With less than a month left until Seattleites, Washingtonians, fellow Northwesterners, national and international travelers, and the great unwashed (Sub Pop employees) arrive en masse in Seattle’s historic Georgetown neighborhood for the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee, we’re running out of time to tell you all about ourselves in an effort to coerce you into thinking to yourself, “This free, all day concert-going experience, featuring many of my favorite artists and musicians, and possibly introducing me to additional favorite artists and musicians, is how I will spend Saturday, July 13th. I should tell all of my friends about this now”. And you know what, you’re right, you should tell your friends about this; it’s going to be the best G-D day of all. This week’s Getting to Know Us, the feature intended to acquaint/reacquaint you with the artists playing the Jubilee, features King Tuff and Chad VanGaalen, two overwhelming creative hubs of music and art and wonderful weirdness of all kinds. Here, let me show you about them:
Led by long-haired, self-taught Bedazzler virtuoso and all around natural creative force, Kyle Thomas, King Tuff came to Sub Pop on the heels of their near-perfect debut, King Tuff Was Dead, (which, if you’re a connoisseur of good times, you should own (lucky for you, it just got reissued on the vinyl formatway)). Instead of releasing the King Tuff follow-up, Thomas reengineered his formula for his next project and came up with the KT bridge project, Happy Birthday, and we released their brilliant self-titled, laid-back pop anthem-laden debut in 2010 to much hoo-ha from the press. In 2012, Thomas refocused on King Tuff and gave the world King Tuff, pleasing virtually all who chose to gaze their ears upon its fuzzy glory. Watch the embedded video for KT’s “Bad Thing” to get an earful of what we’re clumsily trying to tell you about. OH! It’s always worth noting that AllMusic.com decreed upon King Tuff the musical theme: “TGIF”; those guys clearly get it.
Sub Pop has had the privilege of putting out four of Chad VanGaalen’s records in just eight years. They’ve each been haunting, beautiful and weird—a sort of weird beauty. In addition to being a uniquely gifted and prolific musician/songwriter, Chad is also a visual artist with an output similar to his musical output, which is to say, he’s like a nuclear reactor of creative energy. He has illustrated and animated most of his own music videos, adding an additional sensory dimension through which his haunting songs can are conveyed. Watch the accompanying “Molten Light” to get the eerie and enthralling CvG experience. Chad has also illustrated and animated music videos for Sub Pop labelmates like J Mascis (also playing the Jubilee), as you can see here.
Chad and Kyle are just two of Sub Pop’s many creative weirdos, and two more very convincing reasons why the July 13th Sub Pop Silver Jubilee is going to be a wonderfully absurd place to park yourself for the day—we hope to see you there. Thanks again for getting to know us.
Another week is already on top of us, June’s entering its awkward tweens, and we’ve got another issue of Getting to Know Us, the weekly column in which we go on and on (and on) about a few of the artists playing our self indulgent 25th anniversary party (the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee—July 13th—Seattle), with the tedium of proud parents in an effort to acquaint/reacquaint you with the artists playing. This week, we’re going to tell you all about Greg Dulli, Shearwater, and The Baptist Generals.
Among Sub Pop’s many prodigal sons, Greg Dulli stands out because we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to work with him on not just one, but three different projects: The Afghan Whigs, The Gutter Twins, and most recently, The Twilight Singers; each sonically unique unto themselves yet somehow all clearly branded “Dulli”—all with truly astonishing releases. Greg Dulli is going to have an unparalleled depth in which to pull songs from, so a performance from him is likely to be a multi-decade-spanning trip from the past to the present with stops everywhere in between—we’re excited to board any ship with Greg Dulli at the helm—it’s going to be a great ride. Watch the video for “On The Corner”, from Twight Singers’ 2011 Dynamite Steps to hear what we’re saying.
Shearwater’s prolific career has been on high speed for over a decade, but we’ve only just recently been lucky enough to work with them having released their seventh full-length record, Animal Joy, in 2012. Without a background in poetry, it’s difficult to accurately describe exactly the sound that Shearwater has so developed over the years—dark with a healthy dose of pirated optimism?—yikes, that’s not it. Check out their cinematic video for “You As You Were”, my personal favorite Shearwater song.
The Baptist Generals hold the Sub Pop Records record for longest time span between debut and sophomore record—No Silver/No Gold and Jackleg Devotional to the Heart—2003 and 2013, respectively; a full decade. It’s no small feat reintroducing a band to a generation of music listeners and record collectors who were forced to move on after the long wait, but upon our first hearing Jackleg, there was no question that we had to share this record with anyone and everyone who we could play it for, which is to say, it may have been a long time, but The Baptist Generals sound is as good as ever. They’re like the Meryl Streep of Denton, TX-based musicians. To hear proof of this well-aged sound, listen to “Broken Glass.”
With last Friday’s announcement expanding the already get-here-July 13th-no-matter-what caliber lineup for The Silver Jubilee to include METZ, King Tuff, Built To Spill, Chad VanGaalen, and brand new Sub Pop artists, clipping., this festival is shaping up to be the best we’ve ever been to—here’s to hoping you can join us.
And then there is also this third pile of evidence:
Starting next Wednesday, August 3rd, Chad begins a European tour that runs through August 20th and takes him to the UK, Germany, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, the Czezh Republic, and probably some other countries that I am right now neglecting to include here because this list is already kind of long! Here are all of Chad’s confirmed tour dates. It is worth noting here that he will also be doing some as-yet-unannounced touring on the west coast of the United States in October of this year.
Chad VanGaalen is a wildly talented artist, illustrator and animator from Calgary. And on May 17th, we at Sub Pop Records have the very great privilege of releasing Chad’s new full-length record, Diaper Island, on CD (round, small-ish), LP (also round, bigger) and digitally (invisible). With this new album, Chad has distilled his approach, producing his most sonically cohesive album to date, and the closest thing he has done to a rock album. As with all of his albums, Chad is single-handedly responsible for all of the artistic efforts that went into Diaper Island—from album art to music videos and everything in between. The new video Chad made for the song “Peace on the Rise” (click title to watch) is ample supporting evidence for the “wildly talented” claim above. And, because he is something of an overachiever, Chad drew a series of items into the video for you to find and, having found them all, enter yourself for the chance to win a totally awesome Chad VanGaalen prize pack which will include a copy of Diaper Island on both CD and limited edition green vinyl (only 300 pressed) as well as a shirt hand drawn by Chad himself.
Click here to watch the “Peace on the Rise” video AND enter Chad’s contest.
Although it borders upon cruel to even mention this since they are now ALLGONE, we gave the first 200 people to pre-order Diaper Island from subpop.com a free 5″ × 6.5″, limited-edition, hand-numbered art print. This print features art from Diaper Island and Chad has drawn something unique on each of these. You can see what these look like here. That was for the first 200 people to order this record–those are now gone. But! Everyone who orders Diaper Island on CD or LP (and, remember, the LP will come with a coupon for a free, high-quality mp3 download of the album) will receive free Chad VanGaalen Diaper Island stickers and instant access to a stream of the album in its entirety, providing access to hear the record in the time betwixt ordering and receiving.
Chad has also announced a few US shows in June, with more dates promised in the not too terribly distant future.
Chad VanGaalen on the road:
Jun 19 Castaways, Ithaca, NY
Jun 20 Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
Jun 21 Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Jun 22 T.T.the Bear’s, Cambridge, MA
Jun 23 Il Motore, Montreal, QC
Jun 25 Sled Island Festival, Calgary, Canada
Click here for more information on Chad VanGaalen.
Chad VanGaalen is a wildly talented artist, illustrator and animator from Calgary. And on May 17th, we at Sub Pop Records have the very great privilege of releasing Diaper Island, Chad’s fourth full-length record for the label. With this new album, Chad has distilled his approach, producing his most sonically cohesive album to date, and the closest thing he has done to a rock album. As with all of his albums, Chad is single-handedly responsible for all of the artistic efforts that went into Diaper Island—from album art to music videos and everything in between. No doubt you see what we were talking about with that “wildly talented” stuff at the beginning of this paragraph. Because we are such great fans of Chad’s art, in all of its manifestations, we’ll be giving the first 200 people to pre-order Diaper Island from subpop.com a free 5” x 6.5”, limited-edition, hand-numbered art print. This print will feature art from Diaper Island and Chad has promised to write or draw something on each of these. That’s for the first 200 people to order this record – when those are gone, that’s it. But! Everyone who pre-orders Diaper Island on CD or LP (and, remember, the LP will come with a coupon for a free, high-quality mp3 download of the album) will receive a couple of free stickers and instant access to a stream of the album in its entirely, providing access to hear the record in the time betwixt ordering and receiving. All of this for you, from us, with affection bordering on the inappropriate.