June 28th is a date just filthy with new releases from your good pals over here at Sub Pop Records & Shirts, Inc. Seriously, we’ll be just buried in new tunes that day. Like this… We’ve got the new one from Montreal’s Handsome Furs; Sound Kapital is the duo’s third full-length, and their best yet. Handsome Furs continue to evolve in unpredictable and exciting ways. On this new album they use keyboards and drum machines to forge nine life-affirming anthems taut with muscle and blood. Pre-ordering Sound Kapital will get you a Handsome Furs postcard set for free!
Next up, we’ve got Black Up from Seattle’s enigmatic hip-hop crew, Shabazz Palaces. This debut full-length is the kind of unpredictable genius we like to think you might, possibly, by now, have come to expect from us. We are fairly certain that it is totally not grunge. We are also fairly certain that it is a profoundly amazing record. And, according to much of the early press (and something called “buzz”) that Black Up has received, we are not alone in that. If (let’s go ahead and say when) you pre-order Black Up, you’ll receive a limited edition Shabazz Palaces patch.
Alongside these two full-lengths, we’ve got two new singles coming out that day as well! There’s one from Still Corners, their first release on Sub Pop and a precursor to their full-length debut coming later this year, and our first new music from Avi Buffalo since the band’s April 2010 first and self-titled album.
Please click the respective hyperlinks to engage our self checkout system. Thank you.
Sometimes it’s just nice to have proof that certain events actually took place (especially if your memory is as unreliable as ours). Did I really flash Vanilla Ice on my walk home from the bar? Did I really, prior to seeing/flashing Vanilla Ice, participate in a pie eating contest and then puke on him, post-flashing? Sometimes without filmic documentation of events, it’s as if those events never happened.
Luckily for you/us, we have proof that we did in fact turn 22! You can now see for yourself the level of sonic debauchery that members of Jaill, Avi Buffalo, Happy Birthday, our staff and good friends in Seattle, all enjoyed without experiencing (or perhaps admitting to) an icky hangover or intense cotton mouth. Click here to see what happens when we at Sub Pop throw a 22nd birthday party for ourselves!
And, speaking of Jaill … Their new record, That’s How We Burn, comes out this Tuesday, July 27th! Starting now and until the album’s release on Tuesday, we are giving you the opportunity to stream the record in its entirety. Click here to jam on the band’s new record. Should you like what you hear (and trust us, you will) you can pre-order the album here. In addition to your copy of That’s How We Burn, you will also receive a free Jaill patch handmade by the same talented, nimble hands which made this unquestionably buyable record. And by that we mean the band made these themselves!
One last thing, Avi Buffalo, Jaill and Happy Birthday are all on the road or gearing up to head out on tour. Click here to see if any of these bands or other bands currently recording under the Sub Pop imprint of moderate quality will be passing through your town.
The Sasquatch! Music Festival is this weekend at the Gorge in eastern Washington and Vetiver, The Fruit Bats, Avi Buffalo, and No Age are playing! A couple years ago one of our publicists streaked the main stage while the Shins were playing, and I’m hoping that the publicity department brings the tradition back this year. Keep a watchful eye on the stage while any of these four bands play and maybe (hopefully!) Kate or Bekah will give you an eyeful. In the meantime, please enjoy this Sasquatch themed sampler, courtesy of your good pals here at Sub Pop.
We recently held a contest to find out what kind of info you guys wanted to know about David Cross, and all we got were a lot of questions wanting to know shit about why he’s such a dick or about his relationship with Amber Tamblyn. You know, the thing is, David and I have had some really great times together, as you can see from our photos. Also, he’s a really great, sweet guy who cares a lot about animals, presidents, and how condescending Whole Foods is. I had the opportunity, while David and I were at Medieval Times in Schaumberg, Illinois (holler!), to kick back over a bowl of Dragon’s Blood (aka tomato) soup and find out just who he really is. Let’s meet David!
LS: David, first off I’m going to ask you some fan questions that were submitted. Later on I will ask you my own, but here’s what the fans want to know:
Q: My 7-year-old loves to read the jokes from the back of Highlights Magazine and “tell” them back to me. Is this the path most professionals follow to become comedians?
DC: If by most you mean at least slightly more than 50 % then, yes. The rest of us started by stealing material from the kids who memorized the stuff from Highlights. P.S. They still make that thing? I remember reading that when I was at the medicare office waiting room with the other poor, white trash kids. And I’m an oldie! [Goofus and Gallant taught me all my manners. –ed]
Q: Do your parents like your jokes?
DC: My mom does yeah. Well to be more precise I’m not sure about the jokes per-se but she thinks that the fact that I’m a successful comic is “neat”. [It is neat! –ed]
Q: Who inspires you? What are you listening to alot of lately on your IPod?
DC: I am inspired by my friends and girlfriend more than any specific person. Although right now I’ve been watching Shameless (a British show) on dvd, catching up on it and I find it very inspiring. As a tv show. As art. I can’t wait to see how they fuck up the American version. Should be painful. I am listening to Dum Dum Girls (right now as I type this) old Goldie, still listening to Blueprint 3, Avi Buffalo, and when I’m walking home buzzed from the Pub I’ll listen to some old mod stuff — The Jam, Buzzcocks, Fall type stuff from my teenage years. I figure since I’m in London now…Oh! And this really great Nick Cave bootleg I got at the Portobello Market. That too.
DC: If I remember correctly one of the writers brought that up in the writers room as a commonly used phrase and every other person was like, “what the fuck are you talking about? I’ve never heard that” and everyone made fun of him. I am completely wrong about that though. [OK then! -ed]
Q: Do you and Bob still get along? And if not, why?
DC: Yeah! We’re very good friends. Apart from the thing with getting him banned from the Arclight Cinema for life we’re cool. [This is probably a really, really good story. –ed]
LS: Okay, well those questions were just great—thanks, readers! Now, David, I have a few things I want to know about you, so listen up. What’s your daily routine when you’re not working? Do you hang out at your house mostly or do you go out a bunch? Are you a breakfast eater?
DC: If I’m in NY I go out quite a bit. Part of that is having a dog, but even before I did I would just wake up, have a cup of coffee, check my email, scan the news, and then just head out on foot or bike with no real plan. It’s one of the best things about NY. And you invariably end up doing or experiencing something fun. If I’m in LA I mope around the area I’m in usually wishing I was back east. Now that there is a Trader Joe’s in the area (in NY) there is literally nothing better about being in LA. I’m annoying like that.
LS: I’ve read that you attended a performing arts high school—what was that like?
DC: It was a life-saver. And I mean that literally. I probably would’ve dropped out of high school and headed to NY and who knows what kind of trouble I would’ve gotten in then. I often credit moving from the suburbs to the city and going from my awful upper middle-class, Baptist, white jock-centric high school (Crestwood High) to this cool, very diverse in every sense school where P.E. was replaced by theater movement and shit like that with, perhaps, saving my life.
LS: Were you fairly popular?
DC: Somewhat. I think people knew who I was because I was a smart-ass but I wouldn’t say I was all that popular. [Notorious D.I.C. –ed.]
LS: Do you think you would’ve been a wildly different person if you had just gone to a regular school?
DC: I think I would have done things more out of anger and desperation and that sometimes isn’t the best motivation for doing things. I probably would have acted out in increasingly self-harmful ways. [That just kinda happened naturally in your adult life, right? –ed]
LS: Did you do drugs in high school?
DC: Not a lot but I would get high if anything. I started getting high at about 13. Occasionally drink but mostly weed. Not that much though. I was so bored it made life slightly more interesting. [God, tell me about it. –ed.] I didn’t try acid or mushrooms until college. And then I tried a LOT of acid and mushrooms.
LS: What are some hobbies of yours? Do you go to the gym?
DC: When I’m in LA I make myself go to the gym because I wouldn’t get much exercise outside of the occasional hike if I didn’t. In NY I walk or bike for miles a day. Every day. Are you equating going to the gym with a hobby? What a shitty hobby! [I’m fat, so I just assume it must be a hobby because why the hell else would you do it? Well, I guess to not be fat, but you know what I mean. –ed] I collect baseball cards sort of. In a rich persons way where I just buy them and put the cool ones up on my “baseball card shelf” in my office. I’m not a hardcore completest. What else? I like going to the different Scientology Centers at each city I go to. [Have you been to the one in Seattle? It’s a weird spot off Aurora, next to all the hookers. –ed.] And I like Scrapbooking the life of Anita Fargimount of Cedar Point, IL. [You are making that up. –ed]
LS: I have a list of some things here that are generally regarded as being funny. Please tell me if you find these things funny. Number one is Shreds
DC: FUCKYEAH! [Yeah, right? I mean no one could not like this. =ed]
DC: Sure, why not? [I only like the photos, not the videos. –ed]
LS: We’re almost done, and I think this could go either way, how do you feel about Daniel Tosh?
DC: Yes, I like him and the show. He’s kinda the perfect host for it. [Really?! I am pleasantly surprised by your response! I saw him once a loooong time ago. He opened for Dave Chappelle at some comedy club in Austin. I think the logo is shaped like a chili pepper on wheels. This was in 1998 or so. –ed]
LS: And finally, my favorite show and yours…America’s Funniest Home Videos!
DC: Ummmmmm…… [You obviously are not smoking that much pot these days. –ed]
Thanks for your time, David. I have so much more that I want to know now, so maybe we can do a round two at the Scientology Center next time you are in town. OH SHIT! I almost forgot! Be sure to pick up David’s new album and DVDBigger and Blackerer out May 25th!
April 17th is, for the third time ever, what we in the biz like to call Record Store Day. Everyone’s all like “oooh it’s like Christmas for record nerds!” and “record store day is my favorite new day of the year!” but the real truth is that Record Store Day just means we can sell you more records, AND, record stores will continue to exist! (Win/win) This year we are releasing limited edition records (the number in parentheses = the total run) by Beach House (2750), The Album Leaf (2000), Happy Birthday (1750), Dum Dum Girls/Male Bonding (2250), Soundgarden (5475), and CocoRosie (1250) as well as a CD (9200) of some of the live performances from our big 20th Anniversary blowout from 2008. You can read more about our RSD offerings and in-stores here and more about RSD in general here.
April 27th is the release date for the highly anticipated Avi Buffalo record called, somewhat mysteriously, Avi Buffalo. If you pre-order Avi Buffalo by April 27th, you will, for free, receive a totally limited CDR featuring four non-album tracks! So don’t delay, after April 27th, they are gone. Our mom-n-pop direct sales guy Dean Whitmore has a fantastic little musical outfit called Unnatural Helpers, and they too are releasing an album on the 27th. Cracked Love and Other Drugs is available from Hardly Art. Get it!
Hey, also, speaking of our anniversary, it was just our anniversary again! This year we turned 22. It’s cool…we’re thinking about getting our own place so we can smoke our dope in private, as well as what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives. And speaking of the rest of our lives, you are currently reading the very last edition of A Form of Paying Attention. You goddamned kids have no attention spans anymore so from May 1 on you will find news bits in place of this wordy, dumb column. It was a good run but it’s time to put ‘er down.
For the first time ever we have a three-way tie for the winners of March’s new releases. Our friends at Yours Truly do awesome video stuff like this, but they had a hard time picking a winner for me. I finally got them to say “the guy who said the Smiths,” but that’s actually two guys, so both Simon Horton and Mike Waalkes are winners of the new Ruby Suns, Golden Triangle, Happy Birthday, and Dum Dum Girls records. Also, I had to pick Bob Ham as a winner as well because I’ve been obsessing about Henry Rollins lately. (Henry, call me!) Congratulations, everyone. To win April’s new releases, including a complete pack of all of our RSD releases, please leave my column an obit in the comments section. See ya!
Avi Buffalo, Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore, Dum Dum Girls, Happy Birthday, Jaill, Male Bonding, and The Ruby Suns will all be heading down to Austin this March for the 2010 South by Southwest music festival/conference/opportunity to eat BBQ.
As you can tell by our snazzy flyer, we will once again be partnering with our good friends Hardly Art on a showcase to, one can only hope, end all showcases.
You should really go.
Sub Pop and Hardly Art SXSW Showcase 2010
Thursday, March 18th
at the Galaxy Room
508 E. 6th Street