March 16th is going to be a sweet day for people who love sweet tunes. What I’m talking about is, a band called Happy Birthday and their debut CD/LP (with accompanying digital download code) on Sub Pop Records. Not only will you receive a CD or LP with 11 astounding gems with your pre-order, you’ll also get the record for the special pre-order price of $10 for the CD and $14 for the LP. And you know what? That’s not it! We’re also going to throw in a pretty sweet Happy Birthday sticker sheet and poster. And the last thing I want to mention regarding this (and all Sub Pop pre-orders, for that matter), is that when you pre-order Happy Birthday, you’ll get instant access to a stream so you don’t have to wait to hear the record.
Pre-order Happy Birthday and get a free MP3 download from the record right here.
Happy March, y’all! I am so glad to be done with February. It seems like such a bogus month what with its handful of days. I like a month with all 31 days. A month that knows it could stop at 30, but spits in the face of slowing down. Also, when there are lots of days in a month we can release more records more of the time. For instance, March 2 we release Fight Softly by The Ruby Suns on CD/CP, and the little buddies next door, aka Hardly Art, release Double Jointer by those crazy Brooklynites Golden Triangle. Both are neat. If you pre-order Fight Softly by March 2nd, you’ll get $2 off the CD or LP! Get them here and here.
Mid-March sees the release of the self-titled album by Happy Birthday which is the new band from Kyle of King Tuff and Witch, etc. Pre-order this bad boy and you get $2 off the CD or LP + probably a sticker + for sure a newsprint poster! This record is one of my faves and I’m very excited to see them play at SXSW this year, which brings me to my next point: we’re doing a SXSW showcase with Hardly Art on March 18th at the Galaxy Room and you should certainly stop by if you happen to be in town. Check out more here. Also, we’re putting out a 7” by King Khan and Pat Meteor on the 16th. Get that guy here.
March 30th is two things—one, it is the day before my soul-crushing 35th birthday, and two, it’s the release of the long player (CD/LP) from Dum Dum Girls called I Will Be. Pre-order this record by March 30th and get a five-song CDR of the first Dum Dum Girls release on Zoo Music Records, owned by Dee Dee and her old man. (Husband old man, not dad old man.) While you’re at it you should grab the new Unnatural Helpers 7” for their killer summer jam track called “Sunshine/Pretty Girls” out on Hardly Art—it’s good for beer drinking and dancing.
The winner for last month’s prize of new releases is Erick Roff of Seattle and it was chosen by our pal Nick Heliotis over at Hardly Art, purveyors of music also. Please stop by Hardly Art’s webspace and look around. *To win this month’s new releases please tell me, in the comments section, what song you would use in place of the ol’ happy birthday standard when/if I were to outlaw it.
Avi Buffalo, Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore, Dum Dum Girls, Happy Birthday, Jaill, Male Bonding, and The Ruby Suns will all be heading down to Austin this March for the 2010 South by Southwest music festival/conference/opportunity to eat BBQ.
As you can tell by our snazzy flyer, we will once again be partnering with our good friends Hardly Art on a showcase to, one can only hope, end all showcases.
You should really go.
Sub Pop and Hardly Art SXSW Showcase 2010
Thursday, March 18th
at the Galaxy Room
508 E. 6th Street
It’s that time of year again where we get to tell you our favorite things from the year 2009. There were going to be some novelty entries like “Top 10 Rudest People in the Office” and “Top 10 Top 10 Lists” but then I realized that these lists are only marginally interesting anyway, so why beat a dead horse by throwing in a bunch of office in-jokes. Anyhow, I’ve taken it upon myself to offer up a package of all of Sub Pop’s 2009 full length releases to a random lucky commenter who adds his or her very own Top 10 list in the comments section, fancy bullet points not required. (Bonus points to whoever comes up with the Top 10 Form of Paying Attention Columns of 2009. Just sayin’.) It’s been a nice year, see y’all in 2010!!!! *UPDATE! WE’VE PICKED A WINNER AS OF 12/15/09. THANKSFORPLAYING!*
maserati/ zombi split
alela diane to be still
big business mind the drift
elton john tumbleweed connection
ben nichols the last pale light in the west
black moth super rainbow eating us
sleepy eyes of death dark signals
fungi girls seafaring pyramids
wilco ashes of american flags
the sound all fall down
no age losing feeling
mark sultan hold on
Blues Control Local Color
Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport
Pissed Jeans King of Jeans (can’t help it)
Akron Family Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free
Moritz Von Oswald Trio Vertical Ascent
VA 5 Years of Hyperdub
Demdike Stare Symbiosis
Black to Comm Alphabet 1968
Reigning Sound Love & Curses
Disrupt The Bass Has Left the Building
Phosphorescent To Willie
Abner Jay The True Story of Abner Jay
The Feelies The Good Earth (re-issue)
V/A Mata La Pena (Mississippi Records world music comp!)
Girls – Album
Kurt Vile Childish Prodigy
Neil Young Archives – Volume 1: 1963-1972
Strange Boys The Strange Boys and Girls Club (new favorite as of this week)
Michael Hurley Ida Con Snock
Fletcher C. Johnson – He hasn’t released a full length, but I may as well count this as an album of the year for me based on how many times I’ve listened to his songs on Myspace
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavillion
Devandra Banhart What Will Be
Sonny & the Sunsets Tomorrow is Alright
Best Coast (I liked it all)
Vetiver Tight Knit
Woods Songs of Shame
Fruit Bats Ruminant Band
Comet Gain Broken Record Players
Bill Callahan Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
Stone Roses Stone Roses Reissue
Chef Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt 2
Vijay Iyer Historicity (probably the best record of 2009, ya know, imho & all)
quitting caffeine at doctor’s orders & living to tell about it
moving to an apartment without mice
car totaled [by a nun?! -Ed.] (no injuries, it was parked/unoccupied; all considered this is probably the best thing that happened to me in 2009)
reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes; changed up my whole scene
discovered that I like bleu cheese (I’d been trying, this year it worked)
getting back on my bicycle (not really related to totaled car but it helps)
discovering the television show MI-5 (called Spooks in the rest of the world)
seeing early Melvins open for Green River and “Houdini”-era Melvins
Spider Spider (Thriftstore)
The Beets Spit in the Face of People That Don’t Want To Be Cool (Captured Tracks)
Strange Boys Strange Boys and Girls Club (In the Red)
Reigning Sound Love and Curses (In the Red)
Eat Skull Wild and Inside (Siltbreeze)
Obits I Blame You (Sub Pop)
Talbot Tagora Lessons in the Woods or a City (Hardly Art)
Kurt Vile Childish Prodigy (Matador)
Jacuzzi Boys No Season (Florida’s Dying)
Moon Duo Killing Time EP (Sacred Bones)
Nobunny Raw Romance cassette (Burger)
There were/are so many more though… Intelligence, Dan Melchior, Thee Oh Sees put out a few (many) full lengths that I can get behind as well. I also want to throw in Christmas Island and the Dutchess and the Duke, too. There were a ton of great albums out in 2009!!! I’d also like to add Jason Smith stage diving during the Mummies while wrapped up in toilet paper.
Talbot Tagora Lessons in the Woods or a City
The Beets Spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool
Christmas Winter 7”
The Strange Boys Strange Boys and Girls Club
Thee Oh Sees Help / Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion / Dog Poison / Sub Pop Singles Club 7” / Singles comp / playing outside on the patio at the Funhouse / etc
The Intelligence Fake Surfers
Phosphorescent To Willie
Audacity Power Drowning
Dum Dum Girls Longhair 7”
Wooden Shjips Dos / Contact EP
Marc Sultan Hold On 7”
Love Tan Miscellaneous Night Feelings
Children’s Hospital S/T
German Measles Wild EP
Honorable Mentions – Arthur & Yu and the Moondoggies collaboration over the spring / summer…Rosalie Sorrels If I Could Be The Rain (not a new record but I discovered this 1967 LP this year and probably listened to it more than anything else in 2009 — seriously)… Muswell Hillbillies by the Kinks (for my money their best record and sorely overlooked, at least by me until this year…)…Familiars reunion show at the Funhouse… Party Weekend 09 – Labor Day weekend when Davila 666, Ty Segal and the Beets were all in town. That was so much fun
mika miko we be xuxa
thomas function in the valley of the sickness
spits school’s out
vivian girls everything goes wrong
paul baribeau new demo tape
Thee Oh Sees help
seeing where the wild things are on mushrooms
Quintron on Halloween in New Orleans
Riding my bike from my living room to California
our new haus
Chuy Pancakes the dog
Coconut Coolouts/Personal & the Pizzas/Tyvek summer tour
Loan modification success
All my 2009 baby friends (Billie, Paloma, Oscar)
Being married for one year
The Oh Sees Help
Dutchess & the Duke Sunrise/Sunset
Obits I Blame You
Lots and lots of good shows, records, and friends
Seeing Tyvek play the Paramount
The Mummies and The Brentwoods at Budget Rock
(Top 10 Sub Pop things other than good records)
Tony and Sonya’s wedding!
Dean and Lauren’s engagement
The introduction of Chuy Pancakes
Our amazing Sub Pop scholarship winners
Lavaman with Carly
Fleet Foxes on SNL!!
Mudhoney in Warsaw
Going to Willie Nelson’s house with Band of Horses!
Willie biting the mean mailman
(Songs…..there are more than 10. Sorry.)
Memory Tapes “Bicycle”
Dum Dum Girls “Hey Sis”
The Big Pink “Count Backwards from Ten”
Mayfair Set “Desert Fun”
The Horrors “Scarlet Fields”
Animal Collective “In the Flowers”
Crystal Stilts “The Dazzled”
Micachu and the Shapes “Calculator”
Pains of Being Pure At Heart “Higher Than the Stars”
The XX “Crystalised”
No Age “You’re a Target”
Male Bonding “Pumpkin”
Girls “Morning Light”
Real Estate “Fake Blues”
Best Coast “When I’m With You”
Atlas Sound “An Orchid”
Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
Veronica Falls “Found Love In a Graveyard”
The Link Light Rail (yes I’m the only one in the office benefiting from this thing)
Flying Squirrel Pizza
High waist jeans (bye bye muffin top!)
Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 7 (the Seinfeld reunion is to die for)
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
East Bound and Down
Cougar Town (Courtney Cox is hilarious)
Success with Ref 71 (we won!)
Le Loupe Family
Flight of the Conchords Season 2 / the Australian episode
New songs: Woods “Rain On”, Fuck Buttons “Flight of the Feathered Serpent”, Ganglians “Valient Brave”, Animal Collective “My Girls”, Demdike Stare “Jannisary”.
Reissues – Stone Roses, Beatles reissues and Beatles Rockband, The Feelies, Neil Young – Archives, Ghana Special, Hyperdub comp, Nirvana Live at Reading CD/DVD.
Live – Pissed Jeans at the Sub Pop CMJ Showcase – eyes and ears, heavier than Andre the Giant.
Boomkat – A fantastic British online music store. It’s mainly electronic music but there is some other cool stuff on there too.
Old stuff I’ve been excited about – Folky (Pentangle Jack Orion (instrumental)/Faro Annie, Roy Harper – Stormcock, Bert Jansch – Jack Orion) Dubby (Jacob Miller and Fatman Riddim Section – Heavyweight Dub/Killer Dub, King Tubby and Roots Radics – Dangerous Dub) Garnett Mimms – As Long As I Have You, Sharon Tandy – Hold On, Steve Reich and Phillip Glass.
“Hot” records that were actually really good – The XX, Camera Obscura, Flaming Lips, Wild Beasts…..
Snorkelling: It’s the best, get in there.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Great new Sub Pop jams for 2010. Beach House “10 Mile Stereo”, Happy Birthday “Subliminal Message”.
Places I liked to eat in Seattle in 2009: Bakery Noveau, Buddha Rushka, Monsoon, Matt’s in the Market, Senor Moose, Skillet, Circa, St Andrews Bar and Grill, Flying Squirrel, Taqueria La Fondita #2 and Tacos Guaymas.
Top Ten Things I Discovered this year that other people have know about for thirty years:
Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm A Black Man’s Soul Song : “Philly Dog”
The Feelies Crazy Rhythms Song: “Moscow Nights”
Motörhead On Parole Song: “On Parole”
Roxy Music Country Life Song: “Prairie Rose”
(Re-embracing my love of NWOBHM especially)
UFOStrangers in the Night Song: “Let it Roll”
Small Faces Deeram LP Song: “Own Up Time”
V/A Progressivo Italiano Song: Quella Vecchia Locanda “Il Cieco”
Serge Gainsbourg Histoire De Melody Nelson Song: “Melody”
Mott The Hoople Mad Shadows Song: “Thunderbuck Ram”
Bobby Gentry Song: “Fancy”
Rusted Shut Hot Sex EP
Mark Sultan “Hold On” b/w “I Hear a New World”
Tiny Vipers Life on Earth
Tyvek & Personal and the Pizzas at many, many shows
No, we’re not getting back into the self-congratulatory, aggrandization of last year’s birthday revelry but referring to the band who’s name sounds like the time-tested affirmation of aging. We’re as happy as a bucket of clams to announce that we’ll be putting out Happy Birthday’s first record on Sub Pop Records.
We learned about Happy Birthday by way of our obsession with one of 2008’s best records, King Tuff’s Was Dead. After meeting Kyle (aka King Tuff) early this year, we spent the better part of 2009 trying to squeeze Happy Birthday and/or King Tuff songs out of him—an effort that’s finally paid off in a record of near-perfectly constructed comic-book-pop gems. (We’re not quite sure what that means either, but we’re rolling with it.)
But enough of my blather, here’s what the band has to say about themselves:
Happy Birthday is Kyle Thomas (aka King Tuff), Chris Weisman, and Ruth Garbus. They formed in November 2008 to play one show at the punk-space “Tinderbox” (RIP), in their hometown Brattleboro, Vermont. Kyle needed a band to play his new pop songs because he was too scared to play by himself. They enjoyed playing with each other so much that they decided to keep doing it. They have now played a total of 5 shows.
Kyle sings and plays lead guitar. The songs are mostly his, but the band arranges and finishes them together. He is also a painter and drawer and loves top 40, shoes, texting, comic books, etc. Ruth Garbus plays drums and sings. She also makes her own music and art. Chris Weisman plays “inverted-tuning” guitar, bass, and sings. He makes 4-track songs, enjoys reading and writing, and is a guitar teacher.
We look forward to releasing Happy Birthday’s full length in early spring of next year.