We have been popping bubbly all day long over at Sub Pop HQ, as Grammy Nominations were announced late last night for this year’s awards and two of our artists, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba and Flight of the Conchords were nominated. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba’s I Speak Fula was nominated in the category of “Best Traditional World Music Album” and Flight of the Conchords I Told You I Was Freaky for “Best Comedy Album.” Big ups also to Low whose song “Silver Rider” was covered by Robert Plant on his latest release, Band Of Joy, which was nominated for “Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.” Needless to say, we are STOKED!
We would also like to send our congrats to Sub Pop alums Band of Horses and Broken Bells (which is fronted by James Mercer of The Shins) for nominations in the category of Best Alternative Music Album.
For a full list of nominations click here.
Next Ambiance’s Debut Album, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba’s I Speak Fula, Scheduled for Digital Release in North America on December 1st, 2009
SEATTLE, WA—Sub Pop Records and KEXP radio host Jon Kertzer have come together to form Next Ambiance, a world music imprint. Malian band Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba’s I Speak Fula will be the first album out on Next Ambiance, and is scheduled for digital release on iTunes, December 1st, 2009 and for CD release on February 2nd, 2009. The band will embark on their first US tour, opening for nine-time Grammy winner Bela Fleck, in early 2010 in support of the record. Tour dates and more information provided below.
Founded by Jon Kertzer, the host of KEXP’s “The Best Ambiance” radio show, a long-running weekly program that focuses on both pop and traditional music from the African continent, Next Ambiance continues the musical exploration, with an emphasis on mind-blowing and life-changing artists with no particular regional or cultural bias.
“I’ve listened and learned so much from Jon’s show (”The Best Ambiance") for half of my life. It just seemed natural to put his knowledge, resources and remarkable taste to further use. It’ll certainly be a boon to listeners everywhere," commented Sub Pop Records co-founder, Jonathan Poneman. “Our first release with Bassekou Kouyate and his incredible band Ngoni ba from Mali in West Africa, is the perfect way to begin this new adventure. Their album I Speak Fula captures this truly original music, like nothing you have heard before.”
Don’t expect many releases from Sub Pop/Next Ambiance initially. After all, it’s going to take a particularly brave artist or artists to follow Bassekou. Sub Pop/Next Ambiance will release I Speak Fula throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand.
“I am very excited to be working with Sub Pop on the Next Ambiance imprint to release the best of the world’s music, innovative and ground-breaking sounds that follow new paths,” stated Kertzer.
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba:
Malian Bassekou Kouyate made his international debut with the 2007 album Segu Blue. Released by Out Here Records, the album received critical acclaim and won the band the coveted honor of performing on the Jools Holland Show, as well as 2008 BBC 3 nomination for Best Newcomer, going on to win in both the Album of the Year category as well as Best African Act.
Their sophomore effort, I Speak Fula, was released on September 21, 2009 in the UK and, unsurprisingly, received widespread critical acclaim. Known for their riveting live performances, I Speak Fula more effectively conveys the energy and infectious intensity of that experience than the band’s first album. In October 2009 Bassekou once again performed on The Jools Holland Show alongside the likes of Yoko Ono and The Dead Weather.
“This is a cracker.”**** MOJO
“A contender for African album of the year” * Uncut
“…the best rock’n’roll band in the world.” The Independent
Beginning in early February 2010, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba will share the bill with Bela Fleck for their inaugural tour through the United States.
Click for 2010 Tour Dates
More about Sub Pop Records:
Sub Pop Records was founded in 1988 by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman. The Seattle-based label was the original home to such legendary bands as Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney, and has enjoyed more recent successes with such artists as The Postal Service, The Shins, Iron & Wine, Band of Horses, Flight of the Conchords, and Fleet Foxes.
In 2002, Sub Pop came into contact with Minneapolis’ De Stijl Records when trying to track down Michael Yonkers, whose Microminiature Love was spinning constantly on office stereos. They entered into a production and distribution agreement with De Stijl that has spawned reissues from Ju Suk Reet Meate (of Smegma,) Ed Askew and 39 Clocks as well as original material from Pens, Jacob Olaussen, King Darves and more.
Sub Pop founded subsidiary label Hardly Art in early 2007. With a smaller staff but no less immodest goals, Hardly Art is able to focus its energies on emerging talent from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Since its inception, Hardly Art has ushered in acclaimed debuts from The Moondoggies, The Dutchess & the Duke, Le Loup, and more.
Sub Pop is pleased to welcome Next Ambiance to its family of labels.
For more information on Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba tour dates, contact Jenifer Shepherd firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Sub Pop Records contact Kate Jackson email@example.com.
IN HONOR OF THIS SPECIAL DAY, SUB POP RECORDS WILL RELEASE A MARVELOUS RANGE OF MUSIC PRODUCTS, AVAILABLE ONLY IN PARTICIPATING RECORD STORES
Record Store Day In-Store Performances by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, No Age, Male Bonding & Dum Dum Girls
Originally conceived in 2007 as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally, the first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Now celebrated the third Saturday every April, it’s the one day each year that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists and labels to celebrate the art of music. We at Sub Pop Records have put together a whole raft of releases (seven in all!) to help entice people into record stores to enjoy the many pleasures offered there. Each destined for future collector’s item status, the Sub Pop Record Store Day 2010 series of releases is sure to appeal to the minor OCD tendencies of every true music enthusiast. To find a participating store, go here.
FOR: RECORD STORE DAY 2010
FROM: SUB POP, WITH LOVE
Beach House “Zebra” 12” (sp877)
The “Zebra” 12” features 2 new tracks (“The Arrangement” and “Baby”) and 2 alternate takes on songs from the popular 2010 Teen Dream album (a UK radio edit of “Zebra” and the Cough Syrup remix of “10 Mile Stereo”). Available now: Beach House’s Teen Dream SP845, CD+DVD/2xLP+DVD.
1. Zebra (UK Radio Edit)
2. The Arrangement
2. 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)
The Album Leaf “There Is a Wind” 12” (sp878)
The “There Is a Wind” 12” features 2 new tracks (“Landing in Snow” and “Resonations”) and 2 alternate takes on songs from the popular 2010 A Chorus of Storytellers album (an acoustic version of “There Is a Wind” and the Jamuel Saxon sunburnt remix of “Falling from the Sun”). Also available now: The Album Leaf’s A Chorus of Storytellers SP805, CD/2xLP.
1. There Is a Wind (acoustic)
2. Landing in Snow
2. Falling from the Sun (Jamuel Saxon sunburnt remix)
Dum Dum Girls / Male Bonding 7” (sp876)
Two brand-new and exclusive tracks for Record Store Day 2010, one each from LA’s Dum Dum Girls and London’s Male Bonding. Both bands have debut albums out this spring on Sub Pop. Also available now: Dum Dum Girls’ I Will Be SP840, CD/LP. Available May 11th: Male Bonding’s Nothing Hurts SP854, CD/LP
Side A: Dum Dum Girls “Pay for Me”
Side AA: Male Bonding “Before It’s Gone”
Happy Birthday 7” (sp874)
Two brand-new and exclusive tracks for Record Store Day 2010 from Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas’ Happy Birthday. Both of these tracks, like those of Happy Birthday’s self-titled March 2010 debut album, were recorded and mixed at Kyle’s home studio. Available March 16th: Happy Birthday’s Happy Birthday SP850 CD/LP.
Side A: “Shampoo”
Side B: “Alien”
Soundgarden “Hunted Down” 7” Reissue (sp12a)
This reissue of a Sub Pop classic was arranged specially for Record Store Day. “Hunted Down” was released in June 1987 as the band’s first single and was later available on Screaming Life. This single is pressed on translucent orange vinyl. The original, now a Soundgarden collector’s item, was pressed on blue vinyl.
Side A: “Hunted Down”
Side B: “Nothing to Say”
CocoRosie “Lemonade" 7” (sp884)
The A-side to this limited-edition single is an edit of one of the stand-out tracks from the new CocoRosie album Grey Oceans and the B-side is the band’s cover of the Beach Boys’ classic “Surfer Girl.” Grey Oceans, CocoRosie’s Sub Pop debut (and fourth full-length album overall) will be released on May 11, 2010. Watch a ““Smokey Taboo” trailer from Grey Oceans.
Side A: “Lemonade”
Side B: “Surfer Girl”
SP20: Casual Nostalgia Fest CD (sp879)
We at Sub Pop Records celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2008 with, among other things, a 2-day music festival July 12th and 13th at Marymoor Park, somewhat unimaginatively called SP20. We’ve collected here some of our favorite performances from the SP20 festival. Sub Pop will be donating all of the profits from the sale of this CD to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
1. Green River: “Leech”
2. Wolf Parade: “Fine Young Cannibals”
3. The Vaselines: “Dying for It”
4. Obits: “Run”
5. Les Thugs: “Dirty White Race”
6. Eric’s Trip: “Smother”
7. Beachwood Sparks: “You Take the Gold”
8. Blitzen Trapper: “Furr”
9. Flight of the Conchords: “Carol Brown”
10. Iron & Wine: “Woman King”
11. Constantines: “Why I Didn’t Like August ‘93”
12. Seaweed “Baggage”
13. Grand Archives: “Dig That Crazy Grave”
14. Low: “Silver Rider”
15. The Helio Sequence: “Lately”
16. Kinski: “The Wives of Artie Shaw”
17. Pissed Jeans: “Caught Licking Leather”
18. Mudhoney: “The Open Mind”
19. Comets on Fire: “Dogwood Rust”
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba at Waterloo Records in Austin
Male Bonding & Dum Dum Girls at Origami Records in Los Angeles
No Age at Sweat Records in Miami
Obits at Generation Records in New York CANCELED—SORRY!
As we all know, February is for L-O-V-I-N-G, and that’s why we perfectly timed the following three fantastic records for February release. First up is The Album Leaf’s third full-length for Sub Pop called A Chorus of Storytellers. It’s their best album yet – we LOVE it. Did you know that people LOVE The Album Leaf so G-D much that they sometimes get related tattoos? They do! And there are a lot of them – it’s a thing. Read about it and see pictures here. Also out the same day is the first release on new Sub Pop imprint Next Ambiance by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba called I Speak Fula. Malian maestro Bassekou is a virtuoso picker and musical visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music, and this album has already been LOVED DEEPLY following its European release in late ’09. MOJO named it the #2 World Music album of 2009, and the #27 album overall while Uncut called I Speak Fula “…a contender for African album of the year.” On February 16th, we’re releasing Dear Companion, a collaboration between three Kentucky musicians. The songs were written and performed by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, produced by and featuring a dude from My Morning Jacket and Monsters of Folk. Recorded in the first half of 2009 in their home state, Dear Companion explores their ties to the place they LOVE and aims to draw attention to the problem of Mountaintop Removal coal mining (which, they DON’T LOVE) and its impact on the people and heritage of central Appalachia (back to LOVE again; they LOVE these last things).
Don’t forget to check our tour page to see if The Album Leaf, Bassekou Kouyate, Daniel Martin Moore & Ben Sollee are headed your way. (Hint: they are!)
Also, for a chance to win a package of Sub Pop’s new releases for the month of February make sure to leave a comment down below telling me what you think is the best Sub Pop song for Valentine’s Day. (Last month’s winner is Will Sturgeon. He plays music and lives in LA. Check him out here.)