For the Record #5 welcomes our very first guest writer and it’s none other than Blitzen Trapper’s Marty Marquis!
We asked Marty to tell us about one of his favorite Sub Pop releases and Marty, being the good guy he is, took the time to write a little bit about how Mark Lanegan’s The Winding Sheet came into his favor. Accordingly, we are going to continue our practice of drastically discounting our writer’s selected title for the next 48 hours. For the Record is in full swing now, and it’s all for you dear Sub Pop fans, all for you.
All right, let’s hear from Marty!
Band: Mark Lanegan
Record: The Winding Sheet
When we told you the first time: May 1st, 1990
When I was 17 I worked on a Scout camp at Goose prairie in the middle Cascades. With my first paycheck I bought a discman and some cheap speakers and a copy of Mark Lanegan’s The Winding Sheet, and for the next nine weeks my tent was haunted by it. A spooky, forlorn record perfectly pitched to the sound of rain on canvas, the smell of splintered cedar, the dawn fogs on the prairie. The songs, sinister and melancholy, seemed to resonate with the night forest, the swift seething of the Bumping river, the silent spirals off my cigarette.
I had known and admired Lanegan from his work with Screaming Trees, but this music was bewitching in a new way; dueling with heavy wah-guitar and feedback his voice had been impressive, but the dark folk blues concocted by he and Mike Johnson here were a brilliant change of venue. I had never heard anything like it, and to this day believe it to be a first step toward a distinctively Northwestern pastoral. This from the grunge lab of Jack Endino, with performances by Fisk, Novoselic, Cobain! And is that cover art by Charles Peterson?
You get The Winding Sheet at our FTR sale price of $6 CD/$4 Mp3 here for the next 48 hours!
You can also go here to get Blitzen Trapper’s newly released (as of 8/25/09) Black River Killer EP!
For the Record #3
Beachwood Sparks Once we were Trees
When we told you the first time: 10/9/2001
Hopefully you’ve learned the drill by now, but we’re only on installment 3 of the new subpop.com feature, “For the Record”, so here’s a brief refresher. One of us here in the Sub Pop office will periodically pick a record in our catalog that means a great deal to them, write about why that is, and then temporarily price it at $6 for the CD/LP and $4 for a digital version of the record.
The song writing and creativity on Once We Were Trees is a big leap from their s/t debut (which is also great, BTW). From the onset, the short instrumental, “Germination”, sets the tone for the huge sounding songs “Confusion is Nothing New” and “Sun Surrounds”. From there, the record moves into a more countrified territory and then it slows a bit….. actually, I’ll stop trying to describe the record song by song because of my clumsy descriptors and general inadequacies as a writer. I’ll just say that the record is remarkably well paced and that you’ll end up going on a mini, drug-free, hallucinogenic journey into amazing sonic territories (some of which are governed by guest appearances by J. Mascis and his guitar) and a year-round, California summer day, no matter where you are.
Once we were Trees was my introduction to much of the country music that I would come to love. Before Beachwood Sparks, I didn’t have a sense of why Sweetheart of the Rodeo or Grievous Angel were such revered records, to me they sounded like twangy earaches. It wasn’t an easy sell, in fact, it took a few years following the release of this record to get into a lot of those records, but I attribute OWWT to my love of John Phillips, Graham Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, and The Byrds. They were also an introduction to a family of bands that I’ve come to love quite dearly, including: The Tyde, All Night Radio, Further, Mystic Chords of Memory, and Summer Hits (for more info: http://www.thecalmingseas.com/relbands). I owe a lot to this record.
Pick it up through Thursday, July 30th here for $6 on CD/LP or $4 digitally.
Welcome to our second installment of “For the Record”, our new subpop.com feature wherein one of us picks a record we are fond of, writes a few lines about why we like it and then we put it on sale for 48 hours. Last time was Richard on the Foals, this week we’ve got Alissa talking Love as Laughter.
Band: Love as Laughter
Record: Laughter’s Fifth
When we told you the first time: April 26th 2005
So in my short life (and I’m speaking strictly of my stature here, I’m actually getting kind of old) I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being overly, uh, negative. And you know, I really hate it when jerks say stuff like that! Rude. I’m not negative, anonymous commentators on blogs are negative, I’m just opinionated. Or maybe it’s spirited? Yeah, I like spirited. (See? I’m liking stuff already in this paragraph.) But just to prove how enthusiastic I am capable of being, I am here to talk about something I really like, something I can be positively the opposite of negative over – Love as Laughter. Cuz good god, I really do like me some Love as Laughter. And For The Record, I specifically happen to love “Laughter’s Fifth”.
I mean, Sam Jayne? The guy just knows his way around a great rock song. And man, that voice of his is straight up one of my all time favorite voices in music. What’s the expression? I could listen to him sing the phone book? Something like that, and yeah, I would listen to that shit. But until that phone book recording is released, I can be content just re-listening to this record, no problem.
Now I know this might go a long way towards the above-mentioned issue of perceived negativity, but it is true that it’s sometimes easier to get into what I don’t like about any given thing than for me to explain what I really love about it (unless we are talking about Zach Galifianakis but that’s another discussion).
But for once, figuring out what I like about this record is pretty straight-forward: this music is just like my favorite kind of people in this world. And by that I mean these songs have the genuine, smart, quick-witted and easy going confidence that I always am drawn to, with just enough of the slightly melancholy, self-deprecating, unkempt style for me to completely relate to them. I mean, dang, I wanna buy this music a beer or something. And I guess if I’m gonna go and personify these songs like that then it’s not that hard to figure out why I’d wanna spend so much time with them, right? Makes sense to me.
But just in case my rare exhibition of unbridled enthusiasm isn’t enough to peak your curiosity, here’s a couple of right-to-the point record reviews that can back up my claims:
No Rip Chord
So there you have it. Negativity be damned, this record is great.
Listen for yourself – track 6 Dirty Lives
For the next 48 hours you can pick up Laughter’s Fifth for $6 on CD and LP and for $4 digital. What a deal!
Click here to buy!