On Friday, July 12th (the night before our free, utterly vainglorious Silver Jubilee festival in Georgetown on July 13th), Sub Pop Records will be hosting Silver Jubil-eve: An Anniversary Comedy Thing (for Charity!) staring Eugene Mirman, Marc Maron, Kristen Schaal, Jon Benjamin, and Kurt Braunohler at the Moore Theatre. In this week’s edition of Getting To Know Us, we’re going to tell you a little bit about the comedians who will make you laugh.
Let’s start with the one and only Kurt Braunohler. I have to admit, I didn’t know who the one and only Kurt Braunohler was before we announced the lineup to the Silver Jubil-eve Comedy thing, but I don’t “get” jokes, so not only do the laughs go over my head, but apparently, so do the comics. Upon researching (this particular edition should be called Us Getting To Know Us), I’ve found out some wonderful things about Kurt, like the fact that he lends his wonderful voice to the very good TV show, Bob’s Burgers and also, according to Wikipedia, Kurt Braunohler is active on Vine—which seems like a low point of information delivery for Wikipedia. But none of the Kurt Braunohler things I found out about was as wonderful as the fact that this past spring, Kurt successfully raised $4,000 on the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter, in order to hire a plane to skywrite “How Do I Land?” in Southern California in order to promote his new comedy record. Amazing. Also, Kurt hosts the IFC show, Bunk.
You’ll likely know Kristen Schaal from her unsettling roles on Flight of the Conchords, 30 Rock, or, less unsettlingly, Bob’s Burgers, playing aggressively weird, restraining order-inducing, yet somehow charming characters. She’s also a correspondent on a news program called The Daily Show, which is a very informative romp through the international happenings of the day with a focused mistrust of the fine folks over at Fox News. Kristen’s been a friend of Sub Pop’s for a some time now and whenever she pops into the office, she’s kind and we laugh our collective ass off. Simply put, she’s one of our favorite people.
Jon Benjamin’s prolific career includes lending his voice to a lot of animated characters in magical shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force (number one in the hood, G), Dr. Katz, Archer, and most recently, the voice of the patriarch of the weirdest G-D family on TV, Bob’s Burgers’, Bob Belcher. He’s also hosted his own show on Comedy Central called, Jon Benjamin Has a Van. But perhaps most importantly, he guest starred on HBO’s Sex And The City, a show about four women having sex in a city. It’s very interesting.
Marc Maron hosts what seems to be the world’s preeminent podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, a podcast that has become so popular that even my mom is misquoting Marc. He’s also had countless other roles in the American comedysphere over the past couple of decades, a fact that would be a huge disservice to Marc’s colossal reputation if I glossed over—a disservice I am very willing to commit for the sake of brevity and to focus on the importance of what Marc has created with WTF, a hilarious and poignant podcast with over 400 episodes boasting a list of guests so heavy that picking the highlights is impossible—an impossibility I’m willing to overcome by listing some of my personal favorites here: Bob Saget, Bobcat, Patton, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Cheech as well as Chong, Gallagher (!), Conan, Paul Reiser, Richard Lewis, and Andrew Dice Clay—I should remind you that this impressive list goes up to 400. What I’m trying to say is, you should really be listening to WTF on the reg.
Having two hilarious records out on Sub Pop, Eugene Mirman has been a part of the family for several years now. He’s also the event creator and host for the Sub Pop Jubil-eve 25th Anniversary Comedy Thing (for Charity!). Eugene’s done time as a cast member on Flight of the Conchords and most recently, on the fine folks at Fox’s show Bob’s Burgers. (It should be noted that BB is currently streaming on Netflix and I’ve been watching a lot of it lately. Clearly.) Eugene’s also written and performed what I consider to be the absolute best joke on homophobia that there ever will be —it involves Teenwolf, the Saxons, and the gay wars of Mesopotamia. If you join us on the Sub Pop Silver Jubil-eve, you’re going to be in great, hilarious hands with Eugene. We couldn’t be happier or more honored to have him host our comedy event.
Just to recap, the evening will be hosted by Eugene Mirman and features performances from Marc Maron, Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, & Kurt Braunohler. Tickets for the event are $25 and will be on sale June 7th at 10 a.m. You can purchase tickets via phone at 1-877-784-4849, online at STGPresents.org and tickets.com or available with NO service charge at the Paramount box office open M-F, 10am-6pm, plus show nights. Tickets available with a $1.50 service charge at 24 hr electronic kiosks located outside the Paramount, Moore, and Neptune- and with a reduced service charge at Sonic Boom Records. All proceeds from this event will benefit local organizations 90.3FM KEXP, Northwest Harvest and the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.
This event is in conjunction with our altogether FREE Sub Pop Silver Jubilee music festival on Saturday, July 13th in Seattle’s historic Georgetown neighborhood. The festival will feature a number of Sub Pop artists both past and present. It’s truly going to be a massive orgy of proto-grunge, grunge, and post-grunge—all not to be missed. So join us. More information can be found here.
Sub Pop only turns 25 once! Did you think that we were going to mark such a momentous milestone simply by spending the better part of a year planning the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee which entailed booking a large number of Sub Pop-related bands that span the entirety of our tenure, shut down an ENTIRE Seattle neighborhood for one full day, figure out how to feed and tipsify a massive crowd of thousands, provide many other forms of entertainment and time-passery, and charge you absolutely nothing for entry? Well, what I’m saying here, in an incredibly convoluted way, is if you did think that long thing above, you were dead wrong. We’re also having a comedy show at The Moore Theatre in Seattle on July 12th—the Sub Pop Silver Jubil-eve (clever, no?). Watch the accompanying video starring the evening’s host, Eugene Mirman, and read on for more details.
The important things to know:
On Friday, July 12th (the night before our free, utterly vainglorious Silver Jubilee festival in Georgetown on July 13th), Sub Pop Records presents Silver Jubil-eve: A 25th Anniversary Comedy Thing (for Charity!) at the Moore Theatre. The evening will be hosted by Eugene Mirman and features performances from Marc Maron, Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, & Kurt Braunohler. Tickets for the event are $25 and will be on sale June 7th at 10 a.m. You can purchase tickets via phone at 1-877-784-4849, online at STG Presents or in person at The Paramount Theatre box office. All proceeds from this event will benefit local organizations 90.3FM KEXP, Northwest Harvest and the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.
Tickets avialable online at stgpresents.org and tickets.com, also available with NO service charge at the Paramount box office open Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, plus show nights. Tickets available with a $1.50 service charge at 24-hr electronic kiosks located outside the Paramount, Moore, and Neptune, and with a reduced service charge at Sonic Boom Records.
All of the bands/artists/comedians participating in our various 20th anniversary revelries have agreed to play for free in the hopes of raising a bunch of money to give to a bunch of worthwhile organizations. Basically, we’re pooling the money we make, dividing it amongst everyone playing and each band/artist/comedian picks a recipient.
Herewith the list of organizations to which these folks have elected to donate their share of the proceeds. And, sometimes, where possible, we’ve included a bit of info about why they picked who they did.
We are going to donate our portion to the Farm Sanctuary. It is a group that rescues factory farm animals. They educate communities and children on responsible humane farming practices. They help take a little bit of violence away.
We are grateful and pleased to be a part of this event because we are donating the show revenue to help America’s homeless veterans. Far too many of our armed service men and women come back home from duty overseas to a place where people treat them like second-class citizens and give our faithful service men and women the cold shoulder. These people are to be honored and that is why we have chosen to make our donation for this show to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. This organization helps homeless veterans with shelters and social services. They also help drug and alcohol addicted veterans who want help finding an answer to their problems.
[from Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold…] I never learned a classical instrument in school or elsewhere and now I really regret it. I feel like I’m playing catch up now when I could’ve been learning all these things from an early age. Hopefully this money will buy some genius kids some stuff that’ll help them discover what they want to do in life!
The American Red Cross International Response Fund provides immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help victims of natural disasters and other crises around the world.
Katharine House is located 4 miles south of Banbury and lies on the borders of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire amidst beautiful gardens where peace and tranquility prevail. The Hospice building was completed in 1991 and today the specialist palliative care services offered include in-patient, day centre, out-patients (medical and lymphoedema), community nurse specialists (Macmillan), and bereavement support. No charge is made to patients or their families for any aspect of care.
Our good friend and Seattle guitar god Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer, Monkeywrench, The Tom Price Desert Classic) has early onset Parkinson’s Disease. We decided to donate Green River’s SP20 winnings to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation in his honor.
Darcy is a friend of ours here in Portland who has been diagnosed with type IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In 2007, she bravely went through chemotherapy and the cancer went into remission, but unfortunately it has recently relapsed. We are very concerned for Darcy and our hearts go out to her, her husband, and her family. If you would like to make a donation to help Darcy out you can go to any Washington Mutual branch and say that you would like to donate to the “Darcy Davidson Cancer Fund.”
Kinski supports First Place, a Seattle-based agency devoted to educating and nurturing children whose families struggle with homelessness. First Place gives kids from grades K through 6 a safe, stable environment to learn and grow, and offers housing and support services that help their families achieve stability. Hope, home and education for every child, one family at a time.
Northwest Film Forum is a Seattle-based, non-profit center for the film arts. Much like Sub Pop does for music, NWFF supports the production of independent film by local artists, and connects that community to its international constituency. NWFF also operates two cinemas on Capitol Hill, screening hundreds of programs year-round, often including music documentaries and commissioning live scores for classic films. Belmondo!!
The Maasai Cultural Foundation is working to document the deeply rooted music of East Africa’s Maasai people, while focusing on health and education projects in the Maasai communities where music is recorded. One such example is our adult education program in Namuncha, Kenya, where over one-hundred rural Maasai men and women are learning to read, write and do arithmetic in a school building funded by the band Low. Visit us at www.maasaiculture.org to learn more about our projects, the Maasai people and hear samples of Maasai music!
826Boston is a wonderful nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Writing is crucial to the survival of mankind and the propagation of knowledge and commerce. Without proper writing skills you wouldbkgi kallo fa fa wough. See? It’s important. To that end, 826Boston provides free drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, and much more —- because without the written word people would constantly forget the Bill of Rights and wipe out civilization.
Our good friend and Seattle guitar god Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer, Monkeywrench, The Tom Price Desert Classic) has early onset Parkinson’s Disease. We decided to donate Mudhoney’s SP20 winnings to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation in his honor.
We seriously love animals! Big time! PAWS is awesome! They help out animals that have been abandoned, hurt, and basically screwed over by people – both intentionally and unintentionally. They also try to deal with the problem at its core – not just a band-aid – if you know what I mean. There is a big focus on education and general knowledge sharing.
A big problem with a lot of other animal shelters is that they end up killing a lot of their “guests” because of capacity issues – but PAWS has a “no-kill” policy! They try to find homes for all domesticated animals and return wild ones back to whence they came.
Those who work for this organisation are pretty aws in our opinion and deserve all the money help they can get.
Seaweed supports the great work of the Emergency Food Network. Each charitable dollar is transformed into $12 worth of food for our hungry friends in Tacoma/Pierce County (low-income families, seniors, and the homeless). EFN also operates an organic farm and an orchard which serve as living laboratories for students to learn about sustainable farming practices. It is the only emergency food distribution center in the country to produce and distribute large quantities of organic produce (over 150,000 pound per year!). Seaweed thanks the Emergency Food Network for a job well done.
This charity was chosen because Bks Iyengar has spread the teaching of yoga throughout the world. He, as the chief patron of The Bellur Trust, is now working towards providing the basic amenities to improve the quality of life of the children of Bellur, his birth place.
We hope we’re not presuming too much here, but what with you being here now, reading this this thing that we wrote, it’s probably fair to say you are partial to the thing we do (if there’s any question, we release musical records (and t-shirts!)) But you may or may not also be aware that we are, on occasion, a comedy record label and are sometimes hilarious. Well, not us exactly, but at least a small handful of the artists we work with are professionally hilarious—you know, for their job (unlike the person authoring this blogpost). Specifically, Flight of the Conchords, Eugene Mirman, David Cross, and Patton Oswalt are hilarious. And right now, everything related to those very funny professional comedians that we sell is 30% off at SubPop.com! That means all CDs, LPs, DVDs, tapes, t-shirts, and perhaps more!
We hope that it comes as no (or even relatively little) surprise that we here at Sub Pop Records are great fans of a few things that are not actually on or directly related to Sub Pop Records. And one of these things that we are great fans of is the Suicide Squeeze record label. The label is both our neighbor and friend and is right now in the midst of an unbelievable Decade Crushing Sale. Read all about it below, but mostly, you should get over there and get you some.
From Suicide Squeeze Records:
After all the party-ending, porch-collapsing celebration, 2009 is history. Dead and gone, and good riddance… Fuck 2009: the hardest year of our past 14 years. What can I say? The raw truth is that if it weren’t for our bands (their fans, and ours) we’d be dead and gone too. Yeah, the collapse of Touch and Go Records—our exclusive national distributor—hit pretty close to home.
As one year of transition and hope becomes another year, stretching into an unknown, yet blindingly exciting future… All you can do is take the deepest of breaths, and hold tight to the things you love the most…
Help us maintain what we love: our family of bands, and the beautifully diverse music they create. And help yourselves, too, to some of this past decade’s great albums and singles… Everything from our most recent release (Russian Circles “Geneva”) to the earliest 7-inches by Modest Mouse and Elliott Smith—massively discounted. Sound to discover, sound to share.
Eugene Mirman just released a new comedy record on Sub Pop called God is a Twelve-Year-Old-Boy With Asperger’s and it’s funny stuff. One of the problems with being a funny guy is that people always want you to do funny things. No one wants to just sit down with you and ask you mundane questions, but that’s totally my bag, so, a few days ago I interviewed Eugene Mirman over email. Here it is:
LS: Hi! So, how are those plates selling? If you are willing to sell a plate, what would you not sell with your face on it? While we’re at it, tell me about the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, please. Was it a success?
EM: The plates are sold out maybe, unless there are still some through my site. There might be. I would sell lots of things with my face on it, including — hats, a school bus, high-end instant soup, and an artists imagining of Zeus’ penis. And yes, the festival was a success. It was very fun. We had a whole roast pig the opening night, rented a limo to shuttle the audience [One limo! Sounds like quite a crowd! –ed.] from the venue to the subway and had lots of great comedians who shined a light onto societies ills and also joked around about sex and drinking.
LS: Sometimes you say hi to me and sometimes you don’t—what’s the deal with that?
EM: I can be spacey sometimes. Or maybe I’m trying to be mysterious and doing it wrong. Either way, sorry about that.
LS: I figure people ask you about comedy all the time, and I will later probably, but what interests me more right now is that you are Russian. That’s interesting. Tell me about it. I had a Russian boyfriend who moved here in the ‘80s and he had no friends and was stuffed in the trophy cases at school and stuff. Did that happen to you? Do you speak Russian? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does being Russian affect your everyday life? Is it affect or effect? I’m pretty sure it’s affect but now I am doubting myself.
EM: I do speak Russian. I talk to my parents a few times a week. It affects me 2.5 on that scale. In the 80s it probably affected me 4.2. I wasn’t stuffed in a trophy case (I was never good enough), but in elementary school people called me a commie and blamed me when the Russians shot down a Korean airliner. Eventually what started as a youthful disdain of Ruskies transformed into a much broader disdain for me throughout my adolescence. I also was probably [most likely –ed.] annoying. It was most likely a destructive cycle that ended sometime around 11th grade. On a side note, a friend of mine recently told me that in third grade our teacher told her to stop being friends with me because I was a loser and as proof showed her my standardized test scores. They were indeed very low. [You can’t be a loser in third grade. It just doesn’t work that way. –ed.]
LS: You played a rapist in some schmaltzy TV crime drama. Do you still go audition for parts like that or do you have enough work to not do that anymore? I noticed that you have a night of crime drama comedians at your upcoming fest—that’s funny stuff!
EM: I was not a rapist — I was only a suspected arsonist. [I’m going to have to fire my fact checker. –ed.] I don’t really audition for stuff like that very much, and in general don’t really like auditions and try to avoid them (with good success). [So, you pay your bills solely with plate sales? That is amazing! –ed.]
EM: All those people are in relationships (or married!!!!), so they don’t date. However, I bet they’ve each had sex with at least eight people, which is awesome. It would take too long to tell stories about all of them, but once I know that David Cross, Jon Benjamin and Morgan Murphy got a hotel to let them into Zach Galifianakis’ room by convincing the hotel that Zach was a danger to himself. They were drunk and the convincing took about an hour. [He totally looks like a cutter. I’m surprised it took it them an hour. -ed.]
LS: I emailed Todd Barry to see if he had any dirt/info on you that I could use for this interview but he never got back to me. What do you think he was doing instead?
EM: He was probably making love to a wonderful woman with a beautiful tattoo. [Doubt it. –ed.]
LS: Tell me about the comedy scene in New York. Do you guys hang out a lot and do non-comedy stuff or is it all comedy all the time? Is there somewhere where you guys can be found regularly, like George and Jerry and Elaine at that diner?
EM: We all live in an eight-story brownstone (called a “Double Brownstone”) in Brooklyn and go to see movies, watch each others kids and write television shows and movies. It’s where most of the major alt-comedy decisions are made. [I think you’re pulling my leg. –ed.]
LS: Have you ever played Giggles here in Seattle? If so, did you try the Rita Rudner nachos?
EM: No. And as a result, sadly, no I haven’t tried the nachos. I can’t imagine I’m missing out on much, or are Seattle comedy clubs known for their amazing Mexican food? [Seattle, in general, is known for its Mexican food. HARHARHAR!!! –ed.]
LS: What is an average day for you, Eugene? Tell me what it’s like to wake up and be you.
EM: I wake up, finish the second half of a vodka-infused watermelon, give my cat a shot of insulin (he has diabetes), write for an hour, make breakfast, do an interview, and then meet up with friends to work on weird projects. Sometimes I go to a birthday party at the end of the day. [That sounds really nice, except the part about the diabetic cat. That part sounds like a pain. –ed.]
LS: VERYIMPORTANT! What kind of shoes do you wear? What kind of ladies’ shoes are a deal breaker for you?
EM: Shoe shoes. Not sure. [You are trying to tell me that you don’t know what kind of shoes you wear?! For real? What if you wore these?] I don’t have a kind of ladies’ shoe that I outright have disdain for and wouldn’t feel comfortable making one up. I guess if a woman had shoes with anti-semetic stuff written all over them I wouldn’t date her. [Bingo! –ed.]
LS: Were you cool in high school? Did you have a lot of friends? Did you “party”? Did you do drugs? Do you do drugs now?
EM: I wasn’t cool, sorry. I was accepted eventually and had a nice time and friends. I don’t do drugs. I do get a lot of emails from people telling me I must have been really high when I made some video or something and I tell them that I wasn’t, that I’m just a bit of a weirdo. [What about all the cocaine that comedians do? Do the other guys from the double brownstone just take your portion? –ed.]
LS: Did you go to college? Where? What was your major? (If you did not go to college you can make up whatever you want here…)
EM: I went to Hampshire College in western Mass. You can design your own major there, so I majored in comedy. [That’s kind of like going to college, I guess. –ed] I did a one-hour standup act as my thesis. It was actually quite practical since I’m a comedian now, but at the time grownups thought what I was doing was birdbrained and frivolous.
LS: If you had to live in another American city other than New York where would it be?
EM: It would be in Seattle, Austin, Cape Cod, Boston, or maybe Northampton. Maybe Chicago too?
LS: What kind of candy do you like? Chocolate or fruity stuff? Are you a fan of sour patch candies?
EM: I am more of a savory person [Me too! –ed], but yes, I like all those things. I guess Reese’s Pieces, Butterfingers and Whoppers are some of my favorites. [Butterfingers suck, but otherwise I am right there with you. –ed.]
LS: If you had to get a 9-5 job what do you think it would be? What’s your skill set? Are you good at computers?
EM: I would be a weird professor or discredited scientist. Would it count if I worked at a company where I made weird stuff and put it on the Internet or is that too close to what I already do? [No. –ed.] What if I gave myself more formal hours? [Okay. –ed.]
LS: Do you look at the internet a lot? What are some things you look at?
EM: I like Zach Galfianakis’ show Between Two Ferns. I also love Michael Showalter’s show, The Michael Showalter Showalter. I look at some stuff, but not as much as when I temped at an office. I just watched a video Jon Benjamin made called Tech Talk. You can see it here.
LS: What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
EM: I forget.
LS: Do you watch Mad Men?
EM: I do. I love it. I am delighted they named a character after me (probably not). [Are you talking about Grandpa/Baby? I had no idea he was named Eugene Mirman! –ed]
LS: Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? Tell me how it all went down.
EM: I think the most famous person I ever met was Robin Williams when he came to the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary comedy show with Bob Goldthwait, and my friend Tony V, because they were shooting a movie in Seattle at the time. [I saw that movie. It’s pretty good. –ed.] But speaking of meeting famous people and Mad Men, I was once outside of the Knitting Factory in New York (after a benefit I did for homeless people — because I’m a really good person) and a guy came up to me and said, “Hey my name is Jon and I’m a friend of David Wain’s and I’m a big fan.” And I was like, “Wait? Jon? Jon Hamm?!” And he was like, “Yes.” And I was like, “I’m a REALLY big fan of yours! I LOVE your show.” It might have spooked him a little. [OH.MY.GOD. Is he as good looking in real life? Do you think he’d let me interview him? If you invited him over do you think he’d come? Did you know there is a Knitting Factory in Spokane??! -ed.] But he was very nice and we talked for a few minutes.
LS: I’m sure you are working on some new material. Please give me a sneak peek and we can work on it here, together.
EM: I am going to be in Copenhagen in December covering the UN Climate Change Conference for a Seattle-based non-profit called Grist. So I’m working on that. I’m trying to come up with titles for the series, so feel free to give me some ideas. [How about ‘Gettin’ Green with Eugene’? Or ‘Eugreen Mirman Reports Live from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen’? Or ‘Reduce, Reuse, Eugene’? -ed.]
LS: And finally, tell me a story about Megan Jasper, preferably something embarrassing. If you don’t have something you can sub in a dirty or weird dream you’ve had about her or something.
EM: I have a great story about her, but make sure you run this by her, so that people don’t believe she is any less professional because of this. Probably five or so years ago Megan, Robin Taylor, me and a few other friends went to see Wilco and Flaming Lips at Madison Square Garden for New Years. Periodically, as people around us would shout out requests at the bands, and Megan, with an equally enthusiastic voice, would yell, “Shit in my pussy!” It’s still one of the funnier things I’ve seen at a concert. I think the next day she ran into some friends of hers that happened to be behind us at the show and had a eleven or twelve year old child with them. I think they thought it was funny, but Megan might have been a little embarrassed. [Megan does this at baby showers, marketing meetings, sporting events, and funerals. It’s her ‘thing’. –ed.]