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News: NEWS

NEWS : THU, FEB 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Listen: Mike and the Melvins Share “Limited Teeth” via Dangerous Minds

Mike and The Melvins have shared “Limited Teeth,” a new track from Three Men and a Baby, their long awaited, forthcoming album.

Dangerous Minds had this to say of the track: “Completely badass…If you’re in for this sort of thing (and since you’re still reading, I think it’s fair to assume that skillet-meets-face sludge rock is more or less your zone), the album was worth the wait (see premiere February 25th)”

Mike and The Melvins is a collaboration between Mike Kunka (godheadSilo, Enemymine) and the Melvins. 


The group will release Three Men and a Baby on CD/LP/DL/CASS on April 1, 2016 worldwide through Sub Pop. The 12-song album features the highlights “Chicken ‘n’ Dump” and “Limited Teeth.” Most of Three Men and a Baby was recorded in 1999 at Louder Studios by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), and it was finished in 2015 at Sound of Sirens by Toshi Kasai.

Three Men and a Baby is now available for preorder through the Sub Pop Mega MartGoogle Play, iTunesAmazon, and Bandcamp. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited Loser edition, housed in a custom dust sleeve and on white vinyl (while supplies last), AND there’s a new T-shirt available for your bundling pleasure.


About Mike and The Melvins:

Three Men and a Baby is the new album by Mike and the Melvins. It was supposed to come out sixteen years ago.

These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends the Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike and the Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike and the Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999.

It’s at this point that things get hazy. Apparently, one or more of the following happened:

  • Some “junior-high level bullshit.”
  •  A house was built, a barn was raised, children were born.
  • Typical record-label skullduggery.
  • A scorching case of whooping cough.
  • Surgery. Lots of surgery.
  • Shocking and poorly-timed gear theft.
  • Some other stuff, probably, or maybe not.

Whatever the reasons, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the damn thing, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters, where it was promptly scheduled for the coveted April 1st, 2016 release date. What a story, right?

So, about the record: It’s real good! Mike’s signature bass crunch and vocals are all over it, and the Melvins are in fine form. It has everything from hefty noise-rock churn to a Public Image Ltd. song to cough-syrup blues to deconstructed black metal. Neither Melvins nor godheadSilo fans will be disappointed, nor will detractors of either; to paraphrase Mike, if you don’t like it, it probably wasn’t meant for you (read more at Sub Pop).


Three Men and a Baby

Tracklisting

1. Chicken ‘n’ Dump
2. Limited Teeth

3. Bummer Conversation
4. Annalisa
5. A Dead Pile of Worthless Junk
6. Read the Label (It’s Chili)
7. Dead Canaries
8. Pound the Giants
9. A Friend in Need is a Friend You Don’t Need
10. Lifestyle Hammer
11. Gravel
12. Art School Fight Song


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, FEB 25, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Beach House Announce 2016 Spring Installation Shows

Beachhouse 2015 promo npr shawnbrackbill 72dpi

Beach House are thrilled to announce a series of “installation” shows interspersed throughout their upcoming 2016 headlining tour in support of Thank Your Lucky Stars and Depression Cherry. 

These performances will be held in art spaces, galleries, community centers, and various alternative venues in the following cities: Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Venues will be announced 24-48 hours before each show for those who have purchased tickets.
 
Each show will have Beach House performing in their original formation (as a duo), within a special installation the band created for this tour. A majority of the material will focus on tracks from Thank Your Lucky StarsDevotion, and their self-titled debut.  
 
Tickets for the March installation dates will go on sale Friday, February 26th at 11 am ET and available from http://www.beachhousebaltimore.com/installation/.  Tickets sales for April and May will be announced in the coming weeks.
 
For more details on the Installation tour, see below.
 


Beach House’s 2016 North American and European tour schedule resumes Monday, February 29th in Cleveland at House of Blues and has been extended through August 12th-13th at Eaux Claires Music Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. New highlights include:London’s Field Day June 12th; Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago July 15th-17th; Pickathon in Happy Valley, Oregon August 5th-7th.


Depression Cherry (released Aug. 28, 2015) is the second consecutive top 10 album for Beach House, coming in at #8 on theBillboard Top 200 chart, and spent 5 weeks at #1 on the CMJ Top 200.


Thank Your Lucky Stars  (released October 16th,  2015) entered at #38 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and peaked at #5 on the CMJTop 200 chart.
 
Beach House’s Thank Your Lucky Stars and Depression Cherrywere recorded during the same two-month span, and produced by the band and Chris Coady at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Both albums are available now in North America from Sub Pop, in Europe from Bella Union and in Australia from Mistletone.
 

MORE FROM BEACH HOUSE ON THE INSTALLATION SHOWS:

PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING A TICKET
We are very excited to announce a series of performances interspersed throughout our North American spring tours. They will be taking place in galleries, art spaces, community centers, and various other alternative venues. Here are the cities and dates:
 
March 2nd - Chicago                              April 10th - Austin
March 4th - Toronto                                April 21st - Los Angeles
March 8th - Montreal                              April 26th - San Francisco
March 12th - Boston                               April 29th - Portland
March 20th - Philadelphia                       May 1st - Vancouver
March 22nd - New York                          May 3rd - Seattle
March 23rd - New York
March 24th - Baltimore

 
WHAT TO EXPECT
We are going to install a design we have created and play as a two-piece within this “installation.”  The performance will be continuous without breaks.  Due to the lack of stages, the audience will be expected to sit on the floor (bring a pillow!).  The show will feature songs mostly from Thank Your Lucky StarsDevotion and our self titled record (songs we can play as a two piece). This is by no means a “stripped down” or intentionally intimate performance. The design requires a maximum audience of 200, so that all can see the performance space.
 
THE CONCEPT
It has always been difficult to carry the initial moments of creativity that inspire our music through the process of making and releasing a record. There are many chances along the way for the feeling to get lost. A lot of “bedroom” bands experience this when they get to the studio or the stage. This installation performance is an attempt to elicit this pure, embryonic state of mind for ourselves and our audience.
 
A NOTE ON TICKET PRICES
The ticket costs for these alternative-space performances are much higher than our normal shows. This is due to the very high production costs and low ticket number. The ticket price is set as low as possible in order to cover our costs and not lose money on the show.  We sincerely apologize if it’s unaffordable for any fans who may want to attend.
 
2016 Tour Dates
Installation Shows (All venues TBA)
Tickets on sale: February 26th at 11am ET.
Mar. 02 - Chicago, IL
Mar. 04 - Toronto, ON
Mar. 08 - Montreal, QC
Mar. 12 - Boston, MA
Mar. 20 - Philadelphia, PA
Mar. 22 - Brooklyn, NY
Mar. 23 - Brooklyn, NY
Mar. 24 - Baltimore, MD

Ticket on sale TBA:
Apr. 10 - Austin, TX
Apr. 21 - Los Angeles, CA
Apr. 26 - San Francisco, CA
Apr. 29 - Portland, OR
May 03 - Seattle, WA
 
Theatre / Club Performances
Feb. 29 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues [Sold Out]
Mar. 01 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre [Sold Out]
Mar. 05 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall [Sold Out]
Mar. 06 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall [Sold Out]
Mar. 09  - Montreal, QC - Rialto Theatre [Sold Out]
Mar. 11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues [Sold Out]
Mar. 14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall [Sold Out]
Mar. 15 - New York, NY - Webster Hall [Sold Out]
Mar. 16 - New York, NY - Webster Hall [Sold Out]
Mar. 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer [Sold Out]
Mar. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer [Sold Out]
Apr. 09 - Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory
Apr. 11 - Austin, TX - ACL Live at Moody Theatre [Sold Out]
Apr. 13 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls
Apr. 14 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre [Sold Out]
Apr. 17 - Indio, CA - Coachella
Apr. 19 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Hariett’s [Sold Out]*
Apr. 20 - San Pedro, CA - Warner Grand Theatre
Apr. 24 - Indio, CA - Coachella
Apr. 28 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom [Sold Out]
Apr. 30 - Vancouver, BC - The Vogue [Sold Out]
May 04 - Seattle, WA - The Paramount
Jun. 01 - Bordeaux, FR -  Theatre Barbey
Jun. 03 - Barcelona, ES -   Primavera Sound
Jun. 05 - Nimes, FR   This Is Not a Love Song
Jun. 06 - Nantes, FR -  Stereolux
Jun. 07 - Toulouse, FR - Bikini
Jun. 10 - Porto, PT -  Primavera Sound
Jun. 12 - London, UK -   Victoria Park
Jun. 13 - Bexhill, UK  - De La Warr Pavillion
Jun. 14 - Paris, FR - Casino de Paris
Jun. 17 - Hilvarenbeek, NL - Best Kept Secret
Jun. 18 - Aarhus, DK - Northside
Jul. 15 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
Jul. 16 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
Jul. 17 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
Aug. 05 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon
Aug. 06 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon
Aug. 07 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon
Aug. 12 - Eau Claire, WI - Eaux Claires Music Festival
Aug. 13 - Eau Claire, WI - Eaux Claires Music Festival
* w/ J. Mascis

Theatre/Club ticket links are here.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, FEB 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Arbor Labor Union to Release ‘I Hear You’ May 13th; Hear “Radiant Mountain Road” (via Noisey)

Arbor Labor Union (fka Pinecones) will release I Hear You worldwide on May 13th through Sub Pop. The album featuring highlights “Radiant Mountain Road” and “Volume Peaks,” was produced and recorded by Randall Dunn and Arbor Labor Union in the fall of 2015 at Avast Studio in Seattle, WA and mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering. (Tracklisting below.)
 
Noisey had this to say about “Radiant Mountain Road”: 
“It’s a chugging, ballsy rock squall, with a pinch of psych and a smidge of QOTSA, that’ll stomp its way straight into your heart. The bass and drums at the top may make you want to break stuff. This can be a good thing. Elsewhere singer Bo Orr’s tone is simultaneously powerful and sexily insouciant.”  (see track premiere February 23rd).”


Arbor Labor Union have scheduled performances from March 16th-20th in Austin, TX for SXSW. Preceding the festival, the band have scheduled a show on March 15th in Birmingham, AL at the Syndicate (with Lazyeyes). Additional tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.



Arbor Labor Union’s I Hear You will be available on CD/LP/DL/CASS and is now up for preorder via Sub Pop Mega Mart,  iTunesAmazonGoogle PlayBandcamp and independent retail stores near you. As is the custom, LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on pink vinyl while supplies last.

Tracklisting:

1. Mr. Birdsong
2. Hello Transmission
3. Radiant Mountain Road
4. I Am You
5. Volume Peaks
6. Babel
7. Belief’d
8. Silent Oath
9. IHU



Arbor Labor Union on I Hear You:
 
“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

Hello & Welcome to the Thousand Eyed Present.
H E  L  L O   T  R  A  N  S  M I  
S  S  I  O  N
STARSHIP IHU MYTH DEVELOPMENT
(FOR NEW USERS AND LISTENERS)


……………………………………………………………..

4 years ago, in the Peach state of Georgia, there was a mighty green conifer tree whose limbs were wider than the smile on the sun. From this tree hung many a seed. The tree was home to so many creatures big and small. The most fun of them all was perhaps MR. BIRDSONG. Mr. Birdsong was a single white dove known for his beautiful voice and powerful wings. Sometimes, Mr. Birdsong would be so lost in song and dancing that his wings would knock loose one of the Pinecones! The armored seed would then whoosh toward the ground and sometimes break open on the forest floor below. But you see, it’s very dangerous when this happens. For inside each pine cone on the mighty green tree lies all of the possible decisions a living person can make! And, luckily, in these seeds on that particular day was the possibility that 4 lifelong friends would decide to form an eternal union founded in sound.
Arbor Labor Union was born! Their roots immediately began to burrow deep into the earth (some say towards the ear of Pythagoras!). Most trees in the forest try to grow fast. Many trees’s desire is to race one another to the clouds and back. These four trees, however, are growing slowly together. They know beyond every cloud is a radiant, true blue sky and they aim for no less than the cosmos! No one knows which one of the four spoke first. Mr. Birdsong was there and he swears that they all spoke in unison. He sings about it like this:
 
“Listen now!
O! dear listener
For what I sing is True
Out from the sound of song forest
4 trees sang “I AM YOU”
 
The trees are still singing in unison today. Most recently the song they could be heard singing has been said to sound like this:  “IHer Yu! 
Ihear u! Iher
 YOU!”

New Initiate, you must be ready to find these young trees! For those of you who have received this message in full I have included a map below:


In the case that your map gets stolen, I am sorry. It looks as though you will have to hear your way there. Remember these instructions- if you press your ear to the ground you will find that it too has a sound… and it sings:

“Past the VOLUME PEAKS
And down the RADIANT MTN ROAD
Past the Palace of Sleeping Songs
And the meditating toad
It is there that you might find
Four trees singing so divine
I HEAR YOU I AM YOU
And together we shall shine!”

The bond of music is resounding. And to add more lava to the volcano of song should be sin. For it is known the world could use some silence. But the Arbor Labor Union is still growing in agreeable song. Toward the planets. Toward the Polestars. And toward the People. We are adding bricks to our Tower of BABEL. We are building our song up to Heaven. For belief in an honest sound is BELIEF’d among us. Take the SILENT OATH. Look no further. You have arrived for you have been here all along.

We are your banner men. The image on your flag is written in our hearts. It shall be done, for it is already accomplished.

 

JOY OR DIE

 

Together we are:
Captain Brain Atoms Starship IHU Mind Leader/Omega Kindess One
Captain Ryan Evers Starship IHU Extratonal Grin Generator
Captain Bo Orr  Starship IHU Jester Shaman/ Headless Guru
Captain Ben Salie Starship IHU Weathervane Mystic/ Love Ambassador

Sincerely,
Jonah Vark


Read more from Arbor Labor Union at Sub Pop right over here.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, FEB 19, 2016 at 9:45 AM

So Pitted’s ‘neo’ Is Out Today!

We are filled with pride and happy to report that So Pitted’s neo is now available worldwide from Sub Pop. The album, featuring the highlights “rot in hell”, “holding the void”, and “feed me”, was co-produced & mixed by So Pitted & Dylan Wall and recorded at The Old Fire House, Media Lab, Spruce Haus, the band’s practice space and Tastefully Loud in Seattle. neo was also engineered by Wall at Tastefully Loud and mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery in Los Angeles.

 
So Pitted’s neo has garnered praise from the likes of PitchforkFLOODConsequence of SoundThe StrangerSeattle Weekly,Seattle TimesThe GuardianUncutDrowned in SoundBrooklyn VeganImposeLoud & QuietThe SkinnyCLASH and more.
 
Seattle Weekly had this to say of the band: “So Pitted is a very difficult band to pin down, and that’s part of why they are so interesting. The triad has haunted Seattle’s DIY underground since 2010, sometimes playing three shows a week (seemingly re-dying their hair a different color for each), honing an incredibly loud, atonal style of neo-grunge, equal parts confusing and enthralling. Koewler plays her guitar through a bass amp to achieve the band’s defining metallic low-end scuzz. Rodriguez, plucking out chaotic leads on his heavily effected guitar, barks unintelligibly feral screeds into a microphone so hard that his veins often look as though they’ll pop. Downey usually performs with self-fashioned pipe-cleaner antennae sticking out from his head. He occasionally switches places with Rodriguez to mumble his own strange songs, a left-field take on ’80s New Wave filtered through a filthy meat grinder (see feature February 16th).”
 
Meanwhile, FLOOD Magazine raved: “Boldly going where no rock band has gone before—and fucking around a bit, too (see “Breaking” feature February 16th).”



So Pitted’s previously announced tour schedule for 2016 spans February 19th in Seattle at Everyday Music and currently ends March 27th in Spokane, WA at The Bartlett. Tour highlights include: February 25th in San Francisco at Noise Pop (supporting The Thermals); March 15th-20th in Austin for SXSW; March 23rd -27th in Boise at Treefort Fest; And March 26th-27th supporting Diarrhea Planet. (complete dates below.)
 
So Pitted’s neo is available on CD / LP / DL / CASS and you can trade your dollars for it via Sub Pop Mega MartiTunes, AmazonBandcamp and Google Play. LP preorders of neo through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser”edition on white vinyl. (while supplies last, of course.)

 


What have “They” been saying about So Pitted? Let us share the words:

“Minimalist force is what Seattle punk band So Pitted does. They excel at it. On neo, their debut, the trio sound like the proverbial (mechanical) bull in a china shop—except that bull is intentionally there to fuck up some fine dinnerware and is determined to have a hell of a time doing it.”  - Pitchfork
 
“Catharsis and candor are embedded in these explosive tracks. So Pitted tap into the void that the likes of Black Flag and Nirvana looked into and saw themselves in.” - Consequence of Sound
 
“It’s grimy and tormented all right, but intent on subverting the many adolescent cliches and
connotations that come with grunge.” -  The Guardian
 
“Maddeningly loud, loosely formed, disgusting like a romantic weekend trip down the local sewers.” - DIY
 
“Their primal, scrappy rock and roll scrapes all optimism from your soul until you just don’t care about anything anymore.” [8/10]  -Drowned In Sound
 
“…A barbed tarpit of sound.” - Loud & Quiet
 
“Snotty, snarling and belligerent.” - Uncut
 
neo is part debut-album, part audio assault.” [4/5] - Upset 
 
“It’s early in the year to make this sort of claim, but we can say with confidence that in ten months’ time you’ll be looking back on neoas one of 2016’s best debuts, by some distance.” - The Skinny
 
“…A raucous, inspiring noise, the buzzsaw melody is matched to wailing feedback - imagine Bikini Kill set against early Mary Chain and you’d probably be in the same ballpark.” - Clash
 
“Quite simply, neo is noise rock like nothing else.” - London In Stereo
 
“…making a name for themselves with a sneery, warped, post-apocalyptic punk sound and wild stage show.” - Brooklyn Vegan
 
“…Buzzing with nausea and excitement. [rot in hell] burns with the urgency of the music you need to make or you’ll crumple, music you’d be making whether other people heard it or not.” - Impose
 
“So Pitted are poised to start a riot that’s very much their own.” -Record Collector


Tour Dates
Feb. 19 - Seattle, WA - Everyday Music
Feb. 20 - Vancouver, BC - Alf House
Feb. 25 - San Francisco, CA - Noise Pop / Brick & Mortar Music Hall*
Feb. 26 - Oakland, CA - The Hole http://on.fb.me/1ovT7qH
Mar. 04 - Paris, FR - La Mecanique Ondulatoire
Mar. 05 - Amsterdam, NL - Butcher’s Tears
Mar. 07 - London, UK - Shacklewell Arms
Mar. 08 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Games Room
Mar. 09 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
Mar. 10 - Lille, UK - La Peniche
Mar. 11 - Brussels, BE - Homeplugged
Mar. 12 - Berlin, DE - West Germany
Mar. 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 19 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 20 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 23 - 27 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest
Mar. 26 - Missoula, MT - The Palace**
Mar. 27 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett**
* w/ The Thermals
** w/ Diarrhea Planet

Seeking ticket links? Go here.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, FEB 18, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Sub Pop’s 2016 Loser Scholarship Details!

Loser2016 900x374

Hey there!

Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering a grand total of $15,000 worth of college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $7,000, one for $5,000 and one for $3,000. As longtime and proud losers ourselves, we’re exceedingly happy to be able, in some small way, to help further the education of art-enthused misfits from the NW.

Applicants 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 applicants who are involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way. However, you do not need to be pursuing an education in the arts.

To apply you must submit an essay, one page or less, using any combination of the following questions as a guide (or write something completely your own, be inspired and creative!). Please list the school you are graduating from and the school you plan to attend in the fall at the top of your essay along with your contact information.

- What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?

- What does being a Sub Pop ‘Loser’ mean to you?

- What are your influences and/or who inspired you to become involved in the arts?

- Describe your biggest failure and explain how it has brought you closer to your goal(s). 

- Discuss a special attribute or accomplishment that sets you apart.

- How has your family or community background affected the way you see the world?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to send digital links and/or provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay (we have never had a winner who submitted only an 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 Sunday, March 20th.

Please send all submissions and attachments to scholarship@subpop.com by March 20th, 2016. We will announce the scholarship winners on April 12th.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, FEB 16, 2016 at 10:10 AM

No Fly List: Notes from Sub Pop’s Airport Store (February 2016)

Nofly 620x360
Light in the Attic, I Choose You! 
The Staff of the Sub Pop Airport Store Pick Their Favorite Light in the Attic Releases

Beginning this month, the Sub Pop Airport Store has unveiled its newest addition: a staff picks section! On a semi-regular basis, we, the illustrious and expert curatorial airport store staff, will be highlighting and showcasing different albums that we really, really, really, like. For our inaugural staff picks, we decided to all choose albums from Light in the Attic, a Seattle record label that specializes in re-issuing criminally under-appreciated music. In honor of this being our first round of staff picks, I asked my fellow co-workers, “Why did you pick the album that you picked?” Here’s what they said…
(Be sure to check out the Spotify playlist down below, which contains our favorite tracks from these albums.)

Betty Davis: Betty Davis

Audrey says: “Betty Davis is a psychedelic funk queen who pushed boundaries and broke stereotypes in the name of self expression. With the encouragement of T-Rex singer Marc Bolan, she switched from writing songs for others to songwriting for herself. This self titled album released in 1973 is the first of three albums that are so freaky and badass, religious groups protested her shows and radio stations banned some of her songs. She was really a musician ahead of her time.”

Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Press Color
Rachel says: “I first found Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s Press Color in a rare record store super score! Someone had sold a bunch of their no wave/Ze Records titles like Contortions, Mars, and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Press Color was one of my favorites because it’s so fun and danceable. Thanks to Light In The Attic Records for reissuing this great record!”

The Free Design: Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love
Josh says: “Funk-filled, family friendly, kite flying, wholesome harmonies, only god itself could have reissued as heavenly a record. But since god is not real, it must be the goodly folks at Light in the Attic and to them I give thanks and praise.”

Monks: The Early Years 1964-1965
Jacob says: The Monks’ 1966 one-off album Black Monk Time is an out of time, anti-Vietnam war, proto-art-rock oddity, made by some forward thinking discharged American GI’s stationed in Germany (playing and honing their skills at some of the same wild nightclubs the Beatles had made a name for themselves in a few years prior), that while probably not being directly influential, at the very least predicted, and works as a critical jump-off point for a lineage of still to come conceptual agitating greats like Devo and the Residents. I would consider the album an artistic equal to Zappa’s Freak Out!, also from 1966, and a distant relative to more recently recognized, and ahead of their time, Los Saicos, from Peru. 

This brings me to my Light In The Attic showcase selection: Monks’ The Early Years.

At first, a listener familiar with Black Monk Time may be slightly disappointed with these demos lack of finished lyrics, or all out vocal assaults found on the album proper. But that is actually part of the strength and distinction that makes the demos these GI’s made so very interesting; the sheer chunky rhythmic monotony and minimalist organ-preset style jungle-tom drumming, and what I see as the secret ingredient to their sound: the snare drum doubled up by nearly-indiscernible, textural muted banjo strikes. All of this is to the forefront on these demos. The Stooges had their single repetitive piano note through a song, and the Monks had their transparent banjo, damn it! To put this all in context, the Monks pre-date the full swing of Jazz Rock Fusion, and Progressive rock drumming; it would be another 6-7 years until Krautrock bands learned to unlearn and play-on-purpose the simplified, minimal, ‘Motorik’ beat. I sincerely wonder if whoever it was who approached CAN’s Jaki Leibezeit and profoundly stated “you must play monotonous” had been lucky enough to have seen the Monks do it first.”

Honey Ltd: The Complete LHI Recordings
Kane says: “Good harmonies.”



Public Image Ltd: First Issue

Olivia says: “PiL broke the punk paradigm with this first album. Punk was now carte blanche, not just a sped up tempo with a fashion shtick. I can’t listen to this without thinking about how Seattle was channeling punk on its own terms years later. I think we were really inspired by this post-punk freedom! Punk rock should ALWAYS be about freedom. That includes being free to call out any particular icon, steal their booze and comfy chair, and throw salami on their bus if necessary…”

Marcos Valle: Marcos Valle
Javier says: “I just really like the flavors presented here. Thumpy, warm melodic bass lines, very chill vocals, mostly in Portuguese, tasteful touches of piano chords and the drumming is just straight up groovy. I have no idea what these songs are about but there are some really delightful flute bits and psychedelic touches sprinkled throughout. Just a solid little nugget of good Bossa Nova made in 1970. Sign me up!”

Various Artists: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990
Ben says: “Trading in the ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll’ for crystals, eastern philosophies and incense (and well, ok, maybe not trading away all of the drugs…) New Age wasn’t about fame and fortune. Instead, it explored the boundaries of music: From Gregorian chants to gongs, and from chimes and bells to synths. I Am The Center covers 40 years of New Age, focusing mostly on home-made recordings and unheralded-in-their-own-time artists. (While also leaving out soft heavy hitters like Yawni and Enya (a.k.a, the soundtrack to my childhood road-trips)). Let these CDs help you open your third eye, align your chakras, or even relax while paying your taxes (if possible).”

Various Artists: Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985
I say: “Vancouver-based record archaeologist Kevin “Sipreano” Howes spent 15 years searching for music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, and Native North America is the culmination of his efforts. Taking cues from the genres of “folk, rock, and country” that ruled over popular music in the latter half of the 20th century, you will hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia, among many other sounds and locales. Listening to this staggering compilation reminds me of the work that Bruce Pavitt did with the original Sub Pop fanzines, scouring for artists outside of the major cultural hubs of North America, and discovering vibrant, enriching, and totally unique regional music.”

Various Artists: Summer Records Anthology (1974-1988)
Chase says: “Summer Sound Studios was a Toronto-based record label started by Jerry Brown that produced some of the first notable Canadian reggae artists. This compilations covers releases from ‘74-‘88 and includes alternate masters and some previously unheard takes, all of which are really great! Stand out tracks include, “Right, Right Time,” “Warrior,” and “Dreadlock Lady”. A must buy if you’re trying to warm up this winter.”

Alan Vega, Alex Chilton, Ben Vaughn: Cubist Blues
Brent says: “Coming from a vinyl completest of all things Big Star and Suicide, it took a LITA reissue to finally bring “Cubist Blues” to my ear holes. Not to mention It was only pressed once in Spain twenty years ago and would set you back at least a hundred bucks. I discovered Alex’s Chilton’s output from the 1980’s and began to avoid it for the most part. I admire the company he kept and his taste for self-destruction: if you haven’t seen the footage of his performance with the Panther Burns live on the Marge Thrasher show, do so now: https://youtu.be/2U-k32L0KCc
 


I can’t help but think of one of Gene Vincent’s last albums, I’m Back and I’m Proud, when listening to “Cubist Blues”, which was produced by Kim Fowley, who also collaborated with Ben Vaughn. I want to think of this as a ‘art rock’ record, but that might just be the fact that Vega is a sculptor and Chilton’s parents owned a gallery. This is my pick of this month mostly because I usually only want to listen to Suicide, and so I figured I’d see what happened.”



Posted by Jackson Hathorn