The debut full-length by Happy Birthday comes out tomorrow, March 16th! As with many of the records we release under the Sub Pop imprimatur of medium quality, we are very enthusiastic about this album and this band. So enthusiastic, in fact, that we would like to encourage you to buy this album from us. And, in order to convince you of the necessity of having Happy Birthday in your life, we are going to the following great lengths…
- We are GIVING AWAY a second mp3 from the Happy Birthday album! This number is called “Subliminal Message,” and it is hereby yours to keep! Get Subliminal Message here!
- You know how people do that thing where they put music up on YouTube with just a picture of the record cover, or maybe an LP spinning on a turntable, or some other thing that is clearly not all that much of a video at all, but just some kind of placeholder image or thing, that is just really an excuse to stream a song on what is, at least in name, more of a site for videos? We’re doing that with “Subliminal Message,” too! Subliminal Message on YouTube! It’s not a music video! Or, maybe it’s just a really plain one!
- We are also offering a free stream of the entire Happy Birthday record right now on SoundCloud! You can go here and listen to the entire album and then also stick it up your blog for your “friends” to hear!
And there you go: three (3!) new opportunities to celebrate Happy Birthday!
Also worth noting, for those of you attending the annual South by Southwest music festival in Austin this year: Happy Birthday is playing the Sub Pop/Hardly Art show on Thursday, March 18th at the Galaxy Room. Full details on all that here.
For those of you with less generous expense accounts, there are other non-festival Happy Birthday shows listed here!
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.
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. THANKS FOR PLAYING!*
- 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
- Girls Album
- 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)
- Baby Billie!
- 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!)
- Modern Family
- 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)
- UFO Strangers 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”
- Spider Spider
- Tiny Vipers Life on Earth
- Tyvek & Personal and the Pizzas at many, many shows
- King Tuff at the Longbranch Inn, SXSW
- Happy Birthday at the Silent Barn
- The Hunches Exit Dreams
- Dum Dum Girls C/T EP
- Pissed Jeans King of Jeans
- Thee Oh Sees Help
- Charles Albright “I’m on Drugs”
- Beyond the Implode Atmosphere EP
- Getting engaged
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.