Well, I Should Have…* was recorded and mixed by Mark Desimone at Soundtrack NY, except for “Amy’s Song” (The Bum Steer),” which was mixed by Loren Bouchard (Bob’s Burgers, Home Movies). Jon Benjamin (you may know him from his roles in Bob’s Burgers, Master of None, Wet Hot American Summer and Archer) is accompanied by Scott Kreitzer (saxophone), David Finck (bass), and Jonathan Peretz (drums). Additionally, the track, “Deal With the Devil”, features Aziz Ansari (Master of None) and Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers) (seeAV Club premiere).
Well, I Should Have…* was recorded on the same day the documentary was filmed. Benjamin says of the album: “We all start from the same place and build from there, gathering references, structures, techniques, modes, nuances, etc. and, as artists, we strive to build something purposeful. Well, I Should Have…* is the culmination of hours (almost 3) of conception with the goal to bring something, in the tradition of the great vanguard jazz artists like Miles Davis, Roach, Mingus, Monk, et al, close to pure spontaneity. Jazz is the ocean…I am just one wave forming one curl, crashing once onto some remote beach somewhere in time. And that wave makes a small imperceptible change in the slope of the sand, upon which at some point in time a baby turtle will walk across, leaving his trail for just an instant, before the tide washes it clean. That’s a pretty cool analogy. More to the point, I do not play piano and I made this jazz album.
Some tell me, “Hey, Jon, tone it down.” Some even say, “Really, Jon?” A few have said, “Get the fuck away from me or I’ll fucking punch you in the face.” I know the risks in making this album. I know what it is like to do something that no one else would think to do. Most would call this reckless. I call it jazz. What you are about to experience is an aural auto-de-fe. I am the ‘jazz daredevil.’”
Well, I Should Have…* (is an actual record) and can now be purchased digitally and on LP through the Sub Pop Mega Mart and Bandcamp. The album will also be available Friday, November 27th through iTunes (preorder), Amazon, and Google Play.
Mass Gothic is set to release its self-titled debut on CD / LP / CT / DL worldwide February 5th via Sub Pop. The album, featuring highlights “Nice Night”, ‘Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me”, “Mind Is Probably and “Want To, Bad”, was produced by Mass Gothic and mixed Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio) and mastered by Greg Calbi (Father John Misty, Tame Impala) at Sterling Sound.
Mass Gothic has scheduled a 2016 headlining tour in support of the album, which begins February 4th in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s and currently ends March 19th in Austin at SXSW. (details below)
Vuture says of “Nice Night”, the first offering from Mass Gothic:
”In attempt to get back to his four-track days, Heroux made an album of weird synth-rock largely on his own, under the moniker Mass Gothic. It’s a surprising album, mostly in its ability to sound buoyant and tense simultaneously… “Nice Night,” is the apex of the latter. This “meditation on severe depression and the cycle of giving in” is at first a heavy sludge before becoming a determined power-pop catharsis that sounds a little like Pinkerton-era Weezer (see track premiere November 17th).
1. Mind is Probably 2. Own the Road 3. Want to, Bad 4. Pier Pressure 5. Nice Night 6. Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me 7. Money Counter 8. Territory 9. Soul 10. Subway Phone
Mass Gothic’s Noel Heroux was also recently interviewed by the Village Voice in advance of his recent CMJ performance (see feature October 15th).
[Photo Credit: Shawn Brackbill]
More about Mass Gothic:
This year marks the release of Mass Gothic, the Massachusetts-bred, New York-based singer/songwriter’s self-titled Sub Pop debut. Written and recorded at home over four months during the winter of 2014-2015, it’s a stunning reminder of not just Heroux’s own remarkable talents as singer and songwriter, but how unbridled creativity can both sound and feel as well: Before Hooray For Earth had quickly become a fully-functioning band, it began as a solo project. No pressure or compromises—just Heroux, a four-track, and an irrepressible urge to “jot down all of the noise and music floating around in my head” and make it available to other people. “All I wanted to do was whatever I do when I’m alone and I’m unconcerned with what anyone else wants or expects,” he says. “I did my best to let go, and what came out was pure, uncut. It reminded me of the first few times I made music, when I was a young kid. I didn’t set any rules and I had zero expectations.”
The result is an expansive, often exhilarating set of guitar-driven pop that required very little editing when it was done (read more via Sub Pop).
Feb. 04 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s* Feb. 05 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop* Feb. 06 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s Tavern* Feb. 08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry* Feb. 11 - Boise, ID – Neurolux* Feb. 12 - Seattle, WA - Columbia City Theatre* Feb. 13 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar* Feb. 14- San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop* Feb. 16 - Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg* Feb. 18 - Denver, CO - Lost Lake* Feb. 19 - Kansas City, MO - Riot Room* Feb. 21 - Louisville, KY – Zanzabar* Feb. 22 - Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub* Feb. 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Café* Feb. 25 - Allston, MA - Great Scott* Feb. 26 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre* Feb. 27 - Brooklyn, NY – Palisades* Mar. 10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Mar. 12 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 19 - Austin, TX – SXSW *w/ Mazed
No Fly List: Notes From Sub Pop’s Airport Store (November 2015)
Unthanksgiving at the Airport
Welcome to another dispatch from the Sub Pop store. The months of October and early November bring a relative downtime at the airport, in-between the busier summer vacation and holiday travel seasons. One might assume that we would use this opportunity to re-group, develop plans for improving the store, and/or stockpile winter-wear goods. Instead, I’ve used the lull to stew about all the regrets and perceived slights I’ve experienced this year. In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to type out some things that I am particularly ‘unthankful’ for, because sometimes it’s necessary and cathartic to express your gripes, in order to see how petty/inconsequential/ridiculous they might be. I also strong-armed a few of my co-workers to join me in giving ‘unthanks’ this year. Enjoy!
Here at the store, I am unthankful for the following things:
-Not recognizing the following people until immediately after they left the store:
The members of Poison Idea
-Customers who ask, “Will this t-shirt fit my son/daughter/wife/husband/niece/nephew/dog?”
-The sounds that emanate from occupied stalls in the men’s bathroom(s).
-The man wearing shorts who insisted on showing me his recent jellyfish stings on his legs.
-The question, “Now that Sub Pop has a store in the airport, does that mean they have officially sold out?”
-Waking up early to make a lunch and then forgetting it at home.
-The father who talked on his cellphone for 10 minutes about the consistency/texture/color of his new baby’s bowel movements.
In my personal life, I’m unthankful that my favorite baseball player, Juan Uribe, is no longer employed by my favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. And also that this much-needed scientific device has not been released yet.
- No parks to speak of in Parkland (I know right?)
- Traffic (how original)”
“Here we are again, at the eleventh hour, and of course, I show up at your “E” door-step in my sweatpants and curlers, yielding yet another untimely and, probably unusable, contribution to this months monthly news such and such. I am very sorry of course, but I can grant you no guarantee that this will not be the last incident of this sort, most likely all submissions will arrive in your “in” basket around 6pm of the afternoon following day any deadline given.
So you have asked for us to submit a list of some of the things things for which we were not so thankful for this year, leaning in the direction of funny. I am afraid my friend that I cannot grant you the wish that you desire. For, after an exceedingly large quantity of pondering, and a few glasses of Tang drink, I can’t, for the life of me, conjure up even one thing that I am unthankful for. I seem to busting at my pant legs with a sort of humble Gratitude for all, and all of my existence and the universe, and all of the whatnot of this sometimes crazy world we all have to live in. So apologize, I can’t fulfill this months request, at least not with this stupid brain.
I can however list a few of the wonderful things from this year that I, so very graciously, give thanks for. For example, I am overwhelmingly grateful for my family. This time of year you can’t avoid thinking about family. I always remember all of those good times we had while we were growing up, all of the holidays we spent together, and the summers too. How lucky am I to have been born into such a loving and caring group of individuals? I do kind of wish Randy was dead though.
I can no longer submit to useless negative emotions that can overwhelm you and withhold the marvelous wonders and joys that life has to give, such as, cats! What furry, kind and, beautiful beasts, so cute and small but bigger than rats and not as loyal as a dogs. Our cat, Tab, turned 5 this year and although I am deathly allergic to her fur and dander, and I really wish she would use the scratching post instead of the couch. I am really grateful the vet has the means to fight off her cancerous lesions thereby sustaining her life for a mere $500 dollars a session, ensuring that my wife and I will have a furry friend who tracks it’s cat bathroom sand throughout our once odor free home, for many years to come.
The point Is, who am I to complain when there is so much suffering out there and I have so much in my life like, tinnitus, my illiterate mail man who doesn’t really “get” what numbers mean, and what about traffic?
Life is a gift and I have no complaints, only gratitude.
If this is too long just put “White Sauce,” why does everybody put it on everything? What’s the deal with that?
Sub Pop is pleased to announce the signing of Arbor Labor Union, the Athens/Atlanta, Georgia band, who will release its label debut worldwide in the spring of 2016.
The group (who formerly performed under the moniker Pinecones) released their debut record, Sings For You Now (listen here), in May, 2015 on LP format via Athens, GA label Arrowhawk Records. The band, comprised of Brain Atoms (Guitars), Ryan Evers (Bass), Ben Salie (Drums) and Bo Orr (Vox/Guitar) create angular and unapologetic rock and roll.
You can hear various singles from their LP Sings For You Now right over here.
Arbor Labor Union have scheduled a show supporting In The Red recording artists Wand tomorrow night, November 17th in Athens, GA at the 40 Watt. Additional live dates will be announced very soon.
More on Arbor Labor Union: Once upon a time rock n roll music was insane. Several times before you have heard and perhaps proclaimed that “music is the truth.” This band called Arbor Labor Union honors this notion. I’ve been in an audience and seen them sneak their music close to the truth. The atom has reviewed their songs and said “this band speaks to the core” and “on this we are not divided”.
Guitar player Brain Atoms always wears green and taps his foot to the stage in hopes it turns into a porch. Bass player Ryan Evers pumps the tonal artery and stirs the cosmic dirt with his welcome grin. Singer and Guitar player Bo Orr sings the wisdom of unknowing and kicks through blind dimensions. Drummer Ben Salie invokes the shaman beat and whips layers of lava lamp cymbal vibrations. All of these men have agreed and that is beautiful. If you pay attention, you might notice all of their songs are about their songs, and that is beautiful. They believe in handshakes, repetition, and friendship. They are lifelong friends, and they play that sound.
What people are saying about Arbor Labor Union (fka Pinecones):
“Listening to the interplay between physical, spiritual, and musical existence hammered out across these 11 tracks is one of the most challenging, intriguing tasks I’ve undertaken this year. Few albums demand your attention and interaction the way Sings For You Now does.” - Stereogum
“It’s not so much a sounds, there’s no twang or drawl, but an attitude. Their dooming riffs and impassioned rambles carry smolder like the heat of the southern sun.” - Consequence of Sound
“I’m not sure how to describe the group’s raspy, repetitious rock and roll other than to say it is no goddamn joke. It’s also tremendously exciting. The songs on Play Cosmic Hits cull from bands like Lungfish, Wire and The Ex but feel exhilaratingly fresh” [Pinecones Play Cosmic Hits] – Flagpole Magazine
Seattle punk trio So Pitted are our newest signees! And we at Sub Pop are proud to release neo - their label debut - throughout the known universe on February 19th, 2016.
The album, featuring 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.
COOL THING ALERT: There will also be a time-limited edition T-shirt, hand-bleached by So Pitted, that will be available only during pre-order. Shirts can be ordered alone or with LP and CD bundles (might we stress again: during pre-order only).
Impose Magazine premiered the visual for “rot in hell” (directed by Zoë Sauer) and had this to say about it:
“Ragged, nonlinear, a little dangerous, “rot in hell” was one of the first tracks So Pitted wrote together, and the video is funny and surreal, featuring a friend of the band playing various band members. It feels like being at home at a basement show, ready to hit your head on a low ceiling bringing your amp down the stairs, buzzing with a little bit of nausea and excitement. It 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” (see Nov. 12th news story).
[Photo Credit: Sarah Cass]
So Pitted will tour extensively in 2015-16 to support neo, beginning with a short US west coast trek November 14th in Oakland at LoBot Gallery and ending November 19th in San Francisco at the Hemlock Tavern. (see tour details below) The band will then resume touring in early January, with a series of support and headlining dates, which span January 8th in Brooklyn at Palisades through January 12th in Philadelphia at First Unitarian Church. Highlights along the way include November 18th in Los Angeles at the Echo opening for No Age and a few dates with label mates METZ and Startime International recording artists Bully (January 9; 11-12).
More about So Pitted: So Pitted is every bit as much an experiment in social partnerships as it is a noise outfit. They bonded over a shared love of alternative music (Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, The Mars Volta), and only after eons of hanging out did it occur to them to play music together. Rodriguez is a self-taught quick study who learned music theory on Wikipedia; Downey is a new wave fanatic who sticks pipe cleaners in his brain to speak to extraterrestrials; Koewler is a longtime ballet dancer whose love of aesthetes and bands like Cocteau Twins is a strong influence on her bandmates. Together, the trio just fits, a perfect balance for one another’s quirks, strengths, and shortcomings.
Roles and positions have never been important to So Pitted; Rodriguez and Downey often switch instruments and both sing, while Koewler plays her guitar through a bass amp. “It’s everyone’s band,” says Rodriguez, “and we have the same role of support and voice for each other.”
Identity, freedom, location…yeah, yeah, yeah, but what the hell do they sound like? “One of my friends says we’re ‘louder than Nirvana,’” says Downey. “And we are subjected to grunge by default but it’s not that bad. Mudhoney is cool but Tad is rad. I see us as another spinoff of new wave music. I love Devo. I don’t think any of us are into one style, we all have our conventions, we’re all really snobby artists but at the same time we’re normal people who listen to Backstreet Boys because it’s what we heard growing up. We just want to be genuine and admit what we like and don’t like. The band is the people, and we’re always changing so much.” In other words, their zeal makes it almost impossible to pin them down.
Enter neo, So Pitted’s debut album some years in the making. These eleven tracks are lean and snarling rebukes, torch songs not in the traditional, unrequited-love sense, but songs that will torch your fucking house down. Screams and howls overtake chants and muttering, equal parts dejection, rejection, and convection, the hot, muggy air circling continuously. It’s fuzzy, angular, throbbing, and pounding, and still, ingrained in the songs by their makers, breathes that catchy quality present in so much of the music they love. Songs like “holding the void,” “rot in hell,” and “woe” crash over and over, turning under themselves like waves, but as the measures tick off, the dog-eared melodies and familiar themes begin to reveal (read more about the band here).
What people have said about So Pitted, so far: What’s special and unique about So Pitted is that they not only clench to the demonic punk downpour and logger-heavy rock of the Northwest, but also to the nihilistic musical cannibalism of San Francisco weirdos Chrome and late-’90s San Diego artcore groups like the VSS and the Gravity Records camp. There’s a caustic demo quality to their sound that’s alien and distorted, liquidated to move units at the Gross Out. It’s not only thorny, horny, and repulsive, but angular, tangled and mangled. - The Stranger
“[A] Seattle trio who are basically unmatched in terms of sheer gonzo ingenuity. Live, the band combines anarchic heaps of guitar and childish melodies with plodding, sludgy rhythms. They understand just how powerful their live show is, too” - Portland Mercury
Tour Dates Nov. 14 - Oakland, CA - LoBot Gallery Nov. 17 - Fullerton, CA - Continental Room Nov. 18 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo * Nov. 19 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern Nov. 27 - Seattle, WA - Cairo Gallery Jan. 08 - Brooklyn, NY - Palisades Jan. 09 - Boston - The Sinclair ** Jan. 11 - Washington, D.C. - Rock & Roll Hotel ** Jan. 12 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church ** * w/ No Age ** w/ METZ + Bully