May has arrived and here at HQ we are all ready for the best summer we’ve ever known, what with all the good records coming out and the hot shit SP20 Festival right around the corner. In fact, the SP20 Fest was voted Best Summer Music Fest in an informal poll I quietly held here at my desk. Want more info? Read this, bub.
The highly anticipated new No Age record Nouns comes out May 6th and will be available on CD and LP and MP3 and maybe even Blueray and/or Cassette if I finally get my way around this fucking place! Seriously though, if you order this fantastical album from subpop.com we’ll throw in a cool poster designed by a Mr. Templeton. A Mr. Ed Templeton. (Google it.) We’re throwing in something else but I want to save my dignity and not type the phrase “buttons and stickers” ever again, so… Wait, I just… Dammit! The No Age dudes just shot their first video (for “Eraser”) and although it’s still in post-production it looks really amazing—there are balloons, a giant skull, the LA River, and…Dean Spunt and Randy Randall from No Age! See? That’s them up above. Please keep an eye out for it—it would be the right thing to do. Click here to get the record. Click here to find out more about No Age.
On May 20th Mudhoney will be releasing their 37th full-length album, The Lucky Ones. Mark Arm sits out on guitar on this one, presumably so he can dance more at their shows. He is a re-mark-able dancer. (Get it?) The Lucky Ones LP will come stuffed with a 7” single of Mudhoney covering Pere Ubu’s “Street Waves” and “Gonna Make You Mine” by the Troggs. We’ll have 200 of these 7”s to give away with pre-orders of the CD so you better hurry. They’re going to try to sign some stuff as well but don’t hold your breath. (I suggested that they might want to go ahead and let their wives/girlfriends sign this one just to mix it up a bit but I was met with a stony silence so I doubt that’s happening.) On the 20th we will also release the first in what will presumably be a not un-long line of reissues for Sub Pop’s 20th, Superfuzz Bigmuff Deluxe_! This is a remastered double-CD with an expanded booklet and a ton of live tracks and way too much stuff for me to type so read (then order!) this hereedition. You don’t get anything extra with this because it is full of extras and when did you start expecting so much stuff anyway?
We’re all pretty puffed up around here (chuffed?) about how well this Flight of the Conchords thing is going. We just followed-up their (ahem…) FUCKINGGRAMMY-AWARD-WINNING EP, The Distant Future with their self-titled debut full-length, and man, is that thing ever shifting units. So much so that none other than Yahoo! (Google it.) was prompted to comment: “Ashlee Simpson’s new album sold so poorly, it was beaten by a comedy album." Our comedy album! (Hat Tip to good ol’ Matt “Epsonality/Domino’s Pizza” Olsen for this one.) Flight of the Conchords and many other Sub Pop bands are on tour right now so make sure you use our new and improved tour-search-filter to see if someone’s coming to your town.
So, yeah, this 20th Anniversary thing is really starting to happen! We’re not to a point where we feel comfortable announcing too much more (read: we don’t know yet) but we guarantee at least one to one-and-a-half more great things are on the way. We at Sub Pop value your opinion, even if we don’t always agree with it. So, if you were The Deciderer, what would you do to celebrate?
To celebrate the label’s twentieth birthday, Sub Pop will release a series of re-issues starting with Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff: Deluxe Edition (which, like their brand new album The Lucky Ones , comes out May 20, 2008), launch a limited run of the Sub Pop Singles Club (more on that soon-ish), and throw a series of over-the-top birthday parties for itself this summer.
Herewith the scoop on these birthday parties:
SP20 Comedy Show – Friday, July 11th at The Moore Theatre
You can also buy tickets for SP20 in person at the Marymoor Park Office between 9am and 4pm, Monday-Friday. You can also phone them at 206-205-3661 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to buy tickets and have them mailed to you. A fee of $8 per ticket supports maintenance and operations of King County Parks. There’s more info about all of this on the Concerts at Marymoor site.
There is also, at this same link info for those interested in carpooling to SP20!
Today, and this is no April Fools joke, is Sub Pop Records’ 20th Anniversary. When I asked Jon Poneman, aka The Jonald, how it feels to turn 20 he responded, “The company maintains bowel movements at regular intervals so we’re not nearly as grouchy as some other labels our age.” I couldn’t put it better myself, but this is coming from a man who has never once used the bathroom in the office.
April is packed full of highly anticipated releases, starting first with the US release of Foals Antidotes on CD/LP (w/ download code). This is out on April 8th and if you pre-order you’ll get a bonus CDR with B-sides! April 8th is also the release date for the new seven-inch from No Age. It features “Eraser” from the upcoming album plus three covers. April 8th is also the official release date for the Fleet Foxes EP, but you’ve been able to buy that on subpop.com for practically forever so who cares?
On April 22nd we’ll be releasing Flight of the Conchords by Flight of the Conchords and then I’ll get to hear all the world sing “Business Time” wherever I go. The album is on CD and LP (w/download code) and both come with a killer little poster. Also, we’ll go ahead and give you $2 off until street date. Don’t say we never did nothing for you. We almost never stop doing nothing for you.
The first of our anniversary celebrations is tonight (April 1st) at Chop Suey, where The Ruby Suns are playing. Tomorrow (that’s April 2nd) we intend to buy all of Seattle a drink at Hattie’s Hat from 9pm on. You better show up early as the place will surely reach capacity within seconds. Keep your eye out for details on our summertime anniversary show and maybe a little something called the Singles Club. Uh oh—cat’s out of the bag.
Somewhat unbelievably, though no less deservedly, Flight of the Conchords won an actual Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album the other night! For a record (The Distant Future) that we, here at Sub Pop, released!
Ever since David Cross’s Shut Up, You Fucking Baby lost to Weird Al’s Poodle Hat album back in ‘04, we kinda figured we’d never win one. But, maybe David just shouldn’t have used the word “Fucking” in the title of his album?
Anyhoo, congratulations on your Grammy Bret and Jemaine! We’re surpassingly proud to bask in your reflected glory.
And, congratulations also to The Shins on their Best Alternative Album Grammy nomination! Though they didn’t win (The White Stripes did), it’s an enormous honor just to be nominated. And their album Wincing the Fucking Night Away is no less amazing for not winning.
R Buckminster Fuller once said, “I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented,” and this would be wholly unremarkable but for the fact that Harry D. Hudson, Sub Pop’s Master of Technolo-something, said nearly this same thing to me about a new product that he is now prepared to offer for sale exclusively on this very website. What is this mysterious invention that will revolutionize the world as we know it? What ungodly creation has Dr. Hudson and the somewhat evil-seeming Professor Fletcher brought to life in their old-timey laboratory? They’re called mp3s! “Mp3” apparently stands for “music product 3”: a mysterious, invisible computer thingy which can be made to produce sounds not unlike music. It is just this sort of devotion to innovative, cutting edge technology that has made Sub Pop Records the unwitting industry leader it is today. Take that, everyone else—Sub Pop has invented the mp3! And now, we’d like to sell some of these things to you.
Since this program is in its infancy we have only a very limited number of mp3s available at this time, and we’re only offering full album downloads. We’re no dummies so we went ahead and mp3’d the big guns—all the Shins albums, the Postal Service, Flight of the Conchords, the new Band of Horses and new Iron and Wine albums are all available as downloadable zip files containing 192k mp3s and high quality cover art for $9.90 per album, except for the FOC ep which is a mere $5.94. We will be adding to this list just as soon as we’re able. This is the future—bask in its glory before someone steals our idea. Oh also, please email Dean at email@example.com with questions, concerns, or failures.
August is practically (I said ‘practically’, sheesh!) New Zealand month here at Sub Pop HQ as we go ahead and give 2 of our 3 precious release spots to way, way out of towners from down under, (kinda). August 7th will see the release of Structure and Cosmetics by The Brunettes and The Distant Future by Flight of the Conchords, both of whom are from New Zealand. Which is located near Australia. On the bottom of your globe. The Brunettes have built up quite a following after touring the US and New Zealand with The Shins, and the Conchords dudes aren’t doing too shabby themselves what with their hit show on HBO and all. We at Sub Pop are known for our unparalleled generosity, especially when it comes to trying to move our new releases, so if you pre-order the Brunettes album we’ll be throwing in a copy of the band’s 2003 Boyracer EP while supplies last so get on to gettin’, folks. The Distant Future features, in audio form, all the hilarious songs you’ve come to know and love from HBO’s hit tv show Flight of the Conchords starring Flight of the the Conchords as Flight of the Conchords. All your favorites are there—“Business Time”, “If You’re Into It”, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” and more. As an added bonus, you’ll get absolutely nothing for free when you order the Flight of the Conchords’ ep because we’re saving up all our free goods for the full length in January. Late August, the 21st to be exact, brings us Down Below It’s Chaos from Seattle locals Kinski, and this one’s an ass kicker in three different colored packaging variations. These folks just got to tour around the US of A with Tool and everyone was all like “Tool who?” by the time Kinski was done blowing the, uh, dome off the stadium. Also owing to that whole generosity thing I mentioned earlier, it is my pleasure to announce that we’re giving away a limited edition Kinski CD from a live recording in June of 2007. For this performance, Kinski played live accompaniment with the 1927 silent film, Berlin, Symphony of a City by Walter Ruttmann for the Seattle International Film Festival. This CD contains a portion of the recordings from their two performances. It’s all live; no overdubs, and the clinking you hear occasionally is people eating dinner! Actual dinner! Summer is also what we call “tour season” in the Biz, and many of our fine artistes are making their way around the country before settling in for the winter and now is the time for you to catch live and in person shows from the likes of Tiny Vipers, The Brunettes, Low, and even our favorite Italian Sub Pop band Jennifer Gentle who desperately need to be taken to the Olive Garden when they come to your town. Hospitaliano, y’all.