? Was that a phaser on Tripp’s bass guitar? The unspoken and uptight rules that my friends and I had all been following in our bands were left looking for parking spaces on 14th street. It was as if any instrument could start or stop or rudely interrupt the proceedings, but nothing felt gratuitous or indulgent.

Fast forward a few years. The band had released One Sock Missing and Crappin’ You Negative, both of which were terrific albums, filled with moody and memorable songs. “Junkie Blood” still gives me chills. And then “The Eureka” EP came out, which felt like a perfect summation of the band up to that point. They knew how to deconstruct familiar elements and put them back together in slightly askew and strangely beautiful ways. And Dave’s voice sounded like Rod Stewart or Mick Jagger if either had been fans of Wire or the Vibrators. As far as I was concerned, this was the best band in America.

In 1996 I knew a handful of folks who had cell phones and maybe an AOL account, but there were no RSS feeds to follow a band’s tour dates or blogs to blare a PR stream of upcoming releases. So when Ain’t My Lookout was released I only knew about it when I saw it at my local record store. And it was on Sub Pop, a label I respected for putting out Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” 7" and Love Battery’s “Between The Eyes” EP (also Journey To The Center Of Cat Butt, but I’ll save that for another time). I was excited to get the record home and dig into it.

Ain’t My Lookout is a fuller recording than anything the band had done before, but just as woozy and gloriously lopsided as I could’ve hoped for. Long, languorous melodies stretched out over spikes of ugly distortion, bent notes unveiling clearly picked guitar chords and occasional blips that sounded like someone bumped into a Hammond organ. And lyrics. Real lyrics. Words that actually sounded interesting and made me want to follow the character sketches, drunken confessions and angry admonitions and try to understand the inside jokes.

Fourteen years later, quite magically, it all sounds just as fresh. A sloppy marriage of Big Star and The Lurkers, as officiated by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. In my collection they actually fall between Green On Red and the Groundhogs, which is perfect. It’s truly timeless rock’n’roll, so if you don’t have this record already, here’s your chance to get it on the cheap.

For the next 48 hours, you can go HERE to get Ain’t My Lookout at our FTR sale price of $6 CD/$4 Mp3.

Soharab’s own band, Obits, just recently released a fine record of their own, Moody, Standard and Poor and it is oh so conveniently located HERE for your consideration.

Posted by Alissa Gallivan

FRI, MAR 11, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Sub Pop and Hardly Arts bands at SXSW 2011


The music portion of SXSW 2011 is kicking off this coming Wednesday, March 16 and we thought it was about time that we shared a full list of shows that both Sub Pop and Hardly Art bands are playing at this year’s festival.

Make sure not to miss our official showcase on Friday March 18th at Red 7 (611 East 7th Street)

Sub Pop (Outside Stage)
8:00 Jaill
8:50 Shabazz Palaces
9:40 Obits
10:30 Papercuts
11:20 Dum Dum Girls
12:10 J Mascis
1:00 The Head and the Heart

Hardly Art (Inside Stage)
8:15 Colleen Green
9:15 The Moondoggies
10:15 Hunx & His Punx
11:15 Unnatural Helpers
12:15 Fergus & Geronimo
1:15 La Sera

Wednesday March 16

Obits- Emusic Day Party (Beauty Bar-617 E 7th St., 3:30 pm)

Jaill- Burger Records Showcase (Trailer Space Records 1401-1 Rosewood Ave, 4:00 pm)

Still Corners- Yours Truly/Bella Union (French Legation 802 San Marcos St., 4:20 pm)

The Moondoggies- Treehouse Diddly (Cheers, 416 E 6th St, 4:30 pm)

Vetiver- Yrs Truly Showcase (French Legation Museum 802 San Marcos St. 5:00 pm)

Hunx and his Punx- Waterloo Record (600 N. Lamar, 5:00 pm)

The Moondoggies- Free Ballard Show (Trophy’s, 2008 S. Congress, 7:30 pm)

Unnatural Helpers- Panache Day Party (Spider House, 2908 Fruth St., 6:15 pm)

J Mascis- IFC Party (IFC Crossroads House E. 7th & Brazos, 7:00 pm)

J Mascis- Rolling Stone Showcase (La Zona Rosa, 9:00 pm)

Mister Heavenly- Brooklyn Vegan Day Party (Mohawk 912 Red River, 9:15 pm)

Hunx and His Punx- Burger Records Party (Trailer Space, 1401-A Rosewood, 10:00 pm)

Memoryhouse/Vetiver/Low- SXSW Showcase (St. David’s Historic Sanctuary, 301 E. 8th Street (between Trinity and San Jacinto)):

8:00 pm – Lost in the Trees
9:00 pm – Valleys
10:00 pm – Herman Dune
11:00 pm – Low
12:00am – Memoryhouse
1:00am – Vetiver

King Tuff – Burger Records Party (Trailer Space Records 1401-1 Rosewood Ave, 11:30 pm)

Still Corners – My Old Kentucky Blog Party (Peckerheads, 12:00 am)

Thursday March 17

Papercuts- KUT Hilton Stage (The Hilton, 500 East 4th Street, 9:45 am)

Hardly Art Fag Party – free! (Shangri-La, 1016 E 6th St, 12-6 pm):

12:00 – Heavy Hawaii
12:45 – Colleen Green
1:30 – Young Prisms
2:15 – Dizzy Eyes
3:00 – Las Robertas
3:45 – Unnatural Helpers
4:30 – Dirty Beaches
5:15 – La Sera

Hunx and His Punx- Brooklyn Vegan (Barbarellas, 615 Red River, 12:30 pm)

Papercuts- Other Music Party (French Legation Museum 802 San Marcos St, 1:00 pm)

Still Corners- Brooklyn Vegan Party (Austin Convention Center Dot Com Stage, 1:00 pm)

Mister Heavenly – High Five Party (Elysium, 705 Red River, 1:45 pm)

Shabazz Palaces- Pitchfork #Offline (East Side Drive-In, 1001 E. Sixth St., 2:00 pm)

The Moondoggies- / Pop Montreal Show (Beauty Bar, 617 E 7th St, 2:00 pm)

The Head and the Heart- WFUV (Day Stage at Convention Center, 2:15 pm)

Fergus & Geronimo- Brooklyn Vegan (Barbarellas, 615 Red River, 2:30 pm)

Still Corners- Pianos Party (Club 1808, 1808 E 12th St., 3:00 pm)

Obits- Brooklyn Vegan (Barbarellas, 615 Red River, 3:00 pm)

Hunx and His Punx- Thrasher 30th Anniversary (Scoot Inn, 1304 E 4th St., 3:30 pm)

Memoryhouse- Brooklyn Vegan Party (Barbarellas, 615 Red River St., 4:00 pm)

The Head and the Heart- C3 Party (Lamberts, 403 W 2nd St., 4:00 pm)

King Tuff- Black Lips Present Speed Sets (Gear Alley Garage, Expo Center, 4:00 pm)

The Head and the Heart- Filter/Dickies Party (Lustre Pearle, 97 Rainey St, 5:00 pm)

J Mascis- Pitchfork #Offline (East Side Drive-In, 1001 E 6th, 5:00 pm)

Low- Other Music Day Party (French Legation Museum, 802 San Marcos St, 5:00 pm)

Still Corners- Waterloo Cycles/SXSW Waterloo Showcase (Waterloo Cycles, 5:15 pm)

Dizzy Eyes- CMRTYZ party (lot at 6th & Waller behind Cheer Up Charlie’s, 1112 E. 6th St., 5:30 pm)

Hunx and His Punx- Big Freedia show (Loft 718 upstairs, 718 Congress, 6:00 pm)

La Sera- I Hate Rock n’ Roll (Trailer Space, 1401 Rosewood, 6:30 pm)

Dizzy Eyes- Barsuk showcase (Red Eyed Fly, 8:00 pm)

Hunx and his Punx- CMRTYZ party (lot at 6th & Waller behind Cheer Up Charlie’s, 1112 E. 6th St., 8:00 pm)

Fergus & Geronimo- Force Field showcase (Shangri-La, 1016 E 6th St., 9:45 pm)

Unnatural Helpers- CMRTYZ party (lot at 6th & Waller behind Cheer Up Charlie’s, 1112 E. 6th St., 11:45 pm)

Colleen Green- Group Tightner party (Cheer up Charlie’s, 1104 E 6th St., 12 am)

Hunx and His Punx- Force Field showcase (Shangri-La, 1016 E 6th St., 1:30 am)

Dum Dum Girls- Pitchfork #Offline (East Side Drive-In, 1001 E 6th, 6:00 pm)

Mister Heavenly- Hollerado Nacho House (Beauty Bar, 617 E 7th St, 5:15 pm)

Vetiver (Hotel San Jose, 1316 South Congress Ave., 6:00 pm)

Memoryhouse- Poolside Performance (Party Condo, 80 Red River, 6 pm)

Obits- Brooklyn Vegan Day Party (Barbarellas, 615 Red River, TBD)

J Mascis- Paste Party (7:00 pm)

Memoryhouse- Gorilla vs Bear / Transparent Showcase (Double Down Lounge, 515 Pedernales St, 11:00 pm)

Retribution Gospel Choir- Domino Publishing Showcase (Emo’s Jr., 603 Red River, 12:15 am)

Friday March 18

The Moondoggies- Waterloo instore (600 N Lamar Blvd, 12:00 pm)

La Sera- Ground Control (Urban Outfitters, 2406 Guadalupe Street, 12:00 pm)

Colleen Green- Altered Zones party (Cheer Up Charlie’s, 1104 E 6th St., 2:00 pm)

La Sera- Waterloo instore (600 N Lamar Blvd, 3:00 pm)

The Moondoggies- Treehouse Diddly (Cheers, 416 E 6th St., 4:30 pm)

Still Corners- My Old Kentucky Blog Party (Peckerheads, 402 E 6th St., 12:00 pm)

Dum Dum Girls- instore (Waterloo Records, 600 N Lamar Blvd, 12:30 pm)

Memoryhouse- Pitchfork Party (East Side Drive-In, 1001 E 6th St, 12:45-1:15 pm)

J Mascis- WMG Six Sounds party (Arthouse, Jones Center 7th and Congress, 2:00 pm)

King Tuff- Ground Control Touring Party (Urban Outfitters, 2406 Guadalupe, 2:00 pm)

Still Corners- (Homeslice Pizza, 2:20 pm)

Papercuts- Ground Control Touring Party (Urban Outfitters, 2506 Guadalupe, 3:00 pm)

Shabazz Palaces- Gorilla vs. Bear Party (Klub Krucial, 612 East 6th Street, 5:00 pm)

Low- The Onion/AV Club Day Party (Mohawk (indoor stage), 912 Red River, 5:00 pm)

J Mascis- Brooklyn Vegan Party (5:00 pm)

King Tuff- Knitting Factory Showcase (Rusty Spurs, 405 East 7th St.)

Dum Dum Girls- Filter / Dickies Party (Lustre Pearl, 97 Rainey Street, 6:00 pm)

Sub Pop / Hardly Art split showcase (Red 7, 611 E 7th St.)

Sub Pop stage (outside):

8:00 pm – Jaill
8:50 pm – Shabazz Palaces
9:40 pm – Obits
10:30 pm – Papercuts
11:20 pm – Dum Dum Girls
12:10 am – J Mascis
1:00 am – The Head and The Heart

Hardly Art stage (inside):

8:15 pm – Colleen Green
9:15 pm – The Moondoggies
10:15 pm – Hunx and Hix Punx
11:15 pm – Unnatural Helpers
12:15 am – Fergus & Geronimo
1:15 am – La Sera

Head and the Heart- Billions Showcase (Antones, 213 W 5th St., 8:00 pm)

Still Corners- NXNE Showcase (Club Deville, 900 Red River St, 9:00 pm)

King Tuff- CMRTZ Party (Cheer Up Charlies, 1104 East 6th St, 1:30 am)

Saturday March 19

Hardly Art Pizza Party showcase (End of an Ear, 2209 S. 1st St, 1-3pm):

1:00 pm – Colleen Green
1:45 pm – Dizzy Eyes
2:30 pm – Fergus & Geronimo

Hunx and His Punx- I Hate Rock n’ Roll party (Trailer Space, 1401 Rosewood, 2:00 pm)

The Moondoggies- KXSC & KVRX show (Domy Books, 913 E. Cesar Chavez, 2:45 pm)

La Sera- Fader Fort party (1101 E. 5th St (between San Marcos & Waller), 3:00 pm)

Unnatural Helpers- Burger Records house party (500 W 51st St., 7:00 pm)

Fergus & Geronimo- Panache showcase/party (Mohawk (inside), 912 Red River, 10:30 pm)

Dum Dum Girls- Warterloo Records (Waterloo, 600a North Lamar, 1:00 pm)

Papercuts- Nomanis Party (Flamingo Cantina, 515 East 6th St, 2:00 pm)

Dum Dum Girls- Hell Yes! / Art fag / Impose Showcase (Long Branch Inn, 2:00 pm)

J Mascis- (Waterloo Indoors, 4:30 pm)

Still Corners- Music For Listeners (Red House Pizzeria, 1917 Manor Road, 7:00 pm)

Vetiver- instore (Patagonia, 4th and Congress, 8:15 pm)

King Tuff- Burger Records House Party (500 W 51st St., 12:00 am)

Sunday March 20

Unnatural Helpers- Panache Hangover Party (Beerland, 711 Red River, 1:00 pm)

Fergus & Geronimo- Panache Hangover Party (Beerland, 711 Red River, 7:30 pm)

Unnatural Helpers- show w/ Shannon and the Clams, (Beerland, 711 Red River, 10:00pm)

Posted by Bekah Zietz

THU, MAR 3, 2011 at 3:03 AM

Chad VanGaalen will welcome you to Diaper Island on May 17th!


Every so often, Chad VanGaalen emerges from his bunker in Calgary with a batch of songs, giving us a window into the private world of this reclusive and enigmatic songwriter. With Diaper Island, VanGaalen distills his approach, producing his most sonically cohesive album to date, and the closest thing he has done to a rock album.

While VanGaalen’s three previous records were made in a cramped basement studio, a move to a larger recording room offered space to develop and refine his sound. Fresh from producing Women’s critically lauded Public Strain, VanGaalen decided to avoid the comfort of working on previous ground, and apply some of the recording techniques and sonic ideas that emerged from those sessions. For the first time, multi-tracked and often overdriven guitar is the instrument at the centre of the songs, which are often spartan and free of the melodic details that embellished previous albums. With this focus on guitar, combined with a beloved vintage tape machine determining the sound, VanGaalen moved towards a leaner, no-frills approach—one that more closely resembles the music that influenced him as a teenager, while continuing the arc laid out in his previous work.

The paradox of trying to assert control in a climate of helplessness winds through the album, whether in the existential pondering on life and death that often pervades VanGaalen’s songs (“Do Not Fear,” “Replace Me”), or in the conflict between control and creativity (“Freedom for a Policeman,” “No Panic, No Heat”). At the album’s heart is “Sara,” a simple and celebratory paean that gorgeously praises the ability of VanGaalen’s partner and muse to nurture his creativity in the face of this uncertainty, and captures the songwriter at his most sincere and powerful.

At this point Chad VanGaalen may perhaps be better known for his illustrative rather than his musical output. As was the case with all of his previous albums, VanGaalen has illustrated all of the art for Diaper Island himself. He’s also in the midst of animating a music video as well. His past videos have been collectively viewed well over a million times on youtube. He’s also animated music videos for folks like J Mascis, Guster, and Holy Fuck.

VanGaalen has been quietly building a catalogue of songs, illustrations, and animations that invite listeners to gently explore his distinctive creativity. Diaper Island extends the adventure into deeper territory, tapping into VanGaalen’s lifeblood and mining the richness of his mind with sharper tools.

2004 Infiniheart
2006 Skelliconnection
2008 Soft Airplane
2011 Diaper Island

Click here for all things Chad VanGaalen. Get stoked people.

Posted by Bekah Zietz