News from 11/2023

NEWS : TUE, NOV 14, 2023 at 7:00 AM

J Mascis’ What Do We Do Now: His New Album, Available Worldwide February 2, 2024

On February 2nd, 2024, musical virtuoso J Mascis will release his fifth solo studio album, What Do We Do Now, worldwide on Sub Pop Records. Recorded at his studio Bisquiteen in Western Massachusetts, What Do We Do Now is J’s first solo album that features full drum and electric leads, although the rhythm parts are still all acoustic.

What Do We Do Now features guest musicians, including Western Mass local Ken Mauri of The B-52s on keys and Ontario-based polymath Matthew “Doc” Dunn on steel guitar.
Today, J also shares the star-strewn official video for What Do We Do Now’s lead single, “Can’t Believe We’re Here,” which features appearances from J and a few of his friends and foes. The video was edited by Adam Bale at Ballad Pictures. Click HERE to watch.

What Do We Do Now can be pre-ordered now from Sub Pop. North American orders from the Sub Pop Mega Mart will receive the limited Loser Edition on clear purple vinyl. In the UK and Europe, LP orders from Mega Mart 2 (the new, UK-based sibling site to the world-famous Sub Pop Mega Mart) will get neon pink Losers or a strictly limited edition run on Blue Curacao Vinyl available from this wonderful emporium – all whilst stock lasts!

Mascis is currently on the road with Dinosaur Jr., who are touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their sixth studio album, Where You Been—solo dates to be announced soon.

More on What Do We Do Now:
What Do We Do Now is the fifth solo studio LP recorded by J Mascis since 1996. This is obviously not a very aggressive release schedule, but when you figure in the live albums, guest spots, and records done with his various other bands (Dinosaur Jr., The Fog, Heavy Blanket, Witch, Sweet Apple, and so on), well, to paraphrase Lou Reed, “J’s week beats your year.”
What Do We Do Now began to come together during the waning days of the pandemic. Utilizing his own Bisquiteen Studio, J started working on writing a series of tunes on acoustic with a different dynamic than the stuff he creates for Dino. “When I’m writing for the band,” he says, “I’m always trying to think of doing things Lou and Murph would fit into. For myself, I’m thinking more about what I can do with just an acoustic guitar, even for the leads. Of course, this time, I added full drums and electric leads, although the rhythm parts are still all acoustic. Usually, I try to do the solo stuff more simply so I can play it by myself, but I really wanted to add the drums. Once that started, everything else just fell into place. So it ended up sounding a lot more like a band record. I dunno why I did that exactly, but it’s just what happened.”
Two guest musicians are playing this time out; Western Mass local Ken Mauri (of The B-52s) plays piano on several tracks. Since J himself has some experience with keys, when asked why he needed a hired gun, he says, “Ken is great, and he plays all the keys. I tried playing some keyboards on the first Fog album, but I’m really only comfortable playing the white notes, so it’s kind of limiting. [laughs] Nowadays, I could just turn the pitch on a mini Mellotron to play different sounds, but black keys just seem hard. For whatever reason, I just like banging on the white ones. Seems like it’s harder to figure out how to stretch your fingers around the other ones.”
Mauri has no such qualms and plays all the keys very damn well. He sounds especially great on “I Can’t Find You,” where he is Jack Nitzsche to J’s Neil Young, creating one of the album’s loveliest tunes. The other guest musician, Matthew “Doc” Dunn, is also prominent on this track. Dunn’s steel guitar manages to both widen and soften the musical edges of the music, giving it a full classicist profile. Dunn is an Ontario-based polymath who J met through Matt Valentine. After J played on Doc’s great 2022 Sub Pop single, “Your Feel,” he figured it was time for payback. Both Dunn and Mauri add beautifully to the songs here, helping to transform them from acoustic sketches into full-blown post-core power ballads.
What Do We Do Now is the finest set of solo tunes J has yet penned, and the way they’re presented is just about perfect. Asked if he would be touring to support the album, J says he’ll be doing some weekend dates, but he probably won’t be putting a band together. And I’m sure these songs will sound great solo and acoustic, but the arrangements on this album are truly great and put a cool, different spin on Mascis’ instantly recognizable approach to making music.
So, what do we do now? Not sure. But apparently, what J does is to make one of his most killer records ever. Hats off to him.
-Byron Coley

J Mascis
What Do We Do Now
1. Can’t Believe We’re Here
2. What Do We Do Now
3. Right Behind You
4. You Don’t Understand Me
5. I Can’t Find You
6. Old Friends
7. It’s True
8. Set Me Down
9. Hangin Out
10. End Is Gettin Shaky

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : MON, NOV 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Sub Pop’s 2023 Holid-AI Sale explained!

Sub Pop is getting into the AI biz! We keep “reading” all of these articles about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and have decided it’s high time to give it a whirl. How hard can it be? Our new PunkyGPT is smarter, funnier, and more helpful than we have ever beeen (the bar is low…) We’ll let PunkyGPT take it from here… 

Sub Pop’s Holiday Holid.AI Sale Now On! 

Holidays (like everything) are improved by the addition of AI! Why settle for a fuddyduddy, ordinary holiday when you can have a new and improved holid.AI? There is no legitimate reason! 

And so, to celebrate the 2023 holid-AI season, we are offering our high-ish quality music and merchandise at a discounted rate which is now available to you for discounted purchase now. You are welcome for and to this gift of ours to you! Your trust and loyalty have filled our hearts pockets with warmth cash, and we couldn’t be all that much more thankful, we don’t think. This 2023 holid.AI sale is our way of giving you back deals for you today. 

Get holid.AI harmonies for less! Between 12:01am (PST) November 20th and 11:59 PM (PST) January 1, 2024, buy $30 or more worth of stuff (not including shipping and tax) from the Sub Pop Mega Mart and get 20% off all eligible items. Buy $75 worth of stuff and you’ll also receive free domestic shipping! 

What items qualify for Sub Pop’s Tuneful Melody of Holid.AI Savings? Everything in the whole wide Mega Mart is eligible for this 20% off limited time deal now for a limited time, except gift cards and Singles Club Vol. 8 subscriptions. 

What items in particular would we recommend? PunkyGPT sez… the top recommendations for your listening pleasure and best-in-class audio experience are new music releases from Bully, Quasi, CHAI, Hannah Jadagu, Mudhoney, and additionally so many more. We’re also pleased with our new Sub Fuzz Sweatshirt and also Flannels. 

Please note! If there are any pre-order items in your cart at checkout, your entire order will not ship until the shipping date of the furthest out pre-order. That could mean your order will not ship until after the first of the year, and you will not receive any part of your order in time for the holidays. The solution to this is: place multiple orders. 

All orders placed by/on December 16th are guaranteed to ship out before we close up shop for the year, so get your orders in early and often. Related to this impending warehouse closure, any orders placed between December 17th and January 1st will not ship out until after we are back in operation on January 2nd. 

‘Tis the season for reflection, gratitude and pretending to know how to use AI, and we’re so thankful for your support during the holid.AIs. May the end of your year be filled with happiness and also Sub Pop merchandise! 

With love, Sub Pop Records: Artificially Intelligent Since 1988

Posted by Abbie Gobeli